ChartwellChartwell - Winston Churchill's Sanctuary

Chartwell Tour - £200.00 (up to 5 people)

Tour Itinerary

10.15

Sevenoaks Station

Your guide will collect you from Sevenoaks station and take you to Chartwell.
11.00

Chartwell

Visit the house*, studio** and garden***.
13.30

Lunch

Picnic lunch provided by Potted History Tours (booked 48 hours in advance) or lunch at National Trust cafeteria at customers’ expense.
14.15

Optional extra

Continue visit of house and grounds, or for those who wish to, there's an opportunity to visit the charming village of Westerham, its church and memorial to Churchill. Otherwise visit the many interesting and varied local shops in the Westerham/ Tunbridge Wells area.
*Entry to the house is by timed ticket only and places are limited. We can pre-book these for you, or they are available from the visitor welcome centre on the day. Last entry is 45 minutes before closing. The house is open from 11:00 – 17:00 (or dusk if earlier) from late February until the end of October.

**The studio where Churchill’s paintings are on show opens daily, times vary, closed in January, tours only in February at 12:30 and 14:00.

***The garden is open all year from 10:00 until dusk.

Regular exhibitions are curated at Chartwell. At times of the year when the house is closed, you can still access the exhibition at the back of the house.

Did you know...

Winston Churchill was awarded The Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for “his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values”.

Chartwell - Churchill's Sanctuary

Chartwell was home to the Churchill family from 1922 until the death of Sir Winston in 1965. It has been carefully preserved by the National Trust and is presented as it would have been when Winston, his wife Clementine and their four children lived there in the 1930s. Visit Lady Churchill’s rose garden, her pride and joy. See the studio where Britain’s most famous Prime Minister unwound from the pressures of office by painting for hours. He once wrote: ‘When I get to heaven, I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting and so get to the bottom of the subject’ If you’re lucky, you might meet Jock the cat, now in his sixth incarnation, since the Churchill family requested that there always be a marmalade cat with a white bib and socks in residence at Chartwell. Possibly the six luckiest cats in the world? According the National Trust, Jock VI likes afternoon naps, tuna, Persian rugs and cuddles. He's not at all fond of heights, lightning or opera though.

There is a lot to see in the gardens, including a spring-fed swimming pool, which would have been heated when the Churchills lived in the house. There is a fishpond where Winston liked to sit and ponder, a painted pavilion and old gravestones marking the family pet cemetery. The kitchen garden features a wall built by Winston Churchill himself. He enjoyed bricklaying and found it to be a useful way of coping with his depression – his ‘black dog’, as he called it. The Marycot is a little brick playhouse also built by Churchill for his two daughters, Mary and Sarah. Everything is scaled down, and children will love playing in the same place where Mary enjoyed making drop scones for the family and visitors (including Albert Einstein and Charlie Chaplin). The Butterfly House is testament to how fond Churchill was of the little creatures and wanted to ensure a healthy population in his garden by breeding several varieties.

ChartwellDuring the Second World War, Winston Churchill spent most of his time in London and the house and garden became neglected. Subsequent restoration work brought the gardens back to life, however. German prisoners of war undertook some of the work and helped repair the walls in the rose garden. You can still see a stone signed by one of the prisoners.

There is a large crater in the woodland area of the grounds, the result of a Luftwaffe bomb, dropped there during WWII. It isn’t known if the bomb was intended for Chartwell or for the nearby Biggin Hill airfield. Chartwell is easily identifiable from the air because of its unique network of lakes and dams. Canadian soldiers who were stationed there during WWII had the task of camouflaging the lakes and swimming pool so they could no longer be seen from above. The recreated Canadian Camp today has hammocks and a campfire and is another favourite with children.

Tickets Pricing & Booking

Chartwell Tour - £200.00 (up to 5 adults)
10.30am - 14.30pm or 14.00pm - 17.30pm
20% deposit payable at time of booking.

Opening Times

Chartwell House & Garden:
Open from 25th February - 29th October
House opens 11.30am - 17.00pm
Garden opens 10.00am - 17.00pm
Studio opens 12.00pm - 16.00pm

They say...

Winston Churchill
"I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."
Winston Churchill