Sir Winston Churchill & Blenheim Palace | Day Tour
“…we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the
streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”
Sir Winston Churchill (4th June 1940, We Shall Fight on the Beaches speech)
Addressing the Houses of Parliament after the disastrous retreat of the British Expeditionary Forces during the Battle of France, the We Shall Fight on the Beaches speech is remembered as one of three wartime speeches that marked the zenith of Winston Churchill’s oratorical powers and his determination to lead Britain to victory over Hitler's Nazi Regime at 'whatever cost'.
In the preceding 9 days, approximately 338,000 Allied troops had been evacuated from the beaches of northern France, leaving behind around 34,000 troops to face death or the rest of the war in captivity. Almost all of the Army’s heavy equipment and vehicles were destroyed, leaving Britain exposed to a Nazi invasion.
Later that same month, France capitulated to the Nazi regime; Britain now stood alone against the might of the German war machine; the Battle for Britain had begun…
With Expert led tours of Blenheim Palace and a pre-lunch talk, the Sir Winston Churchill & Blenheim Palace | Day Tour brings to life the fascinating story behind Britain’s greatest wartime leader.
From his early years as a war correspondent, sending back reports on military campaigns from far flung parts of the British Empire, to his ‘darkest hours’ during the Gallipoli campaign and the ill-faited invasion of Norway, through to the culmination of his achievements as WWII Warlord and post-war international Statesmen, the full gamut of Churchill’s lifetime 'highs and lows' will be explored.
You will also have the opportunity to examine a wide spectrum of themes; from his relationship with his father, Lord Randolph Churchill and the rest of the Marlborough family, to his mastery of the English language and his ‘charm’ diplomacy (particularly with reference to the transatlantic ‘Special Relationship), through to his passion for painting and how it helped him deal with the ‘black dog’ (Churchill’s own term for his depression), you will be able to get to the very heart of the matter; understand who was Churchill, what drove him and why his legacy is so important to us today.
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Photos courtesy of Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
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Winston Churchill & Blenheim Palace | Day Tour
Morning | Visit Blenheim Palace | Talk on Churchill's Early Life | Afternoon Tea at the Palace with Talk on Churchill
"At Blenheim I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I took on both occasions..."
Sir Winston Churchill
This morning you will be transfered by coach to Blenheim Palace to learn about Churchill’s early life.
The visit starts with tea, coffee and biscuits served in a private room followed by a talk on Churchill and a private tour of the Palace.
Led by one of the palace’s key historians, you will learn all about how Churchill spent his time here and what it meant to him. It will highlight his connections with the palace and the strong relationships he formed with his family, including his admiration for his ancestor John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough.
Afternoon | Lunch at the Palace with Talk on Churchill | Visit Churchill Exhibition | Walk in Churchill's Footsteps Trail | Special Winston Churchill Premier Tea Served in the Indian Room | Visit Churchill's Grave at Bladon Church | Optional* Themed Tours
Enjoy lunch followed by a special talk on Churchill by your Expert lecturer.
In the afternoon enjoy a tour of the permanent Churchill exhibition which has recently been reinvigorated as part of the palace’s programme to celebrate his life.
This is followed by a Walk in Churchill's Footsteps Trail. Here you will be able to explore the history of Sir Winston Churchill across the Palace, Park and Formal Gardens.
A Special Winston Churchill Premier Tea will be served in the palace’s Indian Room before you take the palace shuttle service to Churchill's grave in the neighbouring village of Bladon.
During the afternoon there will be free time to explore the grounds at your own leisure. There is also the option to take other themed tours*.
Meals included: L
* Please advise the Grand Cultural Tours sales representative during the booking process if you wish to partake in an optional tour at Blenheim Palace. These include (and are not limited to) the following:
- The Military Marlboroughs - This tour explores the Palace's involvement in the military from the 1st Duke's victory at the Battle of Blenheim to Sir Winston Churchill.
- The Battle of Blenheim - Gain an insight into the great battle after which Blenheim Palace was named, and learn about John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough for whom it was built.
- A Closer Look at Baroque - For those interested in the items that make up Blenheim's Baroque collection as well as how the baroque style influenced aspects of the Palace's design.
- Ceramics and Furniture - This talk and tour takes a closer look at some of the pieces that make up one of the finest antique furniture and porcelain collections in Europe, housed inside the Palace.
- Running a Great Estate - Visitors who want a glimpse into the day to day running of a great Estate will be enthralled by this behind-the-scenes tour.
** Please contact us for further details about restaurants included in the tour.
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The services of an English-speaking Expert on Churchill throughout the day
Guided tour of Blenheim Palace with palace guide
The services of a professional Event Manager throughout the day
3 course lunch with Expert Talk on Sir Winston Churchill
All activities and tours as described
Medical and travel insurance
Allen Packwood BA, MPhil (Cantab), is a Fellow of Churchill College at the University of Cambridge, the Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He was awarded an OBE for services to archives and scholarship in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The Churchill Archives Centre is located in the grounds of Churchill College, and is home to the papers of Sir Winston Churchill, Baroness Thatcher, Sir John Major and almost six hundred of their contemporaries: politicians, diplomats, civil servants, military leaders and scientists of the Churchill era and beyond. It is still collecting. Allen likes to joke that it is the equivalent of four American Presidential Libraries!
Allen is a qualified archivist and has worked at the Churchill Archives Centre since September 1995, succeeding Dr Piers Brendon as Acting Keeper in 2001, before being appointed Director in 2002. Allen was co-curator of “Churchill and the Great Republic”, a Library of Congress exhibition, which ran from February – July 2004, and of “Churchill: The Power of Words”, a display at the Morgan Library in New York from June till September 2012.
Allen has also organised many events and lectures, including the successful conference on “The Cold War and its Legacy”, staged over two days at Churchill College in November 2009, and attended by senior representatives from China, Germany, Roumania, the Russian Federation and the United States. He also helped to organise Churchill 2015, a programme of events commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Sir Winston’s death, and was successful in getting the Churchill archive inscribed on the UNESCO international register for the Memory of the World.
He is the author of several articles, co-wrote the publication accompanying the Library of Congress display, edited the guide to the Churchill Archives Centre, and has lectured extensively on Churchill in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Allen’s job has taken him to Bermuda, Cuba, Singapore, Hong Kong and in 2011 he accompanied Celia Sandys and Lady Soames on a Chasing Churchill Mediterranean Cruise.
Blenheim Palace Tour Guide
Discover the Churchill Exhibition and Palace with your Blenheim Palace Tour Guide.
Please arrive at the entrance of Blenheim Palace by 9:45am for a 10am start to the tour.
Please inform your Grand Cultural Tours at time of booking if you have any special dietary requirements.
Dates & Prices
* Please click here for more information regarding flights for this tour.