I was very excited to see the home of Winston Churchill but walked away a little disappointed after we visited Chartwell. It was amazing to see the stunning views that Churchill so admired and walk through his home. Seeing his studio and lots of his paintings was also insightful into Churchill the painter.
The disappointment came in asking questions to the NT staff. One response to a general question about how much time Churchill spent at Chartwell during WWII was incorrect and another guide stepped in to correct the response. I also asked about some important items in the house and the various guides could not provide any history on them.
The draw for me of visiting Chartwell was to experience the house Churchill loved and gain some insights into his life through visiting Chartwell. I did see the house and grounds but the visit feel far short on learning anything or getting a sense of how life was at Chartwell. The National Trust staff we experienced at Chartwell was not anything like the other NT staff we encountered at 8 other properties we visited on this trip. We found all the others extremely knowledgeable, very friendly and full of interesting background on the people and time period related to the house they were staffing. Still Chartwell is worth a visit if you’re in the area.
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