Autumn celebrations at Blenheim Palace’s Fantastic New Family Festival

Autumnal colours at Blenheim Palace
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Britain’s Greatest Palace is hosting a brand-new Autumn Festival on 24th-26th September and 1st-3rd October.

Based around Blenheim Palace’s historic Walled Garden, the event features delicious street food, live music and theatre, family harvest games, haybale sports, a sculpture trail featuring stunning pieces from the Oxford Sculptors Group, competitions, market stalls as well as a Dragon Maze and a 22ft long Wishing Dragon.

The best of Oxfordshire’s local breweries, distilleries, cider and juice makers will be available in the Blenheim Orange Bar in the beautiful festival tent and the Fairie Orchard Cider bar.

Visitors will also be able to take part in a packed programme of talks, demonstrations, classes, walks and workshops plus there’s a vegan market and over 25 stalls from Independent Oxford retailers, charities and community groups.

There’s everything from family yoga and kite making to wild mushroom foraging and bee-keeping to discover alongside jewellery workshops, puppet making, wellbeing courses and guided walks around the Palace’s stunning autumnal grounds and gardens.

Devised by acclaimed creative designer Charlotte Lloyd-Webber, the event is a re-imagining of the traditional Harvest and Michaelmas Festivals, but with a decidedly modern green twist.

A further 60 market traders from across Oxfordshire and border counties will come together to form the Michaelmas Market, selling locally produced food and drink, crafts, eco homewares and gifts alongside street food specialists Feast Streat.

Younger visitors can join in a series of fun games including bungee and bouncy castles as well as Michaelmas-inspired wacky races and Blenheim’s famous Marlborough Maze which will become the home of dragons. Enter at your peril!

Other games include coconut boules, pumpkin bowling and potato take-down. There will also be a line-up of Oxford folk acts, family yoga, a Best Dressed Scarecrow competition, Bring-Your-Own Veg competition, Madame Zucchini the vegetable entertainer, Emma Boor and her Puppet Pedlar and the amazing Flotsam and Jetsam’s Voyage to the Trash Vortex For What Not Theatre…and much more.

Sunningwell School of Art will host a series of harvest art workshops, there’s the FarmAbility Pumpkin Patch and The Big One, a four-mile walk across the estate, will be conducted by BreathingSpace Iconic Walking Events on Saturday mornings.

On Saturday, 3rd October they will be joined by a dedicated vegan and eco products market alongside special tasting and demonstrations to celebrate Apple Day, next to the estate’s own orchard of Blenheim Orange apple trees. 

The new festival, which is free to enter as part of general admission to Blenheim, has been created by CLW Design Studio, a collective of highly specialised artists and designers, who theatrically reimagine live events in some of the country’s most exceptional heritage properties.

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