Bournemouth and Beyond Discovery Group


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WEDNESDAY  OCTOBER  20th    9.00
Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Leader:  John
Westonbirt Arboretum is a 600-acre site of 15,000 trees, in glorious colours in the autumn, particularly the varieties of acers. It was planted by Victorian plant-hunters, at a time when trees and shrubs from all over the world were introduced into Britain. It is a remarkable place to enjoy and learn about trees. It was laid out aesthetically rather than in a botanical order, meaning it is truly one of the most beautiful tree gardens to be found anywhere in the world.  There are trail leaflets, which will guide you around some of the most amazing trees in their tree collecton. There is also a 300-metre long Treetop Walkway rising to a height of 13 metres, offering spectacular views across the arboretum landscape.
On the way, we will be having a refreshment break at Chievely. Whilst there we are hopeful that full restaurant facilities will be open.

Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham
Leader: John
The Park is the Rare Breeds Farm, owned by Adam Henson, who regularly appears on the BBC Countryfile programme.
We will pause for a coffee stop at Chievely. At the Park, we can explore the Rare Breeds Trail, where the various animals are in their paddocks, ranging from goats wanting to be fed to the handsome Suffolk Punch horses; and visit the Animal Barn where the smaller animals and newborns can be seen. There is a Viewing Tower, from which the whole area can be surveyed, and eat at the Ox Barn, and explore the Wildlife Walk. Visit the website to get a fuller picture.
Price:  £35 – £42

All trips start at 9.00 from Beechey Road (Lowther Road end), with a secondary pick-up at 9.15 at Ringwood (Meeting House Lane)


2020 Past Coach Trips

Some 2020 Outings were postponed due to restrictions.

This year we are organising five coach trips, and have hired full-size 53-seat coaches which we hope will be more comfortable than the 34-seaters which some found somewhat uncomfortable last year; even if we do not fill the extra seats, the additional cost works out at only about £3 per person. Each trip will only go ahead if a minimum of 25 people book. The cost per person will depend on how many people go, so the price cannot be finalised until the day. However, as an indicator we have worked out a price based on 35 travelling; the price range shown for each trip is thus that based on 35 travelling, and that if only 25 travelled; if more than 35 travelled, the price would be even cheaper! For trips to National Trust properties the price assumes all are entitled to free admission, and so the price is just the coach fare and the driver’s gratuity; (the details for each trip show the admission price for non-members, payable on the day). For non-National Trust properties, the price includes admission fees. 

All are very welcome to join us on our trips, but for those who are neither members of Bournemouth & Beyond Discovery Group nor Bournemouth Civic Society, there is a surcharge of £4. A £10 deposit is payable by March 24th (or when booking, if later) (cheques payable to Bournemouth & Beyond Discovery Group, to be sent the Treasurer refundable if the trip does not go ahead or in exceptional circumstances, eg. illness. The balance will be collected by cheque on the coach on the day.

All trips start at 9.00 from Beechey Road (Lowther Road end), with a secondary pick-up at 9.15 at Ringwood (Meeting House Lane) (or, in the case of the Sheppy’s House of Cider trip, at Upton Country Park.)


Royal Pavilion, Brighton Leader: Dave

We will have a refreshment break at Chichester, and arrive in Brighton around lunch-time, in time for lunch, or a picnic or a walk around the Lanes.

An audio tour of the Pavilion has been arranged, so you can explore at your own pace. In the 1780s George, Prince of Wales, settled in Brighton to benefit from the clean air and the sea. With architect Henry Holland he transformed his rented property into a modest villa. In 1811 George was sworn in as Prince Regent and, as an avid collector, in 1815 he commissioned John Nash to transform the villa into the oriental palace we see today. A spectacular loan from the Queen is now on display. Over 200 decorative works of art that were originally commissioned by George, the Prince Regent, have returned to their original setting of the Royal Pavilion.

There is a restaurant for afternoon tea refreshments.

Price:  £33 – £40.



Sheppy’s House of Cider, Wellington, Som.

