Top ten holiday destinations for politicians

Written by Matt Foster and Gareth Hill on 9 August 2011 in Culture
Matt Foster and Gareth Hill look at the places our leaders have chosen to get away from it all (or not)

Clement Attlee  was once described as “a quiet man with a lot to be quiet about.” This was certainly in keeping with his holidays as he chose to relax in the small Welsh seaside town of Nefyn with his family where he would mostly row boats and sit on the beach.

David Cameron in Ibiza
With austerity on everyone’s minds, the PM flew via Easyjet for his summer break this year with his family to the island of Ibiza. The prime minister had also flown via Ryanair for a holiday in April to Granada, Spain to celebrate Samantha Cameron’s 40th birthday.

Margaret Thatcher in Switzerland
Thatcher regularly holidayed with her friend Lady Glover in Switzerland. Whether she took proper time off, however, is up for debate. Records show her 1980 break in Lake Zug, near Zurich, included a meeting with economists to discuss monetary policy. The lady’s not for relaxing!

Nick Clegg in Olmedo, Spain
The Deputy PM unwinds annually in Olmedo (his wife’s house, above), Spain. It’s the birthplace of his wife Miriam, daughter of Olmedo’s ex-mayor. While its rustic charms aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, Olmedo does boast high speed rail access, which sadly can’t be said for Sheffield.

John Major in Norfolk
The former prime minister owns a secluded holiday home on the windswept coast of Norfolk, said to boast a beautiful sea view. A minor stir was caused in 2001 when Norfolk Police asked for £375,000 from the taxpayer to protect Major and his family.

Harold Wilson in the Scilly Isles
Wilson spent many a happy family holiday in the Scilly Isles, the sub-tropical islands just off Cornwall, where his shorts, sandals and pipe combo became well-known. In fact, such was the former PM’s connection with the islands that he was buried there in 1995.

Ed Miliband in California
Before becoming Labour leader, Ed Miliband took a 2008 holiday in the US with his future wife Justine. The pair drove along the west coast together and Ed even managed to avoid indulging his political side, keeping away from Barack Obama’s first Democratic convention as a Presidential candidate.

Winston Churchill in Lake Garda, Italy
Winston Churchill spent time with his family on the Gardone Riveria at Lake Garda, near Brescia in Northern Italy, where he would spend his time painting landscapes of the lake. The small resort town boasts botanical gardens and a long boardwalk where Churchill spent much of his time.

Tony Blair in Venerque, France
Tony Blair was often derided by the press for his luxurious holiday destinations, including Barbados and Florida, and his reluctance to publicly reveal where he was going. A less extravagant trip was to the small village of Le Vernet, near Toulouse in southwestern France in 2002 which he took with his family.

Gordon Brown in the Lake District  
Not one for extended breaks, Brown said in 2008: “The idea that people are taking 82 days’ holiday is wrong. I am having a few days’ holiday.” He did, however, go to the Lake District with family in 2009 and had a week-long ‘staycation’ at his Kirkcaldy home in 2008.

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