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Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill: In the Public Eye, at his Private Home, during his Darkest Hour

One of the most popular features of our tours, for both walkers and cyclists, has been an exploration into the life and times of Sir Winston Churchill, our famous Prime Minister (1940-45, 1951-55). With the UK release of the widely acclaimed film about his Darkest Hour earlier this year, we thought we would give our guests a little taste of what to expect from our tours, and an insight into both the public and private lives of this incredible man.

Blenheim Palace – Churchill’s Birthplace

Our tours enable guests to walk or ride directly into Churchill’s birthplace, the stunning 2000 acre Capability Brown landscaped estate of Blenheim Palace. Born on the 30th November 1874 into a privileged family, Blenheim was his family home and he visited many times during his childhood and throughout his life. The Churchill-Spencer family still live there now, and Churchill himself is buried at a nearby churchyard in Bladon, alongside his parents and, later, his wife.

Read more about Blenheim Palace.

 

Chartwell House, Churchill’s Family Home

 

On our Kent tour we see a different, and perhaps lesser known, side to Churchill; that of him as a family man. We visit Chartwell House, Churchill’s countryside haven, where he gardened, painted and spent time with his family from 1922. He was an avid amateur painter, painting over 500 canvasses while he lived here, many of which remain and are hung in the house still. Alongside his wife’s carefully curated rose gardens the house is displayed as it was in the 1930s, with a collection of over 1000 individual items belonging to Churchill on show. A beautiful property, Churchill once commented that, ‘a day away from Chartwell is a day wasted’, so it is definitely not one to miss!

 

Dunkirk and Churchill      

From Churchill’s idyllic countryside cottage we take guests to see the coastline where hundreds of thousands of Allied troops were evacuated from Occupied France during World War Two, in a battle against time in May 1940; the result of Churchill’s decision, against all odds, to launch a rescue mission from the beaches of Dunkirk.

This past year has seen renewed interest in both the life of Churchill and the events surrounding Dunkirk. Christopher Nolan’s hugely successful movie Dunkirk, drew attention in exquisite detail to the a week of Allied evacuations – on land, at sea and in the air, and the highly anticipated movie Darkest Hour is released this month, exploring these same events from the perspective of those in charge, from inside government and Churchill’s own head. Starring Gary Oldman, golden globe winner for his performance, the film looks at the pressures facing Churchill as he launched Operation Dynamo which aimed to rescue up to 40,000 troops under attack on the beaches in France.

Dover Castle and Operation Dynamo

Dover Castle

Our Kent tour visits Dover, the busiest of the British ports during this frantic rescue mission, and still a busy port today. Indeed its brilliant white cliffs are still the first land sighted by many travelers returning to England. We take guests to see Dover’s medieval castle which sits atop the secret cliff tunnels that formed the nerve center of Operation Dynamo.

Staggeringly, in a week of evacuations, Churchill announced that 338,000 troops had been saved! As well as the larger navy ships, all available ‘little ships’ – all small seaworthy craft in Kent – were assembled to make the hazardous crossing to Dunkirk. 933 ships were involved and 236 were lost under attack by Hitler’s forces during the crossings.

There is no better way to explore the life of Churchill, from birth to death or following some of his most critical decisions made as Prime Minister, than by visiting these iconic places and letting history come alive before your eyes.

For more information on Active England’s tours in Kent take a look at our Kent, Cantebury, Dover and Castles Tour.

Cotswolds Towns & Villages Cycling – 5 Day Guided

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Cotswolds Towns & Villages Cycling – 5 Day Guided

Devon & Cornwall Cycling – 6 Day Guided

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Devon & Cornwall Cycling – 6 Day Guided

New Forest & Dorset Cycling – 6 Day Guided

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New Forest & Dorset Cycling – 6 Day Guided

Kent Cycling – 6 Day Guided

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Kent Cycling – 6 Day Guided

Classic Cotswolds Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Classic Cotswolds Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cotswolds Towns & Villages Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswolds Towns & Villages Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cornwall Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

Conquer the Cotswolds – Self-Guided Cycling Weekend

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Conquer the Cotswolds – Self-Guided Cycling Weekend

Classic Cotswolds Walking – 6 Day Guided

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Classic Cotswolds Walking – 6 Day Guided

Cotswolds Towns & Villages Walking – 5 Day Guided

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Cotswolds Towns & Villages Walking – 5 Day Guided

Devon & Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

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Devon & Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

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Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

New Forest & Dorset Walking – 6 Day Guided

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New Forest & Dorset Walking – 6 Day Guided

Kent Walking – 6 Day Guided

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Kent Walking – 6 Day Guided

Cotswolds Way Walking – 11 Day Guided

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Cotswolds Way Walking – 11 Day Guided

Ridgeway Walking – 7 Day Guided

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Ridgeway Walking – 7 Day Guided

Classic Cotswolds Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Classic Cotswolds Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cotswold Towns & Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswold Towns & Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cotswolds Short Walks – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswolds Short Walks – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cotswolds Way Walking – 11 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswolds Way Walking – 11 Day Self-Guided

Ridgeway Walking – 7 Day Self-Guided

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Ridgeway Walking – 7 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cotswolds Multi Activity Adventure Long Weekend

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Cotswolds Multi Activity Adventure Long Weekend

Cotswolds Multi Activity – 4 Day Adventure Holiday

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Cotswolds Multi Activity – 4 Day Adventure Holiday

Cotswolds Multi Activity – 6 Day Adventure Holiday

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Cotswolds Multi Activity – 6 Day Adventure Holiday

Cornwall Multi Activity – 6 Day Adventure Holiday

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Cornwall Multi Activity – 6 Day Adventure Holiday

Cornwall Multi Activity – Adventure 4 Day Weekend

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Cornwall Multi Activity – Adventure 4 Day Weekend

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

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Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.