Leader: Val

We will have a refreshment break at Brinsmore Garden Centre, Yeovil.

On arrival we will have lunch (not included in the price), and then an hour-and-a-half tour, consisting of a visit to the orchards (in flower at this time), the press house, Vat house, and the Rural Life Museum, where there is a DVD of the cider-making year. We finish with a tasting of some of the ciders available. After the tour there will be time for a visit to the extensive farm shop, and refreshments before we leave at 4.30 to arrive back home by 6.30.

Price:  £31 – £38 



West  Wycombe Park (Leader:  John

This National Trust property, which is about 25 miles north-east of Reading, has been the home of the Dashwood family since the 1700s, and the house is only open to the public from June to August in the afternoons.

After a refreshment break at Sutton Scotney Services, we hope to arrive soon after noon. We will first drive to the top of the hill, from which there are views over the Chiltern Hills and the Park. A large ring-shaped mausoleum is also on the hill, and we hope to view the beautiful St Lawrence Church. We will then drive down the hill, when those who wish may visit the Hellfire Caves, the result of C18th quarrying of chalk for road-building, and used by Dashwood and friends for lavish entertaining, etc. Restored in the 1950s, they are safe and well-lit, and the tunnels extend for ¼mile with extensive side chambers, tableaux, etc; admission is £7. The only refreshment facilities are in the village, either at the Caves, the Apple Orchard, a coffee shop with a shaded garden which serves light meals, or the George & Dragon pub. It is only a ½mile walk to the House, but the coach will take non-walkers to the House for a timed visit. The extensive grounds include a lake, temples, statues, cascades, etc. The coach will return to the village about 4.30, in time for tea and cake at the Apple Orchard. The C18th village is worth exploring, although it does lie astride the A40 Oxford road (but most main road traffic now uses the M40). We will leave West Wycombe by 6.00, and hope to be home soon after 8.00. 

Price:  £19.50 – £27  (non-National Trust members  £8)



Fishbourne Roman Palace and Parham House, near Pulborough

(Leader:  Ros

We go directly to Fishbourne Roman Palace near Chichester, where, after coffee, we can gather for an introductory talk at 11.00. We can then explore the remains of the largest Roman domestic building in Europe, and there is a collection of Roman Mosaics and a formal garden. 

Leaving at 12.15, there is a short drive to Parham House, where we will be free to explore the gardens or enjoy lunch in the cafe; there is also a picnic area near the house. The house opens at 2.00, and we can wander at our own pace; there are stewards in each room to talk about  the history of the family and the many paintings and artefacts. There is also an artist-in-residence who will talk about her work.

Price:  £37 – £44



Buscot Park Leader:  Ann

This National Trust property is about 15 miles north of Swindon.

After a refreshment break at Marlborough, we will continue to Lechlade, where a lunch has been arranged (for those who wish to partake) at a Thameside pub. Just before Lechlade, we will make a short diversion to visit a gem of an ancient church at Inglesham, rescued from demolition by the Arts and Crafts man William Morris, who lived nearby at Kelmscote.

We hope to arrive at Buscot Park about its 2.00 opening time.

Buscot Park is the home of the Henderson family, and the present Lord Faringdon, who looks after the Farringdon Collection of pictures, furniture, ceramics and objets d’art. The grounds are very extensive and include water features by the renowned gardener Harold Peto, a lake, pleasure grounds and a monkey-puzzle avenue. There is also a teashop. The property closes at 6.00, and we hope to be home soon after 8.00.

