2 nights starting from
Talks from two SOE experts
Bletchley Park, a key site in the “secret war”
The National Museum of Computing, home to “Colossus”
RAF Tempsford and Carpetbagger Museum
Shuttleworth Old Warden Collection of vintage aircraft
During WWII, behind the walls of Bletchley Park, a top secret campaign was waged by intelligence staff to crack Germany’s encrypted messages. The intelligence decrypted was crucial to the war effort but it is only recently that the truth has emerged. It is estimated that the intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the war by two to four years, and without it the outcome of the war would have been uncertain. Churchill is said to have praised the team there as "the silent geese who laid the golden eggs but never cackled." Whilst the contribution to the war effort was enormous, its long-lasting effects are also significant, the team at Bletchley Park having devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, culminating in the development of Colossus, the world's first programmable digital electronic computer, now rebuilt and housed in the National Museum of Computing, adjacent to Bletchley Park. This fascinating and world-changing story was told in the recent film, “The Imitation Game” starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, but can also be explored in detail with expert guidance on our Secret War tour.
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Day 1: Arrive independently at the Northampton Marriott from 15.00.
This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and a talk by Dr Mark Baldwin 'The Enigma and the Battle of the Atlantic'. Mark will bring his own rare four-rotor Enigma machine for guests to examine.
Day 2: Intelligence Museum, Bletchley Park and National Computing Museum.
We will spend this morning enjoying a private visit to the Intelligence Museum, a former RAF Y-station. Y-stations were the ears of Bletchley Park and were mainly manned by amateur radio operators who worked as ‘volunteer interceptors’ - this particular Y station intercepted the German Air Force’s strategic wireless network. This afternoon we visit Bletchley Park, home of the famous Enigma code breakers who Winston Churchill described as ‘his silent geese who laid the golden eggs but never cackled’. We will also visit the adjacent National Museum of Computing, home to the rebuilt “Colossus” computer, where we will have a talk and guided tour by expert John Pether. Tonight there will be dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 3: RAF Tempsford, Shuttleworth Collection and Carpetbagger Museum.
Our first visit of the day is RAF Tempsford, Churchill's most secret airfield. This was home to the 'Secret Special Duties Squadron' which flew SOE Agents and supplies for resistance forces during WWII. Although Hitler knew of its existence and said, "find this viper's nest and obliterate it" the Germans were never able to find its location in order to bomb it and many of its secrets were only released from the Official Secrets List in 1998. Whilst at RAF Tempsford, we visit Gibraltar Farm which was the Agents final dispatch point. Gibraltar Farm Barn was built deliberately to look like a normal farm barn to fool German air-reconnaissance and was where agents were supplied with their equipment and their poison pills, in case of capture. The barn contains several plaques and memorials to the agents, both men and women who were killed after being captured and tortured. Then it is on to Shuttleworth Old Warden Collection which has a superb collection of vintage aircraft from WWI and WWII. Whilst here, you will be accompanied by guides who will take you to see the SOE configured Lysander and talk about its SOE usage. There will also be some time set aside for you to view some of the historic aircraft collection in the hanger. A light lunch is included here. The final visit is to the Carpetbagger Aviation Musuem, which tells the story of the Station 179 airfield and the USAAF's 801st/492nd Bomb Group (the Carpetbaggers). Other Exhibits and displays include the secret work of the British Special Operations Executive from their RAF based at Tempsford; the cold war roles of the airfield at Harrington with the Thor rockets; and the Royal Observer Corps. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour managers discretion.
Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 48 passengers.
Please note for the visit to the Intelligence Museum you must bring your passport for ID in order to enter.
Northampton Marriott Hotel
Located close to J15 off the M1, the modern, four-star Northampton Marriott Hotel offers a bar, restaurant, indoor pool, gym and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV and telephone. Complimentary car parking is availalbe at the hotel.
Northampton Marriott Hotel Website
Your host is Clive Bassett, an Honorary Life member of the OSS Society and over many years has carried out research regarding principally the SOE and OSS.
Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.
You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day.
For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation.
The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 7pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.
A very interesting and informative tour. Many thanks to the team.
Review by Dimmock who travelled 03-October-2019
It was a very busy and informative tour with a lot of information to take in. Because of this Clive gave us a lot of info on the coach, it would have been better face to face but I realise this wasn't possible due to time constraints.
Review by Miland who travelled 03-October-2019
A truly special experience, this exceptional package brought to life a very difficult period of our joint heritage and your your management team were simply the best. Thank you.
Review by Richter who travelled 03-October-2019
A supurb tour. Very well constructed and generously executed . My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. The whole atmosphere was very relaxed considering the amount of sightseeing involved.
Review by Bennett who travelled 03-October-2019
Review by Brodie who travelled 03-October-2019
Dinners at hotel were poor. Breakfast was good Two people in party (Could not record this above) Flights etc not applicable
Review by King who travelled 05-September-2019
Travel editions guide noticed 90 year old would need a wheelchair and organised at two locations. Helped me push up a hill too. Really thoughtful. Expert guide was really expert... very interesting tour.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 05-September-2019
Excellent tour. Accommodation was ideal - everywhere spotless, very good food and service. Interesting museums and a brilliant speaker. It was a shame his talk was rather hurried. Really excellent value for money.
Review by Bennett who travelled 05-September-2019
I have tried to email Clive to give him my thanks for his expertise and to the team lady who could magic a wheelchair whenever available. Her thoughtfulness was much appreciated by my arthritic knees. The group was a bit large for some sites, and Bletchley needs a whole day,but it was all good stuff! Thanks,
Review by Anonymous who travelled 05-September-2019
Well thought out and professionally done. The logistics worked well. The two guides on our tour were excellent. The meals and talks too were very good. Not everyday you have the chance to play with an Enigma machine.
Review by James who travelled 05-September-2019
Very interesting tour with a really good lecturer on the first evening and a good and informative tour leader. All the places visited were well worth the time spent there.
Review by Kennewell who travelled 05-September-2019
An organised tour around Bletchley would have been good rather than self guided. The visits to Carpetbaggers and Tempsford were wonderful.
Review by Copsey who travelled 20-June-2019
Clive was extremely knowledgeable and, together with informative guides at each museum, this made for a most enjoyable tour.
Review by Vines who travelled 20-June-2019
Well organised tour. Friendly and knowledgeable guides.
Review by Parker who travelled 20-June-2019
Gibraltar Barn was not worthy of a visit
Review by Cattermole who travelled 20-June-2019
This package has been thoughtfully put together covering an exceptional aspect of WW 2. The itinary was w ell timed for a two day trip
Review by Cunningham who travelled 20-June-2019
Excellent trip. All very interesting with a lot of info from Clive Basset and Yvonne. Hotel v.good. Highlight for me was Tempsford and Shuttle worth but all visits were VG and the speakers excellent. Well done Travel Editons.
Review by saddington who travelled 20-June-2019
A very interesting and enjoyable tour and enabled me to visit places i would not otherwise have got to. The hotel accommodation and surroundings were good, but the only downside was it was not convenient for public transport involving a somewhat expensive taxi ride for the outward journey, although the tour manager was able to arrange taxi share for the return
Review by Martins who travelled 20-June-2019
Review by anonymous who travelled 20-June-2019
Finding the Northampton Marriot hotel was problematic due to conflicting road signs. The tours exceeded expectations and Clive's expert knowledge was a big advantage.
Review by anonymous who travelled 20-June-2019
This mini hol was just as we had imagined. Very interesting to people of our age (over 70) as the war was in progress when we were small children and it interests us to learn more about what really happened.
Review by Hattersley who travelled 11-April-2019
Another excellent tour from knowledgeable guides. Thank you.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 11-April-2019
Food was average in the Marriott. I know from personal experience that they can do better than this but it may costa bit more. Service was excellent. A bit more information about what we were seeing on the bus as we travelled to the destinations would have been better, especially on the first day.
