On our last night in Glastonbury we found out that something had gone wrong with our B&B reservation in Oxford, the next destination on our list. Because there was not a good alternative in Oxford itself anymore on such short notice, we decided to book a B&B in Woodstock, a town about 8 miles Northwest of Oxford. Very easy to reach by the local bus service from Oxford Station. Another surprise trip ahead of us, and a nice surprise it was. We changed our plans again and decided to spend a day in Woodstock as well.
Woodstock is a Georgian town in Oxfordshire, England at the beginning of the Cotswolds. The name Woodstock is Old English in origin, meaning a “clearing in the woods”. The Domesday Book of 1086 describes Woodstock (Wodestock, Wodestok, Wodestole) as a royal forest. It is a kind of a town when you arrive, you like to wander around right away.
In the far away past there was also a Woodstock Palace, which was popular by several English kings throughout the medieval period. The building was destroyed in the English Civil War, 60 years later the palace remains were cleared for the building of Blenheim Palace.
Blenheim Palace was designed by John Vanbrugh, in a heavy Italo-Corinthian style. It was designated to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough. Most of the palace was paid for by the nation. John Churchill was given this palace in honour for his victories over the French and the Bavarians at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession. Winston Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace in 1874 and is buried in the nearby village of Bladon. We did not visit the Palace ourselves, I just peeked through the gate.
Woodstock is also home to The Oxfordshire Museum and the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum. A large 18th century house in the historic town of Woodstock provides a home for the County’s collections.
From the 16th century the town prospered by making gloves, and decorative steel work. Nowadays it depends more on the tourists who visit the Blentheim Palace.
The museum garden is beautifully designed and a delight to have a tea .
There is outside also a replica of a dinosaur on display.
In the time we visited the museum, there was also a lovely Beatrix Potter exhibition. However it was not allowed to take photographs. Such pitty.
And if at the end of the day you favor an authentic Italian meal, the Brothertons Brasserie is the place to be.