Previous Visits

Here are some visits that have been previously organised by the Society.

Sun 9 Apr 2006  Ascott House (Wing nr Leighton Buzzard) (N.T.)      

Sun 14 May 2006  Guildford and Losely Park   Organiser: Marjorie Lowes

Sat 10 June 2006  Walmer Castle       Organiser: Jean Porter

Sun 18 June 2006  A Guided Walk round Amersham Old Town and Museum.       Organiser: Peter Bradley
  Meet at 2:30pm at the Amersham Museum.

Sat 10 March 2007  Visit to Wesley's Chapel, City of London.

  John Wesley (1703-1791), one of the most influential personalities of the eighteenth century, is the founder of Methodism.  He built Wesley's Chapel as his London base.  We shall be given a short talk on Wesley, visit the Chapel, John Wesley's house and the Museum of Methodism.  The Non-conformist Cemetry across the road can also be visited.  Wesley's mother Susanna, Daniel Defoe, William Blake, and John Bunyan are buried there.  Please bring a packed lunch which you can eat at the end of the visit.  Coffee/tea will be available.

Organisers: Eileen and Peter Bradley.

Pick-up points and times:
  Stoke Poges Village Hall  9:30am
  Old Co-op bus stop, London Road  9:55am
    We will leave Wesley Chapel at about 3:15pm

Cost:  £15

Sat 5 May 2007  Visit to Rousham House and Garden, and Canons Ashby House.

  This coach trip will visit two country houses: one in Oxfordshire and one in Northamptonshire.

Rousham Park House and Garden
nr Steeple Aston, Bicester, Oxfordshire, OX25 4QX
Rousham and its landscape garden should be a place of pilgrimage for students of the work of William Kent (1685-1748). Rousham represents the first phase of English landscape design and remains almost as Kent left it, one of the few gardens of this date to have escaped alteration, with many features which delighted eighteenth century visitors to Rousham still in situ, such as the ponds and cascades in Venus' Vale, the Cold Bath, and seven arched Praeneste, Townsend's Building, the Temple of the Mill, and, on the skyline, a sham ruin known as the 'Eyecatcher'.

Canons Ashby House
Canons Ashby, Daventry, Northamptonshire NN11 3SD
Tranquil Elizabethan manor house set in beautiful gardens:  Impressive collection of wall paintings and Jacobean plasterwork.  Kitchen and dairy offer an intimate view of life 'below stairs'.  Colourful formal gardens, old orchard and sweeping parkland.  St Mary's Church, remains of an Augustinian priory

Organiser: Jean Porter.

Pick-up points and times:
  Old Granada bus stop, Windsor Road, Slough.  8:30am.
  Stoke Poges Village Hall    8:45 am.
     Lunch will be available at Canons Ashby.
     We will leave Canons Ashby at around 4:45pm.

Cost:  £22.50 (National Trust members), £27.50 (non-NT members).  Additional discount for CPRE members.

Sun 18 Nov 2007  Visit to the Museum in Docklands,  West India Quay.

  The Museum in Docklands, affiliated to the Museum of London and located close to Canary Wharf in the heart of London is housed in a four-storey converted warehouse (with lifts!).  It tells the story of the development of London from Roman times with particular emphasis on the part played by the River Thames in conveying invaders, merchants, and immigrants over all the ages.  There is a newly opened exhibition showing the part played by the London Docks in the transatlantic slave trade and during World War II.  There is a great deal to see, including a reconstructed street with shops and a large model of London Bridge in mediaeval times.  Entry tickets included in the cost are good for a year from date-of-purchase.  Access is close to the Docklands Light Railway, but for convenience coach travel has been arranged.  Ample refreshment facilities include a ground-floor cafe and a full-service restaurant.  Nearby there are various Tapas bars located round the boat-moored quay.

Museum in Docklands
West India Quay, Canary Wharf, London E14 4AL

Organiser: Peter Bradley.

