We visited Bleinheim Palace with friends. At £20 per person we expected to have an enjoyable visit wandering around (as the leaflet stated that guided tours were not compulsory).
It couldn't be further from the truth! After leaving our baby with her Godparents in the gardens, my wife and I went into the palace, only to join the end of a very long queue. After 10mins of standing around like lemons, I found a guide and asked what were we waiting for? The guide snapped that we had to wait 5mins then we could go around the palace. About 20 of us were then ushered up a flight of steps, where a female guide stood beside a door and barked out a well-rehearsed script that sounded more military than welcoming. The guide shouted that the tour would be 45mins long and that 'we couldn't leave once we entered the first room'. My wife was slightly concerned at this, due to our baby not being with us, and we quietly discussed whether or not we should enter the first automated door. Suddenly, the guide lurched into our path, blocking our way, and shouted (in a bizarre English/Australian accent) that we had to decide whether we we going or not as 'there is no way out once you go through the door!'
We went against our better judgement, and the upshot was that we all had to shuffle through automated doors into dark, claustrophobic, rooms, where the only information available came from dummies (making infantile jokes), and extremely boring and uninformative audio visual films.
At one stage a person in our party sat on the floor, and all the children cried to their parents to leave!
We are National Trust members and love to take the whole family to one of their properties on a weekly basis. The differences in the NT volunteer guides to the paid 'guides' at Blenheim is astounding.
You can visit the beautiful grounds of Blenheim for free, and I would advise everyone to just do that.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.