To view reports from some of these visits click here

Visits March 2016 – September 2016

These are the brief synopses of the visits planned for this period. Further details and the booking form will be available from early January.

Wednesday 16th March 2016, Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Palace is celebrating its 500th anniversary in 2015. This outstanding collection of buildings was transformed from a manor house built for Cardinal Wolsey to a palace for Henry VIII, the two front courtyards, Great Hall, Chapel Royal, and Kitchens all being Tudor. Christopher Wren added a large Baroque wing for William and Mary.

There is a wonderful collection of paintings from the royal collection housed in the new Cumberland Art Gallery and amongst the many other treasures are a large number of magnificent tapestries. Our visit will include a guided tour. The palace is surrounded by formal gardens, the whole being set in a large park.

Travel will be by coach.

Saturday 23rd April to Friday 29th April 2016, Berlin and Dresden.

As is customary this overseas visit was offered to our membership in the 2014 – 2015 season and is consequently fully booked

Tuesday 24th May 2016, Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere and the Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham.

Sir Stanley Spencer (1891 -1959) is regarded as one of the greatest British painters of the 20th century. Renowned for visionary religious and figure paintings as well as beautifully detailed landscapes, Spencer was also a major war artist, much of his work being autobiographical.

At the Sandham Memorial Chapel we will have a talk and private visit to see Spencer’s iconic paintings representing his experiences as a medical orderly in World War I.  After lunch we will visit and have a further talk at the gallery in Cookham, which houses a permanent collection of the artist’s work.

Travel will be by coach.

Tuesday 21st June 2016, Broughton Castle and Broughton Grange Gardens.

We have arranged a mid-summer private visit to Broughton Castle and Broughton Grange Gardens, near Banbury.  Broughton Castle, where we will have a guided tour, is a fascinating, moated and fortified manor house set within delightful gardens.

Broughton Grange Gardens are considered to represent one of the most significant private contemporary gardens in Britain. We will be given a brief introduction to the gardens by a member of staff and will then be free to explore at our own pace.

Travel will be by coach.

Wednesday 28th September 2016, The Beauchamp Community and Madresfield Court, near Malvern.

Our day will start with a private visit to the almshouses commissioned by the 3rd Earl Beauchamp and completed by his family in 1864. Within the confines of this gated community is a Grade1 listed church with spirit frescoes of the Gambier Parry style, and a medieval cloister chapel.

Dating in part from the 12th century, but with significant additions over the centuries, Madresfield Court is the ancestral home of the Lygon family. It contains outstanding collections of furniture, pictures, porcelain and objets d’art, and a wonderful library designed by C R Ashbee.

At the Beauchamp Community, after an introduction by the archivist, we will be allowed to explore the church, the chapel and the library and their treasures on our own. We will have a guided tour at Madresfield Court.

Travel will be by coach.


Visits November 2015  –  February 2016

Booking for these visits is now closed. 

Friday 6th November 2015, The Wallace Collection, London.

A guided tour has been arranged for this collection which includes 18th century furniture, paintings and porcelain of the highest quality. Alongside these you will find medieval and Renaissance objects including Limoges enamels, maiolica, glass and bronzes.

This collection amassed in the 18th and 19th centuries is of the highest quality and includes 18th century furniture, paintings and porcelain. Less well known is that the Wallace Collection features one of the finest groups of princely arms and armour in Europe.

Travel to London is by public transport.

Booking is closed.

Wednesday 2nd and Tuesday 8th December 2015, Walking Tour of Medieval Oxford, with Alastair Lack.

This tour starts at St. Edmund Hall with a visit to the crypt of St. Peter in the East, a medieval place of pilgrimage. We continue to New College and consider the life of an Oxford student in medieval times. The chapel has some of the finest 14th and 15th century  stained glass in europe. Our final visit is to the Divinity School, built in the perpendicular style of Gothic architecture.

Booking is closed.

Wednesday 17th February 2016, The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy and Two Temple Place, London.

The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy is all that remains of a hospital founded by Henry VII. Two Temple Place was built as home/office for William Waldorf Astor. It is now owned by the charitable Bulldog Trust and is used as a London venue for themed exhibitions that showcase publicly owned art from regional collections in the UK. We will have guided tours at both venues and an opportunity to visit the exhibition at the latter.

Travel to London is by public transport.

Booking is closed.