Pick-up points and times:
  Stoke Poges Village Hall    9:00 am.
  Slough High Street - outside Slough Museum.  9:15am.
  Old Co-op bus stop    9:25 am.
  We will leave Docklands Museum at around 3:45pm.

Cost:  £15 per person.

 Sat 29 Mar 2008  Visit to Tewkesbury.

  Tewkesbury is steeped in history: a town of timbered, black-and-white houses and good inns, where the Severn and Warwickshire Avon meet.  Parts of the bridge date back to the 13th century and the Hop Inn claims to have been mentioned by Dickens in the Pickwick Papers.
The town’s most impressive building is the Abbey Church, one of the largest to survive the dissolution, which has been used as the parish church of St Mary the Virgin ever since.  The earliest parts date from the 12th century, the tower from about 1150.  It contains many medieval tombs and the renowned Warwick Chantry.  The rest of the Benedictine Monastery has not survived.  A guided tour of the Abbey Church is included in the price.  The visit has an early start because of the distance to travel.  The Abbey Refectory will be open for lunch and there are eating places in the town.

Organiser: Jean Porter

Pick-up points and times:
  Slough: Old Co-op bus stop     8:20am.
  Slough: Old Granada bus stop  8:30am.
  Stoke Poges Village Hall          8:45am.

  We expect to leave Tewkesbury at 4:00pm and be back to Stoke Poges, then Slough by about 7:00pm.

Cost:  £21 per person (subject to adjustment on the day).

Sat 27 September 2008  Visit to SISSINGHURST CASTLE and SMALLHYTHE PLACE.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden (NT) is one of the world’s most celebrated gardens, created by Victoria (Vita) Sackville-West and her husband Sir Harold Nicolson.  It was developed, during the 1930s, around the surviving part of an Elizabethan Mansion with a prospect tower.  Vita’s library and study will be open to visitors.  The garden consists of a series of square compartments, each a faultless example of colour and form.  A restaurant and coffee shop is available on site.

Smallhythe Place is a half-timbered house which dates from 1480 but the main parts are 16th century.  It became the home of Dame Ellen Terry, the actress, in 1902 and is now a memorial to her and other famous actors and actresses.  The house, cottage garden, barn theatre and theatre collection will all be open .  A cafe is available.

Organiser: Jean Porter

Pick-up points and times:
  Stoke Poges Village Hall (SP)           8.45 am
  Slough: Old Granada bus stop (OG)  8.55 am
  Slough: Old Coop bus stop (OC)       9.00 am

Cost:  Cost: £10 for NT members, £20 for others.  (subject to adjustment on the day?)

Sat  9 May 2009  Visit to Chipping Campden.

Chipping Campden is a small delightful mediaeval town nestling amidst the north of the Cotswold hills close to the border of Gloucestershire and Warwickshire. After a leisurely drive in the morning and time to identify and sample one of the many restaurants, cafes and pubs, a volunteer warden will introduce us to the town’s heritage through an audio-visual presentation showing such features as the ancient almshouses and William Grevel’s house in the High Street. This will be followed by a guided short walking tour of this interesting place. We will see the honey-coloured stone houses with steeply pitched roofs, gables and mullioned windows dating from the 14th Century once owned by wool merchants as well as the several shops dating from the 19th Century still in business. We will be taken round the nearby wool church of St James and followed by an included homemade afternoon tea. Departure for back home will be around 5pm.

Organiser: Jean Porter

Pick-up points and times:
    Old Coop bus stop (OC)            9.10 am
    Old Granada bus stop (OG)        9.20 am
    Stoke Poges Village Hall (SP)     9.30 am

 Cost: £20 for visitors, subsidised cost for members £15

Sun 14 June 2009  Walk around Denham Village.

A guided walk in this picturesque village has been arranged, finishing with the Churchyard and the Church.  W.I. Teas will be available in the Church, at an extra cost, for those who wish to indulge. The walk should take about an hour or so.

