The days are drawing in, there’s a nip in the air and Blenheim Palace is celebrating all things seasonal with a brand-new Autumn festival.

Michaelmas-inspired wacky races, games, arts and a 22ft dragon in the Marlborough maze are just a fraction of the activities on offer.

The event, featuring delicious street food, live music and theatre, will be based around the palace’s historic Walled Garden.

In keeping with the theme, there will be family harvest games and haybale sports as well as a sculpture trail featuring stunning pieces from the Oxford Sculptors Group, competitions and market stalls.

Oxford Mail: Autumnal colours at Blenheim Palace

A selection of delicious tipples from Oxfordshire’s local breweries, distilleries, cider and juice makers will be available in the Blenheim Orange Bar in the festival tent and in the Fairie Orchard Cider bar.

Visitors will also be able to take part in a packed programme of talks, demonstrations, classes, walks and workshops plus there’s a vegan market and over 25 stalls showcasing independent Oxford retailers, charities and community groups.

And there will also be guided walks around the Palace’s stunning autumnal grounds and gardens.

The event has been devised by acclaimed creative designer Charlotte Lloyd-Webber as a re-imagining of the traditional Harvest and Michaelmas Festivals, but with a modern, green twist.

A further 60 market traders from across Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties will form the Michaelmas Market, selling locally produced food and drink, crafts, eco homewares and gifts alongside street food specialists Feast Street.

Younger visitors can join in a series of fun games including bungee and bouncy castles and there will family yoga, a Best Dressed Scarecrow competition, Bring-Your-Own Veg competition, Madame Zucchini the vegetable entertainer, Emma Boor and her Puppet Pedlar and the amazing Flotsam and Jetsam’s Voyage to the Trash Vortex from WhatNot Theatre.

There will also be a line-up of Oxford folk acts. 

Sunningwell School of Art will host a series of harvest art workshops, there’s the FarmAbility Pumpkin Patch and The Big One, a four-mile walk across the estate, will be conducted by BreathingSpace Iconic Walking Events on Saturday mornings.

Oxford Mail: Dragon in the Marlborough maze at Blenheim Palace

On Saturday October 3 they will be joined by a dedicated vegan and eco products market alongside special tasting and demonstrations to celebrate Apple Day, next to the estate’s own orchard of Blenheim Orange apple trees.

The Autumn Festival takes place on 24th-26th September and 1st-3rd October.