Summer 2020

Sadly we have to cancel the whole of our summer programme due to the seriousness of the current situation with COVID-19, social-distancing and self-isolation.

Members who have booked visits will be contacted directly.  If you have any queries, please contact:

Malcolm Thompson | 01935 814 360 |

Thursday 23 April
Spring Walk – Gillingham and Milton on StourCANCELLED

4½ miles mainly lane and footpaths.  Meet @ 10:00 The Dolphin Inn, Peacemarsh, Gillingham SP8 4HB on the B3092.

Tuesday 28 April
Spring Lunch – King’s Arms, Charlton HorethorneCANCELLED

Situated in the stunning location of Charlton Horethorne, The Kings Arms offers guests a mouth-watering dining menu and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Tuesday 12 May
Sandham Memorial Chapel | The Vyne, BasingstokeCANCELLED

Sandham Memorial Chapel at Burghclere houses a series of large-scale paintings by the acclaimed artist Sir Stanley Spencer. These were inspired by his experiences in the First World War as a medical orderly and soldier.
The Vyne. Explore a former Tudor powerhouse turned C17th family home, set in gardens, woodlands and wetlands. Take in historic gems including a pre-Reformation chapel, Tudor oak gallery with C16th wood carvings and neo-classical staircase hall.

Vyne Virtual Tour 12-May-20

Thursday 11 June
Mottisfont | Hillier GardensCANCELLED

Mottisfont Garden is home to the National Collection of old-fashioned roses, numbering over five hundred pre-1900 roses. The house, originally a Mediaeval Priory, is set amongst the river side gardens containing huge old yew trees, cedars and lawns. It is full of surprises from the beautiful vaults and columns of the C13th Cellarium to Rex Whistler’s extraordinary trompe l’oeil drawing room.
Hillier’s Arboretum was established in 1953. It is now home to 14 National Collections, including over 400 Champion Trees and 42,000 plants from temperate regions. It is considered to be one of most important modern plant collections in the world.

Thursday 9 July
Tredegar House | Raglan Castle, MonmouthshireCANCELLED

Tredegar House was the home of the powerful landowning Morgan family for 500 years. It is one of the most significant C17th houses in the British Isles and is set in 90 acres of gardens and parkland. The house contains carved oak panelling and much of the former family furniture and pictures.
Raglan Castle is set in a splendid open country location. It was built by Sir William Ap Thomas a very powerful Welshman, from the 1430s onwards when grand country houses were intended to impress as much as intimidate, hence the thick stone, battlements and serious defensive but elegant features.

Tuesday 11 August
Bicton Park Botanical Gardens | Donkey SanctuaryCANCELLED

Bicton Park is a beautiful historic garden, but offers so much more. The formal C18th Italian garden is the centre piece. Included is a ticket for a 25-minute ride on the Bicton Woodland Railway, the last remaining 18” gauge leisure line in Britain. This is an ideal way of viewing the lake, park and gardens. We can also enjoy one of Burnham Nurseries’ Orchid Days.
The Donkey Sanctuary was founded in 1969 by Elisabeth Svendsen, MBE. Since then, they have made a profound difference to the lives of donkeys and people all over the world. A world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued.

Wednesday 9 September
Royal Mint Experience | Castell CochCANCELLED

You will learn about the history of the Royal Mint and see coins being manufactured in secure conditions. This will be followed by time to explore the Mint exhibition at your own pace to see historic artefacts and a unique collection of rare coins.
Castell Coch is a C19th castle built for the 3rd Marquess of Bute on the ruins of an earlier castle. Designed by William Burges it has an elaborate interior in High Victorian Gothic style. There will be time to look around the castle and have afternoon tea before we leave for the drive home.

Wednesday 30 September

The RNLI College is the home of the RNLI volunteers.   Crew members from across the UK and Ireland train there to become the lifesavers we see all around our coast. After a hot buffet lunch we will have a guided tour of the College. We will find out how the crews and lifeguards are trained with a behind-the-scenes look including the world class Sea Survival Centre, which hosts the wave tank and Lifeboat simulator.
Before the RNLI visit there will be time to explore the historic quayside in the heart of the Old Town: tall ships, fishing vessels and luxury Sunseeker powerboats.