Organiser: Barbara Rigby

People will be expected to make their own way to Denham.  Parking is available in the road and can be a little difficult but not impossible.  Car-sharing will help.  Allow time to find a place.

  Start of walk               2:00 pm sharp

Cost:  £2 for all.

Note: No booking required, but please put your name on a list at one of our talks, so we have an idea of numbers.

Saturday 8 May 2010  Visit to BROOKWOOD CEMETERY.

The Largest cemetery in Britain, situated this side of Guildford.  We will stop en route for a pub lunch (or take your sandwiches) and go on to visit 2 or more of the various areas in the company of Leslie Grout, who will give us a guided tour - there are some interesting people buried here and some interesting tales about them.  There is also now an English community of Russian orthodox monks who live nearby and use the old chapel - this building contains the remains of Edward the Martyr, a murdered Saxon king and we will see this.  If you have a portable seat, it may be a good idea to bring it along.

For more information, see their website:

Organiser: Jean Porter,  Tel: 01753 643517

Pick-up points and times:
    Stoke Poges Village Hall (SP)            12.00 noon
    Old Coop bus stop (OC)            12.10 pm
    Old Granada bus stop (OG)        12.20 pm
 We will return at approximately 5:00pm
 Cost: £14 per person

Saturday 16 Oct 2010  Visit to Chastleton House

A rare gem of a Jacobean country house, Chastleton House was built between 1607 and 1612 by a wealthy wool merchant as an impressive statement of wealth and power.  Owned by the same increasingly impoverished family until 1991, the house remained essentially unchanged for nearly 400 years as the interiors and contents gradually succumbed to the ravages of time.  With virtually no intrusion from the 21st century, this fascinating place exudes an informal and timeless atmosphere in a gloriously unspoilt setting.
There is no shop or tearoom, so you can truly believe you have stepped back in time.
    Discover rooms full of rare objects without ropes or barriers.
    Enjoy the garden with Jacobean topiary and a vegetable plot.
    See a ceiling last cleaned in 1612.

For more information, see the website:

Proposed itinerary:
    Pick-up points and times:
      Old Coop bus stop (OC)            9.00 am
      Old Granada bus stop (OG)        9.10 am
      Stoke Poges Village Hall (SP)     9.20 am
    Visit (time permitting) to Dover's Hill (beauty spot and site of the Cotswold "Olympick Games")       Lunch stop at the Fleece Inn at Bretforton (a half-timbered medieval farmhouse, also NT)
    Visit Chastleton House between 2:00 - 4:00pm
    Tea in Moreton-in-Marsh, leaving there approximately 4:30pm

 Cost: £15 per National Trust member
         non-NT members pay the additional Chastleton House entry of about £8.
    A lunch menu is provided.  Please put your lunch choices on the booking form
    Numbers will be limited to 35 people.

Organiser: Jean Porter,  Tel: 01753 643517

Saturday 9 April 2011  Visit to Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent  (an award-winning maritime heritage attraction)

On arrival, we will have a tour on our coach of the dockyard so that everyone can choose what they would like to see out of the many attractions.  It is a large site but there is a train which can help you get about and wheelchairs are available.  There is plenty to visit whether wet or fine including HMS Gannet (1878), HMS Cavalier (destroyer) and HMS Ocelot (submarine); the Victorian Ropery; the Royal Dockyard museum; 3Slip (the BIG museum) containing a midget submarine (big in this instance) amongst so many more fascinating exhibits;  Wooden Walls, where characters are working on traditional skills and much, much more.  At the time of our visit, there will be a Robot, Cyborg, and Android collection on show.
There is a restaurant at the entrance, but we have the opportunity to book a lunch aboard HMS Cavalier at a group rate of £4-50 per person (includes tea or coffee).  In this case the choices are:
    Fish and chips
    Kent sausage and chips
    Vegetarian option of the day.
There is a separate mention of this on the booking form as we have to pay in advance.

