If You Go Down To the Woods Today…Part 1

Welcome to the Chartwell estate!

Welcome to the Chartwell estate!

When Sir Winston Churchill bought Chartwell, it is said that he did it mostly for the amazing views you get from the house and gardens. The fact that it came with substantial land (92 acres in all), including a healthy woodland, made it all that much more attractive. Some of our many visitors come initially to visit Churchill’s house, a living museum in itself, while others come to experience our fantastic gardens (in my humble opinion some of the loveliest in the country!). We are also hoping that others still will from now on be visiting us to enjoy the wider Chartwell estate.

The view from the woods shows Chartwell in a whole new light

The view from the woods shows Chartwell in a whole new light

Steve, our Garden Estate Manager, along with our team of gardeners and volunteers have been busy working in our woods for over a year now to make it more accessible to our visitors, adults and children alike. Although many people have been enjoying the area and all it has to offer for many months now, the Chartwell estate was formally opened last week by members of the existing Churchill family. The camera crews were there to witness the event including the ITV News team who produced a great package that you can view by clicking right here.

Once in the woods, we'll point you in the right direction!

Once in the woods, we’ll point you in the right direction!

Six year old Johnnie Churchill and ten year old Alice Churchill walked in the footsteps of their great, great grandfather Sir Winston Churchill on the day, by testing out the new natural adventure play area. Over the coming weeks I will be showing the readers of this blog everything the Chartwell woodland has to offer including…

The Canadian Soldier Camp

The Canadian Soldier Camp

The Bomb Crater

The Bomb Crater

The Chestnut Coppice

The Chestnut Coppice

And the Doormouse Dens

And the Doormouse Dens

You can access the woods from either side of the two lakes or by heading up the path that runs through the middle of them. Once in the woods you can take one of the many paths on the upper or lower levels with our signposts keeping you on track along the way. There are plenty of places to rest and some great views to be had as well as the promise of glimpsing some local wildlife such as the deer that roam through the area or the glades of bluebells and foxgloves depending on the time of year.

There are several swings in the Parkland that leads to the woods, all named after one of the Churchill children and their favourite animal.

There are several swings in the Parkland that leads to the woods, all named after one of the Churchill children and their favourite animal.

After playing on the swings you might need a hard earned rest!

After playing on the swings you might need a hard earned rest!

Some of the photographs that you will be able to take whilst in the woods will be just as memorable as those you take in the gardens themselves. We are looking for entries from either area as part of our Calendar Photography Competition which is still running until the end of June. You can find out more information by clicking here. If you have any pictures from previous visits to us, from any time of the year, please don’t hesitate to submit them and you might get to see them printed in the Chartwell Garden Calendar 2014!

Jamie

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