Review by Selby who travelled 11-April-2019
Had to change the room in the hotel - very noisy floor, safe did not work, cistern screaming, but hotel staff very accommodating and helpful. Next room recently refurbished and good. Food mediocre. Very interesting lecture and visits. Manager very good in second day.
Review by Juniper who travelled 11-April-2019
Review by Dark who travelled 11-April-2019
Hotel staff were exceptional in their welcome and service. Enjoyed all the visits, a great time was had.
Review by Fowler who travelled 11-April-2019
This trip was an 80th birthday present for my husband, who is not fit and has mobility difficulties. He was well catered for in the hotel and well looked after on visits,when the tour manager organised a wheel chair where possible.
Review by Hinson who travelled 04-October-2018
We found our trip to be excellent, very interesting and very good value for money. Everything ran to clockwork and we were well organised by both tour managers. We are now looking at the brochure for other similar visits.
Review by Butler who travelled 04-October-2018
Review by Wharfe who travelled 04-October-2018
Review by Freeman who travelled 04-October-2018
Excellent tour and staff. I feel however that too much content was crammed into the two days. This was the case at all the museums, we were given a most informative talk by some very enthusiastic volunteers. This took up the bulk of the allotted time and we were unable to browse through the museum exhibits before moving on. This was particularly the case at Chicsands, Tempsford and the Carpetbagger. The highlight of the tour was Bletchley Park and there was not enough time to see everything, some of the party did not have time to see Colossus, the Lorenz and the Bombe sections which were at the heart of the museum. I enjoyed the tour very much and have made these comments in a constructive way which I hope you will find helpful.
Review by Manuel who travelled 04-October-2018
T E consistently does what it says on the tin- detailed and full days, value for money short tours.
Review by Hughes who travelled 06-September-2018
Excellent and interesting tour
Review by James who travelled 06-September-2018
Clive and Gay were excellent, professional, organised, helpful and informative throughout the stay.I appreciated the information sheets as the tour progressed.They were supportive of any difficulties we encountered-one morning the scrambled egg was "off".Mark Baldwin's talk was tremendous as were the visits.Coach superb.Time keeping excellent.Only slight disappointment was that Bletchley Park had a Heritage Day when we visited but I suspect we felt the contrast of the previously private tours with a public commercial organisation.The best tour I have had for years.
Review by Thomas who travelled 06-September-2018
Excellent tour and have already recommended it to friends.
Review by Robinson who travelled 06-September-2018
Usual high standard except for hotel dinners which were at moderate at best.
Review by Joiner who travelled 21-June-2018
Excellent schedule and content lead by an expert on the whole subject, who admitted his passon for everything to do with it. I would like to go againi
Review by Wilson who travelled 21-June-2018
Exceptional tour in every way. Our guides Clive and Yvonne were welcoming and friendly from arrival to departure. Every detail was well organised and well paced, accommodation and included meals were excellent. What made this tour exceptional was the use of expert lecturers and the insight they imparted was fascinating. Highly recommended.
Review by Hillier who travelled 21-June-2018
A truly fascinating and informative tour. The timetable was to the minute as required for such a tight schedule. Yvonne and Clive were professional, pleasant and informative. The coach driver Adrian extremely competent Hotel room excellent but had expected a more interesting menu ( we spent an extra night) and more bar staff in a Marriott. ( not your problem!) Thanks to all for a super few days
Review by who travelled 21-June-2018
Excellent trip. Very informative. Very thought provoking. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Our first tour with Travel Editions, will use them again.
Review by Parker who travelled 21-June-2018
The Tour Leader (Clive Bassett) and the guides at the sites were all very knowledgeable which greatly enhanced our enjoyment of the trip.
Review by Gee who travelled 26-April-2018
Most excellent and interesting tour. Experienced and knowledgable guides. We are motivitated to do further research. highly recommended.
