Whether you’re planning a staycation this summer or simply looking for a stress-free daytrip outside of London, the small town of Woodstock in nearby Oxfordshire offers plenty of charms, from award-winning restaurants to country scenery and historical sites. Take a look at our day-trippers’ guide for the best of what to see in Woodstock…

Though it’s small, Woodstock has a rich and varied history. First described in the Domesday Book in 1086 as a royal forest, the town was the site of King Henry II’s famed wooing of mistress Rosamund Clifford, was once home to Geoffrey Chaucer, and is also the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Set on the picturesque River Glyme, Woodstock is a favourite of travellers seeking bucolic English countryside, though its proximity to Oxford means it’s easily accessible.
 
Blenheim Palace © Flickr user simononly
 
After your morning journey up to Woodstock, head straight to the town’s most famous and popular attraction: Blenheim Palace (Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1PP, 01993 810500, http://www.blenheimpalace.com). A UNESCO World Heritage site, the stunning structure, which was built in the early 18th century in the English Baroque style, is the only non-royal palace in the whole of the UK. Built for the First Duke of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace was the ancestral home of the Churchill family and the birthplace and residence of Winston Churchill. Today, the building’s extraordinary façade and exceptional history attract numerous visitors.
 
Brasserie Blanc © Brasserie Blanc website
 
No doubt a long trek around Blenheim Palace and its picturesque gardens will be more than sufficient to work up an appetite. Those seeking an elegant lunch destination should drive over to Brasserie Blanc (71-72 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AG, 01865 510999, http://www.brasserieblanc.com); Raymond Blanc’s lively bistro, located seven miles down the A44 in Oxford. Open daily for lunch, the restaurant offers a menu for every season. Current summertime specialties include everything from summer tomato and vegetable terrine to pan-fried lamb sweetbreads with mash, shallots, and parsley. The cosy, lemon-hued dining room makes for a warm and convivial environment.
 
The Star Inn © The Star Inn Google+
 
Those who enjoy more casual lunch options will want to explore the Star Inn (22 Market Place, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1TA, 01993 811373, http://www.thestarinnwoodstock.co.uk), a homely Woodstock-based pub boasting traditional décor and upscale gastropub fare from young chef James Brooks. Dishes like twice-baked Devonshire crab soufflé and dry aged Aberdeenshire Sirloin make for hearty British staples, while the pub garden can be enjoyed on sunny afternoons.
 
Rousham House Gardens © Flickr user Jayembee69
 
Stick around for a while after your indulgent midday meal – there’s still plenty to see in the gorgeous Cotswolds area. The beautiful gardens at Rousham House (Rousham, Oxfordshire OX25 4QU, 01869 347110, http://www.rousham.org), a nearby country manor dating to 1635, are ideal for those seeking something a little more sedate than Blenheim. Featuring a walled garden, apple orchards and parterre, the extensive grounds of Rousham Park provide the perfect arena for late afternoon ambling. 
 
Whether you’re looking for a quick day out of town or want to explore the area in greater depth, Woodstock offers exceptional scenery, history, and dining. And with Zipcar, a trip to Oxfordshire turns into a quick and simple journey.
 
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