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Illuminated Trail FAQs
What is Christmas at Blenheim Palace?
What are the dates of Christmas at Blenheim Palace?
Friday 4th December - Thursday 24th December
Saturday 26th December – Sunday 3rd January 2021
Wednesday 6th January - Sunday 10th January 2021
What are the trail times?
What is the address of Blenheim Palace?
Address: Blenheim Palace, Oxford Road, Woodstock, OX20 1UL
Whom is Christmas at Blenheim Palace suitable for?
Christmas at Blenheim Palace is suitable for all ages - to be enjoyed by everyone.
Should I arrive in advance of my visit time?
We would advise arriving at the start of the trail 5 minutes before you are due to begin the trail. If you arrive at the venue earlier, please wait in your car.
Can we see Father Christmas?
At this time of year, Father Christmas is extremely busy so is unable to meet children individually, however be sure to look out for him as he will be on the trail this Christmas!
Are dogs permitted?
Only guide dogs and registered assistance dogs are allowed on the Illuminated Trail.
Will there be strobe lighting?
There will be lighting sequences created within the lighting design that will have some flashing lights contained within them. However, these will not be strobe lighting. We have worked along guidelines on photosensitive epilepsy and will adhere to the industry standard of synchronising effects and locking the sequences to ensure that lights do not operate at more than 5 flashes per second.
What should I wear?
As the Illuminated Trail takes place outdoors please ensure you have sufficient warm and waterproof clothing. Visitors are strongly advised to wear sturdy shoes as the trail takes place on natural paths covering areas of uneven ground and variable terrain.
Can I take photographs?
We encourage you to take photographs and to share these on social media using the hashtag #ChristmasAtBlenheimPalace. You can also follow the developments across our Christmas Trails via 'My Christmas Trails' on Facebook and Instagram. Please note that the use of tripods is not allowed where the pathways are narrow.
Can I bring my drone?
Drones are not permitted.
When do tickets go on sale?
General on sale for Christmas at Blenheim Palace is Friday 12th March 2021.
Where can I buy tickets for Christmas at Blenheim Palace from?
You can buy tickets for Christmas at Blenheim Palace online here
Do I have to book in advance / can I book on the day?
We recommend that you book early. Each timed entry has a limited capacity and the early evening and weekend slots are likely to sell out fast.
What are the prices for the Illuminated Trail?
I am an Annual Pass Holder at Blenheim Palace, do I need to buy a ticket for Christmas at Blenheim Palace?
Blenheim Palace Annual Pass holders receive £1.00 off their Trail tickets (tickets must be accompanied by a valid annual pass). As an Annual Pass Holder you will need to select your Illuminated Trail time slot here.
What is a combined ticket?
A combined ticket includes entry to the story of The Nutcracker and the Illuminated Trail.
What is a VIP ticket?
A VIP ticket costs £60.00 and allows you access to the Illuminated Trail on selected dates at 4:15pm. Your ticket will include on-site car parking and a free hot drinks voucher. The VIP Slot has a restricted capacity to provide a more intimate experience on the Illuminated Trail.
How can I organise a group for Christmas at Blenheim Palace and is there a group rate?
How/when will I receive my tickets?
Your E-Tickets will be attached to your confirmation email.
I bought tickets but have not received a confirmation email. What should I do?
Please check your Junk / Spam folders as sometimes the confirmation email falls into these folders. If you still have not received your confirmation email, please go to the Customer Service tab on the booking process and fill out your details underneath, "Forgotten your details?".
Is the Illuminated Trail dark or covered?
If I am delayed and miss my slot, can I join a later slot?
We will try and accommodate you on the next available slot within the trail operational hours on the day.
What are the last entry times?
What time does the Illuminated Trail finish?
All customers must exit the car park by no later than 2 hours after the last trail start time.
How much does it cost to park for Christmas at Blenheim Palace?
£10.00 per car at Blenheim Palace*
£10.00 for Blue Badge holders at Blenheim Palace
*Parking fees apply after 10am
Do I have to purchase parking in advance?
I forgot to purchase parking. What should I do?
Is there a bus or coach service to and from Blenheim Palace?
How can I travel to Blenheim Palace by train?
The nearest train station is Oxford Parkway. Please check train schedules carefully to ensure you leave adequate time to travel from the station to Blenheim Palace and for your return. For timetables and tickets visit www.gwr.com or www.chilternrailways.co.uk. The journey from Oxford Parkway train station to Blenheim Palace takes approximately 15 minutes, though may take longer during rush hour or busy periods.
I am an Annual Pass Holder at Blenheim Palace, do I need to buy a ticket to see the Illuminated Trail?
Yes. As an Annual Pass Holder, you will need to select your Illuminated Trail time slot. Your valid Annual Pass gives you a £1.00 discount on your Illuminated Trail admission ticket.
How do I become an Annual Pass Holder?
To become an Annual Pass Holder, purchase a Palace ticket online and then choose to donate your Palace admission to Blenheim Palace Heritage Foundation at the end of the booking process.
Where do I collect my Annual Pass?
You can collect your Annual Pass from the Welcome Kiosk at the Flagstaff Gate between 09:30am and 7:00pm.
What benefits will Annual Pass Holders receive at Christmas at Blenheim Palace?
