“ See the Heads & Hear the Tales”
Friday 1st Sept to Tuesday 5th September 2017
Based at the 4* Mercure Bristol North, The Grange Hotel delightfully situated in the countryside to the north of Bristol
4 nights Dinner Bed and Breakfast
Pleasant lunch break in Marlow on our way to Bristol
Visits to the New Royal Mint Experience near Cardiff and the town of Caerphilly
Visits to the National Trust Property Tyntesfield and Weston Super Mare
Visits to Kilver Court Gardens [as seen on BBC Gardeners World]
and the medieval city of Wells
Boat trip from Maidenhead to Windsor on our journey home
Tour Price: £550.00 per person plus £80 single supplement
National Trust members can deduct £12.60 from the holiday price [entrance to Tyntesfield] and must bring a valid membership card with them
This short break is organised personally by Teresa Butler, Theatre Club of Kent, who will also accompany the tour
Day 1 Friday: Travel to Bristol
After picking up along our coach boarding routes we have coffee and biscuits at the Holiday Inn Hotel Rochester. We then travel to Marlow on the River Thames for our lunch stop where you will have time to explore this pretty riverside town and find something to eat. Our journey then continues to Winterbourne in the countryside to the north of Bristol and our hotel. After check in you will have time to freshen up and relax before dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Day 2 Saturday: The Royal Mint [See the Heads, Hear the Tales] and Caerphilly
Enjoy breakfast at leisure in the hotel restaurant and then meet the coach outside to journey across the Severn Bridge into Wales.
The Royal Mint has evolved to become a sophisticated industrial concern operating today as a government company. The 1100 or so years of its existence track the history of Britain. The Queen opened the current Royal Mint Site in Llantrisant near Cardiff in 1968 in readiness for the introduction of decimal coinage. In March 2017 a new £1 coin will enter circulation and the Royal Mint is producing more than 1.4 billion of the new coins. The Royal Mint Experience opened in May 2016 and it gives visitors first hand knowledge of how our coins are made, the history of the Royal Mint, its connection with the Tower of London and its move to Wales and much, much more. There is also a café and a gift shop. After our visit we will drive to the nearby town of Caerphilly for some free time. We return to our hotel in plenty of time for dinner.
Day 3 Sunday: Tyntesfield and Weston-Super-Mare
Our first stop today will be Tyntesfield. I remember watching a news item in 2002 about this house and have been waiting for the chance for us to visit it ever since. The Gibbs family who built their fortune on the trade of guano, a fertiliser made from sea bird droppings [lovely!] bought the estate in 1843 and set about extensive remodelling of both the exterior and interior in the Gothic Style. They created a magnificent family home, lived in by 4 generations, including acres of garden and parkland. In 2002, following the death of Lord Wraxhall [Richard Gibbs] the National Trust undertook a massive fund-raising campaign to save the estate and its collection of over 50,000 objects. During our visit we can explore the house and gardens, and see the exhibition Passions & Possessions; The Material World of Antony Gibbs where we will encounter over a hundred of his personal possessions and discover the private passions of a romantic collector and and a true master craftsman. There is a Courtesy Bus running between the Home Farm Visitor Centre [café, gift shop etc] and the House, which is free of charge.
We should then have time to drop in to Weston-Super-Mare. We will be dropped off near to the pier and have some free time to find a cup of tea or have a nice walk. Dinner in the hotel restaurant again this evening.
Day 4 Monday: Kilver Court Gardens and Wells
Hidden in the heart of Somerset near to Shepton Mallet are the Secret Gardens of Kilver Court. After a welcome cup of coffee on arrival we can explore the millpond, parterre, herbaceous borders, rockeries and the Charlton Viaduct. The gardens were first created over 100 years ago by Ernest Jardine, a progressive industrialist, who wanted to give his workforce inspirational working conditions. In the 1960s the Showering family transformed the gardens into what we see today. Explore the 3 acre plot, carefully maintained all year round for the public to enjoy. It's the perfect morning out in the Somerset countryside! If gardens are not your thing, don’t worry as Kilver Court also has a Designer Village with shops offering great discounts on designer items plus a coffee shop.
Before lunch we will travel the short distance to the medieval City of Wells.
Wells is the smallest city in England with about 12,000 inhabitants. It can call itself a city because of the famous 13th century Cathedral. It remains remarkably unspoilt and has many other historic buildings including the moated Bishop's Palace, Vicars' Close, St Cuthbert's Church and a good local museum. The Wells Market Place, with lively markets twice a week, the narrow streets and an eclectic mix of building styles all reflect on the continuing development of the town throughout the ages. With its historic centre, magnificent cathedral, and unique moated Bishop's Palace there is so much to see and do here, or you may prefer to just sit and relax with a nice cup of tea in a pleasant café. We return to our hotel for dinner.
Day 5 Tuesday: Return to Kent
Our journey home will include a scenic boat cruise along the lovely stretch of the River Thames from Maidenhead to Windsor, followed by free time in the town. Our coach will then take us back to the Holiday Inn Hotel Rochester for a welcome cup of tea before we continue our journey home.
Our Hotel – The Mercure Bristol North, The Grange Hotel
Located amongst 18 acres of landscaped gardens is this stunning 19th century Bath stone former manor house, now a beautifully styled country house 4 star hotel.
All en-suite guest bedrooms have HD LED TVandcomplimentary high speed WiFi, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer. Our evening meal and breakfast will be served in the stylish restaurant and we can enjoy a pre-dinner drink in the delightful bar. There is also a pleasant lounge overlooking the grounds.
Coach boarding points are the same as on our day excursions –timings will be confirmed nearer the departure date but should be around our usual excursion departure times. [Please note: Teresa may have to slightly alter the programme depending on journey timings etc and reserves the right to do so if necessary.]
Price includes: Coach travel throughout ~ 4 nights Dinner B&B 4* Grange Hotel ~ All visits as described on itinerary ~ Coffee and biscuits at the Holiday Inn Rochester on outward and return journeys ~ Coach drivers gratuity, restaurant staff gratuities & courier services.
Not Included: lunches are not included
Travel Insurance has not been included so that members can make their own arrangements – strongly recommended – refunds cannot be given
Disclaimer As set out in the Terms and Conditions accepted by members when joining The Theatre Club of Kent, Teresa cannot be held responsible for any loss, damage or injury, delay or inconvenience caused to members during this short break. Copies of terms and conditions are available upon request
ADVISORY NOTE: Teresa endeavours to accommodate all club members, including those with disabilities. However, her experience indicates that some short breaks are not suitable for those who have certain disabilities or conditions. As usual on our short breaks, this one will involve some general walking as we visit the places of interest listed, but nothing too strenuous. If you manage our day excursions on your own, you should be fine on this short break. Things can be taken at your own personal pace and it should be possible for everyone to enjoy the holiday even if some of you are more active whilst others need to take things slower and/or need the help of a walking stick. Also, for safety reasons, I do ask that anyone who finds getting on and off the coach a bit difficult and needs to take their time should wait until everyone else has got off the coach before they disembark. They can then negotiate the steps safely in their own time without worrying about holding other club members up. Please phone me if you have any questions or concerns.
Please contact Teresa for a booking form and payment details, thank you
01304 380845 or t