We made the journey to Chartwell after leaving Leeds Castle without even entering. We were wandering the countryside looking at English Heritage Sites and landed at Chartwell as the car park in the far field was filling. I am not a crowds person -- that is why we left Leeds. At Chartwell, though, I did not feel quite the same as it was mostly families enjoying an English afternoon in the garden, having tea, and walking -- as opposed to the BUS loads at Leeds.
Yes, the place is packed, but as a Yank from the Hudson Valley who enjoys visiting FDR's home in Hyde Park, visiting his counterpart's home, Chartwell, is a must. You gain real insight into both men and their times, not to mention their families. While you can feel "pushed through" the house, I took my time, interacted with guides, and thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The guide in Churchill's study was with him on the Battleship that took him to visit FDR in the states. This guy was a great asset to the property and made the visit perfect for this AP history teacher from an American boarding school. Gardens impressive, lovely walks throughout the countryside from this location, and quiet villages and churches down country lanes abound beyond the confines of the property. A day well worth the travel. Be sure to visit the War Rooms in London to round things out.
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