Dunmow

Outings

WELCOME TO THE OUTINGS PAGE

Our programme of outings covers a wide range of interests and experiences – something for everyone. There are usually at least one to two outings each month, but tickets sell out quickly, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

There are three ways to book a place on a trip.

Download a booking form from the link provided in the outing details below. Complete the form and send it, with a cheque made out to Dunmow U3A, to the person shown on the form.

If you have no access to a printer simply write down the information required (name, membership number, contact details and coach pick up point) and send it with your cheque to the address shown.

Alternatively, come to the Outings table in the main hall during one of our monthly members’ meetings where you will be given a booking form to complete.

Outings Coordinator: Terry Cash

Click the ‘Bird Link’ top right corner of this page (or at the bottom if you are viewing this on a smartphone or a tablet) to make contact via email. If you would like to chat, please include your phone number.

We currently use Don’s Coaches for most of our outings who will provide you with secure, free, all-day parking. Alternative pick-up points include the bus stop in the centre of Dunmow, outside Flitch Coffee House, and the bus stop by the ‘Four Ashes’ public house in Takeley.

Indicate on the booking form which pick-up point you intend to use. You will be informed of departure times for each stop, but the coach will leave promptly, so please ensure that you allow enough time to board comfortably.

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Tuesday 14 May at 7:30 pm — TINA: The Tina Turner Musical at London's Aldwych Theatre — NOW SOLD OUT!

From humble Tina 2 beginnings in Nutbush, Tennessee, to her transformation into the global Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Tina Turner didn’t just break the rules, she rewrote them. This new stage musical reveals the untold story of a woman who dared to defy the bounds of her age, gender and race.

TINA traces the devastating lows and the joyous highs Tina of the legend's life and showcases beloved songs like Proud Mary, What’s Love Got to Do With It and, of course, Simply the Best.

Tickets £59. Coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 3:00 pm (Flitch House 3:05, Takeley Four Ashes 3:15). Allows time for a meal before the show. Return to Dunmow about 11:30 pm.

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Wednesday 29 May — A Day Out in Norfolk — NOW SOLD OUT!

Click to View/Print >> Norfolk Day Out handbill

Back by popular demand! Last year on this outing we were limited to a relatively small number of tickets on the Broads cruise, and many members were disappointed. So we're repeating the trip, and including a rather longer stop at the Craft Centre for lunch, with time to explore.

Enjoy a cruise in the luxury paddle-boat Southern Comfort on the River Bure, from the village of Horning, past thatched houses, windmills 29 May — Norfolk and reedbeds filled with wildlife (bring your binoculars). On for lunch at Wroxham Barns, a craft centre with its own popular restaurant, but also plenty of room to enjoy your own picnic. Then on to East Ruston Old Vicarage, home to a remarkable 29 May — East Ruston lupins 32-acre garden which incorporates exuberant and innovative planting alongside more traditional formal design, in a series of varied garden ‘rooms’.

Cost £37. Coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 7:45 am (Flitch House 7:50, Takeley Four Ashes 8:00). Return to Dunmow about 7:30 pm.

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Friday 21 June — Blenheim Palace Flower Show - SOLD OUT

Click to View/Print >> Blenheim Palace handbill

A Blenheim front chance to visit what is undoubtedly Britain's greatest palace. This jewel was intended as a reward to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, for his successes in the War of the Spanish Succession. Sir John Vanbrugh's design was — and is — considered controversial, and was (in the Duke's absence at war) greatly amended by the Duke's wife Sarah, now better known as The Favourite of Queen Anne Stuart, the subject of the recently-released Oscar-winning film. It was a bit of a mess until the arrival of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in the 1760s, who reconfigured the Park beautifully in the English landscape garden style, and the later extremely convenient marriage in 1896 of the 9th Duke to Consuelo Vanderbilt, the billionaire American heiress whose family funded the Palace's restoration at the turn of the last century. They later divorced.

The Blenheim Flower Show seventh Palace Flower Show will feature the Grand Floral Marquee celebrating the very best of gardening, home and lifestyle, with show gardens and the shopping village to explore, and talks and discussions led by the professionals. In addition, there is a Fine Food and Drink Pavilion, a Champagne Bar and a Dining Marquee.

You may choose just to wander round the Show, the beautiful Park and the Gardens. However, for an additional £8, you can visit the amazing Palace itself to see the State Rooms (with free audio guide) and the permanent exhibitions, including the Life of Winston Churchill (who was born in the Palace) and The Spending Habits of Queen Anne.

Cost £30 (Show and Grounds only), or £38 (Palace, Show and Grounds). Coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 8:00 am (Flitch House 8:05, Takeley Four Ashes 8:20). Return about 8:30 – 9:00 pm. Payment by 10 May.

