Frequently Asked Questions

What time is the gate open?

As this is a public footpath the gate is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The Blenheim estate are not allowed to close off access unless they have special permission from the council.

Does the gate close in the evening?

No, as above, the gate is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  It doesn't close in the evenings, at Christmas or bank holidays. 

Will I be breaking any laws?

No, the UK has a network of thousands of public footpaths that protect the public rights of way.  Where these cross private land the landowner has a duty in law to keep access to the path clear and to allow the public access to their land.

What if I change my mind and decide to visit the palace?

During peak periods or a major event there is usually an attendant standing on the Grand bridge, and you will be able to buy a ticket from them.  If there is no attendant then simply walk into the Palace giftshop, where you will be able to buy a ticket.

Can I ride my bicycle in the park?

Despite what the signs say, if you keep to the tarmac roads then yes, you can, as they are designated as Public Bridleways.  If you wanted to you could even bring your horse!  As soon as you use a path that goes across grass though they revert to footpaths, which does not give you automatic entitlement to ride your bike (or horse!)

How do I access the gate without using steps?

If you're in a wheelchair or find it otherwise difficult to use steps, you can also access the gate by following the road.  With your back to the entrance to The Crown, turn left back to the main road and cross over the road at the pedestrian crossing.  Turn left and follow the road for 1/2 mile until you reach the Black Prince public house.  Cross the road at the zebra crossing to reach the 'secret green gate.'

What if I accidentally stray off the Public Footpaths?

The absolute worst that could happen is that a member of staff asks you to go back to a public footpath.  They have no power to force you to buy a ticket or to escort you from the grounds.