THE BIRKIN TOUR
19th to 22nd MAY 2023
This is a tour for Bentley Driver’s Club members to celebrate the life and times of Sir Tim Birkin. Sir Henry Ralph Stanley Birkin, 3rd Baronet, known as Tim, after the children’s comic book, Tiger Tim, was one of the “Bentley Boys” of the 1920s and a winner of the famous Le Mans race.
Birkin will forever be remembered as the man who created what are now some of the most iconic and sought after cars in the world – the Blower Bentley.
Birkin had come to the conclusion that the future lay in getting more power from racing Bentley’s by fitting a supercharger to the 4½ litre model. When Bentley Motors refused to create the supercharged car, Birkin sought to develop it himself. Although the cars were unreliable and ultimately didn’t secure any high profile results in period racing, the cars with their evocative supercharger sticking out the front of the radiator, became the boyhood dream of just about every car-mad child on the planet at the time.
Our tour through Blakeney and its surroundings, celebrates the life and times of this Bentley Boy, who had a strong affinity and love for Blakeney. He spent many times roaring between this north Norfolk town and Grosvenor Square in London in his Bentley’s. Such was his love for the place, that following his untimely death in 1933 that he was buried in the local churchyard.
DAY 1 - BLAKENEY MANOR HOTEL
19 MAY 2023
Arrive at Blakeney Manor Hotel and check in from mid-afternoon onwards. Once you have taken time to settle into your rooms and freshen up, we will meet for welcome drinks and dinner together in the hotel.
Please note – Blakeney Manor is currently undergoing a full refurbishment of all bedrooms and function spaces, which will be completed by the end of March 2023.
DAY 2 - NORFOLK COAST TOUR
Today we have a fun day with various activities planned.
Following breakfast at Blakeney Manor, we will depart the hotel and drive together to Sennowe Park. We have been invited to visit this 12000-acree estate, the home of travel industry founder Thomas Cook, which was built in the 1800s, by Cook’s descendants who now run the house and estate. This is a fairly unique opportunity as the house is not usually open to the public, only select private bookings and events. The relevance of visiting Sennowe Park is that Sir Tim Birkin rented the shoot on the estate for three years in the 1920s – what fun he and his friends, presumably many of the Bentley Boys, must have had there!
Leaving Sennowe Park after elevenses, we have created a 70-mile driving loop of the North Norfolk coat with optional stops at either or both the Muckleburgh Military Collection and the North Norfolk Railway.
You can lunch at your leisure at a restaurant close to the Muckleburgh Collection (we will make suggestions closer to the event) or even book refreshments on the train if taking the 11-mile return journey on the North Norfolk Railway.
By late afternoon we will arrive back at the hotel and freshen up for our Saturday evening adventure.
Just a ten-minute walk, or very short drive away is the Blakeney Garage, owned by arch Bentley enthusiast Mark Davenport, who will host us for an informal evening of food and drink surrounded by vintage Bentleys and a number of other equally exotic vintage and classic cars.
Established in 1919 the garage has a long history of restoring, rebuilding and re-engineering classics. Although there is no documented proof, it must have been at this garage that Sir Tim Birkin filled his Blower with fuel on a number of occasions before thrashing down to London.
This evening we will also be showing the autobiographical film of Tim Birkin’s racing life, ‘Full Throttle’ starring Rowan Atkinson.
Supper will be finger food featuring local seafood and fare in an informal and convivial environment.
DAY 3 - VISIT LOCAL ATTRACTIONS and EXCLUSIVE LUNCH
Sunday will be a free morning to choose from any of a number of activities including:
– An early morning boat trip to see the Seals at Blakeney Point
– Visit Tim Birkin’s Grave at the churchyard in Blakeney
– Or visit the stunning Holkham Hall and Gardens or Houghton Hall and Gardens.
Following your free morning, we will all meet for lunch at a rather special and unique location.
We have the honour of being invited to lunch at James Buxton’s farm, just five miles from our hotel. James and his brother are Sir Tim Birkin’s grandsons, and he will be our host for an afternoon of food and fun. We will be located in a comfortable barn, where an informal garden party-style lunch will be served.
This is likely to be a lengthy and indulgent affair and so the afternoon is free for you to stay on at the lunch and enjoy yourselves, or head back to the hotel to relax before our final evening together – a formal dinner (jacket and shirt) will be held in the hotel.
DAY 4 - HEAD HOME
22 MAY 2023
On Monday morning we will have breakfast, check out and head home with memories of a special weekend dedicated to the life of a special man.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
– Breakfast each day of the tour
– Three dinners
– Welcome Dinner on the first evening with paired wines
– Saturday evening – catered supper at Blakeney Garage
– Formal dinner with three courses and paired wines on Sunday
– Catered Lunch on Sunday at Sir Tim Birkin’s Grandsons farm
– Carefully selected driving routes and optional activities on Saturday and Sunday
– Comprehensive Roadbook
– 2 Experienced Tour managers to support the event throughout
per person based on two sharing accommodation
per person based on single occupancy accommodation
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BOOK AND RESERVE YOUR PLACE
Booking your place on this event couldn’t be easier. The first step would be to click the “Enquire Now” button and complete the form, which gives us some basic details about yourself and your party.
We will then get in touch with you to confirm availability on the tour, we will send you a booking form to complete together with our deposit payment options so you can reserve your place on the tour.
As soon as the deposit has been processed we will send you a booking confirmation detailing what is included in your tour together with any extras you may have requested, your travel documents and the balance payment information.
You can secure a place on any of our tours, road trips or driving adventures with a deposit of just £500 per person. This can be paid by Stripe Online Payment, BACS transfer or by card over the phone if you prefer. There’s no need to worry about paying anything more until the final balance is due (usually around 8 weeks before we travel) and you’re welcome to pay your final before that date if preferred. On some of the bigger tours we do sometimes require an interim payment to make it a little easier to spread the cost, however, please note that if the event you wish to join is within the next 8 weeks, we will require the full payment to be made at the time of your booking.
Prefer to have a chat over the phone? Give us a call on 01926 675 675
We have a minimum number of participants required for all of our events enabling them to be viable for us to run – this is usually 10 cars unless stated otherwise. In the event that we don’t reach the minimum numbers, the tour may be cancelled at which point your booking deposit will be refunded to you, or if preferred, allocated to another event of your choice.