Discover majestic Alice In Wonderland show and Christmas market at Blenheim Palace

WHO says a Christmas market has to mean a trip into town? At Blenheim Palace, in rural Oxfordshire, you can enjoy a regal – and country – take on the annual favourite.

The palace also features an enchanting Alice In Wonderland theme in its majestic interior and a dazzling light display in the grounds.

 Blenheim Palace is set to dazzle visitors with a spellbinding Alice in Wonderland display


Blenheim Palace is set to dazzle visitors with a spellbinding Alice in Wonderland displayCredit: North News and Pictures

The Christmas market takes place in the palace courtyard, where the Queen met Donald Trump in June last year when he made his first official visit to the UK since becoming US president.

There are around 70 stalls to peruse, each nestled inside a pretty wooden chalet decorated with lights, and selling a variety of gifts and food.

Handmade animal sculptures, Christmas decorations, vintage china, wooden toys, jewellery, leather bags, ceramics and boutique hats are just some of the wares on sale.

If the wintry weather is making you hungry, the feast of tasty bites to choose from include locally sourced charcuterie, sausages, gourmet nuts, chocolates, posh burgers and crepes.

 One of England's finest country homes, Blenheim Palace, is transformed this Christmas


One of England’s finest country homes, Blenheim Palace, is transformed this ChristmasCredit: North News and Pictures

Or tuck into a filling meal of street food, from around £6.

To quench your thirst, there’s spiced Christmas Liqueur, Colonssay Gin, O’Donnell Moonshine and traditional mulled wine.

Festive shopping done and stomach filled, I headed inside the palace – and it’s a lovely experience just walking into its welcoming warmth from the cold outside.

This year the stately home is staging its Alice in the Palace event, which has seen its opulent rooms marvellously transformed into a wonderland inspired by author Lewis Carroll’s fantasy adventure tale.

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 Meet a real-life Alice in the Palace and pose for selfies


Meet a real-life Alice in the Palace and pose for selfiesCredit: North News and Pictures

A real-life Alice is in residence, dressed in obligatory blue-and-white dress and happily posing for selfies with the hordes of excited children.

In the Long Library, which is thought to be the second-longest room in any house in the country, a huge table has been laid as if for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, with fantastic white rabbits, ladders and clocks placed among pretty saucers and teacups.

But unfortunately, this is a visual feast only, and it’s not possible to join in the party.

Finally, it was time for me to experience the palace’s evening light- trail, which weaves its way through Blenheim’s grounds.

Along the route, which takes around two to three hours to complete, the palace’s ancient trees, lake and parkland are lit up with thousands of lights, in every colour of the rainbow.

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There are illuminated tunnels to walk through – and what made the walk even more special was that above me, the skies were full of stars and owls could be heard hooting among the trees.

Entrance to the Christmas market is free and tickets for Alice in the Palace and the Light Trail can be booked at

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