Winston Churchill in the Cotswolds and Beyond Tour

2 nights starting from
£749

  • Private tour and dinner at Ditchley Park, Churchill’s weekend retreat during the war

  • Tour of Harrow School – his home from 1888-1892

  • Beautiful Blenheim Palace – his birthplace

  • St Martin’s Bladon – his final resting place

  • Battle of Britain Bunker – a key WWII location

This brilliant new tour led by popular guide, Dr Robert Owen, takes us from Churchill’s birthplace and schooldays to his final resting place.  Starting with magnificent Blenheim Palace, we also take guided tours of Harrow School, and the Battle of Britain Bunker, a key location in the development of the war.  We make a visit to Churchill’s final resting place at St Martin’s Church in Bladon, and then spend an evening at Ditchley Park, a magnificent, historic mansion which became his weekend retreat during WWII, where will learn more about the life and times of the leader, voted the “Greatest Briton” in a 2002 BBC Television poll.

Available Departures

From

30 - September - 2024 Sold Out Travel Info On Request

Provisional Timings

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive independently at the Doubletree by Hilton, Oxford from 15.00.
This evening there will be a welcome reception, private dinner with wine and a talk from Robert Owen, “The Country House at War.”

Day 2 Blenheim Palace, St Martin’s Church, Bladon and Ditchley Park with tour and dinner
Our first visit of the day is to magnificent Blenheim Palace, the only non-royal country house in England to hold the title of “palace.”  Designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, built between 1705 and 1722, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough and has been the home of the Spencer-Churchill family for more than 300 years. It was here that Sir Winston Churchill was born on 30th November 1874, where he proposed to Clementine, and where he returned to, time and again, to paint and spend time with his friend and cousin, “Sunny, ” the 9th Duke of Marlborough.  An exhibition is dedicated to him in an area overlooking the water terraces, which he used as a studio.  Elsewhere, the Palace State Rooms are full of priceless collections of portraits, tapestries and furniture and the palace is set in sumptuous, landscaped grounds.  Nearby is the altogether more modest St Martin’s Church, Bladon, where Churchill is buried next to his parents and brother.  We return to the hotel in time to freshen up before heading to Ditchley Park, one of England’s finest houses, with a rich history as an idyllic retreat for royalty since the reign of Elizabeth I.  It was famously used by Churchill as a secret base during the early years of World War II, meeting presidential envoy Harry Hopkins here in his efforts to win American support.  A guided tour of this beautiful house will be followed by a private dinner with welcome reception, wine and talk from a Ditchley Park expert.

Day 3 Battle of Britain Bunker and Harrow School
Our first visit of the day is to the fascinating Battle of Britain Bunker, an underground operations room at RAF Uxbridge, formerly used by No. 11 Group Fighter Command during the Second World War.  Fighter aircraft operations were controlled from there throughout the War but most notably during the Battle of Britain and on D-Day. It is reached by a staircase of 76 steps (please note there is no lift), though the exhibition is on ground floor level. After free time for lunch (not included) we head to Harrow for a guided tour of the famous school, where Winston was a pupil from 1888 until 1892.  He was not considered a good student, although his ability to memorise lines was rewarded with a prize for reciting from memory 1200 lines from Macaulay’s lengthy poem, “Lays of Ancient Rome.”  Winston himself wrote “I was on the whole considerably discouraged by my school days.”  Return to the hotel for about 17.30

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion 

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 35 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Two nights' bed and breakfast at the four-star Doubletree by Hilton Oxford Belfry Hotel, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception and three-course dinner with wine on the first night
  • Second night private guided tour, welcome reception, talk and dinner with wine at Ditchley Park
  • Introductory talk from Robert Owen on first evening
  • All talks, tours and admissions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Coach transfers and tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Double for sole use supplement 
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc 
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTEL

Doubletree by Hilton Oxford Belfry Hotel

The four-star Doubletree by Hilton Oxford Belfry Hotel is set in 17 acres of beautiful grounds and is situated just off the M40, near to the picturesque university city of Oxford. Facilities include a leisure complex with swimming pool, restaurant and bar and very comfortable bedrooms with modern amenities.

Parking: complimentary

Hotel Website

MORE INFO -

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 6pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date.

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