Annual Pass Holders will benefit from free entry to the story of the Nutcracker before 16:00 subject to availability. A ticket for free entry must be booked online in advance and one valid Annual Pass Photocard or Annual Pass collection voucher must be shown on arrival for each ticket - failure to do so will result in a full price charge on the day or refusal of entry. A photo-card annual pass will be required to access the Palace. The Welcome Kiosk will be open from 09:30am until 7:00pm each day to exchange collection vouchers for photo-cards before accessing the Palace.
Annual Pass Holder discounts do not apply on Sat 11 & Sun Dec and Sat 18 & Sun 19 Dec.
Is the Illuminated Trail suitable for wheelchair users?
The Illuminated Trail presented in the natural landscape. Whilst every effort is made to make the trail fully accessible, by its very nature it will on occasion cover some difficult terrain with a number of varying gradients. These areas can be particularly challenging during inclement weather. In these circumstances there will be additional steward support available for assistance.
Can I bring my own mobility scooter or can mobility scooters be provided?
Mobility scooters will not be available for Christmas at Blenheim Palace. You are therefore welcome to bring your own at your own risk, but please be aware that the paths are uneven in places and not all areas of the trail are accessible in a mobility scooter. Where scooters are not able to access a part of the trail an alternative route is provided.
Am I eligible for a free carer's ticket?
Disabled ticket holders are entitled to one free carer ticket as an essential carer / companion. This should be booked via See Tickets at the same time as purchasing all other tickets and parking spaces.
I need more than one carer, what should I do?
If you require more than one carer, please visit Customer Service here. You will need your Booking Reference Number at hand.
Is there a 'quieter access' session?
How do I book Afternoon Tea?
If you have already purchased your admission tickets without Afternoon Tea and would like to add Afternoon Tea, please visit here
If you have not booked your admission tickets yet, once you select your tickets, you will then be presented with the Afternoon Tea page to add Afternoon Tea onto your order.
Can I purchase food and drink on site?
At present, this area is under view. More information regarding catering will follow shortly.
How much are Ride Tokens?
Ride Token Vouchers can be purchased in advance for £10.00, in exchange for 5 x Ride Tokens on site. Alternatively, Ride Token Vouchers can be purchased on the night.
Is there a gift shop?
Blenheim Palace has a well-stocked gift shop which is open until 10:30pm on nights the trail is open.
What will happen if the weather is bad? Will the trail be cancelled?
If the weather presents a hazard and a risk to safety, any decision to cancel the Illuminated Trail will be taken by 2pm on the day. You will be notified by email and text message and you will be informed of the re-booking process.
If I am unable to attend on a different day, can I get a refund?
If the Illuminated Trail is cancelled due to weather and ticket holders are not able to attend an alternative night offered, then a refund will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Where a refund is due, the ticket must be returned within 28 days following the Illuminated Trail date. We can also offer a voucher for the following year.
I have booked for the wrong day - can I transfer over to another day?
I have lost my ticket, what can I do?
If your tickets are lost or if you require your E-Tickets to be re-sent to you, please visit the Customer Service tab and type in your email address underneath "Forgotten your details?". This will re-send your tickets to you.
Sound installations are created to provide atmosphere and a sense of place for an installation. All sounds are targeted and specific to a part of the route and are therefore contained within defined spaces, therefore there is no noise pollution over and above the natural sound level created by the presence of audiences on the trail.
Fuel for power generation is kept to a minimum by efficient use of power loadings and low wattage lighting units where appropriate
Is this illuminated trail sustainable?
The illuminated trail will be open for a limited period and its impact must be considered both from the standpoint of the venue itself and in relation to surrounding sites.
In order to assess the likely impact of the illuminated trail, both a desk study and workaround surveys are conducted on each site. The route proposed for the trail, is walked and checked on a regular basis with horticultural staff from the venue, this is an ongoing process and will be constantly checked as the design of the illuminate trail progresses.
Generators used on the route are very quiet and will be inaudible from the trail and from any wildlife habituation. The power will be carried using cabling which has been used previously with wildlife habitation with no adverse effects. Much of the lighting will be floor based to highlight trees. The trees form part of the cultivated collections at each venue and their welfare is paramount as part of the planning of the illuminated trail.
Where possible routes will be on hard surfaces i.e paths. They pass through areas which are well-walked by visitors daily and will not take in any sections of grass with sensitive wild floras.
The sound and light installations on areas of water where a number of birds have the potential to roost or feed are modified and designed to minimise any potential impact or damage to birds. Many ducks at this time of year will migrate to warmer climates and our resident Kingfisher will still be able to be seen in our other ponds that are also part of its feeding territory. Please ask the Visitor Welcome Team for the best places to spot our Kingfisher over the winter months.
Reptiles and amphibians
There should be no impact from the illuminated trails upon reptiles or amphibians as they should be hibernating away from the water at this time of year.
We monitor activity in setts close to the trail for any adverse effect on the badgers underground. It is quite possible that visitors will glimpse them since the badgers are to some extent used to public presence in the evenings and are very inquisitive. To protect them from ingesting unsuitable foods, badger-proof bins are used at the catering points.
The material used for the fire displays in the Fire Garden and fire pits is soya wax and charcoal respectively.
Every care is taken to ensure that any potential bat roosting holes in trees are not lit directly to avoid any potential disturbance during the bat hibernation season.
The illuminated trails are small, tightly contained, and open for limited hours at a very dormant time of year. It is perceived that we do not foresee any adverse effect on wildlife.