Starting at the library car park, turn right onto Hensington Road. Follow narrow lane.
Turn right onto Oxford Street (A44) and follow it along, past the charming pubs (for now!) until Market Street, where you turn left.
Follow Market St, then Market Place, all the way along until it becomes Park Street. Look out for the signs commemorating the Samson Press on the left side of the street.
Follow Park St along until you reach Chaucer’s Cottage (if you reach the Blenheim Palace gates, you’ve gone too far!). Take Chaucer’s Lane, on your right.
As Chaucer’s Lane bends right to become Harrison’s Lane, take the footpath on your left down the steps of Hoggrove Hill. Watch out for elephants in the foliage!
When you reach The Causeway (A44) turn left.
Keeping on the left side of the road, go past the row of cottages, bridge over the Glyme Brook, and The Black Prince pub. Look out for the sign for the Blenheim Orange Apple. When you reach a footpath on your left at Manor Road. Go past the short row of pretty cottages to the gate. Go through this to enter the Blenheim estate.
Just past the iron railings you should get your first view of Blenheim Palace.
Head roughly towards the obelisk in the distance.
The footpath leads through a gate onto a perimeter road of the Blenheim estate. Follow this right, heading west, and then northwest, as it follows the edge of the Queen Pool, then strikes out across the estate.
Just past the ruined house at its northern end, take the footpath on the left; and then the lane left, heading south.
Turn right off lane, over stile, and strike out towards the tower at the centre of the avenue.
Visit the Duke of Marlborough monument, erected by Sarah, 1st Duchess of Marlborough for her husband, who was granted the Blenheim estate in honour of his victory at the Battle of Blenheim by Queen Anne. See how much of the extensive inscription you get through!
Then turn southeast, heading towards Blenheim Palace along the avenue.
Go through gate just before Vanbrugh’s bridge. Don’t cross this. Turn back right along lane, southwest, and through gate on left.
Follow footpath, as it forks left, through trees down to the shores of ‘The Lake’. From here you should be able to enjoy the splendid views across to the bridge and palace.
Continue along edge of the lake and visit Fair Rosamund’s Well, which is being restored. Spend a while imagining the romantic trysts that took place here.
The path continues past the northern leg of the lake,
Go through gate at end of this ‘dogleg’ westwards, then southwards, along a lane. Watch out for the cyclists!
Follow this along until you reach an access road on your right, next to a gatehouse, leading to the edge of the estate. Go through side gate, emerging from the trees onto Park Road.
Turn right and follow this along, past a free parking spot popular with locals, a junction, and two sets of buildings, until you reach a footpath on your right.
Take this, heading northwards, across the fields.
When you reach the treeline, turn left, then right, following footpath through the trees until you emerge on a ‘chase’. Cross this, and then continue along footpath, through trees to next field, heading northeast.
Follow this all the way along to the road to the farm. Follow Blenheim Estate footpath signs which take you around clockwise around a copse of trees. On opposite side, take gate on left, then another, turning right along field, until you reach the other side of Park Farm.
Follow lane left and north. Take footpath on left side, towards obelisk.
Follow footpath northeastwards past stands of trees, until you finally reach the main avenue of Blenheim, with its double rows of trees either side.
Follow this down, taking road as it bends left, heading southeast.
Follow road – you pass a stand of trees: Icehouse Clump.
Take left fork, then first footpath on your left, back up the hill to town.
Go through gate at Manor Road, to emerge back in Woodstock.
Turn right here and, a bit further along, cross road at The Black Prince. Here you have 3 choices: avail yourself of riverside refreshment if your legs can carry you no further; if you wish to return to Hensington Road car-park take the footpath on your left that follows the River Glyme and follow the remaining directions below (32 and 33); or, if you wish to go back into the town for refreshment, return up the steps of Hoggrove Hill, then Chaucer’s Lane.
For those who followed the Glyme, take footpath on your right, which heads south.
Cross Brook Hill, and follow Union Street back to the Hensington Road car park. N