Times of points and times:  
    Stoke Poges Village Hall    (SP)    9:00am
    Old Co-op  bus stop        (OC)    9:10am
    Old Granada  bus stop        (OG)    9:20am

Cost including entry, tour and tip: £22.00

Please apply for places as soon as possible and at the latest by Saturday 19 March 2011

For more information, see the website:

Organiser: Jean Porter,  Tel: 01753 643517

Thursday 8 June 2017 Visit to Boughton House, near Kettering  

Boughton House as it stands today is largely the work of Ralph Montagu, later 1st Duke of Montagu, who inherited what was then a simpler Tudor building, in 1683. Montagu had been an English ambassador to France, and he was keen to bring French beauty and style to an English landscape. He expanded his home using contemporary French architectural influences and the resulting masterpiece is often referred to as ‘The English Versailles’. His son, John, 2nd Duke of Montagu, made grand changes to the gardens. His new landscape covered 100 acres, with water features, splendid vistas and treelined avenues.  After the death of the 2nd Duke, the House passed through the female line to noble families whose main residences were elsewhere. The Dukedom of Montagu became extinct and for two centuries, the House ‘slept’.  However in the 20th century it once again became a beloved family home,the residence of the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, a descendant of the Montagus.   Today, the House has featured in history and arts programmes, as well as appearing in the Oscar winning “Les Misérables”.  

Visit Organiser:   Jane wall     Tel: 01753 645954

Pick-up points and times: Stoke Poges Village Hall   09:30 am Departure will be at  3:30 pm to return to Village Hall around 5:30pm (traffic permitting)

Cost including entry, coach and tip: £25

Thursday 24 May 2018   Visit to Ascott House, Wing, near Leighton Buzzard  

Ascott House presents as an ‘Old English’ manor house of black and white half- timber, with red –tiled roofs and shafted brick chimneystacks. Its core is an old farmhouse thought to date from 1606. The original farmhouse has undergone many changes since being acquired by the Rothschild family in 1873. Mary Gladstone described it as ‘a palace-like cottage, the most luxurious and lovely thing I ever saw.’ The interiors feature a Victorian cornice incorporating a series of proverbs in the Common Room. Ascott House has exceptional collection of paintings, fine furniture and superb oriental porcelain.The extensive gardens are an attractive mix of the formal and natural with specimen trees, shrubs and beautiful herbaceous borders. There is a tea-room selling light refreshments and lunches which is located at the cricket pavilion.

Visit Organiser:   Jane wall     Tel: 01753 645954

Pick-up points and times: Stoke Poges Village Hall   09:30 am Departure will be at  5:00 pm to return to Village Hall around 6:30pm (traffic permitting)

Cost including entry, coach and tip: £19 (NT members);  £29 (non NT members)

Thursday 13 June 2019   Visit to Jane Austen's House and Museum, and Chawton House  

Jane Austen's House and Museum in Hampshire is the only house where Jane Austen lived and wrote that is open to the public. It was in this country cottage that Jane's genius flourished and where she wrote, revised and had published all her novels. Jane moved here in 1809 with her mother, sister Cassandra and friend Martha Lloyd after a period spent living in lodgings. The house was owned by Jane’s brother Edward, who had inherited the Chawton Estate, and was offered to the women rent-free for life.

Chawton House is 5 minute's walk from Jane Austen's House. This route was taken by Jane to visit the 'Great House' that was once owned by her brother Edward.   The house was built by the Knight family in the 1580s, and their descendants adopted Edward Austen, a distant relative, as their heir.  There was already a manor house on the estate prior to this, first recorded in 1224.  

Visit Organiser:   Jane wall     Tel: 01753 645954

Pick-up points and times:
Stoke Poges Village Hall   09:15 am
Hedgerley Hill:                09:25 am
Departure will be at 4:15 pm to return to Village Hall around 5:45 pm (traffic permitting)

Cost including coach, tea/coffee & biscuits on arrival and entry to both houses: £32

For more information and a booking form, please click here