Touring England’s Castles

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in a castle or palace? Good, me too! Being in England I have made it a point to see as many palaces and castles as I can. I find them so interesting, because every single one has a different story and is enriched in elaborate history.

So far, I have been to Buckingham Palace, Blenheim Palace, Lamport Hall, Basildon Park, Windsor Castle, Boughton House and the Tower of London. It’s hard to decide which one is my favorite because they all are so unique. When I was younger (who am I kidding, even now) I think it would be really neat to live in a castle or palace with secret rooms and decorations.

DSC01165 DSC01172I’ll tell you a little about my most recent adventures touring through medieval castles and palaces. First stop: Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. The royal family resides at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle at different points in the year. Buckingham Palace is the Queen’s official royal home and has been the official residence of Britain’s monarchy since 1837. It was amazing to be able to step foot into the Queen’s home. The palace is only open to the public for four months out of the year while the Queen is at her summer home. I was able to tour the state rooms and see the collection of gifts that were given to the royal family from all over the world. When the Queen is not at Buckingham, she is at Windsor Castle, which is one of the largest royal castles in the world, built after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Since then it has withstood the Blitz, fire and devastation and still stands today. When I toured the castle I was able to see the changing of the guards, which was neat because they blocked off the whole street and sidewalk so that they could change the guards without any disturbance.

DSC01129Another beautiful palace is Blenheim Palace, which was named after the battle that took place in 1704 as a gift to John Churchill from the first Duke of Marlborough after the defeat of the French in the war of Spanish succession in the 18th century. Later in 1874, Winston Churchill was born at the palace, and he later proposed to his wife, Clementine, in the palace gardens. Churchill himself even said, “At Blenheim I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions.”

Check back next week for exciting stories about my weekend excursion to Edinburgh, Scotland!

–Mary Warfel ’18