To mark the opening of two major new exhibitions visitors will be able to ‘greet’ Winston Churchill as well as meet and, for younger visitors ride, friendly ponies on selected days.
The role of Churchill will be played by ‘Winstan’ a lookalike of the ‘Greatest Briton’ who will be relating stories of his life and career, and the ponies will be waiting to welcome visitors in the Palace’s historic stable block.
Visitors can also explore both the two new exhibitions, which are part of a major £1.9m investment programme at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first examines the key role Blenheim played in the life of Winston Churchill, who was born at the Palace.
As well as being his birthplace, and one of his favourite places to relax, its rich military history provided huge inspiration for Churchill’s own career and it was even where he proposed to his beloved wife Clementine.
Utilising a mix of historic artefacts and new technology, the interactive exhibition follows the ‘greatest Briton’ from his childhood, through his military service, political career and wartime role into his later life.
In addition to the Churchill exhibition, the Palace’s stable yard has been transformed into an immersive experience showcasing the importance of horses at Blenheim down through the centuries.
Features include a recreation of the tack room, the stable office and an area where live horse displays can take place, as well as the chance for visitors to attempt to ride side-saddle.
The display area also highlights the key role the wider estate – including its ancient woodland, royal hunting lodge and ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland – has played in its continued success.
A new art-themed restaurant and café has been built as part of the new attractions, featuring a touchless ordering app and visitors can also enjoy a Churchill-themed Afternoon Tea in the Orangery Restaurant inspired by his long-time cook Georgina Landemare. Daily visitor numbers are limited and admission is only via online pre-booking.
‘Winstan’ will be in residence at Blenheim Palace and the ponies will be in the stableyard on 22-23 May and then from 29 May – 6 June. To book and reserve time slots to visit go to www.blenheimpalace.com/tickets .