Sunday, 3 March 2013

Travellers' Club

I had such a good time going away with the Travellers' Club last year that I joined again this year.
The list of day trips and weekends away is now out, so I've been marking off the ones that I'm interested in.
They're off to Bristol on 12th March - but I'm a bit busy to catch that day trip this time.
Towards the end of April, they're having a weekend in Suffolk, which is a lovely county. I was rather tempted, because they'll be going to Sutton Hoo, which has a great little museum about the finding of the Anglo-Saxon treasures in the boat burial there. They'll also be visiting Lavenham, one of the prettiest villages in England; Ely, which has a wonderful cathedral, and several other places. I have a couple of other things that I want to spend my money on around that time, though, so I shall be waiting until May, when there's a day trip to Llancaich Fawr Manor and Castell Coch. The Manor comes complete with Civil War re-enactors, being restored and furnished as it would have been in 1645 - and I'm always keen to pick up tips from other re-enactors. Castell Coch is a place I've wanted to visit for a long time, and all the more so since I saw the amazing work of the same architect at Cardiff Castle. Being a place of Victorian opulence and eccentricity, it has also become a popular destination for groups of Steampunks on a day out.

In June, they're going to Lacock, a village often used as a film set, and once the home of William Fox Talbot, a pioneer of photography.
Years ago, I went on a coach holiday to Bath, and we stayed at a hotel which had specially wide staircases up to the first floor - to accommodate the sedan chairs in the eighteenth century! Back then, I didn't have time to visit the costume museum on the Royal Crescent (though I did enjoy the Roman Baths and the Abbey) - I'm hoping to get up there to see the costumes this time.
In August, it's the seaside, at Aberystwyth, and in September the weekend away is to Kent. As my Young Man lives in South London, I can get down there and visit interesting places in Kent with him, but the coach tour takes in Chatham Dockyard, Rochester, Dover Castle, and Knole house.

In October, it's Stratford-upon-Avon. It's a nice enough place, but I used to visit there when I went to see my in-laws in Rugby, to go round the charity shops, so I know it quite well!
Oxford appeals, though, in November. I've visited once, as a stop off on the way to the Great British Beer Festival (I think - beer was certainly involved). I have vague memories of trying to find the church that is dedicated to St Thomas Becket, and an Alice in Wonderland shop. This time, I think I'd like to visit Balliol College, where Lord Peter Wimsey took his degree in the Dorothy Sayers mysteries! There's the Pitt-Rivers Museum, too, which is one of those eclectic mixes of a collection, put together by one of the founding fathers of archaeology.
And in December, there's Birmingham, and the German Christmas Market.

I think there's probably something there for all tastes.
The Travellers' Club is run from the Community Support office, by the dentists, and their email is

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