Outings 2020

Below are details of our programme of Society outings for 2020. Non-members are warmly welcomed for £3 extra on the price of each outing.

The departure point for outings is Uplyme Village Hall, Lyme Road, Uplyme, Lyme Regis, DT7 3UY (unless otherwise specified). Pickup in Axminster can be arranged – ask when booking.

Directions: the Village Hall is in Uplyme on the B3165 between Hunters Lodge and Lyme Regis. Driving from Hunters Lodge, the hall is on the right after the mini roundabout and the filling station. There is parking in front of or behind the hall.

For more details please call chairman Robin Britton on 01297 631850 or speak to the person responsible for bookings, who can advise if there are still spaces on limited-seat trips.

We also offer regular evening meetings at the hall!


Coach trip February 13th (Thursday)
Depart  8.15am
Colesborne Park nr Cheltenham

Colesbourne Park has been described as England’s greatest snowdrop garden. The garden was started by the Elwes family in 1789 and is still family owned. The garden covers 10 acres, and has more than 300 named varieties of snowdrop, many of which are for sale. As well as snowdrops there are hellebores, crocus, cyclamen, aconites and flowering shrubs. The garden also includes an arboretum of 300 trees of which 13 are national champion trees.

The owners, members of the Elwes family and the head gardener will be present to answer your questions.

Cost £20 includes soup & roll tea/coffee. Please contact Tricia Boyd 07767 261444 or email tricia@thegardenersblacksmith.co.uk to book

Coach trip March 10th (Tuesday)
Depart 8.15am
Lanhydrock, Bodmin

Take a stroll around the extensive gardens and enjoy year-round colour. There are beautiful herbaceous borders, a fabulous formal parterre and colourful higher gardens filled with camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. Also, discover two sides of Victorian life: from the kitchens, nurseries and servants’ quarters, which offer a thrilling glimpse into life ‘below stairs’, to the luxurious family areas, elegant dining room and spacious bedrooms which reveal the comforts of ‘upstairs’ living. Restaurants/shop/plant centre/picnic areas.

Cost NT Members £18 Non NT £25. Please ring Annie Kobus 01297 443346 to book.

Coach trip April 7th (Tuesday)
Depart  9.15am
Minterne Gardens & NT Max Gate

Minterne is landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown with the gardens laid out in a horseshoe below the House. The trail is around a mile in length with benches at regular intervals so you can sit and enjoy the peace and tranquillity. Minterne hosts a world-renowned and unique collection of Himalayan rhododendrons and azaleas, as well as many fine and rare trees. Small café/restaurant is available on the East Terrace or bring a picnic.

National Trust Max Gate is an austere but sophisticated town house near the town centre of Dorchester. Designed and lived in by Thomas Hardy and his wife, the house sits on a large plot of land that Hardy planted with a shelter of trees to screen the house for privacy. He wrote some of his most famous novels here, including Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, as well as much of his poetry.  Gradually he created a vegetable garden, flowerbeds, a croquet lawn and nut walk, where it is said, weather permitting, he would walk every day. In the pet cemetery is the final resting place of many pets of Hardy, including Wessex his beloved terrier. Self-serve refreshments.

Cost NT Members £15 Non NT £20. Please ring Jo Neave 01404 831942 to book.

Coach trip April 17th (Friday)
Depart 8.00am
RHS Flower Show Cardiff

What’s on at the Cardiff Flower show 2020? Celebrate the arrival of spring with beautiful blooms, innovative design and a host of experts in the first major flower show of the season. There is a host of exciting shopping opportunities, with a range of trade stands selling everything from clothes, jewellery and artisan food to beautiful blooms, greenhouses and tools for the garden. In the Floral Marquee you will find expert growers from all over the UK, showcasing their springtime favourites, as well as having the opportunity to meet a Master Grower who will answer all of those burning questions you may have. One of the most exciting things about the show is seeing plants and designs come together in the gardens and 2020 will be no exception. These designs will be a great source of inspiration for your garden, whatever your space or budget.

Cost £28. Please ring Jo Neave 01404 831942 to book.

Coach trip May 17th  (Sunday)
Depart 8.15am
Exbury Gardens, Southampton

Exbury Gardens, created by Lionel de Rothschild in 1919, boasts over 200 acres of woodland beauty and botanical varieties. Located in the heart of the New Forest, discover Exbury’s world-famous displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias and explore over 20 miles of pathways, three woods, riverside walks and abundant parklands. Experiences during your visit should include: steam train ride, camellia walk, azalea bowl, centenary garden, hydrangea walk and the herbaceous garden. Restaurant/café.

Cost £21 (includes train ride). Please ring or email Jo Benke-Smith 07504 442219 or email joanna.ulrhs@yahoo.com  to book.

Coach trip June 10th (Wednesday)
Depart 9.00am
Mottisfont, Romsey

Set on the west bank of the River Test, Mottisfont Abbey is a romantic country house and art gallery, crafted from a medieval priory, surrounded by sweeping lawns, beautiful gardens, ancient trees, riverside walks and world-famous walled rose garden. Ancient trees, bubbling brooks and rolling lawns frame this 18th century house with a medieval priory at its heart. The world-famous collection of old-fashioned roses flowers once a year in June and is a stunning ‘must see’ of this historical site. Old Kitchen restaurant and Coach House café.

