An ex­cit­ing new play area

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - What's On - - EVENTS -

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.

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