After a fruitful morning’s lessons —economists learned about the positives and pitfalls of free trade— students took off on an afternoon excursion to Blenheim Palace, the grand country pile that is at once a family home, mausoleum, and national monument (to the 1704 Battle of Blenheim). It is also known for being the birthplace and ancestral home of Winston Churchill, the legendary wartime British Prime Minister; students took a keen interest in the exhibition of Churchill’s life and times on show in the very suite in which baby Winston was born.
Students gloried in the vast and perfectly-manicured palace gardens, finding dreamy calm down at the lake, and racing each other through the stylistic hedge maze in the pleasure garden. They also paid a visit to the Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) who flit about in their own little house in the palace grounds. Students competed to be the first to spot a Painted Lady or Red Admiral. Some students were so absorbed in the natural and architectural wonders on offer that they missed the miniature train that runs from the house to the front gates when it was time to go home —running back on foot, they actually ended up getting there first!