Cost NT Members £15 Non NT £20.  Please ring or email Jo Benke-Smith 07504 442219 or email joanna.ulrhs@yahoo.com to book.

Coach trip July 7th (Tuesday)
Depart 9.15am
Ugbrooke, Newton Abbot

Dating back over 900 years and featuring in the Domesday Book, Ugbrooke House has been occupied by the Clifford family for over 400 years. Robert Adam and Capability Brown were commissioned to remodel the house, grounds and garden in the mid 18th century. Outstanding Adam interiors and unique external features remain, with the House containing many fine paintings, furniture, beautiful needlework and ceramics. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown created 2 large lakes, surrounded by English oaks, Spanish chestnut and holm oak, to name a few. Capability Brown’s plans can be seen hanging inside the house. The garden also features: a courtyard containing wisteria, espalier pears and a clipped hornbeam hedge, a fernery, a Spanish garden and a formal garden. The Orangery Tearoom is available for light refreshments and sweet treats, such as a traditional Devon cream tea.

Cost £18 to include coffee/tea and house tour. Please ring Rose Mock 01297 34733 to book.

July 22nd (Wednesday) 6.30pm
Evening visit -shared cars
to Musbury Barton, Musbury, EX13 8BB

Musbury Barton covers 5 acres and has extensive areas of trees and shrubs, many of which are rare or unusual. There is a formal rose garden, stream and pond with steps and bridges. Described by its owner Lt Col Drake as ’never perfect, always interesting’.

Cost £5. Depart in shared cars from Uplyme Village Hall at 6.30pm. Please ring or email Tricia Boyd 07767 261444 or email tricia@thegardenersblacksmith.co.uk by July 17th to book.

Coach trip August 11th (Tuesday)
Depart 9.15am
Mapperton, Beaminster & Old Rectory, Pulham

Mapperton is a 15-acre romantic valley garden descending from the very formal topiary gardens and Orangery to the north to an arboretum. Beyond this the land unfolds in small valleys and headlands down to the sea five miles away. The magnificent sandstone manor house is the family home of the Earl and Countess of Sandwich and has a fine collection of pictures and furniture. The Coach House cafe serves a selection of delicious light meals, snacks and drinks.

The Old Rectory, Pulham has 4 acres of garden and parkland to discover. A delightful journey discovering the layers of planting and design including: box hedging, circular herbaceous borders and a bog garden which is located around a stream and pond.

Cost £20 includes Mapperton house tour & tea/cake at Old Rectory. Please ring Sue Hadcock 01404 831942 to book.

Coach trip September 8th (Tuesday)
Depart 9.00am
The Newt, Bruton

Located in the Somerset countryside, The Newt (formally Hadspen House) was built in the 17th century and remodelled in Georgian times. The spectacular gardens have been remodelled by the new owners since 2013. Today The Newt has a cultivated garden to inspire, over 3,000 cider apple trees, ancient woodlands to explore and an abundance of fresh produce to enjoy. They claim their estate is ‘a haven of tranquillity’ where you can travel through two thousand years of history, breathing in the past. The gardens demonstrate a breadth of horticultural activities, celebrating traditions of different eras and using plants authentic to the time. The Newt does not allow picnics, however The Garden Café and The Cyder Bar are available for fresh and seasonal fare such as freshly baked cakes and tarts.

Cost £20. Please ring Rose Mock 01297 34733 to book.

Coach trip October 7th (Wednesday)
Depart 9.00am
Longleat, Warminster

No trip to Longleat would be complete without a safari tour through the big game park and cheetah kingdom. Here you will be up close and personal with the majestic white rhino, giraffes, zebra, tigers and flamingos as well as the world-famous lions. Enjoy a delightful walk in the beautiful gardens created by Capability Brown as well as exploring the newer additions such as the Sun Maze and Lunar Labyrinth, both of which can be accessed through the charming Peacock Garden, which boasts some truly impressive topiary, or maybe just enjoy a coffee in The Orangery whilst looking out over the romantic Love Labyrinth. ‘As majestic as the lions’ is how Longleat describe their house, with sweeping corridors and grand rooms. You will be transported back in time to see stunning examples of high Elizabethan architecture. Restaurants/shops.

Cost £20 includes safari park drive-through/house/boat trip and gardens. Please ring Annie Kobus 01297 443346 to book.

Coach trip November 15th (Sunday)
Depart 9.00 am
RHS Rosemoor Sculpture Trail

The gardens in winter at RHS Rosemoor are the perfect backdrop for the sculptures. As the foliage turns and falls the garden appears quite differently, with structural elements being more evident. Sculptures are placed in and around the garden in such a way that the pieces complement and enhance the setting. In the winter garden vivid colours of the Cornus and Salix can be seen alongside evergreen leafy shapes and colours. Restaurant/plants and shop.

Cost £16. Please ring or email Jo Benke-Smith 07504 442219 or email joanna.ulrhs@yahoo.com to book.

Gardening, social events, shows, and visits in East Devon and West Dorset

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