Ian Fleming & James Bond book/film/real life locations, Dover Castle, Churchill's Chartwell, Canterbury, WWII Battle of Britain sites & History of Espionage
3rd Weekend, monthly. Saturday-Sunday from London. 2016 dates: 16 Apr; 21 May; 18 Jun; 15 Jul; 20 Aug; 17 Sep
Mr Churchill passed away at age 90 on 24 January, 1965. Personal items from Churchill’s family including the last photograph of the wartime leader are now on display for the first time in his home of Chartwell. Explore the life and times of this great leader, the man who led Britain through its darkest hours.
On this short tour, see Britain’s Homefront during WWII, amazing countryside, Churchill’s beloved home and gardens of Chartwell, places of Ian Fleming’s inspiration, some James Bond film sites, historic Dover Castle and the charming town of Canterbury with its famed cathedral.
Day 1, Saturday
The “Hornchurch Sector” during WWII covered the county of Kent, over which many dogfights took place. See some splendid scenery as we drive through towards Dover, pinpointing some of the plane crash sites and the later V1 and V2 rocket targets – over 1400 of which fell on Kent. Your guide will paint a poignant picture of what life was like for local residents during the turbulent 1940s.
This area is also the place where Ian Fleming lived and found inspiration for his great creation James Bond. Explore some of the villages where he spent real life times, perhaps raise a glass in his honour at his favourite local pub! See charming St Margaret’s Bay, the coast with history dating back to Julius Caesar, and former home to the “Moonraker rocket plant.” Royal St George’s Golf Club at Sandwich was Fleming’s own golf club, noted as the setting for the famous golf match in another novel/film, Goldfinger.
Dover Castle is where we’ll find a wealth of history from the mediaeval times of Henry V through to modern times with the WWII secret wartime tunnels. Interestingly, Dover Castle was recently used as a filming location for Philippa Gregory’s novel The Other Boleyn Girl. Yes we’ll have a photo opportunity of the famed White Cliffs of Dover during our time here too!
Overnight: Canterbury area, Kent
Day 2, Sunday
This morning some free time in historic Canterbury, pay our respects much like Chaucer’s Pilgrims inside the wonderful Canterbury Cathedral. As this is our overnight location, we should miss the main and madding throng of ‘daytrippers’ from London.
Visit Winston Churchill’s home of Chartwell, where one can discover both the public and private life of this great man. Churchill lived here from 1922 until his death in 1965; he chose this property because of the wonderful views over The Weald countryside. Inside, the rooms remain much as they were when he lived here, with pictures, books and personal mementoes scattered throughout. Churchill tended the gardens, painted the landscapes and even built the lakes and part of the garden stone walls himself. The gardens of Chartwell include Lady Churchill’s Rose Garden, the kitchen garden, the walled garden and Churchill’s painting studio.
Return to London this evening, by approximately 18:00.
Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.