Price:  £18.50 – £26   (non-National Trust members over-65 £10)


2019 Past Trips

Tuesday May 21st – Weald & Downland Living Museum, near Chichester

Leader: Val ( We will have a coffee stop en route at Stansted Park. The Museum has over 50 rescued rural homes and buildings, from a replica Anglo-Saxon hall house to an Edwardian tin church, on a 40-acre site set in a beautiful landscape in the South Downs National Park. The collection tells the stories of the people who lived and worked in rural South-East England over 1000 years. The exhibition on the day of our visit will be about the Museum Herbarium, to find out more about the plants in the six historic gardens. There is a regular programme of demonstrations, including milling in the 17th century working watermill; cooking in the Tudor kitchen; plus seasonal demonstrations. Visit the Waterside cafe, or bring your own picnic. Cost: £24 – £29.30 (BBDG members) Non-members £4 extra


Tuesday June 4th – Hestercombe Gardens and Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle

Leader: Ros ( We will stop for a comfort break at Dorchester. We hope to arrive at Hestercombe Gardens at 11.15; we will be met by a guide who will give us a short introduction and maps of the gardens. For those who have ordered it, the buffet lunch (costing £12.95) will be served at 12.30. There will then be more time to explore the gardens or the art gallery. We will leave at 3.00 and take a short drive to Taunton Castle, where there will be a tour of the museum galleries which will take about one hour. There will then be time for tea and cake before we leave at 5.00. Cost: £27 – £31 (BBDG Members) Non-members £4 extra


Friday July 5th – Killerton, Broadclyst (National Trust) and Cadhay Manor, Ottery St Mary

Leader: Dave ( After a comfort stop in Dorchester, we plan to arrive at Killerton at 11.15. The Killerton estate was given to the National Trust in 1944 by Sir Richard Acland MP, a socialist and founder member of both the Commonwealth Party and CND. We will have a guided tour of the Georgian house at 11.45. After the tour there will be time to explore the glorious gardens, the costume collection, ‘Tree of Life’ exhibition marking the centenary of the founding of the Forestry Commission, and time for a spot of lunch. After a 20-minute coach journey, we will arrive at Cadhay, ready for a guided tour of the 15th century manor house at 2.45. The house with Long Gallery, the Roof Chamber, the Court of Sovereigns has been described as ‘one of the treasures of Devon’. Members can also explore the walled garden and allotments, before meeting in the tea-room for a cream tea (or alternative) (included in the price). When the house and gardens close at 5.00, we will board the coach for the journey home. Cost: £28.50 – £33.50 (BBDG Members) Non-members £4 extra Non-National Trust members not accompanied by a Life Member £11.50 extra


Tuesday August 6th – Westminster

Leader – John (01202 521754) After a ½hour break at Winchester Services to purchase refreshments, we hope to arrive at Westminster by 12.30. We leave at 5.00, so you will have 4½ hours available to follow your own pursuits. The cost of the coach is £19 – £26 (BBDG members) Non-members £4 extra However, we have reserved tickets at 2.40 for an audio tour of the Houses of Parliament, (which will be in recess at that time) for which 1½ hours should be allowed, at a cost of £15.50. Tickets will be reserved until July 23rd, after which reserved tickets will have to be paid for even if for any reason you do not come on the trip. There will also be time to visit the Churchill War Rooms (again allow 1½ hours), a stone’s throw from Parliament Square. Tickets cannot be reserved, but can be bought in advance on a non-refundable basis; in the circumstances, it would be easier if you bought your own tickets online (www.churchillwarrooms) £17.60 (over 60s), £22 (under 60s) if you wanted to make a visit.

In addition to these coach trips, a full range of local trips by your own (or shared, or public) transport has been organised. Please see separate leaflet, or our website.


2018 Past Trips


Tuesday May 1st – Stratfield Saye House, near Basingstoke

Stratfield Saye became the country estate of the 1st Duke of Wellington (Arthur Wellesley) in 1817, and is still owned and occupied by his descendants. The house provides a fascinating insight into how the 1st Duke lived, but also remains a family home rather than a museum. We plan to arrive at Stratfield House at 10.30; there will be timed tours of the house conducted by a guide, which will last at least an hour. The gardens will be open after the tour so we can see the rose garden and the burial place of the Duke’s horse Copenhagen. There is a museum in the stables, including the Duke’s funeral carriage. There is a small gift shop and tea room which serves light lunches and cakes. We will need to order lunches and drinks in advance at a cost of £10. Picnics are allowed in the car park, but not in the grounds.

