BLENHEIM Palace plays host to a festival of cycling on Sunday.

Children and parents will have the rare opportunity to ride around the palace park, while about 1,000 competitors will take part in sportive rides starting and ending at the palace, in Woodstock.

There are timed 60-mile and 100-mile routes through the Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire Cotswolds.

The Blenheim Palace Sportive and Family Cycle Day replaces Bike Blenheim, which attracted about 15,000 visitors when it was last held two years ago.

Organiser Andy Townsend said: “The weather forecast looks pretty good for the weekend, so it should be a great day out.”

There are no age restrictions for the family cycle day but children taking part must wear appropriate safety equipment and be escorted by adults at all times.

Gates open at 6am, with the entrants in the sportive rides setting out at 8am.

Visitors are free to cycle in the family event at their own leisure from 10.30am.