Several visits are arranged throughout the year, generally in the first week of the month. Tickets for the outings are usually sold at a meeting two months in advance of the outing, with the exception of autumn tickets and some theatre or concert tickets, which need short-notice payment. The 2024 programme is provisional as many venues are not yet taking bookings.
We have arranged a visit to Restoration House and Rochester Cathedral, on the 18th of April 2024. Restoration House is described as a unique city mansion with the amalgamation of several medieval buildings to create by 1667, in the words of Samuel Pepys, “the pretty seat of Sir Francis Clerke”. Situated in the heart of historic Rochester, the house takes its name from the stay of King Charles II on the eve of the Restoration. It is also the Satis House of Dickens’ “Great Expectations”, the home of Miss Havisham. Rochester Cathedral has been a place of Christian worship since AD 604 and is the second oldest cathedral in England.
Other potential visits are described below:
The Diva exhibition celebrates the power and creativity of iconic performers, exploring and redefining the role of ‘diva’ over time across opera, stage, popular music, and film.
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It is open to visitors throughout the year. Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 40 monarchs.
Standen House is an Arts and Crafts family home with Morris & Co. interiors, set in a beautiful hillside garden, while Nymans from its beginnings as a simple Regency house, has been through several transformations to become the house, ruin and garden you can see today.
At the Barbican, it may be possible to have an architecture tour in the morning, and to see a theatre production in the afternoon, depending on what is on. At St Giles Cripplegate nearby there are connections to Daniel Defoe, John Milton, Oliver Cromwell, and John Bunyan.
The National Gallery is celebrating its 200th anniversary, and will no doubt have some interesting exhibitions. The newly re-opened National Portrait Gallery is next door.
Petworth House is a late 17th-century Grade I listed country house with one of the finest National Trust art collections, including works by Van Dyck, Turner and Gainsborough and wood carvings by Grinling Gibbons. There is a ‘Capability’ Brown designed garden.
The Henry Moore sculpture gardens display his iconic work in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside with a visit to the artist’s former home and studio.
Theatre or concert trips may also be arranged.
Members are welcome to bring a guest if there is space available.