It has to be said that Blenheim Palace is one of our favourite places. We’ve made so many memories there since Monkey was born. We’ve shared a few of them here on the blog over the years too, as you’ll probably remember. You may also remember one of Monkey’s all time favourite moments, the day he met the Gruffalo with Ellie at the Countryfile team. Imagine our delight when we heard that the popular BBC TV series will be holding an event at the Palace from 4th-7th August. I got to have a sneak peek at some of the fun activities at Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace last week during a taster day.
Countryfile Live is a brand new event, and will be held at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful location.
The show will be held across the grounds of Blenheim Palace, with something to please all the family, even the family pets. The Countryfile presenters can be found in the Big Barn, and Adam Henson and his farm will also be there, along with an Animal Petting Barn. The event is sponsored by The National Trust and they will host a range of debates, talks and panels, all focused on countryside issues.
The Village Green will be the setting for family fun with a bandstand and even a maypole. There will be an Equine Village, Dog Arena, and four areas for food lovers, including the Food Heroes Kitchen, National Trust Cookery Theatre and the Food Market.
Sound interesting? Well there will be lots for to see and do during the event, details can be found on the Countryfile Live website. I was lucky enough to see first hand some of the fun activities at Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace, ahead of time, and in an area of the Palace grounds I haven’t visited before.
As you drive past the Pleasure Gardens, before leaving the Palace grounds, there’s a road that forks off to the right. I followed that road last week and discovered the River Glyme and the wonderful setting for a number of the planned activities including:
Canoeing, Fishing, a Mitsubishi Motors’ 4×4 Challenge, National Lumberjack Championship in the STIHL Timbersports Series, Angling Trust/Get Hooked on Fishing, Dog Training Expert and Kennel Club Dog Behaviourist Adem Fehmi and LNC Activities and Training – yes I actually got in a canoe!!
With all of these activities you need to book a time slot to enjoy your experience, my advice would be to do that early, for later in the day, whenever you plan to visit. That way you get to enjoy everything.
With the Mitsubishi Motors Off-Road 4×4 Experience you and the family can be driven around the specially designed off-road experience course. Selwyn or one of his team will be on hand to drive you in either a Mitsubishi L200 Series 5 Barbarian or Shogun, the course takes approximately 5-7 minutes, and the drivers and cars make it all look very easy.
It’s lots of fun and well worth booking if you get the chance.
The Angling Trust and Get Hooked on Fishing teams will be at Countryfile Live, on a pontoon the River Glyme, giving families an introduction to fishing. There will be lots of child friendly activities to give children an idea of what life by the side of the water can be like. I had no idea that you could buy a starter fishing kit, including a rod for less than £50. Not only that, but it could all be fitted inside a small rucksack too! Whether you fancy pond dipping, coarse and fly fishing or the kids activities, the team are really enthusiastic and I’m hoping to take Monkey and Daddy P along as we know nothing about this sport at all.
Now, as regular readers will know, I’ve had a life long issue with water. I learnt to swim a while ago now, but the thought of me being in a boat of any sort on water, still fills me with fear. LNC Activities and Training are an Oxford based company who will be offering families the chance to take to the River Glyme in one of their canoes. Life jackets are supplied as standard, and I was assured that the river isn’t deep in the area being used during the event.
It was time to face my fears and get in a canoe for the first time in my life. Yes, the person in the front of the yellow canoe in the photo below is me! I went out with one of the instructors, and I loved it. Who would have thought that was possible. I’d definitely like to try canoeing again.
If I can enjoy myself on the water, anyone can! The team from LNC AT were great, and so enthusiastic about what they do.
Now you all know that I’m a cat person. But I did grow up with dogs, and know how important it can be to work with them with training. One of our family dogs came from a rescue centre. She was beautiful Collie cross, and we loved her dearly, but she had behavioural issues. We could certainly have benefitted from the skills and advice that Dog Training Expert and Kennel Club Dog Behaviourist, Adem Fehmi has to offer. Adam and his team will be on hand during Countryfile Live to talk through any training and behavioural issues owners may have. You can bring up to two dogs per person along to the show. We got to experience some of Adam’s training work with one of his dogs, Penny. With over 20 years experience of working with dogs, his enthusiasm is infectious.
We got treated to a range of STIHL TIMBERSPORTS demonstrations by Spike, Robbie and Bertie, members of the British team and a British Rookie. During Countryfile Live you can experience the skills involved in Timbersports. The British Championships take place on the Saturday, whilst the Rookies show off their skills on Sunday. There are 6 events to both championships and it’s all about skill, precision and speed. These guys really know what they’re doing.
Taking part or watching these events, you’ll certainly going to work up an appetite. There will be lots of options when it comes to food during the Countryfile Live event. We got to sample the great coffee and delicious homemade grilled posh toasties, offered by The Horsebox UK. I can thoroughly recommend the Twisted Blue, and their coffee – devine.
Have I whetted your appetite? I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg regarding the fun activities at Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace. It’s going to be a great event, and I hope to have the opportunity to get a good look around with Monkey and Daddy P when at some point over the 4 day event.
Will you be going?
disclosure: I was given access to the preview event in exchange for publishing this post. My views still remain my own honest opinions.