Blenheim Park, Woodstock and North Leigh Roman Villa

A nice flat 13.5mile walk around the grounds of the park, once home to Winston Churchill

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At 13.5 miles this is a long walk however it is mostly on the flat so it makes for a good day out, it takes you through the parks that surround Blenheim Palace and was one of the most pleasant and beautiful walks we have done in quite a few years. You start the walk at Hanborough Station (Map) parking cost us only £1.80 for all day on a Saturday (free on Sunday and £3 all day in the week). A nice pint can be found in the old Town of Woodstock, we went into the Star inn for a pint and a wine and it looked a nice place, website here (Star Inn).
This was the first part of the walk and we headed for the lake that lies in the middle, it is separated by the grand bridge with the Queens lake on the other side. The park is huge and would take some time to walk around all of it, our journey took us through the North west part, one of the best views of the house can be seen from the end of the Grand Bridge (
Map) looking towards the palace. Another great view of the palace and grounds is standing behind the Column of Victory (Map) looking South East.

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Blenheim Palace.
Blenheim Palace (pronounced /ˈblɛnɪm/ blen-im[1]) is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the principal residence of the dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace. The palace, one of England's largest houses, was built between 1705 and circa 1722. Blenheim Palace was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.[2]
The building of the palace was originally intended to be a reward to
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from a grateful nation for the duke's military triumphs against the French and Bavarians during the War of the Spanish Succession, culminating in the 1704 Battle of Blenheim. However, soon after its construction began, the palace was to become the subject of political infighting; this led to Marlborough's exile, the fall from power of his duchess, and lasting damage to the reputation of the architect Sir John Vanbrugh

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Akeman Street
From here we walked along Wychwood way before turing westand finding us along the old roman road Akeman Street.
Akeman Street was a major Roman road in England that linked Watling Street with the Fosse Way. Its junction with Watling Street was just north of Verulamium (near modern St Albans) and that with the Fosse Way was atCorinium Dobunnorum (now Cirencester). Its course passes through towns and villages including Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, Aylesbury, Alchester (outside modern Bicester), Chesterton, Kirtlington, Ramsden andAsthall. [1]
North Leigh Roman Villa.

This was a great find on the way just North of the village East End (Map) The remains of a large Roman villa on a sloping site over the River Evenlode. The most impressive feature at North Leigh is an almost complete section of mosaic flooring, largely composed of geometric patterns.
The villa was constructed sometime in the late 2nd century, and was inhabited until the late 4th or early 5th century, as indicated by finds of coins from the reign of Arcadius, who reigned from AD 383 - 408. The first building was a simple rectangle, but this was later expanded to create a complex of buildings around three sides of a rectangular courtyard

A great 13.5 mile this one please click links for GPS and map data.

GPS Data