Review by Oldfield who travelled 26-April-2018
Congradulations to all your staff, Guides an dRIVER.
Review by Martin who travelled 26-April-2018
Excellent tour. All the Museums were very interesting and liked the way most of them were not too commercial. Bletchley Park was too touristy. The staff at the Marriot were excellent, just one or two glitches. On asked to choose menu for dinner the item was then not available and we could not order a newspaper for the morning. Other than that the hotel was good.
Review by White who travelled 26-April-2018
Review by Rowland who travelled 05-October-2017
Excellent three days on all counts
Review by Ralston who travelled 05-October-2017
Review by who travelled 05-October-2017
The achievements of the code-breakers were critical to the war result but did not require the cold-blooded courage of the SOE - with its Westland Lysander designed in 1937!! Top marks to the SOE local village for its moving memorials. The Northampton Marriott Hotel was a full class ahead of the Doubletree Hilton, Lincoln (The Story of the Lancaster).
Review by Pirie who travelled 07-September-2017
A well run and interesting tour - one could not help but admire the enthusiasm of the voluteers who ran the many small museums that we visited. However I thought the way Bletchley presented itself left a lot of room for improvement. Better signage and some guide to continuity on a sprawling site would have improved the visit.
Review by Thomas who travelled 07-September-2017
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip with excellent and informative Tour Managers. The purpose was always to enjoy the lecture and additional 'insider' information, so the year ticket to get back to Bletchley Park was a welcome bonus.
Review by Mr Paul Hending who travelled 22-June-2017
Hotel not very comfortable and noisy at night. The hotel could be situated in Bedford as this would incur les bus journeys. Intelligence museum and Carpetbagger Harrington very interesting and good tour guides. Overall would recommend this trip. Clive was an excellent host and extremely helpful.
Review by Mrs Beatrice Wiseman who travelled 22-June-2017
Very enjoyable and informative tour. Very well run.
Review by Mr David Sugden who travelled 22-June-2017
Enjoyed this. A pity hotel could not have been nearer but Marriots are reasonable. Missed one tour due to migraine but managed to doit on the way home with the help of tour leader. Thank you
Review by Mrs Suzanne Hales who travelled 22-June-2017
Would highly recommend. Very interesting. If you get the chance to go on it, do go. We had access to all sorts of places and people that one wouldn't normally as the manager had such excellent contacts. The hotel couldn't do enough for us too.
Review by Miss Ann Tilman who travelled 22-June-2017
A full and interesting tour with a knowledgable guideand efficient assistant. Also a good coach driver and comfortable coach.
Review by Mrs Gillian Rowe who travelled 01-June-2017
The only disappointment was Bletchley Park itself, a totally dumbed down 'theme park' environment that is an insult to all those who worked there. The Computer Museum nearby is what Bletchley Park should be like. Having said that our Travel Editions break was excellent and we will do more next year.
Review by Mr Brian Yates who travelled 01-June-2017
This was a wonderful experience, Clive and Yvonne were perfect guides and Clive had an excellent knowledge of the war years . A sincere thank you. Mary and John Head
Review by Mr Mary Head who travelled 01-June-2017
A very interesting and informative trip which I would recommend to anyone with an interest in the more clandestine activities of WW2
Review by Mr Nick Bradley who travelled 01-June-2017
Great success and look forward to touring with you again
Review by Mr David Gaunt who travelled 01-June-2017
I have already commented a few days ago via a separate and personal e-mail which has been acknowledged. Ian
Review by Mr Ian Bell who travelled 01-June-2017
Review by Mr Ivor De Meza who travelled 06-October-2016
We all really enjoyed the trip - Clive and Yvonne were excellent. The trip brought the history of the period alive. Also all the guides at the individual places we visited were so knowledgeable and so helpful. Although initially I wondered if we should have had longer at each place I eventually decided we could't have taken in any more information, we shall just have to come back for more! Many thanks for a super trip.
