2019 Day Outings

    "Get plastered!" Own Transport outing to Hayles and Howe, Tuesday 16 April

    (Hayles and Howe, Temple Gate Park, Mead Rise, Bristol BS3 4RP) - 

    Hayles and Howe's workshops are based in Bristol close to Temple Meads Station. Using a mixture of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology, they have established a national reputation for producing high quality ornamental plasterwork (ceiling roses, cornice, panels, scagliola etc.) for National Trust and other historic properties, theatre refurbishments, civic buildings and so on. See their website Hayles & Howe We are being offered the chance to have an extended visit which will include talks and demonstrations and refreshments. 


    Saltram House (NT), Tuesday 21 May 2019 - coach         

    Saltram, near Plymouth, was the home of the Parker family for three centuries. Built in 1743 on the foundations of a Tudor house, it made an attractive Georgian home. On the death of the last member of the family, Montague Parker, 5th Earl of Morley, the house was handed, intact, to the National Trust in 1947. Thus it is an excellent record of family life over 300 years. The wealth and tastes of the family are immediately apparent in the gracious entrance hall with its Rococo plasterwork and family portraits. The collection of paintings continues into the Red Room and Red Velvet Room: many were painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds or collected by him. These precede the magnificent Robert Adam saloon and dining room beyond, where extensive renovations have been undertaken. Upstairs, Saltram contains some of the earliest Chinese painted wallpaper brought into the country displayed in rooms with Chinese Chippendale furniture. More modern family rooms follow before one descends to the large Library before leaving the building.

    Outside there are extensive lawns and a long herbaceous border by the Chapel (which is now an elegant tearoom.) There is a café, plant sales and an NT shop.  See their website Saltram House


    Royal Three Counties Show, Malvern, Friday 14 June 2019 - coach                                     

    Calling all countryside lovers ! Following the success of our visit to the Hampshire and New Forest Show in 2017, we are heading this time to the Royal Three Counties Show which is celebrating its 60th anniversary on its permanent showground with the Malvern Hills as its stunning backdrop. There will be scores of tradestands selling everything from plants and gardening supplies, local crafts, clothing and kitchenware to combine harvesters and luxury horseboxes the size of double decker buses. Marquees will be selling local artisan foods and there is also a large permanent indoor restaurant which offers cooked lunches. The on-site Theatre runs a programme of talks throughout the day including cookery demonstrations and gardening panels. 

    In the Main Arena you will find a non-stop programme of entertainment such as sheepdog trials, showjumping, fast and furious scurry racing (pony and trap driving), Pony Club Mounted Games, the Shetland Pony Grand National and livestock showing as well as a major display (still to be announced). In short, there is something for everyone interested in the countryside. So if you have never been to a major county show before, why not give it a go? There are plentiful seats, tarmac footpaths and all other amenities on site, so green wellies and shooting sticks are not required! See their website Three Counties Show


    Packwood House (NT) and Baddesley Clinton (NT), Thursday 4 July 2019 - coach                 

    After a coach journey via the M5 and M42, including a coffee break in Warwickshire, we will visit these two nearby National Trust properties.

    Packwood House and Gardens are the culmination of a lifetime of dreams, salvaged objects and exotic pieces come together in a Jacobean-meets-Edwardian style. The house was originally built in the 16th century and its interior was extensively restored between the two World Wars by Graham Baron Ash. The house, although smaller than many NT properties, contains a fine collection of 16th century textiles and furniture. The beautiful gardens have renowned herbaceous borders and a famous collection of yew.

    Baddesley Clinton was the home of the Ferrers family for 500 years. Much of the house was built by Henry Ferrers, a lawyer, diarist and antiquarian in the late 1500s. The house was also a sanctuary for persecuted Catholic priests in the 1590s who were hidden in secret hiding places, many of which can still be seen today. The peaceful gardens include fishponds, a walled garden and a lakeside walk.

    Both properties have cafes serving light lunches and teas.  See their websites Packwood and Baddesley Clinton



    National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire, Monday 15 July - coach                            

    A visit has been arranged to the "best garden in Wales". Situated in Carmarthenshire, this beautiful garden has a great mix of indoor and outdoor attractions which include the world's largest single-span glasshouse with the biggest display of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere, a double walled garden with a tropical house full of exotic orchids and palms, lakes, bog garden, Japanese garden, sculpture garden and one of Europe's longest plant beds and much more.

    In 2018 they opened a British Birds of Prey centre, an optional extra at additional cost, which offers visitors a chance to see 20 native birds of prey including hawks, falcons, kites, buzzards and eagles. There are two flying displays every day plus a special "owl show". 

    There are plenty of places to eat and drink, plant sales and a shop. There is a land train and buggies to help you get around. See their website Botanic Garden


    Polesden Lacey(NT), Thursday Aug 1st – coach                                                       

    Polesden Lacey, in Surrey, reached its peak as a grand party house in the first decades of the 20th century. It was owned by Mrs. Ronald Greville who purchased it with money she inherited from her millionaire father, a Scottish brewer. She filled the house with much of upper class society at the time, including royalty: the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth spent their honeymoon there. The ground floor rooms contain extensive collections of paintings, especially Dutch, but also British and Italian. There is some very good furniture in the very pleasant rooms and collections of ceramics, silver, jewels and miniatures. One striking room, furnished to please the gentlemen, has a large billiard table at one end and a comfortable saloon at the other end.

    The grounds are extensive, but easily accessible from the house are lovely rose gardens and herbaceous borders. At the entrance there is a coffee shop and toilets, and from there you can find a main cafe in the stable courtyard where you may buy lunch. There is a very good National Trust shop. There is an easy walk (gravel path and moderate slope) or a buggy drive to the house. En route there will be a coffee stop at Reading. See their website Polsden Lacey


    Severn Valley Railway & Dudmaston Hall(NT), Wednesday 18 September 2019 - coach

    We travel by coach to Kidderminster where we board the fantastic heritage Severn Valley Railway to continue our journey to Bridgnorth. The 16 mile trip takes just over an hour and the railway follows the picturesque valley of the River Severn. At Bridgnorth we will be met by our coach to continue to Dudmaston Hall for an afternoon visit. 

    Dudmaston is a working estate of 3000 acres with the home of the Hamilton-Russell family at it's heart. Steeped in history but shaped by modern tastes it is delightful mix of unexpected contrasts with pieces by Moore & Matisse in the galleries and modern sculptures in the garden & estate.  

    See their websites  Severn Valley Railway  and Dudmaston Hall


    Tour Of Bristol Old Vic Theatre, Thursday Oct 31st – own transport  

    Full - waiting list only.

    The Old Vic built between 1764 and 1766 is the oldest continually operating theatre in the English speaking world.  At that time the proprietors were not able to obtain a Royal Licence, so productions were announced as "a concert with a specimen of rhetoric" in order to evade the restrictions imposed on theatres by the Licensing Act 1737. The Coopers’ Hall, built 1743 – 44, was incorporated as the Theatre’s foyer during 1970 – 72. Together they are designated a Grade 1 listed building by Historic England. Daniel Day-Lewis called it "the most beautiful theatre in England". We will be given an hour- long guided tour showcasing the front of house, theatre space and backstage and learn about  its heritage and contemporary usage.