With summer on the way, and both the economy and the weather picking up – we’ve got a good feeling about the Easter break in 2014. Having consulted our complimentary tea-leaves, we think it is safe to predict that this Easter will be packed with fun.
As we’re a London based Self Storage company we usually focus on what’s on in the capital for holiday events and activities. But this time we thought how much fun it is for the family to go on a proper day out. So here is the second of our corking suggestions for getting out of the big smoke and seeing more of England’s history and heritage…Before we get to the good bit, here’s a quick reminder of the criteria…
Journey time – being stuck in a car for for half the day is no fun for anyone we’ve set a maximum journey time of 1.5hrs from our Camden Branch.
Cost – Inflation is low and the economy is looking a bit brighter but days out can still be expensive for a family of four. So we’ve set a limit on the basic ticket of £100. Fuel and food we haven’t – it’s up to you whether you pack sardines or book a pop into a tea room…
Blenheim Palace: an impressive alternative to Downton Abbey
The current craze for costume dramas has lead to much greater interest in country houses as visitor destinations and 1hr 27 minute drive from our Camden branch is probably the best known of them all: Highclere Castle. Haven’t heard of it? You will have heard of its alter-ego: Downton Abbey. Home to the Carnarvon family since 1679 this ‘large estate in Newbury, Berkshire’ is the location setting for fictional Lord Grantham’s country pad.
The current house (the one you see in Downton) was built between 1839-42 with Sir Charles Barry as lead architect. You might recognise some of his other work that’s closer to home – London’s Houses of Parliament. Incredibly (and a reflection of the popularity of the show) Highclere’s pre-booked tickets were sold out by 20th March (for the latest updates on opening times and prices visit the Highclere website).
So if you’re hankering to go all grand country house during the Easter break, they don’t come any grander than Blenheim Palace.
It’s a 1hr 26 minute drive from our Camden branch. Built between 1706 and 1722, it’s a pretty special place and was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987. In another link to London and Westminster, you’ll undoubtedly find the surname of the family for whom it was built familiar. The 1st Duke of Marlborough – John Churchill – was already part of the aristocratic and political dynasty from which Winston emerged to iconic greatness during World War II.
Blenheim is the only non-royal, non-religious building to hold the title of Palace in the UK. It could be said it makes Highclere look like a second home. A family day ticket to the Palace, Parks and Gardens is £57. Find out more at the Blenheim Palace website.