Out & About Groups
Groups will independently meet once or more a year to discuss and decide on future outings, they may decide on one or more outings per month according to the members desires.
Out & About 1: Informal outings to places of interest.
We once again had a varied programme visiting Baker’s Hall, Borde Hill Gardens, the Olympic Park, a play at the Hawth, the Supreme Courts of Justice and a backstage tour of the National Theatre.
We visited the Imperial War Museum on a bright but cold day in January, an enjoyable outing, yet a sad place to visit. We went to the Royal Opera House in February and saw a ballet dancer in rehearsal and witnessed how scene changes are made in the theatre. A visit to the Clink Prison at London Bridge was an interesting experience with a guide in full jailor outfit, telling us the history of London’s first “lock-up” (or Surrey as it was then). We also saw a wonderful show at the Hawth, “Dreamboats and Petticoats” which brought back lots of memories from the Sixties.
Out & About 2: Informal outings to places of interest.
We started in September with a very popular trip to Highclere Castle (better known as Downton Abbey) and the Egyptian Exhibition. The Huntarian Museum and St John Soane at Lincolns Inn were also very unusual. Brighton Dogs and Docklands Museum were both visited for a second time as they had proved popular some years ago. The Foundling Museum and Fishbourne Palace also featured this year. In May we had a lovely day for “Camden by boat” when we had a trip from Little Venice to Camden Lock on the canal boat Jason.
Out & About 3: Informal outings to places of interest.
Last September a superb day out to Windsor and a wander around before boarding a boat up to Bray where we docked and were greeted by an Edwardian maid who ushered us to a marquee where we enjoyed a Downton Abbey Tea - silver teapots, fine china and linen, dainty finger sandwiches, cakes, warm scones with jam and cream. Then croquet and boules were played on the lawn, all with perfect weather. Another memorable trip was to Brooklands which included the Concorde experience. Other trips included Florence Nightingale Museum, Imperial War Museum and an afternoon with Mary’s Stories of the Jersey Occupation 1939-45. Some members took advantage of Premier weekend in the Lake District including Lake Windermere, Ambleside, Beatrix Potter Museum etc. and in December the London Christmas Lights and recently Blenheim Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Churchill War Rooms. A very informative visit to Ford Recycling Centre which we did with car sharing and called at Roundstone Garden Centre for a cuppa before returning to Crawley. 30th April another successful member organised visit to London Transport Museum which luckily avoided most of the train chaos on that day.
In the pipeline we have backstage Drury Lane Theatre and Museum of Theatre, Kenwood House, Middle Temple and Spencer House visits arranged for June/July and our friend, Mary, is helping us explore Lower Victoria Street and Westminster Abbey area. It is a pleasure to be leader of such a friendly and supportive group.
Out & About 4: Informal outings to places of interest.
Once again, we have experienced a wide range of different visits. Learning about the retrieval of the Mary Rose from the Solent on a damp trip to Portsmouth gave us an insight into the enormous efforts involved in the preservation of historical treasures.
In contrast, the Poppy Factory gave us the opportunity of seeing how the poppies we buy each year are assembled and we were even able to have a go ourselves!
In London, we visited Clarence House to see how some of the Royals live. We also explored the Inns of Court on a guided walk, followed by a stop at the Tower of London to view the display of ceramic poppies commemorating those who had died during WW1 – an incredibly moving sight which will always be remembered.
Our long awaited visit to Christ’s Hospital was another highlight with a tour conducted by a group of students who presented a really interesting account of life at the school and their hopes for the future. This was followed by a magnificent cream tea in the Dining Hall!
Gardens have also featured this year, with Chelsea Physic Garden and its extremely long history impressing us with the range of plant remedies there are to our aches and pains! Our most recent trip to RHS Wisley enabled us to be guided to parts which we would otherwise have missed and most of us couldn’t resist buying a plant or two!
Out & About 5: Informal outings to places of interest.
So, how is ours different from the other Out & About Groups? Whilst there are many similarities such as undertaking a visit roughly once a month, we do try, by not following the standard path!
Yes, we do go to museums, stately homes and gardens but we also like to mix it up with some quirky, eccentric and sometimes, just plain odd places!
Out & About 6: Informal outings to places of interest.
Out & About Group 6 is a cheerful, young-at-heart group of people who enjoy learning, seeing and experiencing a wide range of topics through monthly visits. Past and future visits include historical and stately homes, backstage tours of famous theatres, garden tours, city/town walks, museum exhibitions and educational talks at such places as the local Royal Mail sorting office and the West Sussex/Viridor recycling centre.
If you would like to join us, you will be very welcome. Contact our Groups Co-ordinator T: 07555 021879.
Go to O&A6 Trips to see our resent trips in 2017/18.
Out & About 7: Informal outings to places of interest.
Out & About Group 7 has grown from strength to strength since it was formed in 2013 and now has 52 members – including 15 couples.
As well as our regular day out, on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, we now arrange special interest trips and are also planning “short notice” suggestions from members. Our visits cover a wide range of interests and we are mindful of cost and accessibility when choosing our days out. During the winter months the majority of our trips are to London with its huge number of year round attractions then, when the weather improves, we look to the coast and countryside for places of interest, education and above all – FUN!
See our O&A7 Programme which includes special interest and short notice trips (which are updated as new ideas and opportunities are suggested by the members)