Your holiday summary

Holiday type Escorted tours
Country United Kingdom
Travel type Make your own way
Price range From £359
Travel partner Travel Editions
Duration 3 nights
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0330 333 6761

The secret war

Early in the second world war, top secret operations were set up in England including the training of Special Forces to work with resistance fighters across Europe and Asia and undertake many covert operations to disrupt enemy lines. For many years much of the clandestine work remained top secret, but now you can share in the knowledge that has been revealed.

A highlight of your weekend is a special visit to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire which was Britain's main decryption establishment during the second world war. Ciphers and codes of several axis countries were decrypted including, most importantly, those generated by the German Enigma and Lorenz machines.

Your host is Clive Bassett, an Honorary Life member of the OSS Society and over many years has carried out research regarding principally the SOE and OSS.


  • Two nights' bed and breakfast at the four-star Northampton Marriott, or the Hilton Northampton (24 September departure), based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception and first night three course private dinner with wine
  • Second dinner in the hotel restaurant
  • One light lunch
  • All talks, tours and admissions
  • Coach transfers and tour manager throughout

Not included

  • Single room supplement
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities.
Day one

Private dinner with wine and talk by Dr Mark Baldwin "The Enigma and the Battle of the Atlantic", Mark will bring his own rare four-rotor Enigma machine for guests to examine or Dr Joel Greenberg, "Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park's Architect of Ultra Intelligence".

Day two

Private morning visit to the Intelligence Musuem which was an RAF Y station, intercepting the German Air Force strategic wireless network. Y Stations, many consisting of short wave enthusiasts were the ears of Bletchley Park. In the afternoon we visit Bletchley Park, talk and guided tour. Bletchley is the home of the famous Enigma code breakers, who Winston Churchill described as "his silent geese who laid the golden eggs and never cackled". Dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Day three

Visit RAF Tempsford, Churchill's most secret airfield. This was home to the 'Secret Special Duties Squadron' which flew SOE Agents and supplies for resistance forces during the second world war. Although Hitler knew of its existence and said, "find this viper's nest and obliterate it" the Germans were never able to find its location in order to bomb it and many of its secrets were only released from the Official Secrets List in 1998. Whilst at RAF Tempsford, we visit Gibraltar farm which was the Agents final dispatch point. Gibraltar farm barn was built deliberately to look like a normal farm barn to fool German air-reconnaissance and was where agents were supplied with their equipment and their poison pills, in case of capture. The barn contains several plaques and memorials to the agents, both men and women who were killed after being captured and tortured. Then it is on to Shuttleworth Old Warden Collection, which has a superb collection of vintage aircraft from the first and second world wars. Whilst here, you will be accompanied by guides who will take you to see the SOE configured Lysander and talk about its SOE usage. There will also be some time set aside for you to view some of the historic aircraft collection in the hanger. Your visit includes a soup and sandwich lunch and tea/coffee. Final visit before returning to your hotel is to Carpetbagger Aviation museum, Harrington of the USAAF's 801st/492nd Bomb Group, (the museum displays and exhibits the history of the airfield and vividly shows the work carried out by the 801st (Provisional)/492nd Bomb Group, especially during Operation Carpetbagger, and their secret missions to deliver agents and supplies to resistance groups in occupied Europe). Other exhibits and displays include the secret work of the British Special Operations Executive from their RAF based at Tempsford; the cold war roles of the airfield at Harrington with the Thor rockets; and the Royal Observer Corps. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.30.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour managers discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 48 passengers.

Please note for the visit to the Intelligence Museum you must bring your passport for ID in order to enter.
Northampton Marriott hotel

Located close to J15 of the M1, the modern, four-star Northampton Marriott hotel offers a bar, restaurant, indoor pool, gym and comfortable bedrooms with private bath/shower, TV and telephone. Complimentary car-parking is available for Travel Editions clients.

Hilton Northampton Hotel

Located close to J15 off the M1, the four-star Hilton Northampton is comfortable and modern with a public lounge area, fitness centre and indoor swimming pool. Bedrooms are cosy and have private bathroom facilities, TV, hairdryer, tea/coffee making facilities and telephone. Parking is complementary.
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2 results

We had a most enjoyable time. The trip was very well put together to ensure that we saw a great deal of things in a short time. It makes us even more indebted to the people who were involved when we know more of what they did. Very many thanks, we will be travelling with you again next year.
Oct 2011
Mrs E Broadbent

A very enjoyable and useful weekend. Mark Baldwin's lecture the highlight.
Sep 2011
Dr M Dodds
2 results