Lonely Planet Writer

See how the other half lives with a behind-the-scenes tour at Blenheim Palace

If you fancy seeing how royalty lives, behind-the-scenes tours will begin shortly around the Private Apartments at Blenheim Palace in England. These apartments have been lived in by the Dukes and Duchesses of Marlborough for 300 years, and are normally off-limits to visitors.

You can see how the other half lives with a behind scenes tour at Blenheim Palace. Image: OlegAlbinsky

Blenheim Palace is located in Oxfordshire, and was built between 1705 and 1722. It is currently used as a family home, and is a mausoleum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was also the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill, who was born in the West Wing. The behind-the-scenes guided tours provide an exclusive look at family life at the palace, with its mix of precious antiques, tapestries and artworks set amongst modern living items and family photos.

Behind the scenes tours will take place at Blenheim Palace. Image: OlegAlbinsky

The tour begins with climbing the Main Stairs and peeking into the Dressing Room and through the Duke’s Corridor, with views into the Master Bedroom and Dining Room. The tour also takes in the Sitting Room where the family relax, and its decor mixes priceless heirlooms with modern technology.

Walking through the ornate corridors, visitors will be led to the Smoking Room, which contains full size tapestries from the Alexandra the Great series that were commissioned by the 1st Duke. The Smoking Room is also home to the famous Stubbs Tiger painting, which is based on a real tiger that lived at Blenheim Palace from 1763 and was gifted to the 4th Duke by Lord Clive, Governor of Bengal.

Visitors will also be taken around the Grand Cabinet, a room full of unique historical artefacts and family heirlooms. They will be able to see Winston Churchill’s own private china set, laid out in the Dining Room. The Visitor’s Book will also be on display, filled with a list of illustrious guests who have stayed at the palace, ranging from royalty to celebrities.

Tours begin on February 10 and tickets can be booked in advance online or at the welcome desk or Great Hall on the day. For further information, see here.