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English World War Discovery

  • England
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


English World War Discovery

7 Days

Without doubt, World War II is one of the defining moments in modern history.  June 2019 sees the 75th anniversary of one of the most important and decisive battles of World War II – D-Day.

Specially designed to provide a fascinating insight into the war effort on British soil, history will never have seemed as close as on this chauffeur-driven journey.  Many key and exclusive experiences are arranged – including a unique tour of Blenheim Palace, birthplace of British Wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill; a private post-opening guided tour of HMS Belfast, the historic warship moored on the River Thames; and a privately guided tour of the Churchill War Rooms which will take you to areas not open to the general public.

With additional visits that allow you to walk in the footsteps of the code-breakers and commanders who helped win the war, this promises to be a deeply fascinating and poignant journey.

 

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HOLIDAY ITINERARY



Day One: Arrival to London

Day Two: World War II – London Highlights

Day Three: Dover Castle

Day Four: Duxford and Bletchley Park

 

Day Five: World War II – Winston Churchill

Day Six: The Battle of Britain

Day Seven: Onward Travel

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HIGHLIGHTS

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Day One: Arrival London Heathrow

On arrival at London Heathrow Airport, you will be met and welcomed by your chauffeur who will provide a safe and comfortable journey into the heart of London.

Your accommodation for three nights is The Stafford Hotel, situated in the very heart of London, just moments from the city’s iconic landmarks and vibrant West End, the property is considered one of the best luxury hotels in the London. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, resting and relaxing following your international flight.

This afternoon, you may wish to take a stroll in neighbouring Green Park. It is home to The Bomber Command Memorial, which stands as a tribute to the 55,573 Bomber Command crew who lost their lives in World War II. It was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on 28th June 2012. Designed by architect Liam O’Connor, the memorial includes bronze sculptures of a Bomber Command aircrew.

 

Day Two: WWII London Highlights

After a leisurely breakfast, meet your chauffeur and guide who is a Military Expert and travel to the Imperial War Museum.

The Imperial War Museum London offers a fascinating insight into 20th century wartime England. The museum is less a celebration of war, and more a tribute to the individuals who were involved – visitors are asked to experience the nightmarish day to day experiences of living in a WWI trench, or the claustrophobic tension of waiting for the all-clear sirens during the Blitz.  The exhibits and items on display are designed to illustrate how history’s recent battles have affected those normal people involved.

Explore key moments of the Second World War through people’s lives and the objects on display.  Discover the role of strategic bombing and the fighting fronts in Russia and Africa, through to the D-Day landings. See a British Supermarine Spitfire Mark 1A, which flew 57 combat missions during the Battle of Britain in 1940.  It was flown by 13 different pilots, only 6 of whom survived the Second World War.

You may also wish to visit the First World War Galleries which offer a stunning presentation of this most costly of conflicts.  Discover the story of the war through the eyes of the British people and the Empire, both on the home front and the fighting fronts.  See over 1,300 objects drawn from the museum’s First World War collections – the richest and most comprehensive in the world – ranging from weapons, uniforms and equipment, to diaries and letters, keepsakes and trinkets, photographs, film and art.

Following lunch, travel to the Churchill War Rooms where a privately guided tour awaits.  Your tour offers you an unparalleled opportunity to go behind the glass that general visitors only look through and enjoy privileged access to where Winston Churchill, his War Cabinet and Chiefs of Staff met and worked during the World War II.  Your tour begins with an overview of the history of the War Rooms from the perspective of those who worked here during the war.  You will be taken inside the War Cabinet Room where Churchill boldly announced to colleagues, ‘This is the room from which I will direct the war’.  This was the inner sanctum of British government.

Your guide will be a highly qualified member of staff, with incomparable knowledge of the site, its history, stories and occupants’ lives.

Following your visit, your guide and chauffeur will take you across the Thames to your final visit of the day; HMS Belfast.  A private post-opening guided tour will allow you to explore the ship as well as gain exclusive access behind the barriers. HMS Belfast is a light large cruiser (613ft long) and the only War Ship from World War II of its type still surviving today.

Accompanied by one of the Ship’s Company, learn how the ship’s crew survived in adverse conditions – from freezing conditions during the Arctic Convoys to suffocating heat in the Far East.

Hear unique stories of what it would have been like to be part of the action of D-Day; HMS Belfast was one of only three remaining vessels from the bombardment fleet which supported the Normandy landings.

 

Day Three: Dover Castle

This morning, depart London with your qualified Driver Guide and travel to Dover, where a little over 20 miles away, France and the continent lies.

