Joust a bit of fun!

If there was no other reason for heading down to watch the Knights of Royal England at Blenheim Palace over the May Bank Holiday, that bad headline is reason enough. But thankfully, as well as a dodgy tabloid headline I also had a fun day out with my family.

Jousting at Blenheim

Jousting at Blenheim

For those of you who live in the Oxford area, a year-pass to Blenheim Palace is great value. Whilst the price to get into the palace, park and gardens is pretty steep, you can convert this – for free – into a year-long photo-pass either onsite or via the web once you get home. As well as a huge park, which features lakes monuments and great walks, there is an impressive maze, kids play areas, cafes, a butterfly house, formal gardens and, of course, the palace itself.

The pass also gets you into most of their events free, which brings us back to the painful pun and jousting.

The Knights of Royal England perform a couple of times a year at Blenheim, taking full advantage of the beautiful, huge lawn within the gardens. Their colourful show is good fun for all ages, and nicely low key – this isn’t a county show, this is purely a few blokes on horses showing off their lance skills. And, of course, they just had to play Queen’s “We will Rock You” at the end (fans of A Knights Tale will understand). For a bit of added entertainment, you can have a go at archery (we didn’t) and enjoy a pre-joust falconry display (we did!).

With a packed lunch and a rather melty ice-cream (maybe that was just mine), we had a great time in the sun. The only downside was the subsequent walk through the secret garden left us with insect bites which caused both my wife and I some rather uncomfortable swellings on our legs. I won’t share pictures of that. We’ll take insect repellent next time.

All in all I highly recommend both the annual pass and the jousting, but if that doesn’t float your boat then the classic car show we attended last year was again a great, low-key affair. In fact any time you go to Blenheim, even if it seems the whole world must have turned up, once you get away from the car park everyone magically melts away – it really is huge.

I love it!

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About mikbarne
I'm a writer and freelance communications and collaboration consultant with nearly 20 years experience in UK telecommunications, specialising in VoIP, Unified Communications and Collaboration, and building effective communications architectures. Visit my Google+ Profile

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