Shaftesbury & Gillingham


Contact the relevant group leader for further information on these and other events/trips. To make contact go to the relevant "group" page.

Dates for your Diary
Thu Sep 5th Monthly meeting will have a talk by Julian Richards titled "Inspired by Stonehenge"
Meeting is at the Father's House, Shaftesbury, coffee and biscuits from 10.00am, meeting commences at 10.30am.
Thu Oct 3rd AGM followed by short talk by Jake Moore titled "Cyber Crime Prevention"
Meeting is at the Father's House, Shaftesbury, coffee and biscuits from 10.00am, meeting commences at 10.30am.
Thu Nov 7th Monthly meeting will have a talk by Glenys Warlow titled "No Gilded Cage for this Nightingale"
Meeting is at the Father's House, Shaftesbury, coffee and biscuits from 10.00am, meeting commences at 10.30am.
Thu Dec 5th Christmas meal at the Olive Bowl, Gillingham. Full details nearer the time.
Tue Aug 6th Walking group meets, see group page for times and contacts.
Tue Sep 3rd Walking group meets, see group page for times and contacts.
Social Events
Thu Aug 8th 20th Anniversary Celebration lunch at Rushmore Golf Club, Tollard Royal, SP5 5QB.
Information and application form is available by clicking the link on the welcome page
Sun Sep 8th
→Thu Sep 12th
Five Day Holiday in Suffolk Details as follows:-
Sunday Day1
Depart Gillingham at 0800 hrs and Shaftesbury at 0815 hrs and head east along the A303 and M3 Making a suitable comfort stop en-route we head to Audley End near to Saffron Walden. Here you have the chance to explore this decadent Jacobean mansion house and meet the staff in the Victorian Wing. Enjoy stunning views across the unspoilt Essex countryside and wander the tranquil gardens created by 'Capability' Brown, gold winner of Anglia in Bloom Awards 2017. Then it is onto the Holiday Inn Colchester where we are booked in for a four night stay.

Monday Day2
We meet up with our tour guide at the hotel and embark on a full day exploring the towns and villages that make up this beautiful part of Suffolk, We head initially to Lavenham, where you can explore the fabulous 'wool church', the antique shops, gift shops and coffee shops of this small town. Included is a visit to Lavenham Guildhall- one of the most spectacular timber framed buildings of medieval England at the heart of village life. Then it is on to Long Melford before we finish the afternoon visiting Kersey and Clare.

Tuesday Day 3
We head to Sutton Hoo where you can see one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of all time. In the late 1930s, landowner Edith May Pretty enlisted the help of a Suffolk archaeologist to dig into an ancient mound near Woodbridge. What he found went beyond their wildest dreams: a 'Hoo' a Saxon burial site filled with weapons, masks and gold coins, all housed in a 90-foot-long ship that had been buried along with its passenger. Today the Sutton Hoo visitor centre tells two fantastic stories: that of the ancient Saxon burial itself, and the subsequent cloak-and-dagger discovery. After some time for lunch in Sudbury we then take to the water as we head to Waldringfield and you are welcomed aboard the Jahan for a 2 hour boat Journey along the river Deben, one of the most beautiful and scenic spots on the East Coast. The tidal Deben Estuary is a Special Protection Area and within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our on board commentary will tell of its rich wildlife and history. A cup of tea or coffee with scone and jam is included.

Wednesday Day 4
We head to the Suffolk Coast and Sizewell 8 Power Station near to Leiston. We have a guided tour of Sizewell 8 which is the UK's only Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR) and also the most modern nuclear power station in the UK. The visitor centre offers a unique insight into this technology in the interactive exhibition space. Then it is on to Southwold for lunch before for visiting Adnams Brewery in the afternoon. Here we enjoy a Brewery tours followed by some tutored tasting!

Thursday- Day 5
Time to start our journey home, however there is still time for one more visit to the market town of Bury St Edmunds. Surrounded by countryside with 1,000 years of history to explore, Bury St Edmunds offers award-winning restaurants, fantastic shopping and stunning parks. Admire the magnificent St Edmundsbury Cathedral, discover the legend of St Edmund, and stand among the ruins of the 11th Century Abbey of St Edmund, once one of the most important monasteries in medieval Europe, set in the stunning Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds is truly'a jewel in the crown of Suffolk: We then re-join the coach and making suitable comfort stops continue our journey home.

Your Hotel
The Holiday inn Colchester is situated in the tranquil village of Eight Ash Green, just outside of
Colchesters busy and lively town centre. Located within easy reach of the A12 from London, the hotel has ample complimentary on-site car and coach parking facilities. All of the hotels restful guest rooms are equipped with en-suite facilities including power shower (a small number of rooms with walk in showers are available on request though very early booking is suggested] tea and coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board, flat screen television and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. The hotel's own on-site health club has an indoor pool, a gym, a sauna, a steam room and a spa