Dover Castle is one of the most iconic of all English fortresses; an impressive stronghold built to bolster England’s weakest defensive point at the shortest sea crossing to mainland Europe.

Enjoy a tour of the 12th century Great Tower, led by a private in-house guide.  Here, be transported back to the times of Henry II – it is a world of courtly intrigue and royal ambition.  The lavish interiors are based on meticulous research, and the recreated rich and vibrant furnishings were created by a mass of skilled craftsmen.

To follow, perhaps descend into the winding medieval tunnels below the castle which were created during and after the Siege of 1216 as covert defenses.  You may like to explore a different time period in which the castle played a key role.

Fast forward over 700 years to May 1940 and to Operation Dynamo – the Dunkirk evacuation, also known as the Miracle of Dunkirk.  Immerse yourself in the drama and walk in the tunnels where the operation was masterminded.  Impressive special effects, dramatic projections and real film footage will bring this dramatic episode to life and promises to be a truly memorable visit.

 

Day Four: Duxford and Bletchley Park

Depart London with your qualified Driver Guide, travelling north to Duxford. Just six miles south of Cambridge, Duxford began as an airfield in World War I before going on to play a vital role in World War II as an RAF fighter station, and later as an American fighter base.

Today Duxford is the centre for historic aviation with many of its wartime buildings, such as the Control Tower, Operations Room and hangars, still in use and retaining their 1940s atmosphere. Indeed, the Operations Room has been meticulously reconstructed and looks just as it did when RAF personnel directed Duxford’s fighters during the Battle of Britain in 1940.

To follow, visit Bletchley Park which, until recently, was Britain’s best kept secret. This is because the secrecy surrounding all the activities carried on here during World War II was of vital importance to national security and the Allies’ ultimate victory. It was here that an organisation called the Government Code and Cypher School studied and devised methods to enable the Allied forces to decipher the military codes and ciphers that secured German, Japanese, and other Axis nation’s communications.

Bletchley Park also heralded the birth of the information age with the industrialisation of the codebreaking processes enabled by machines such as the Turing/Welchman Bombe, and the world’s first electronic computer, Colossus. Today, Bletchley Park is a treasured heritage site designed to preserve the important story of the Codebreakers during World War II, and a truly fascinating visit.

Thereafter, travel to the Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.

Under the esteemed leadership of Monsieur Raymond Blanc, the 15th-century manor has become the most coveted property in the country and is a paradise for epicureans. Situated in a picturesque Oxfordshire village, this cherished manor house hotel is surrounded by lawns, flower borders and orchards; an idyllic English setting. All the produce for the kitchen is grown in these beautiful gardens, with the lavender beds providing a distinctive Gallic charm!

 

Day Five: WWII - Sir Winston Churchill

This morning, your Driver Guide will take you to Blenheim Palace, one of Britain’s finest stately homes. The house itself – the only non-royal or non-episcopal country house in England to be called a palace – is a masterpiece of English baroque architecture and is home to some of the finest collections of antique furniture, tapestries, porcelain and painted ceilings in Europe.

The palace was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. He is quoted as saying “At Blenheim, I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am happily content with the decisions I took on both occasions”.

 Sir Winston Churchill’s plucky disposition and extraordinary legacy, developed during conflict and peacetime, is still woven into the fabric of British society. He not only led the Allies to victory, he also championed public healthcare and laid the foundations for the United Nations alongside US President Roosevelt.

On arrival at Blenheim Palace, enjoy refreshments and meet with your specialist guide. Take a tour of the Churchill Exhibition which showcases the life and achievements of Britain’s most iconic leader.

To follow, you will enjoy an exclusive tour of the Palace’s Private Apartments, where Churchill spent much of his time when visiting his ancestral home. A delicious three-course lunch will be served before your guide takes you to the Churchill Memorial Garden and Temple of Diana, where Churchill proposed to his beloved wife Clementine in 1908.

Follow with a visit to Sir Winston Churchill’s final resting place at St Martin’s Bladon, just outside Blenheim Palace grounds. Following Churchill’s death on 24 January 1965 a state funeral took place in St Paul’s Cathedral attended by leaders from across the globe. Churchill’s burial at Bladon was private, in accordance with the wishes of Lady Clementine Churchill. It was Churchill’s wish to be buried in a corner of this country churchyard, near Blenheim Palace, his birthplace.

 

Day Six: The Battle of Britain

Depart Le Manoir, travelling south-east towards London. The first visit of the day will be to the Bentley Priory Museum, housed in a beautiful Grade II listed country house.

