Our trip today involved taking a coach to Oxford and to Blenheim Palace. I had been looking forward to this day because I love castles and palaces, additionally I had looked up Blenheim palace photos before and I was really excited to see it because it looked beautiful. We had been told all week that it was going to rain the whole day that we were at Oxford, however again luck was on our side and we got sun shiny skies and cool breezes all day. I learned a lot about Oxford as a town today but also as a University a lot. Oxford University is made up of 39 colleges, each college is self-governing but is a part and overseen somewhat by Oxford University as a whole. The university itself has had 28 prime ministers graduate from it. The most common area of study is medicine, it has a majority female student population.Those are all the quick fun facts I remember. Some cool stuff was that a lot of Harry Potter was filmed there. For example, the dining hall that is still used at the university is the dining hall they use in the movies for Hogwarts. And the staircase that leads to it is also in the movie. A few other rooms and halls were also used but I did not get the chance to visit all of them. Additionally Alice in Wonderland began at Oxford. I can’t quite remember if the author/creator was a student or a teacher at Oxford but Lewis Carroll wrote these stories and they were inspired by people and things he saw at Oxford. The title Alice in Wonderland is because these stories were written for Alice Little, a young girl who’s father I believe was at a high position at the university. In the dining hall there was a window that was called the Alice in Wonderland window and in the stained glass there was the rabbit from the stories and Alice. For lunch me and a few others wehn to the covered market in Oxford which was a small market/shopping area that was inside of a building and the first food shop we ran into was a small French restaurant. The food there was really good and it was nice to eat a good baguette again. Oxford by far had to be one of the prettiest towns I have ever seen, the university as well was beautiful.
After our time was up in Oxford we headed back into the coach to go to Blenheim Palace. It was only a short 30 minute ride away. Like I had said earlier I had looked up Blenheim Palace before but I only looked at the images and I did not read up on it so I had no prior knowledge about its history. I was absolutely amazed when we walked up to the palace, the palace itself, the grounds, the lake, it was all just breathtaking. I have seen palaces before believe me but this was just different. It reminded me a lot of Bridegrton which is one of my favorite shows so that was a bonus. I learned that the palace belongs to the Duke of Marlborough. The most surprising thing I learned was that this was the birthplace, home and burial place of Winston Churchill. I knew the former British prime minister was Sir Windton Churchill but I always thought this was because of him being the prime minister during World War II and not because he was a Duke. To this day the palace is still home to the Duke of Marlborough. In the palace they had a lot of the original furniture and decor and memorabilia, they also had the bed and room where Winston Churchill was born and in that room they have maybe 20 of his personal paintings. The palace had two lakes on it;s property and is near 12000 acres which is crazy to believe. We were considerate of time since we only had two hours at the palace and we wanted to be able to walk around the grounds some. So after touring the museum part of the palace we headed to the bridge that goes over the lakes. Then after staring at some baby geese and petting some dogs we walked down a path to a giant tree. This tree is known as the Harry Potter tree on the estate, the tree is known as ‘The Whomping Willow’ in Harry Potter.
At the end of the day we headed back to Birmingham for our last night before getting to London to go back. I am sad to be leaving Birmingham because I have grown to really appreciate and love the city, the people and the university. I can for sure say after this experience that the brummies are my favorite people in the UK.