Review by Mrs S M Warnock who travelled 06-October-2016
the older guide at the Shuttleworth museum spoke too quickly and too quietly for the size of group
Review by Miss Margaret Campbell-Wilson who travelled 06-October-2016
Everything was excellant and the two who were in charge of us very helpful. The speaker on the 1st evening was very enjoyable and the information he gave was very interesting.
Review by Mrs Cynthia Williams who travelled 06-October-2016
Well organised and extremely interseting couple of days.Tour manager and guide extremely knowledgable which made the tour very enjoyable.Would definitely recommend this trip.
Review by Mr Stephen Bryant who travelled 06-October-2016
A very interesting and enjoyable three days. Our tour Manager Clive was extremely knowledgeable on all sites visited - an excellent tour throughout.
Review by Mrs Marilyn Guthrie who travelled 06-October-2016
It would have been better to have had the alla carte menu as an option, having to choose a meal the night before, I did not like.
Review by Ms Miranda Steward who travelled 06-October-2016
This was our third 2 day excursion (Portsmouth and Richard III being others). The Marriott hotel was an improvement from the previous Hiltons except for dinner on the 2nd Friday night when the service was very slow as they served other people who came in afterwards (refer to tour guide for further info). The area for concern which should be pre advised is there was a lot of standing about, especially on the 1st day as there were insufficient seating facilities. Otherwise very good, we will be back for more!
Review by Mr Christopher Collins who travelled 06-October-2016
Review by Mrs Lynne Hutton who travelled 06-October-2016
First class. Have already recommended it to friends with at least 1 saying they will go. Note , no flight,train etc - coach trip.
Review by Mr Kevin Thomas who travelled 06-October-2016
All round a lovely experience. Will certainly repeat in future. very dependant though on being fortunate to find a like minded couple/s.
Review by Mr Brian Horne who travelled 08-September-2016
Excellent tour and very impressed with number of sites visited Guides were very good and helpful throughout.
Review by Mr A Purvis who travelled 08-September-2016
All very interesting and well presented
Review by Mr Ernest Gudgeon who travelled 08-September-2016
Review by Mrs Jennifer Briggs who travelled 08-September-2016
Review by who travelled 08-September-2016
Opened eyes on to happenings in our childhood. Such a lot to absorb but we have now sorted out most of the sections.
Review by Mrs Janet Douglas who travelled 08-September-2016
Hotel: staff excellent, food poor. Why Northampton, Bedford would have been more central. Tour: RAF Tempsford was very sad; neglected, rotting collection. Not worth visiting. First night talk: excellent
Review by Mr Steve Brown who travelled 08-September-2016
not enough time at museums to see all exhibits due to over zealous local tour guides . other wise v good
Review by Mr George Withy who travelled 25-August-2016
Review by Mr John Aspinall who travelled 25-August-2016
Well done.I enjoyed myself very much.Thank you.
Review by Mrs Cynthia Nutting who travelled 25-August-2016
More time was needed at Bletchley and the Shuttleworth collection whilst we thought that the time spent getting to and being at Tempsford was too much. The history thereof was very interesting but going there was not that interesting because nothing is there now
Review by Mr & Mrs D Turner who travelled 25-August-2016
The food on the first night was a bit disappointing
Review by Mrs Rosemary Clark who travelled 25-August-2016
A great hotel - the staff were particularly friendly and helpful. An interesting itinerary marred only by the fact that the visit to Bletchley Park took place on a Bank Holiday Saturday and so was very busy. The Intelligence Museum at Chicksands was fascinating and I would have loved a bit more time there. But overall an excellent tour.
Review by Miss Annabel Casey who travelled 25-August-2016
Excellent hotel, good coach and very interesting itinerary.