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Wednesday 3rd July — VAN GOGH AND BRITAIN at Tate Britain SOLD OUT

Click to View/Print >> Van Gogh in Britain handbill

A once in a lifetime opportunity. Van Gogh and Britain presents the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the UK for nearly a decade. Some of his most famous works will be brought together from around the world – including Shoes, Starry Night on the Rhône, L'Arlésienne, and two works he made while a patient at the Saint-Paul Asylum, At Eternity’s Gate and Prisoners Exercising. They will be joined by the very rarely lent Sunflowers from London’s National Gallery. Van Gogh landscape

3 July — Van Gogh in Britain Vincent Van Gogh lived in England as a young man for several crucial years. He walked the streets alone, dreaming of the future. He fell in love with British culture, especially the novels of Charles Dickens and George Eliot. And he was inspired by the art he saw here, including paintings by Constable and Millais which are featured in the exhibition. They affected his paintings throughout his career.

Please join us on what will be a most unforgettable outing.

Coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 8.30 am (Flitch House 8.35, Takeley Four Ashes 8:45). Return to Dunmow about 5:30 pm.

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Wednesday 10 July — Great Gardens of Kent: Sissinghurst Castle and Great Comp Garden — NOW SOLD OUT!
Click to View/Print >> Kentish Gardens handbill

A visit to two of Southeast England’s most sensational gardens.

Sissinghurst 1 Sissinghurst Castle is a much-changed manor house in the grounds of a ‘castle’ dating from the 1530s. It was bought by Vita Sackville-West — a celebrated authoress and poet — and her husband, Harold Nicolson in 1930. The garden is divided into a number of ‘rooms’, among which the stunning White Garden (right), completed in the winter of 1949–1950, is considered the most renowned and most influential of all.

Great Comp Lunch in the castle’s restaurant, then north to Great Comp Garden, an exceptionally beautiful 7-acre site surrounding an early 17th century manor. The skilful design of sweeping lawns, winding woodland paths and formal areas entices the visitor to explore around the next corner. Romantic ruins combine with luxuriant planting to great effect, allowing panoramic views of the garden whilst creating the perfect microclimate for the extensive range of exotic plants.

Cost £29 for National Trust members (£43 for non-NT members). Our coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 8:20 am, Flitch House at 8:30, Takeley Four Ashes at 8:45). Return to Dunmow about 6:30 – 7:00 pm.

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Saturday 17 August — The Shuttleworth ‘Flying Proms’ at Old Warden Aerodrome, Biggleswade. SORRY - SOLD OUT

Click to View/Print >> Shuttleworth Prom handbill

The Shuttleworth Collection is one of the most prestigious aeronautical and automotive museums in the world due to the variety of its old and well-preserved aircraft. There are around 40 airworthy planes in eight hangars dating from both World Wars and earlier.Shuttleworth red

Shuttleworth Orchestra The 22nd Flying Proms blends exquisite flying in display sequences with classical music played live by the National Symphony Orchestra in a familiar 'Last Night of the Proms' programme.

You can make the most of the occasion with a stroll around the Swiss Garden with its 13 listed structures, adjacent woodland sculpture trail and three resident peacocks. The Shuttleworth Prom bus vintage bus, free to ride, will run between the Aerodrome and Shuttleworth House, which will be open for viewing and refreshments.

Bring a picnic or buy from the food outlets at the House and Aerodrome. Bring your own folding chairs — you can leave them in the coach until you need them for the concert.

Expect the event to close with a firework display and illuminated models.

Cost £57 Coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 12:30 pm (Flitch House 12:35, Takeley Four Ashes 12:50). Return to Dunmow between 11:30 pm and midnight.

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Tuesday 17th September - Farmer Barnes' Dairy JUST 10 PLACES LEFT

Click to View/Print >> Dairy booking form
Click to View/Print >> Farmer Barnes Dairy handbill

Farmer Barnes
Those of you who were at the February U3A monthly meeting will remember meeting Jane Barnes from Farmer Barnes’ Dairy. During her fascinating talk she invited us to come to the dairy for a conducted tour. And that is precisely what we intend to do. Come with us and have an aMOOOsing time!

In the 1940s, great grandfather John Barnes moved with 20 milking cows to Southfields Farm, Somerby. In 2018, after more than 70 years using the original farm buildings Mark and Jane, with children Charlotte and Harry, the current Barnes family, built a brand new modern dairy farm and today they have more than 250 pedigree Ayrshire cows in the herd producing milk for the award-winning Blue Stilton Cheese.

Jane is passionate about sharing her farm life experiences and to educate members of the public all about cows. This demand for food knowledge has led the family to include a purpose built “Cow Classroom” alongside the milking parlour with viewing windows and overhead gallery, to watch the cows being milked. Visitors are welcomed and guided through the process of dairy farming in the UK today.

