To read reports of some of these visits click here

Wednesday 24th October 2012 – Watts Gallery: An Arts and Crafts masterpiece.

A day out to study the life and work of George Frederic Watts (181701904).  The Watts Gallery near Guildford is dedicated to the work of this artist, and this October there will also be an exhibition entitled “Dickens and the Artists”.   The Grade 1 listed Watts Chapel, designed by the artist’s wife Mary Seton Watts, is an Arts and Crafts masterpiece full of Art Nouveau imagery.  A tour of their home Limnerslease, open for the first time in 2012, will complete the story of the Watts in Compton.     

Wednesday 30th/Thursday 31st January 2013 – The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments – another hidden gem in Oxford.   A two hour morning talk and tour around Oxford University’s Bate Collection, one of the most magnificent collections of musical instruments in the world.  The Bate has over 2000 instruments from the Western orchestral music traditions, from the Renaissance, through the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and up to modern times.  On display are more than a thousand instruments by all the most important makers and from pre-eminent collectors.

Friday March 22nd 2013 – Birmingham – The Barber Institute of Fine Arts and the nearby Winterbourne House and Gardens.  Featuring many of the greatest names in Western art, The Barber Institute holds one of the most outstanding and internationally significant collections assembled in Britain in the 20th century.  Winterbourne House is surrounded by the University of Birmingham’s Botanic Garden, an Edwardian garden influenced by the designs of Gertrude Jekyll.                                                                                                              

Wednesday 24th April 2013 – Chiswick and Syon Houses and Gardens.  Guided tours of two West London ‘Country’ Houses.  Chiswick House, Lord Burlington’s iconic 1720’s Palladian-style villa, with interiors by William Kent, provides a sumptuous backdrop to Burlington’s diverse collection. The gardens, recently restored to their former glory, were important in the development of the English landscape style.  Syon House, home to the Dukes of Northumberland for four hundred years, has glorious mid-18th century Robert Adam interiors and gardens designed by Capability Brown.                                                                                                   

Monday 13th to Sunday 19th May 2013 – Trip to St Petersburg.  A 6 night trip to see the treasures of St Petersburg.

Tuesday 2nd July 2013 Dulwich Picture Gallery – A Crisis of Brilliance.  A chance to see this unique exhibition of work by young British artists working between 1908 and 1919, curated by David Boyd Haycock at the Dulwich Picture Gallery.  We shall also be given a guided tour of the Gallery’s superb permanent collection of Old masters and British portraits.

September 2013 – Corsham Court and Laycock Abbey – Wiltshire.  A guided tour of Corsham Court, which houses a significant art collection, followed by a visit to Laycock Abbey and village and the Fox Talbot photographic museum.  Travel by coach.                                                                                                             Booking date:  Wednesday 12th June 2013.