Lost Garden Adventure Play for Palace
Blenheim Palace is set to unveil the biggest family-themed attraction in its history later this year with the opening of a brand-new Adventure Play experience.
Located within the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site's historic Walled Gardens, 'The Lost Garden' is a giant new outdoor adventure play attraction featuring quirky wooden structures, interactive water features, play trails, and winding walkways.
Due to open in the spring this year and created by renowned children's play company CAP.co and built by Kidlington-based Kingerlee Ltd, it celebrates the rich heritage of the 18th century baroque Palace, its surrounding parkland and the wider estate.
“The Lost Garden is the biggest project Blenheim Palace has undertaken for many years,” said Managing Director Heather Carter.
“Designed to provide a dramatically enhanced family visitor experience, this is a huge, game-changing investment for us – both in terms of cost and business potential.
“Stepping inside the Lost Garden children will feel like they are entering a different world. The carefully designed landscape will create different moments within the garden with a diverse collection of playful experiences for the children to discover,” she added.
The attraction will echo various architectural aspects of the Palace including its boat house, gateways and a replica of Vanbrugh's Grand Bridge incorporating features from his original design which were never built.
There is also a large seating terrace overlooking the central water play feature.
An elevated Wilderness Play area featuring aerial walkways, rope bridges, tunnels and triple racing zip lines will appeal to older children and provide extensive views across the 'Capability' Brown landscaped parkland.
“The Blenheim Palace visitor experience is primarily an adult-orientated one and we have been looking at ways to expand our appeal to families with younger children for some time now,” said Heather.
“The Palace is not currently able to welcome additional visitor numbers, but capacity does exist in the Walled Garden, which is already the location of the Marlborough Maze, the butterfly house and several smaller outdoor play features plus the Pizza Café,” she added.
In addition to attracting new audiences to Blenheim, Heather is confident it will also have a positive effect on local businesses, hotels, restaurants, transport links and other goods and service suppliers.
“We will be creating new employment opportunities for staff with various skills to work in the Lost Garden. We hope local people will enjoy the new experiences and want to re-visit many times with friends and family to explore the wonderful garden and all the exciting components within it,” said Heather.
“Most importantly it will support our core purpose to be the lifeblood of the local economy, to enhance the lives of local people and to share and protect Blenheim,” she added.