An exciting new play area
A new natural play area is now open at Chartwell, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill. Winston and his wife Clementine had five children and now visitors can discover what it would have been like for the youngsters growing up and the adventures they would have had on the Westerham estate. The new play area has three dormouse dens based on the tree houses they built, and five single swings with the names of the Churchill children and their nicknames engraved on them. There is also a lovers’ swing featuring a quote from Winston to Clementine. Canadian soldiers set up base at Chartwell during the Second World War, and a camp has been created offering an insight into their life in the woodlands, along with a bomb crater, complete with a 500lb bomb carved from timber. At the bomb hole is a knotted rope for climbing on. The play area was officially opened last week by Churchill’s great, great grandchildren, six-yearold Johnnie Churchill and 10-year-old Alice Churchill. Giles Palmer, head gardener at Chartwell, said: “Introducing the natural play area gives an insight into how the children would have played on the estate and the adventures they would have had. It also brings to life what it was like during the Second World.” The estate is open daily from 11am to 5pm. Admission is £12 for adults, £6 for children, £30 for family. Call 01732 868381. Step back in time at Chartwell’s Wartime Weekend, featuring Second World War re-enactment performances and displays. It runs from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23. Normal admission charges apply.