 Bentley Priory was Headquarters for Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, and today is a Museum which explores how victory was forged, enabling Britain’s darkest hour to also be her finest hour.

The museum tells the story of how the Battle of Britain was won; one of the greatest stories in history. A Spitfire and Hurricane guard the entrance.

The Museum’s incredible collection showcases objects which were proudly on display at Bentley Priory during its time as an RAF base, in addition to a private collection of memorabilia relating to Battle of Britain, including medals, logbooks and photographs of the airmen.

To follow, visit The Battle of Britain Bunker in Uxbridge. It played a vital role in the defence of the United Kingdom in its “darkest hour” in 1940.

The bunker housed the Fighter Command No.11 Group Operations Room throughout the war; much of the RAF’s contribution to the Battle of Britain was coordinated here.

Key decisions impacting the fate of the nation were taken in the bunker throughout 1940 and it was thanks to these plotters and controllers that the RAF’s fighter pilots managed to hold off the Luftwaffe.

The Operations Room is in fact a series of rooms on two deep underground and is reached via 76 steps. The plotting room with its large map table, squadron display boards, balloon and weather states, remains exactly how it was when Winston Churchill visited on 15th September 1940.

Thereafter continue to Cliveden House Hotel for your final night.

Cliveden House, has been a place of power, politics and parties for over 350 years.  The estate was acquired by George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham in 1666; he created Cliveden as a hunting lodge where he could entertain his friends and mistress.  Over the ensuing years it has played host to celebrities, politicians and royalty, and was purchased in 1893 by the Astor Family before becoming a luxury hotel just under a century later.

 

Day Seven: Onward Travel

Your chauffeur will accompany you to London Heathrow Airport this morning for your onward travel.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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THINGS TO DO

BLENHEIM PALACE

Blenheim Palace was given to the first Duke of Marlborough by a grateful Nation, following his victory at the Battle of Blenheim in August 1704.

DOVER CASTLE

Dover Castle is one of the most iconic of all English fortresses; an impressive stronghold built to bolster England’s weakest defensive point at the shortest sea crossing to mainland Europe.

DUXFORD AIR MUSEUM

Duxford is home to the Imperial War Museum Airfield, Europe’s premier aviation museum. It houses one of the finest collections of tanks, military vehicles and naval exhibits in the country.

BLETCHLEY PARK

Until fairly recently Bletchley Park was Britain’s best kept secret. The secrecy surrounding all the activities carried on here during World War II was of vital importance to national security and the Allies’ ultimate victory. It was here that an organisation called the Government Code and Cypher School studied and devised methods to enable the Allied forces to decipher the military codes and ciphers that secured German, Japanese, and other Axis nation’s communications. Bletchley Park heralded the birth of the information age with the industrialisation of the codebreaking processes enabled by machines such as the Turing/Welchman Bombe, and the world’s first electronic computer, Colossus. Today, Bletchley Park is a treasured heritage site designed to preserve the important story of the Codebreakers during World War II, and a truly fascinating visit.

CABINET WAR ROOMS

Shortly after becoming Prime Minister in May 1940, Winston Churchill visited the Cabinet War Rooms, to see for himself what preparations had been made to allow him and his War Cabinet to continue working throughout the expected air raids on London. It was there, in the underground Cabinet Room, that he announced ‘This is the room from which I will direct the war’. This is where Churchill and his inner circle not only took shelter during the Blitz, but also where master strategies were hatched and top-secret conversations were whispered late into the night.

HMS BELFAST

HMS Belfast is a light large cruiser (613ft long) and the only Second World War ship of its type still surviving today. Accompanied by one of the Ship’s Company, gain exclusive behind-the-barriers access; experience the Battle of North Cape in the Gun Turret Experience and test your skills in the interactive Operations Room

PLACES VISITED

LONDON

London, with its unique blend of history and culture, is constantly changing, with new landmarks, stylish restaurants and clubs opening up all the time. Recently voted as the gourmet capital of the world, London is the European capital to stay in touch with all that’s new and exciting, while enjoying its wealth of historic buildings and eclectic mix of museums and art galleries. With its unique blend of history and culture, the bustling metropolis of London has long been considered a must-see destination. The city is constantly changing, offering a wealth of historic buildings and monuments, as well as an eclectic mix of museums, art galleries and world famous attractions.

BLENHEIM

Blenheim Palace, one of Britain’s finest stately homes. The palace was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. He is quoted as saying “At Blenheim, I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am happily content with the decisions I took on both occasions”. Sir Winston Churchill’s final resting place is at St Martin’s Bladon, just outside Blenheim Palace grounds.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

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