Leaving Dunmow at 8.45 we should be in the Melton Mowbray area by 10.30 to 11 am. Gates Garden Centre
There we will go to Gates Garden Centre (well known to many) where it will be possible to get lunch and enjoy a good look round. At 2pm we move on to the dairy for our tour, led by Jane herself. We aim to leave the dairy by 5pm, returning to Dunmow by 7.30 to 8 pm - traffic permitting as always. The cost will be £38 each. We recommend that you dress appropriately for visiting a working farm!

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The Autumn and Winter outings programme is under development.
Full details will follow soon.

Of the many outings that will be available, here are a few to wet your appetite:

The Alfred Munnings Exhibition at Dedham in September
The Tutankhamun exhibition in London
The Knitting and Stitching show at the Alexandra Palace in October
Christmas at Kew

So please - WATCH THIS SPACE.

Dates for your Diary
Wed May 29th A Day Out in Norfolk — a repeat of one of last year's most popular Outings. SOLD OUT
Enjoy a cruise in the luxury paddle-boat Southern Comfort on the River Bure, from the village of Horning. On for lunch (or bring your own picnic) at the popular restaurant at Wroxham Barns craft centre. Then on to East Ruston Old Vicarage, a remarkable 32-acre garden with exuberant and innovative planting alongside more traditional formal design.
Coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 7:45 am (Flitch House 7:50, Takeley Four Ashes 8:00). Return to Dunmow about 7:30 pm.
Fri Jun 21st Blenheim Palace Flower Show - NOW SOLD OUT
A chance to visit what is undoubtedly Britain's greatest palace, a jewel set in the Park created in the English landscape garden style by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. The seventh Palace Flower Show will feature the Grand Floral Marquee celebrating the very best of gardening, home and lifestyle, with show gardens and the shopping village to explore, and talks and discussions led by the professionals.
Cost £30 (Show & Grounds only), or £38 (Palace, Show & Grounds)
Coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 8:00 am (Flitch House 8:05, Takeley Four Ashes 8:20). Return about 8:30 – 9:00 pm.
Wed Jul 3rd VAN GOGH at Tate Britain SOLD OUT
This major exhibition brings together 45 works by Vincent van Gogh to reveal how he was inspired by Britain and how he inspired British artists.
£39 Full details on the outings page.
Wed Jul 10th Great Gardens of Kent: Sissinghurst Castle and Great Comp Garden SOLD OUT
A visit to two of Southeast England’s most sensational gardens.
Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst Castle garden contains an internationally respected plant collection. The famous White Garden is considered the most renowned and most influential of all. After lunch in the castle’s restaurant, we will visit Great Comp Garden, an exceptionally beautiful 7-acre site surrounding an early 17th century manor.
Our coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 8:20 am, Flitch House at 8:30, Takeley Four Ashes at 8:45). Return to Dunmow about 6:30 – 7:00 pm.
Sat Aug 17th The Shuttleworth ‘Flying Proms’ at Old Warden Aerodrome - SORRY - SOLD OUT
Visit one of the most prestigious aeronautical and automotive museums in the world, with around 40 airworthy old planes dating from both World Wars and earlier.
The 22nd Flying Proms blends exquisite flying in display sequences with classical music played live by the National Symphony Orchestra in a familiar 'Last Night of the Proms' programme, ending with a firework display.
Stroll around the Swiss Garden and visit Shuttleworth House, which will be open for viewing and refreshments.
Cost £57
Coach will leave Don’s Coaches’ yard at 12:30 pm (Flitch House 12:35, Takeley Four Ashes 12:50). Return to Dunmow between 11:30 pm and midnight.
Tue Sep 17th Farmer Barnes' Dairy
Those of you who were at the last U3A monthly meeting will remember meeting Jane Barnes from Farmer Barnes’ Dairy. During her fascinating talk she invited us to come to the dairy for a conducted tour. And that is precisely what we intend to do.

Leaving Dunmow at 8.45 we should be in the Melton Mowbray area by 10.30 to 11 am. There we will go to Gates Garden Centre (well known to many) where it will be possible to get lunch and enjoy a good look round. At 2pm we move on to the dairy for our tour, led by Jane herself. We aim to leave the dairy by 5pm, returning to Dunmow by 7.30 to 8 pm - traffic permitting as always. The cost will be £38 each.
Tue Oct 1st The Autumn and Winter outings programme is under development.
Full details will follow soon.

Of the many outings that will be available, here are a few to wet your appetite:

The Alfred Munnings Exhibition at Dedham in September
The Tutankhamun exhibition in London
The Knitting and Stitching show at the Alexandra Palace in October
Christmas at Kew

So please - WATCH THIS SPACE.