Great Waltham Twinning Association


Great Waltham has been twinned with Ceyrat since 1979. Ceyrat is a small town near the city of Clermont Ferrand in the Auvergne region in the centre of France. It is a region of impressive extinct volcanoes, mountains, lakes, wooded countryside and pretty villages. 


 We have members of all ages and we are always happy to have more. Young families are particularly welcome and it is an ideal opportunity for children who are learning French at school to try out day-to-day French. But you don’t need to know any French to join – we all get by somehow!





CHAIR: Joanna Steel
TREASURER: Ian Bloomfield
SECRETARY: Pauline Excell

Mike Steel, Pauline Excell, Sue Matthews, Louise Layton-Joyce



The aim of the twinning association is to promote friendly relations between our two communities. We do this by visiting each other’s towns, staying in their homes and seeing something of the real life of each country.

We visit Ceyrat for one week every other year, usually in the last week of July. In between, the French come to us and stay with us in our homes in Great Waltham and surrounding area (we have members in Springfield, Broomfield, Chelmsford and Great Baddow as well as Great Waltham).

We travel to Ceyrat in a group; for the 2024 visit, we hope to go by coach and ferry, with the cost depending on numbers. Once we are there, all the trips and activities are paid for by Ceyrat Twinning Association and the hosts provide breakfast, packed lunches and dinners.

When the French visit us, our Twinning Association organises and pays for trips for the French people. Any English people wishing to go on the same trips (they are not compulsory) have to pay for themselves. Trips may be local and hosts might need to take their guests by car, or if further afield, a coach will be hired.



There is always a variety of excursions and activities. In France, we have been to museums, castles and sweet factories, and when we have had youngsters with us, they’ve been kayaking, rock climbing and other exciting activities. There is a chance to spend time with your hosts, visiting somewhere that may be of specific interest to you, and generally enjoying the French way of life. In England, the Twinning Association has taken our French visitors to such places as Frinton, Walton, London, and more local places such as Wild and Rooted Farm in Great Waltham, and bowling at Falcon Bowling Club. We try and organise something that everyone will like.

When the English members are hosting, they have to provide breakfast, packed lunches and evening meals for their French guests (other than when there is an organised communal meal) and entertain them during free time. That means that hosts will incur a cost. But it is possible to find things to do which cost very little. In the evenings, hosts often invite other hosts and their guests round for dinners, which lightens the load and makes for a jolly evening. Of course, when we go to France, the French hosts do the same thing for us.




In 2023, Ceyrat members visited us. See our 2023 visit page on this site



On 24th July 2024, (return date of 31st July) members from Great Waltham and the surrounding area will visit Ceyrat for a week. It’s a great opportunity for children who are doing French GCSE, or younger children who are just starting to learn French at primary school, to hear ordinary, everyday French being spoken. Not forgetting the parents who might like to soak up the French way of life.

The ability to speak French is not essential – we all muddle through somehow! And we try to match up people who don’t speak any French with French families who speak English.

We will be going by executive coach from Great Waltham and ferry from Dover to Calais. At Ceyrat we will be collected by our hosts and taken to their homes. The whole journey will be relaxing and stress free.  We expect the fare will be £280 for adults and £140 for children. 



If you are interested in getting involved in the visit to France or  would like further information, please email me immediately on There are limited spaces left on the coach.

Joanna Steel      Chairperson        Feb 2024