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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 Autumn Cycling -   Self-Guided Weekend 

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Cotswolds Autumn Cycling – Self-Guided Weekend

Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – Self-Guided Weekend

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Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – Self-Guided Weekend

Cotswolds Short Walks Autumn– SG Weekend

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Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – 4 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – 4 Day Self-Guided

Cotswolds Short Walks  Autumn – 4 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswolds Short Walks Autumn – 4 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Self-Guided

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Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Guided

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Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Guided

Walk The Cotswolds Way - 11 Day Self-Guided

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Walk The Cotswolds Way – 11 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Cotswolds Way – 11 Day Guided

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Walk The Cotswolds Way - 11 Day Guided

Cotswolds Villages Walking – 5 Day Guided

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Cotswolds Villages Walking – 5 Day Guided

Cotswold Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswold Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

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Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

Walk The Lake District - 9 Day Self-Guided

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Walk The Lake District - 9 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Lake District - 7 Day Self-Guided

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Walk The Lake District - 7 Day Self-Guided

Walk Coast to Coast – 14 to 18 Day Self-Guided

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Walk Coast to Coast – 14 to 18 Day Self-Guided

Lake District Adventure Holiday - 6 Day

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Lake District Multi Activity – 6 Day Adventure Holiday

Lake District Adventure Break - 4 Day

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Lake District Adventure Break- 4 Day 

Cycle Hadrian’s Wall – 3 Day Self-Guided

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Cycling Hadrian’s Wall - Self-Guided

Cycling Coast to Coast - 4 Day Self-Guided

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Cycling Coast to Coast - 4 Day Self-Guided

Cycle Coast to Coast - 3 Day Self-Guided

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Cycle Coast to Coast - 3 Day Self-Guided

Cotswolds Adventure Long Weekend - 3 Day

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Cotswolds Adventure Long Weekend - 3 Day

Cotswolds Adventure Holiday - 6 Day

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Cotswolds Adventure Holiday - 6 Day

Cotswolds Adventure Break - 4 Day

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Cotswolds Adventure Break - 4 Day 

Cornwall Adventure Holiday - 6 Day 

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Cornwall Adventure Holiday - 6 Day

Cotswolds Villages Cycling – 5 Day Guided

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Cotswolds Villages Cycling – 5 Day Guided

Cotswolds Villages Cycling – 5 Day Guided

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Cotswolds Villages Cycling – 5 Day Guided

Cornwall Adventure Weekend– 4 Day

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Cornwall Adventure Weekend - 4 Day Active Weekend

Cotswolds Villages Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cotswolds Villages Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

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Cornwall Cycling – 6 Day Self-Guided

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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