Tuesday 17th October 2017: Visit to Breamore House,
Thirty eight members travelled to Breamore House near Fordingbridge. As we arrived early the café opened and in spite of a large group descending all at once, they accommodated us very well. The house tour was not due until 2pm, so some members visited the nearby Saxon chapel which was beautifully decorated for the Harvest Festival, and others went to the Countryside Museum either before or after the tour.
The Elizabethan manor was built in 1583 for the Dodington family, and in the 18th century was purchased by Sir Edward Hulse, who was physician to Queen Anne, and both George the First and Second. The same family still live there. The guide was excellent – among the many items she pointed out was a wall carpet dated 1614, still in perfect condition!
An interesting and informative visit enjoyed by all.
Tuesday 11th July 2017: Visit to Buckland Abbey & The Garden House
Fifty two members travelled to Devon, and in the morning we went to Buckland Abbey, the home of Sir Francis Drake. There are many artifacts on display relating to that period, including Drake’s Drum. Also, a bonus was a temporary sculpture exhibition by Andrew Logan, one of which was a metal installation of golden wheat in the Great Barn – magnificent!
In the afternoon we moved on to the nearby Garden House – not a house, but an extensive and very beautiful garden with views over the Devon countryside. Unfortunately it was a very wet day, so the garden not seen at its best, but intrepid members still explored in their waterproofs with umbrellas! The café there is excellent, and a welcome retreat from the rain.
Meg Rolfe, Organiser. Photos by Meg.
Thursday 25th May 2017
Visit to West Green Garden (NT) and the Watercress Line
The weather was perfect for a garden visit. We last visited West Green 4 years ago, when the spring flowers were in bloom. This time the visit was a month later, and there was a wonderful display of early summer blooms – roses, peonies, perennial poppies, lupins, alliums, etc. As well as the main gardens there is an informal winding walk beside a stream, planted with hostas without any slug holes. (How do they manage that?!).
After lunch at the café at West Green we proceeded to Alresford to catch the steam train to Alton where it stopped for 15 minutes before returning us back to Alresford – a pretty journey through the Hampshire countryside accompanied by the evocative sounds and smells of steam travel.