Review by Mr Paul Heyes who travelled 25-August-2016
Many thanks to Sandra for TLC and to Clive for his excellent in depth knowledge. Suggest time spent at RAF Tempsford be curtailed until ERROL gets her act together and perhaps more time spent at excellent Carpetbagger museum
Review by Mrs Anne Gaylor who travelled 25-August-2016
This was our first trip with Travel Editions and very pleased
Review by Mrs Joan Somerville who travelled 25-August-2016
Review by Mrs Carol Chapman who travelled 25-August-2016
With regret was obliged to curtail final part of tour due to changed travel commitments requiring me to get home sooner than planned. Otherwise, all very interesting and could have spent longer at Harrington [Carpetbaggers].
Review by Mr Alan Robertson who travelled 25-August-2016
A liitle bit rushed in parts but hard to see how it could be otherwise. Overall a very enjoyable experience
Review by Mr George Onslow who travelled 25-August-2016
Transport by coach was "Excellent". No Plane; train or Ferry involved. Sandra the tour manager was pretty good but Clive Basset the guide was excellent. Time visiting Tempsford ( very disappointing ) & Bletchley Pk was far too long but not enough allocated to other venues. Too much time spent coach travelling as hotel in Northants not optimum location. Given the spread of sites visited a hotel in Bedford would make better sense. These constructive criticisms apart , overall the tour was most interesting and enjoyable.
Review by Mr Alan Simmons who travelled 25-August-2016
Day one was too packed - we could have perhaps spent more time at Chicksands and then maybe Shuttleworth; visit to Harrington then Bletchley on day two? Or other way round. RAF Tempsford was really surplus to requirements we thought - could just have been told about it.
Review by Mrs Joy Wingfield who travelled 28-July-2016
Completely rewarding and what I expected.
Review by Mr Nicholas Toyne who travelled 28-July-2016
wheelchair caused some problems but not enough to distract from the enjoyment of the short break
Review by Dr D Mcintyre who travelled 28-July-2016
Review by Mrs P Amos who travelled 28-July-2016
We were very pleased with the Tour Manager: Clive is very knowledgeable and professional, and shows his enthusiasm for the subject without being OTT or boring. Yvonne is also very efficient; between them, the tour went seamlessly. One comment: we'd have preferred more time at most of the venues; we fitted a lot into two days, and I felt we didn't do justice to some of them. A potential 3-day tour in the future?
Review by Mr Robin Hutton who travelled 28-July-2016
The visits to the Intelligence Museum at Chicksands and to the Shuttleworth collection were too short and presentations had to be hurried and perhaps curtailed. The visit to the site of RAF Tempsford was disappointing there seemed very little effort to keep what little that remains up to a suitable standard.
Review by Mr John Sage who travelled 28-July-2016
A great tour very well organised and the tour manager had extensive knowledge about the subject. So it was all very interesting . Many thanks
Review by Miss Sarah Bellhouse who travelled 28-July-2016
An interesting but tiring 2 days. I gave administration satisfactory as the post code provided for the Hotel was wrong and I had to go onto the hotel website to et the correct one
Review by Mr Geoffrey Penketh who travelled 28-July-2016
Very relaxed yet full of interest and information. We are looking forward to our next Travel Editions tour.
Review by Mr Ken Smithem who travelled 21-April-2016
Wonderful variety of places to visit within a short time frame. My only criticism would be that I felt I could actually build an Enigma machine with the in - depth lecture on the Thursday evening and the optional 3.30pm 'sermon at' Bletchley the following day !! Both men were so obviously committed to their subject but either / or would have been sufficient. Clive and Yvonne both added colourful details during our coach journeys and the driver was excellent.
Review by Mrs Diana Barrinton who travelled 21-April-2016
This was an excellent two days. We have already recommended it to friends. Well done. I am sure we shall be booking with you again in the future.
Review by Mrs J M Guest who travelled 21-April-2016
Only problem was that the visit to the Intelligence Corps museum was rushed.
Review by Dr Alun Thomas who travelled 21-April-2016
Complimentary wine is offered at the evening meals but no non alcoholic drinks are offered. We did ask one evening and orange juice was provided from the introductory drinks but no alternative was offered when at the meal. Need to remember that not everyone wants wine.
Review by Mr I Price who travelled 21-April-2016
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