On our way to Stratford Upon Avon we visited the Hidcote Manor Gardens which was a pleasant interlude.These gardens are extensive and contain thousands of different species of plant all laid out in "rooms" - that is, sectioned off in squares and quadrangles with a unifying theme.
The next day we drove to Oxford and visited Blenheim Palace on the way. Its exterior is grand and not particularly attractive, but its treasures are all inside. Winston Churchill's forebears owned this palace and he spent his early years there. Oversized Joshua Reynolds, Gainsborough and Van Eyck family portraits fill the walls and the tapestries and furniture are equally as expensive and rare. It's another entry in the my palace/castle/cathedral is bigger than yours event, and this certainly was a contender.
Next morning we took the down train to London, getting to our next hotel accomodation late morning. I will save our last day and a half in London to the next entry.