We will leave the house at 3.30 and travel to the Wellington Farm Shop, where we can browse and have tea and cake.
Cost: £27.50 – £31.00 £3 discount for BBDG member. Leader: Ros (


Tuesday May 22nd – Richmond-upon-Thames

After a coffee stop en route, we will arrive in Richmond around noon,
At 2.00 there is a tour of the Royal British Legion Poppy factory (in central Richmond) which will last about two hours. You will see a presentation and film about the factory and its history, wreaths and poppies through the ages, including those made for the Royal Family. In addition you will see the machines that cut out the poppies and the staff that piece them together. The tour is free, but donations to the British Legion would be much appreciated.

If you do not want to tour the Poppy factory, you are free to make your own arrangements, e.g. visiting nearby Kew Gardens, or travel further into London.

The coach will leave for home at 5.00.
Cost: £19 – £27 £3 discount for BBDG members. Leader: Dave (


Wednesday June 6th – City of Wells

We will stop for coffee en route, and plan to arrive at Wells Cathedral for a guided tour at 12.30. Started in 1175, it was the first English cathedral built in the Gothic style, and roundly 300 medieval statues still enhance the magnificent West Front.

After lunch in the Cathedral restaurant, we will then have a guided tour of the Bishop’s Palace and Gardens (taking about 1¼ hours) which includes the original wells that gave the city its name and 800 years of history will be described, from medieval banquets to the Long Gallery of portraits, and seeing the beautiful Cope worn by the Bishop taking part in the Queen’s Coronation

There will then be some time to explore the city (Wednesday is Market Day), and the coach will leave Wells by 5.30.
Cost: £30.50 – £35.50 £3 discount for BBDG members. If you do not wish to go on either of the guided tours, the cost will be reduced by £6 per tour. Leader: Ann (


Thursday July 5th – Southwick House & West Dean Gardens

We shall drive first to Southwick House, near Portsmouth, to see the historic Map Room, famous for the D-day planning mission. After tea/coffee, we will have an hour’s talk by the curator. (As this is in an MOD establishment, please bring passport or photographic ID on the day). There will be time for lunch and a walk around the pretty village of Southwick, where there are two pubs and a tearoom.

At 1.45 we leave for West Dean Gardens, near Chichester to view the gardens and have tea. The coach will leave at 5.00, arriving home by about 6.30.

Cost (inc morning tea/coffee) £28.50 – £33.00 £3 discount for BBDG members. Leader: Val (



Tuesday April 24th – Holme Gardens, near Wareham – Beautiful and extensive gardens, with a mass of tulips in April. Relax by the pond, visit the farm shop and garden centre.

Cost £8.75, includes garden entrance and cream tea. Meet at the main entrance 2pm. Leader: Dave.


April 28th to May 28th –  Charborough Park – Open weekends and Bank Holidays. Walk around the estate, through the woods to the folly tower.

Entrance fee. Refreshments available. Dates to be determined to suit. Leader: John.

Tuesday May 8th – Restored Purbeck mini-quarry – Small scale quarry near Acton. Lunch at the Kings Arms at Langton Matravers and visit the Purbeck Stone Museum, close by.

Walk 10.30am or meet at quarry at 11.30am. Map and details will be provided. Leader: John.

Saturday May 12th – Hinton Admiral Open Gardens – 20 acres of gardens, renowned for azaleas and rhododendrons.

Refreshments available. Meet at the plant stall at 2pm. Provisional entry cost £7. Leader: Val.

Tuesday May 29th – Blandford Brewery – Brewing since 1777. Tour of brewery lasts 2 hours with complementary drink (including soft drink) at a cost of £12.

Choice of Menu available for lunch (choice needed in advance). Meet at 10.30am. Leader: Val.

Tuesday June 12th – Heavy Horse Centre, Verwood – Demonstration about the care, harness and history of Heavy Horses. Demonstration of Romany culture, experience the story of War Horse with WW1 exhibition.

Admission cost £9.45. Meet at 11am. Leader: Ros.

Sat/Sun June 16th/17th – Cerne Abbas Open Gardens – 25 village gardens open from 2pm to 6pm both days.

