Outings

In addition to all our clubs, we also arrange occasional visits (sometimes incurring a small charge), such as guided walks or visits to gardens either locally or further afield. Details of all outings are advertised on WhatsApp.


Recent activities

Friday 10 May – Visit to Wakehurst in West Sussex

We went a bit further afield for our latest outing, to Wakehurst in Sussex, and were so lucky to choose a beautiful sunny day. There were 13 of us in all, travelling down in four cars. Some started the day with a guided tour, while the rest of us enjoyed coffee and cake in the café. We then set off to explore the 500 acres and there was so much to admire and so many photos to be taken. The azaleas and rhodedendons were particularly spectacular, as was the view from the viewing gallery at the top of the scaffolding surrounding the Grade 1 listed mansion. We then split into two groups, one having a picnic next to the maze, whilst the others picnicked by the lake. Inspired by everything we’d seen, it was difficult not to go mad in the shop and dream of recreating the splendour of Wakehurst in our own little London gardens! Thank you Rebecca, for organising such a wonderful day out.

Friday 3 May – Visit to Fenton House and Garden, Hampstead

Inspired by Frances, who is a volunteer at Fenton House and Garden (a National Trust property), a large group of us visited (in the rain) this hidden gem in Hampstead. Frances welcomed us and gave an introduction to the house, its history and treasures, before we explored the many rooms. Fenton House is particularly known for its fabulous collection of early keyboard instruments, 17th century needlework, and ceramics ranging from Chinese porcelain to Staffordshire ware. We were particularly thrilled to find musicians playing the harpsichord on the first and second floors. Once the house had been fully explored, we then ventured into the beautiful gardens which, despite the rain, were looking stunning and well worth a return visit! Thank you Frances!

Friday 8 March – Visit to the Supreme Court, Parliament Square

We had a record turnout when twenty of us visited the Supreme Court. We gathered in the lovely café in the basement before our wonderful guide, Ben, took us up to Courtroom One where he told us all about the history of the building (formerly the Middlesex Guildhall) and the role of the Supreme Court, how the justices are appointed and which cases are tried there. We then moved on to Courtroom Three, home of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Counsel which acts as a Supreme Court for a number of Commonwealth countries. before visiting the Library. Ben answered all our questions along the way and was an excellent guide. After the official tour we made our way back down to the basement to look at the exhibition before a reviving cup of tea in the café. A very educational and inspiring visit which was much enjoyed by all – thank you Rebecca for your organisational skills!

Thursday 11 January 2024 – Visit to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Neasden Temple)

A group of six of us visited one of North West London’s most spectacular landmarks – the Neasden Temple. We started with a tour of the amazing inner sanctum (Maha-Mandap) where the sacred images and the intricately hand carved columns, arches and the magificent dome took our breath away. We were then shown a film of the temple’s origin and how the 5,000 tonnes of Bulgarian limestone and Italian and Indian marble were hand-carved in India before being assembled in London in just 2½ years. We then returned to the inner sanctum to witness the arti ceremony, an ancient Hindu offering made by waving lighted wicks before the sacred images. We also visited the exhibition which gave us all a better understanding of the Hindu religion. The visit was rounded off by an excellent Indian buffet in the Temple’s restaurant. Thank you Ena for organising such a memorable outing!

Sunday 5 November and Monday 20 November – Gabrielle Chanel Exhibition at the V&A

The blockbuster exhibition Gabrielle Chanel: Fashion Manifesto is completely sold out but V&A members, and their lucky guests, can still gain entry. The first visit saw six of us getting up bright and early on a Sunday morning and then a couple of weeks later seven of us joined the rush through the doors of the V&A on a dank Monday morning into a world of Parisian glamour. The homage to ‘Coco’ Chanel, who rose from humble beginnings to dress the rich and famous, was spectacular and beautifully presented. Starting with her early, simple dresses in silk, the exhibits demonstrated Chanel’s iconic style and attention to detail. Highlights were the double-decker display of 53 of her famous tweed suits and the final gallery of sumptuous evening dresses, beautifully lit and staged on a stepped catwalk. After such a display of elegance, which left us feeling a trifle under-dressed, we repaired to the Members’ room for coffee and cake.


Monday 6 November – Kew Gardens

We couldn’t resist a return trip to Kew Gardens to see the autumn colours. And they didn’t disappoint!


Wednesday 23rd August – Trip to Eastbourne

Eight of us enjoyed a wonderful day out in Eastbourne and after weeks of mediocre weather we were delighted that we had chosen a day when the sun shone non-stop! First stop was the beach, where we had our picnic lunch and some were tempted to go for a swim in the surprisingly warm and calm sea (crossing the pebbles in bare feet was not so much fun!). Then we went back to Louise’s lovely flat for a reviving cup of tea before visiting the excellent Hepworth exhibition at the Towner Gallery. Some of us then enjoyed the spectacular views from the top of the big wheel and then we ended the day with delicious fish and chips before getting the train back to London. Big thanks to Louise for organising the day and for her hospitality.


Tuesday 8 August 2023 – Guided Tour of Willesden Jewish Cemetery

There was a good turnout for a very informative tour of the Willesden Jewish Cemetery where Liz, our wonderful guide, told us all about Jewish funeral rites before taking us on a tour of the cemetery, pointing out some of the notable women buried there. These included Rosalind Franklin, Hannah Roseberry (one of the Rothschilds) and Harriet Samuel (we were all amazed to discover that the H Samuel of the jewellery chain was a woman!). We heard lots of fascinating facts and stories along the way, but sadly we were finally defeated by the non-stop rain and took shelter in the visitor centre! We were all inspired to visit again in better weather. Many thanks to Louise for organising such a interesting visit.


Monday 31 July 2023- Visit to Chelsea Physic Garden

Eleven of us enjoyed a fascinating trip to the Chelsea Physic Garden which was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. We were given an excellent guided tour by Pippa who was a fount of knowledge on every aspect of the garden, covering not only the history of the garden and the amazing variety of plants, but also telling us all about the many ways that plants have been (and continue to be) used in medicine. After lunch in the café we then explored some more, finding more delights round every corner! And we were lucky that the threatened rain held off until just before we were ready to leave. Thank you Angela for organising such a lovely visit.


Monday 5th June 2023 – Return Trip to RHS Wisley

Our trip to Wisley in May inspired us to return a few weeks later so that we could see the peonies and roses in all their splendour (they were just buds on our last visit). Six of us made the return trip and we were not disappointed – so much had changed in just three short weeks!


Monday 15th May 2023 – trip to RHS Wisley

The weather was perfect for our trip to Wisley, organised by Angela. Nine of us travelled down in three cars and we met up over coffee where we planned our route around these amazing gardens. So much to see and so much inspiration for our own small London gardens! And of course couldn’t leave without a visit to their wonderful garden centre!


Friday 28th April 2023 – trip to Kew Gardens