Trips Report August to October 2018

Visit To Frogmore House & Windsor – August 2018

As expected this trip was oversubscribed, however after many telephone calls, we managed to arrange a second date and so we had 2 coaches but on different days. A total of around 94 members.

I took the first coach on Saturday 11 August and Diane the second coach on Thursday 23 August.

The day started with an easy drive to Windsor – no heavy traffic on the M4. We arrived in good time and after being split into groups, we were guided through the house and gardens.  It was very interesting – a beautiful house. We were able to walk up to the mausoleum – the last resting place of Queen Victoria.  We spent the afternoon in Windsor – some to the Castle, others a river trip or just walking.  All in all a good day.

Visit to Highgrove –  September 2018

We were fortunate to have been allowed to visit Highgrove Gardens, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, the home of HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.  It was a perfect summer  day and we wandered around the estate for 2 hours  with one of his  knowledgeable Garden Guides.

This amazing garden was little more than a neglected kitchen garden and an overgrown copse when Prince Charles  bought it from  Maurice Macmillan 35 years ago. ( Maurice was the son of  Harold Macmillan who was Prime Minister in the 1950’s and 60’s)  During the years this garden has been transformed  into a magical and inspiring place, with a surprise around every corner.  The Stumpery was my favourite place as it had been made into a tranquil corner providing rich habitat for wildlife.  We visited the thatched tree house, affectionately called Hollyrood House, the Thyme Walk  growing 20 different varieties of thyme.  The Topiary Avenue was so unexpected with the eccentric shapes clipped from yew – one couldn’t help smiling at the crazy shapes. The ethic of all this work is to grow organically without the use of pesticides or weed killers, so a lot of digging was required, so the Guide told us.

I came away from this exceptional outing feeling refreshed and inspired by the creative ideas and innovative work that has been carried out here. All the proceeds from visits like ours go to the Prince of Wales Charitable Foundation which supports charitable causes and to make  a strategic impact for good.

Visit to Winchester & Whitchurch Silk Mills – October 2018

It was raining when we left Trowbridge, fortunately it stopped by the time we arrived in Winchester.

After coffee, myself and a few others visited the Cathedral. There has been a cathedral on the site since 634 and is one of the largest in Europe. It is very impressive.   Others visited the Great Hall or just ‘shopped’ and lunched.

The afternoon was spent at the Whitchurch Silk Mill.  It is the oldest silk mill in the UK still in the original building,  The Georgian water mill, by the River Test, still weaves silk using 19th.machines. We had a very informative tour of the building, shown the machinery and the history. All ended off with a cream tea and the obligatory visit to the Mill shop.