Teas and refreshments available. Tickets on the day include parking and garden entrance. Cost £7. Leader: John.

Tuesday June 26th – Breamore House, near Fordingbridge – This Elizabethan Manor House has been the family home of the Hulse Family for nine generations. There is also a Countryside Museum, which boasts one of the finest collections of steam-powered farm machinery and recreates the village, when it was self-sufficient.

The visit starts with the house tour at 2.30pm. Cost of entry to house and museum is £8. There is also a tea room. Leader: Ann.

Tuesday July 10th – Lymington Trail -“The Story of Lymington”- Many blue plaques throughout the town to the Quay. 90 minute tour, passing the High Street, St Thomas Church, followed by a buffet tea at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

Inclusive cost of £9. Meet at 1pm. Leader: Val.

Tuesday July 17th –  Serles House, Wimborne – A Victorian town house ( very close to the Hospital), packed full of historic artefacts & treasure-trove garden.

Cost includes tea / cake for £5. Meet at 2.45pm. Leader: John.

Monday September 3rd – Boat trip on SS Shieldhall – One way trip from Poole Quay to Southampton Ocean Village (10am to 4pm). The steamship built in 1955 was designed to carry sludge, with some accommodation for passengers.

For tickets ring 0844 357 2329. Leader: John.

Tuesday September 11th –  Byngley House, Poole Old Town – A 16th century house at 6 Market Street, near Poole Guildhall. Grade 2 listed, private residence. Rumoured that Olliver Cromwell spent time here.

Meet at 2.30pm. Leader: John.


 2016 Past Trips


COACH TRIPS: April – July  2017

Tuesday 25th April – Milestones Living Heritage Museum and Jane Austin’s House Museum Chawton

We will arrive at Milestones at about 10.30 there is a free audio guide tour, the exhibits include historic streets, the Thorneycroft Collection of vehicles and room sets from different decades. There is a café which serves hot food and light lunches and a picnic area . We will leave at 1.30pm for our journey to Jane Austen’s House Museum, where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life from 1809 until 1817 she lived with her mother, her sister Cassandra and their friend Martha Lloyd. Jane turned again to writing and it was in this house that she produced all her novels, revising all previous drafts, including Pride and Prejudice, and writing her three later novels, including Emma, in their entirety. On display will be a selection of Jane’s personal items of jewellery and clothing. We will be shown a short introductory film and then there is an opportunity to look around the house and garden, The visit will take about 1 ½ hours and then we can visit a local café for tea and cake leaving at about 4pm.

The Museum has staircases that would be difficult for disabled visitors to negotiate.

Cost::   25   members   £33         30 members   £30     34 members £29

This includes admission to Milestones £9.50 and to Jane Austen House £7.30

Cost to non members £3 extra

Leader Ros


Thursday 18th May – Waddesdon Manor (National Trust)

We shall stop at Chieveley Services for coffee and hope to arrive at Waddesdon by 12pm. Lunch is available at the restaurant or light lunches at the Stables. We are booked to view the house at 2pm. Allow approximately 1 ½ hours to go round, then there will be time to view the gardens before we leave at approximately 4.50pm. Short stop on the way home.

Cost £25 for 25 members, £21 for 30,   £18 for 34

Entrance is free for N.T. members (an extra £14 for non members)

Leader Val


Tuesday June 13th 2017 – Willows & Wetlands Visitor Centre Stoke St Gregory, Somerset


We will stop for coffee at the Prince of Wales pub, at the Ham Hill Country Park, beyond Yeovil. There will be a short time to explore the views there.

We will arrive at the Visitor Centre at lunch-time, where a choice of ploughman’s lunches is available at £8; soup and a roll, cakes, etc are also available in the Coffee Shop. After lunch we will see a short film giving a general overview of the cultivation, harvesting and processing of the willow and its uses, including baskets and the world-famous Coates Artists Charcoal. We will then have a guided tour to find out how willow is processed and to watch skilled weavers making baskets. There are a number of walks, up to 3.25 km, which can be explored; as also can the Basket Museum, showing basketwork dating from 1850, and the shop where a full range of willow products can be purchased. We will then set off for home around 5 pm.

Cost : £22.50 for 25 £17.50 for 34; There is a £3 discount for BBDG members.

Leader Ann


Tuesday July 4th 2017 – Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park & London Mandir (Hindu Temple), Neasden, NW London


Secondary pick-up Meeting House Lane, Ringwood 9.20

The 35 acres of the Savill Garden, part of Windsor Great Park, are described as Britain’s finest ornamental gardens. Created in the 1930s, there are a series of inter-connected gardens, including a Rose Garden opened by the Queen in 2010. We will be able to explore the gardens, and then have time for an early lunch before leaving about 1.15.

The Mandir (Hindu temple) is a masterpiece of exquisite Indian design and workmanship in marble and wood, containing no iron or steel in its construction. Opened in 1995, it has been voted one of the seven most iconic buildings in London. We will be having a conducted tour of the site, and there is then a place for refreshments nearby. There is a strict dress-code for entering the Mandir: “tops must cover the shoulders, chest, and upper arms. Leg-wear must be at least below knee-length.”

No charge is made for the tour, but donations would be welcomed.

Cost     £36.50 for 25,   £24 if the 50-seat coach is full.

There is a £3 discount for BBDG members


Leader John J





Thursday 20th April 1.30pm – SALISBURY MUSEUM VIP visit, Cost £13.25

The visit includes an introductory talk and a guided visit to the Wessex Gallery – a new archaeology gallery which takes one on a journey back in time from the medieval period to the earliest evidence of human occupation in the Salisbury area. There will then be a behind the scene tour of the storerooms, including an opportunity to handle objects (there are some stairs with handrails to the storerooms). The visit concludes with tea and cake.
The tour is limited to a maximum of 15 but we can arrange a second tour if necessary.

Leader: Dave



An exciting opportunity to visit this brand new museum (as seen on Countryfile). The museum has a collection of 2000 specimens of fossils from the Jurassic Coast discovered by Steve Etches over 35 years. There are also video presentations and a workshop where we can see the process of exposing and cleaning items for display. Many of the species are new to science and are of great paleontological importance. Steve, who has been awarded an MBE for services to palaeontology, will be giving us a guided tour. Afterwards we shall have a buffet lunch.

Leader: Val



Minterne House is in the village of Minterne Magna, 2 miles north of Cerne Abbas on the A352 Dorchester to Sherborne road. It is the home of Lord Digby, and has been in the Digby and Churchill families for over 350 years.
We will have a guided tour of the large house. There are many art works accumulated by the family, dating from the 18th century Marlborough Wars through to the 1942 Arctic convoys; there are also some Arabian watercolours painted by a daughter of the family. The extensive gardens are very attractively laid out and contain many interesting plants, however the paths are not all level.

We will then be provided with afternoon tea.

Also, the late-medieval village church has some very fine ornate family monuments.

Leader: Ann


Thursday 1st June 2.30pm – STOCK GAYLARD HOUSE Cost £10 Tour inc. Tea and Cake

Stock Gaylard is an 1800-acre estate in North Dorset, about four miles north of Sturminster Newton on the A3030 to Sherborne. The small Georgian house stands in its own Deer Park, which has existed since the 13th century. The house has an interesting history and is open to the public for three weeks during the year, but we have arranged a special opening for BBDG. Privately owned, the estate is famed for its working in wood (an Oak Fair is held there each August Bank Holiday), and there is some fine furniture in the interesting house. Attractive gardens surround the house and there is a small church in the grounds too.

Leader: John J


Tuesday 6th June 2017 2pm – SOLENT SKY AVIATION MUSEUM. Cost £5 Tour

Albert Road South, Southampton SO14 3FR

Solent Sky depicts the history of aviation in Southampton, the Solent area and Hampshire. There is special focus on the Supermarine aircraft company based in Southampton, and its most famous products; the Supermarine S.6 seaplane and the Supermarine Spitfire designed by R. J. Mitchell. There is also coverage of the Schneider Trophy seaplane races, twice held at Calshot Spit, and the flying services which operated from the Solent.
We will have a guided tour which will last about 2 hours.

There is a small car park with room for 3 cars which we will have permission to use so it would be helpful if you are able to share cars.
If you intend to travel by train the No. 3 bus from the Station in the direction of Thornhill passes very near the museum, alight at Ocean Village bus stop. If you would like lunch prior to the visit there is The Admiral Lucius Curtis pub (Wetherspoons) nearby on the main road. There is only a small café in the museum with a drinks machine.
Leader: Ros


Wednesday 21st June 2pm – ST GILES HOUSE Wimborne St Giles BH21 5NA. Tour, Tea and biscuits £36

St Giles House became uninhabitable in the early 1960s. The then Earl of Shaftesbury demolished part of the house, and had a plan to renovate the rest. The renovation was never completed, and he eventually decamped to the French Riviera, where he lived in dubious company. Following the Earl’s murder (planned by his wife!) about ten years ago, and then the sudden death of his heir, the ‘spare’, otherwise known as Nick Ashley-Cooper suddenly found himself the Earl of Shaftesbury. Abandoning his career as a DJ in a New York nightclub, he decided to invest millions in renovating the house for his young family to live in. He also requires a minimum party of 20.

Leader John


Tuesday 27th June 2.30pm – KINGSTON LACY, Wimborne Minster BH21 4EA. Tour of house and gardens £12 (if not NT member), NT members bring card.
Follow the B3082 to the main entrance, there is a large car park.

Kingston Lacy was home to the Bankes family for over 300 years, it is a beautiful Italian Palace in the heart of rural Dorset. It has an internationally acclaimed art collection including works by Rubens, Vetazuez and Titian plus exquisite carvings and lavish interiors. Outside there is a variety of walks in parkland, woodlands and there is a Japanese garden and a kitchen garden.
John Hallet who presented a talk to us a few weeks ago will give us a tour of the house and garden.
After the tour you will be free to go to the Stables Restaurant for tea and cake.
There is a NT shop on site.
We hope to leave at 5pm approx.

Leader: Ann

Monday July 10th 2017 2.30pm – Visit to The Boat House, 75 Lake Drive, Hamworthy BH15 4LR

When the Mauretania (the largest liner afloat when she was launched in 1907) was withdrawn from service in 1935, the Cunard Line auctioned off her beautiful Edwardian interior fittings, designed by Harold Peto. In 1936 the Boat House was built, incorporating the liner’s Second Class drawing room and some Officers’ cabins; the house is still in its original condition. (During the war, the house was requisitioned and is from where the commanders of landing craft received their orders for the D-Day invasion.)

The present owner, Mrs Carola Zogolovitch, has kindly agreed to let the Group see the house. She is not making a charge, but I feel it would be appropriate if we each made a donation (suggested minimum £5) to a charity of her choosing.

Leader: John,


2016 Past Trips









Tuesday  April 26th   Departing 9.30,  additional pick-up point on request, 9.45 Ringwood (Meeting House Lane) Coffee Stop en route



This picturesque village dates from the 13th Century, and has been the location for many films, including Pride & Prejudice and Cranford. There are a number of eating places and, at 2.30, we have been booked in to visit the Abbey and Fox Talbot Museum (National Trust) – free to NT members WITH CARDS, otherwise £10.90 admission charge. The abbey was founded in 1232, but converted to a private house in 1540, and in Victorian times was the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, who invented the negative/positive process of photography. The atmospheric monastic rooms have survived largely intact, and have featured in Harry Potter films and The Other Boleyn Girl.

We will leave for home at 5.00, arriving about 7.30.

Leader:  Ann W.


Thursday  May 26th   Departing 9.00,  additional pick-up point on request, 9.15 Ringwood (Meeting House Lane) Coffee Stop en route


Lechlade and Kelmscott Manor

We travel first to the attractive market town of Lechlade on Thames, where there will be time for a walk around the town or along the river, and have lunch.

We then have a short drive to Kelmscott Manor, which dates from the late 16th Century and was the home in the late 19th Century of William Morris, poet, craftsman and socialist, associated with the Arts & Crafts Movement. The house contains a collection of furniture, textiles, ceramics and metalwork of Morris and his associates, including Edward Burne-Jones and Philip Webb.

There is a delightful garden with barns, dovecot, stream and a formal garden, which was a constant source of inspiration for Morris. There should be time to visit Kelmscott village (which contains buildings with Morris family connections) and the church – members of the Morris family are buried in the churchyard.

We shall be given a short talk and tea/coffee and biscuits on arrival, and then you will be free to explore at your own pace. There is also a tearoom and shop.

We will leave for home at 5.00, arriving about 7.30.

Leader:  Val D.


Monday June 13th   Departing 9.00   additional pick-up point on request, 9.15 Upton Country Park


West Dorset

Last autumn, Channel 4 had a series about the Landmark Trust, featuring Belmont in Lyme Regis, an

18th Century house lived in by Mrs Eleanor Coade, the inventor of the artificial Coadestone used for statues, etc, and more recently by the author John Fowles. We will be visiting Belmont, and the coach will then take us down to the sea-front. There will be some time to explore the town and have lunch.

At 1.30 we will travel on to Chideock and visit the beautiful Catholic church, finished by Charles Weld in 1872 (described as one of the gems of English Catholicism); it is a memorial to seven Chideock men put to death during the repression of Tudor and Stuart times. We will be able to visit the earlier adjoining barn, with its painted walls, where mass used to be held in secret.

We will then travel on to Mapperton, near Beaminster (owned by the Earl of Sandwich). We will be able to explore the Manor house (dating from the 16th and 17th Centuries), and the magnificent gardens in a


valley, laid out in the 1920s. In 2006 Country Life magazine voted it the Nation’s Finest Manor House. There is a tea room, and also an old church to explore.

Although the property closes at 5.00, we hope we will be allowed to extend our visit to the gardens until 5.30, returning home by 7.15.

Leader:   John J.


Tuesday July 5th    Departing 9.30,  additional pick-up point on request, 9.45  Ringwood (Meeting House Lane)


Whitchurch Silk Mill, and Andover museums

The mill dates from 1815, and was originally water-powered, although the looms are now driven by leather belts powered by electricity. In recent times it has been used to weave fabrics for legal and academic gowns. We will have a conducted tour of the mill, which is not all on one floor. There is a small refreshment area at the mill, which is in attractive grounds, where it is possible to sit out. Alternatively, lunch can be obtained in the town nearby.

After lunch we will travel on to Andover to visit the museums: one showing the history of the town, the other (adjoining it) the Museum of the Iron Age, which tells the story of nearby Danebury hill fort, excavated by Professor Barry Cunliffe between 1969 and 1988, and one of the best studied sites of the British Iron Age.

We will set off for home at 5.00, arriving by about 6.30.

Leader:    Ros D.







Tues    April   5th     3.00         Fiddleford Manor (English Heritage) &  Blandford’s Georgian Parish Church   –  John J.


Tues     April  12th   1.00   *    New Forest Verderer’s Court, Lyndhurst Parish Church    –     Ros D.


Tues     April  19th  2.00         Wolfeton House, near Dorchester       –       Dave & Pat G.


Thur    May  5th 1.30         Hillier’s Arboretum, near Romsey     –     Denise D.


Tues     May 17th   2.00         Athelhampton House    –     Denise D.


Tues     May 31st   2.00   *    Cranborne Manor Gardens           –         Dave & Pat G.


Thur    June  9th    3.00   *    Anderson Manor Gardens, near Bere Regis (National Gardens Scheme)     –    John J.


Tues     June 21st    2.00     *    Brownsea Island Nature Reserve on Brownsea Island Quay    –  Ros D.


Tues     July 12th    4.30         Little Bredy Walled Garden & Village &  Meal at Brewers Arms, Martinstown    –   John J.


T B A                       *   Canford School      –       John J.