Saturday, April 25, 2009

The No Crowds Churchill Trifecta

Yesterday on Twitter comes this tweet from @Project Britain:

”On this day in 1953, Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II”.

Which got me thinking about Winston Churchill, but also about Project Britain. Who are these guys with all this interesting information about British life and culture? Well I’ll be darned, Project Britain turns out to be a junior (elementary) school in England. Who knew that students aged 7 to 11 (with lots of help from a former teacher) could produce such an awesome website and interesting tweets.

Fired up and inspired by these pint-sized pundits, I decided to do something to celebrate the day that Churchill was knighted and so here goes:

The Churchill Trifecta – No Crowds Top Picks for Celebrating the Life of Winston Churchill

The Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in London

Winner by a mile is the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms in London. Opened in February 2005, this is the first major museum in the world solely dedicated to the life and achievements of the great statesman. The place if full of interactive exhibits and the latest computer technology which make the huge amount of artefacts, photographs, documents and film really come to life. Young and old audiences alike love this place.

Even more evocative are the underground Cabinet War Rooms which operated round the clock from the start of the war in 1939 to its end in 1945. This is where Churchill, his War Cabinet and members of his inner circle ate and slept during the Blitz and the tour includes Churchill’s bedroom and study, the War Cabinet Room and the Map Room, familiar to anyone who has ever seen an old WWII movie.

Visitor information for the Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms can be found here.

Chartwell – The Home of Sir Winston Churchill in Kent

Second off the mark is Chartwell. This was Churchill’s family home from 1922 until his death in 1965. The house and gardens today are much as they were when he lived there, packed with the pictures, books, maps and personal mementoes which give visitors a real “behind the scenes” glimpse into the daily life of the great statesman. The views across the Weald of Kent are glorious.

Visitor information for Chartwell can be found here.

Blenheim – Birthplace of Winston Churchill in Oxfordshire

A solid third is Blenheim, built for Churchill's legendary ancestor, the first Duke of Marlborough. A world heritage site, Blenheim describes itself as Britain’s greatest palace and for once, the marketing hype might be right. Fans of the wartime leader will enjoy the Churchill Exhibition which has extensive correspondence, the most touching being Winston begging his father to come visit him at school – which his father never did. As part of the tour, you get to visit the room where Winston was born and gaze upon a lock of his hair.

Visitor information for Blenheim Palace can be found here.

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