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 all sorts of members - primary school children with their families, teenagers, couples, single people and retired people







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

Mike Steel, Pauline Excell, Kerry Bennion. Sue Matthews, Louise Layton-Joyce


OUR NEXT VISIT TO CEYRAT – 24th to 30th JULY 2020

In 2020, it was our turn to visit Ceyrat but the trip has been cancelled due to Covid-19. We have been invited to visit Ceyrat in summer of 2021 instead.

We usually travel travel by coach and ferry, setting off early from Great Waltham nd arriving back a week later. Ceyrat Twinning will arrange our accommodation with families in Ceyrat and a week of excursions and events for which they pay.

The only cost for our members is the cost of the coach and the ferry. This year it was going to be Adult - £200, Child - £100, but we will confirm 2021 prices early next year. If you want to make your own way there and back, the charge will be around Adult - £60, Child - £30. If you want to go by coach for one-way only (eg if you want to stay on and travel in France), the charge will be around Adult - £140, Child - £70.

If you are not already a member but you are interested, email me on The list of people who want to go will be put together February/early March 2021.


We visit France and stay with French families 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). Typically about 50 to 60 people take part in each visit.

We travel to Ceyrat by coach and ferry from Great Waltham. It's a long journey but we can relax and let someone else do all the hard work. Our only cost is the coach/ferry. Once we are there, all the trips and activities are paid for by the French 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 leave by coach from Great Waltham village hall at around 9am and return at about 5pm. This means that it is convenient for English hosts who have to go to work during the week.


There is always a variety of excursions and activities. In France, we have been to museums, castles and towns, but also kayaking, rock climbing, a maze and boules tournament. There is a chance to spend time with your hosts, enjoying French wine and food with them in the evenings. In England, the Twinning Association has taken our French visitors to such places as Hever Castle, Walton, Ely, Southwold and Camden Market. We try and organise something that everyone will like, or perhaps something specifically for the children and the young people while the adults go off and visit something more sedate!

When the English members are hosting, they have to provide packed lunches and evening meals for their French guests (other than when there is an organised communal meal) and entertain them during free time, usually the weekends, so that can cost a little bit for those who are hosting. 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.




If you are at all interested in getting involved, either visiting France in 2020, hosting French visitors in 2021, helping with events or attending events, or if you would just like further information, please email me on or telephone 01245 360918.

There is a membership fee of £10 per year for an individual, or £20 a year for a family.