The Premier holiday life

Last week David Cameron jetted out to Tuscany for his family holiday. But where have other Prime Ministers spent their summer vacations? Samuel Muston takes a look back

William Gladstone

Where: North Wales; Biarritz; Cannes

The Grand Old Man certainly had an ascetic side – spending many a holiday chopping trees and swimming in Lakes in North Wales. It wasn't all hair shirts though; he also enjoyed gambolling around Biarritz and Cannes, largely at the expense of the industrialist Lord Armitstead.

David Lloyd George

Where: Wales

A Pathé news reel from 1922 shows the Welsh Wizard resting at his house in Wales. Entitled Premier's Simple Life Holiday: Mr Lloyd George Finds Brief Relief From His Great Political Worries by Planting Potatoes, it shows the moustachioed lawyer digging veg in a three-piece suit.

Stanley Baldwin

Where: Aix-les-Bains, France

Europe may have been marching towards war and the King considering abdication but, as Lord Halifax noted, Baldwin still found time to spend three months on holiday, mostly in Aix-les-Bains, during 1936.

Winston Churchill

Where: Lake Como, Italy; Monte Carlo

Churchill didn't find much time for holidays during the Second World War, but made up for it after the war when he was given a villa on Lake Como for three weeks (nominally a military command station) and managed to negotiate a £4-a-night rate at gambler's heaven, the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo.

Clement Attlee

Where: Nevin, North Wales

When not nationalising British industry or setting up the National Health Service, Attlee and his wife, Violet, were rather partial to taking a break at the seaside in Nevin in North Wales.

Edward Heath

Where: his yacht

The old seadog Heath spurned the comforts of expensive villas and five-star hotels and instead sought refuge aboard his sailing yacht, Morning Cloud. In a first for a sitting prime minister, he and his crew competed in a yacht race, the Admiral's Cup, and won.

Harold Macmillan

Where: Chatsworth, Derbyshire

Macmillan's concern for "Events, dear boy" didn't extend through August and September when he often could be found, shotgun in hand and tweed on his back, banging away at grouse on his wife's family estate at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

Margaret Thatcher

Where: Cornwall

All leave was cancelled when Mrs T crossed the threshold of No 10 and everyone was encouraged to get on their bikes and find work rather than laze on the beach. But she did valiantly attempt to take a break in 1986 and was pictured running along the beach in Cornwall in high heels, a spaniel trailing behind her.

Tony Blair

Where: Egypt; Florida; Italy

Perhaps remembering his friend Roy Jenkins' injunction that we "don't want to be governed by pygmies in boarding houses in Bognor", Blair wangled freebies at Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak's summer house, Robin Gibbs' Florida mansion and several boltholes belonging to of Silvio Berlusconi.

Gordon Brown

Where: Southwold, Suffolk

Never has a man looked as uncomfortable on holiday as Brown did on his austerity break in Southwold in 2008. Eschewing the Boden catalogue clothes of Cameron and Blair's groovy-dad look, he put on a vanilla-coloured jacket, black slacks and trooped up and down the roads of Suffolk.

Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk