News Letter ~ September 2016

Mrs. Sue Shapland “Upover”, 22 Five Bells, Watchet, Somerset. TA23 0HY Tel/Fax: 01984 631036 Mobile: 07748 562974

E-mail:- [email protected]

After our wonderful weekend for HMQ90th Celebrations we visited the Garden House at Buckland Monachorum. It’s a long time since I’ve been there and it has certainly changed since my first visit in 1999. There’s more garden than before but somehow there were not the delightful swathes of glorious colour that I remembered. However the same can’t be said of our two visits to Mottisfont Abbey NT in June – ‘thank you’ Rosemary for standing in for me when I was not well. We had good weather on both days, the roses were glorious, the guided tours most interesting and all rounded off with a home-cooked meal at Wayne’s Bar on our way home. We also saw the D’Oyle Carte production of The Mikado at the Hippodrome, I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and thought it was an excellent production. In July we went to our first Air Show, the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford. Although it was not very well supported, those who went seemed to really enjoy the day; there was so much there to see . The Red Arrows put on a fantastic display and Val Clapham took probably one of the best photos ever – a fabulous shot of Prince William and family – it is on our web-site so take a look! We had another visit to the Hippodrome to see Guys & Dolls and then two visits to Dartmouth where we had a cruise up the River Dart to see Agatha Christie’s house Greenway. Garden visits have proved very popular and once more we were blessed with lovely weather. July was rounded off by taking two coaches to Bath to see While the Sun Shines by Terrence Rattigan at the Theatre Royal. This may have been written almost 70 years ago, but it had us all in stitches – a most enjoyable production. On the holiday front we undertook our most ambitious venture to date, 102 ‘EE’s’ enjoyed a two week cruise “Up the Rhine & Down the Danube”. Logistically it was quite a challenge as you can imagine, but everybody returned home safely, albeit many of us then went down with a very nasty virus. My thanks to Christine Kershaw for her interesting report which you can also read on our web-site. Quite a number of you also enjoyed the NT Holiday in Northern Ireland and then at the end of July a select party had a wonderful few days for Cheshire & Tatton Park Flower Show. It is great to report that we have actually had some hot weather and our day at Tatton Park was memorable for being one of them! This was a tour full of variety and I’m told one of our best ever! It also included visits to Jodrell Bank, Chester, Port Sunlight and Stonyford Gardens - the high point being a birthday celebration whilst having dinner aboard a boat on the Chester Canal. All in all it has been a busy but very enjoyable few weeks since the last Newsletter.

Well there seem to be quite a number of new items in this Newsletter; not sure how that has happened as I was planning to cut down a little on the programme! - I must apologise to you all - very sadly the Sunday Lunch I had arranged on M.V. Balmoral has had to be cancelled. I have constantly asked for the menu since the beginning of August but it has still not been forthcoming. Instead I’ve arranged a visit to Bath with a guided tour which I hope you will enjoy. I’m sure Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in Exeter Cathedral in December, sung by Exeter Festival Chorus will be a very special occasion; Nigel Perrin the conductor is so inspirational. One concert I am really looking forward to is on the afternoon of 2 nd January I’ve arranged lunch at the Fisherman’s Cot then we will have the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s New Year Viennese Concert. In February we have two new outings; Evita will be back at the Hippodrome and Pride & Prejudice at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. In March Funny Girl will also be at the Hippodrome and because Matthew Bourne’s ballet The Red Shoes has already booked, I’ve booked for a second coach. If you have already booked for 6th April and would be prepared to go for the evening on 5th April, please will you contact me to let me know. There are three new ‘Stay-Aways’ in this Newsletter; I previously e-mailed details of the Pre-Christmas London and it’s now fully booked, my apologies if you missed out, please get in touch and I will put you on the waiting list. For our Jazz Break in February I’ve managed to book John Maddocks again, his band was outstanding at our last Jazz Weekend; also Jeremy Huggett who played for our first Jazz weekend. With two such splendid bands I do hope that you will support this holiday, if you have any friends who may be interested, please do invite them to join us. I’m very aware the foreign holidays planned for 2017 are expensive so I’ve arranged a cheaper one to Italy. Lake Maggiore is very lovely but numbers are limited so if you’re interested ask for a booking-form. I was very interested to hear there is to be a new RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Fortunately I was able to book our hotel before this became common knowledge and I think it should be another interesting tour. The South & West of France is still over a year away, I hope a few more will now look carefully at this interesting itinerary and we get enough to make the tour viable. I do hope you enjoy this latest Newsletter and will find something of interest; if you are interested in the tour to New Zealand please let me know so that I can send you the details when they are available. With all best wishes


Saturday 17th September ~ Longleat

Longleat Balloon Festival Depart: ~ Minehead 9.30am

Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 10.00pm

* * * * * Monday 19th September ~ 7.30pm at Northcott Theatre, Exeter

Orange Tree Theatre & English Touring Theatre co-production By Terence Rattigan Rattigan’s sparkling 1936 comedy was the first smash-hit success from the writer of The Deep Blue Sea, Separate Tables and The Winslow Boy. Directed by Paul Miller, the Orange Tree Theatre combined with the English Touring Theatre are returning by popular demand after a sell-out run last year. I‘ve reserved places in the theatre restaurant, if you are interested I will e-mail you the menu - two courses £16 or three courses £20 Cost: Coach & Ticket ~ £36 or £33 Optional meal £16 or £20 Depart: ~ Minehead 3.45pm Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 11.30pm

* * * * * Wednesday 21st September ~ 2.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome

Sister Act

We first saw this at the Palladium Theatre in

London where it had a long and distinguished run, now it’s coming to the Hippodrome in September. If you are interested please call me a.s.a.p. so that I can arrange some more tickets. Cost: Coach and Ticket ~ Stalls ‘premier’ seats £55 Stalls band A £42 Depart: ~ Minehead 10.15am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 6.45pm

Saturday 1st October ~ 2.30pm at Bristol Old Vic

The RIVALS ~ A comedy of love and manners Depart: ~ Minehead 10.00am

Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.00pm

* * * * * Tuesday 4th October ~7.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome

Fiddler on the Roof Please ring a.s.a.p. if you are interested in going Cost: Coach and ticket - Stalls £32 Optional 2 course meal £ 15 Depart: ~ Minehead 3.15pm Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 11.30pm

* * * * * Thursday 6th October ~ at Exeter Racecourse, Kennford

Behind the Scenes at Exeter Racecourse We will leave early and make a coffee stop on the way to the race course then go have a guided tour “behind the scenes” when we arrive. I’ve booked a package which includes the Haldon Stand Premier Admission, lunch vouchers, a glass of wine or a pint of beer and a race-card. Cost: Coach, admission, behind the scenes tour & package as described £40 Depart: ~ Minehead 9.00am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.30pm

* * * * * Thursday 10th November ~ 2.30pm at New Theatre, Cardiff

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Depart: ~ Minehead 9.30am

Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 8.30pm

Monday 14th November ~


with Guided Coach Tour

I can only apologise profusely that I have had to cancel the proposed visit to Bristol for Sunday Lunch on-board MV Balmoral. I have been tearing my hair out with frustration waiting for the menu which I asked for at the beginning of August. The Newsletter has now been waiting to go to print for a week and I STILL can’t get the menu!!!!!!!!! Hopefully the visit to Balmoral will only be postponed but instead I’ve arranged a visit to see Bath. We will stop for an early light lunch on our way; then those who would like to do their own thing can do so. I’ve arranged for a Blue Badge Guide to give us a guided tour of Bath in the coach: the last ½ hour will be an optional walking tour which is limited to the first 24 to book this part. Cost: Coach, light lunch and guided tour ~ £29 Depart: ~ Minehead 9.30am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 6.30pm

* * * * * Thursday 17th November ~ 2.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome

Billy Elliot the Musical This is the first time Billy Elliot the Musical will be seen outside London, if you’re interested please ring a.s.a.p. Cost: Coach and ticket: Stalls premium seats £72 Stall band A £62 Depart: ~ Minehead 10.15am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.30pm

Sunday 20th November ~ 3.00pm at Barclaycard Arena Birmingham

The Spanish Riding School The world’s oldest and most famous equestrian academy celebrates its 450th anniversary this year. The Spanish Riding School in Vienna continues to delight both connoisseurs and newcomers almost half a millennium since its foundation in 1565. To celebrate this landmark anniversary, the Spanish Riding School of Vienna will perform at the Barclaycard Arena from 18-20th November 2016. Each show will be hosted by TV presenter and British Dressage Ambassador, Nicki Chapman. Amazingly it will be four years almost to the day since we saw the Spanish Riding School at Birmingham, but knowing your love of equestrian events, when I heard they were making their 450th Anniversary tour and would be there again, I immediately booked some tickets! We will make a comfort stop at Gloucester Services on our way north and you will have some time in Birmingham before the show. Afterwards we will again stop at Gloucester Services for some refreshment on the way home as I think this will be the speediest and most efficient way of feeding everyone. Cost: Coach & Ticket ~ £82 Depart: ~ Minehead 9.15am

Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 10.30pm

* * * * * Friday 25th November ~ Westonbirt Arboretum

An Enchanted Christmas If you are interested there are just a few places available Cost: Coach, two course lunch, coffee & entrance to Westonbirt £45 Depart: ~ Minehead 11.00am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 10.00pm

Saturday 3rd December ~ 7.00pm at Exeter Cathedral

Exeter Festival Chorus

J S Bach Christmas Oratorio conductor Nigel


Exeter Festival Chorus is joined by internationally acclaimed soloists to perform Bach’s joyful and exuberant series of cantatas to celebrate Christ’s birth. The work will be performed in German and played on period instruments by Devon Baroque, the early music chamber orchestra. J.S. Bach wrote this six part Oratorio during 1733 & 1734, it is intended to be performed in church during the Christmas Season. I’m sure you will easily recognise this beautiful music. Good news is that I’ve arranged an optional two course meal once again at the Refectory and will send you the menu when you book. Optional Meal £15 Cost: Coach & reserved nave seat £42 £37 or £32 - unreserved - £22 Depart: ~ Minehead 3.15pm Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 11.15pm

* * * * *

Future Dates for your Diary in 2017 Friday 23rd June ~ 7.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome

Thoroughly Modern Milly Wednesday 28th June ~ 7.15pm at the Brewhouse, Taunton


– Live cinema from the Royal Opera House

This will be another first for the ‘EE’s’ - I am told the quality of the screen is excellent and this should be very special!

Monday 2nd January ~ 3.00pm at Great Hall Exeter.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra See in the New Year in style with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s traditional celebration of Johann Strauss, the King of Waltz. Don’t miss your chance to hear his waltzes, marches and polkas as they should be heard - played by a full symphony orchestra! Join charming Conductor Frank Zielhorst and star Soprano Soraya Mafi and experience the sparkling atmosphere and light-heartedness of the Viennese dance halls. Something I have always wanted to do! A New Year Viennese Concert. I’ve arranged lunch at the Fisherman’s Cot at Bickleigh (menu to follow) then we will enjoy a top class orchestra with some wonderful music. Optional two course lunch £16 Cost: Coach & centre gallery seat £39 side gallery £35 or back stalls £27 Depart: ~ Minehead 10.30am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.30pm

* * * * * Wednesday 1st February ~ 2.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome

Having broken all box office records in the West End, this fun-filled production is coming to Bristol next year and I’m sure many of you will want to make the most of the moment and enjoy what I’m sure will be another wonderful production. Cost: Coach and ticket - Stalls premium seats £72 Stalls “A” seats £62 Depart: ~ Minehead 10.15am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.30pm

Thursday 16th February ~ 2.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome

Following its smash hit run at London’s Dominion Theatre, Bill Kenwright’s production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s EVITA is set to thrill audiences once again across the UK. Telling the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, Evita follows Eva’s journey from humble beginnings through to extraordinary wealth, power and iconic status which ultimately lead her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation’ by the Argentine people. Featuring some of the most iconic songs in musical theatre including Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, On This Night of a Thousand Stars and Another Suitcase in Another Hall, this smash hit show truly promises to be the theatrical event of the year. I’m delighted that Evita is making another revival; it is a very long time ago that I first saw this incredible show in London but I will certainly look forward to seeing it again in Bristol. It has some of the best songs of any musical; if you have not seen it on stage then it is something you should do. We will plan to arrive in Bristol with plenty of time for you to enjoy some retail therapy or a leisurely lunch! Cost: Coach and ticket - Stalls “A” seats £45 Depart: ~ Minehead 10.15am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.30pm

Thursday 23rd February ~ 2.30pm at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” As the Bennet sisters haplessly search for love in Jane Austen’s ultimate romantic comedy, it is Mr. Darcy who unwittingly finds his match. From the producers of the recent smash-hits To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies, Pride and Prejudice comes to Cardiff after sell-out performances at Regent’s Park Theatre and features Matthew Kelly and Felicity Montagu as Mr and Mrs Bennett. First published in 1813, "Pride and Prejudice," Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners - one of the most popular novels of all time - tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet's five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr Darcy, have moved into their neighbourhood. It features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues. It will be good to return to the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, as usual I’ve arranged an optional meal at the theatre restaurant after the show, details of the menu will be available nearer the time. Cost: Coach and ticket - Circle £57 or £47 - Stalls £47 Optional Meal £17 Depart: ~ Minehead 9.15am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 9.00pm

Thursday 23rd March ~ 2.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome

Funny Girl brought global fame to Barbara Streisand fifty years ago and boasts some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history. This exhilarating musical tells the tale of Fanny Brice who rose from being a Brooklyn music hall singer to become one of Broadway's biggest stars under producer Florenz Ziegfeld. The show features songs including ‘People, ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’ and I’m the Greatest Star. The vocal talents and comedic ability of Fanny see her rise from Brooklyn music hall to Broadway star. A bittersweet tale of love and fame, Funny Girl has not been seen in the UK for over 30 years but remains fresh and full of life thanks to the direction of Michael Mayer and a revision of the show’s script by Harvey Fierstein. At present Funny Girl is playing at The Savoy Theatre in London but it will be starting its UK tour in February. With so many new musicals on offer it is difficult to select the right ones, but I thought you would probably enjoy seeing Funny Girl as many of you will remember and know the songs. Cost: Coach and ticket - Stalls premium seats £57 Stalls A seats £47 Depart: ~ Minehead 10.15am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.30pm

Wednesday 5th April ~ 7.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome AND Thursday 6th April ~ 2.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome (full)

A beloved fairy tale Academy Award-winning movie, The Red Shoes has seduced audiences and inspired generations of dancers with its tale of obsession, possession and one girl’s dream to be the greatest dancer in the world. Victoria Page lives to dance but her ambitions become a battleground between the two men who inspire her passion. Matthew Bourne’s magical adaption of the legendry Powell & Pressburger film reunites the team who brought you New Adventurers’ world-wide hit Sleeping Beauty, with sumptuous designs be Lez Brotherston, Paule Constable and Paul Groothuis. It is set to a new score arranged by Terry Davies using the mesmerizing music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann whose work ranges from the witty and playfully robust to the achingly romantic and bittersweet. An intoxicating drama where life imitates art with fatal consequences - The Red Shoes will dazzle your senses and break your heart. “Britain’s most successful choreographer will blow your mind with his sheer imagination, wit and brio” This has proved so popular that I’ve booked for a second performance; the best seats available were for the 5th April. If you’ve already booked for 6th but would prefer to go on 5th please ring or e-mail me so I can make the changes. I’ve again reserved excellent premium seats in the centre of the theatre & booked a meal at the Côte Brasserie - menu to follow - Cost £14 Cost: Coach and ticket Stalls premium seats £57 Stall “A” seats £46 5th - Depart: ~ Minehead 3.00pm Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 11.30pm 6th - Depart: ~ Minehead 10.15am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.30pm

Wednesday 25th October 2017 ~ 2.30pm at Bristol Hippodrome

Adapted from the book by Michael


The National Theatre’s acclaimed production of WarHorse begins a major tour of the UK in September 2017 and Bristol is the second place it will be performed. The tour will coincide with the Centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War and follows the productions enormously successful tour of the UK 2013-2014. It’s been seen by more than 7,000,000 people worldwide. Set against the backdrop of WW1 it features ground-breaking puppetry which brings breathing galloping horses to life on stage. It has been seen in 97 cities in 10 countries and at present is showing in China. Although this is still 18 months away, I have booked the seats in order to get you good ones. Whilst many of you will have seen this outstanding theatre, I know there will be some of you who have not. In my opinion it is one of the most memorable productions that I have seen, the reason it has won so many accolades and why it has been showing in London for 10 years. We will make our way to Bristol where you will be free to do a little retail therapy or enjoy a leisurely lunch before the matinee performance. Cost: Coach and ticket Stalls premium seats £72 Stall “A” seats £62 Depart: ~ Minehead 10.15am Return: ~ Minehead (approx) 7.30pm

“EE Stay-Aways” Heritage Railways of North Wales ~ 9th - 13th October 2016 Vietnam and Cambodia ~ 16th October - 3rd November 2016 Pre-Christmas London ~ 13th -16th December 2016 We see High Society at the Mill at Sonning, go to Olympia Horse Show and a performance of Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall.

2017 The Best of the Caribbean with Fred Olsen ~ 4 - 20 January We fly to Barbados for this magical Cruise visiting 11 Caribbean Islands.

Jazz Break ~ Livermead House Hotel ~ 5 - 7 February Our own Jazz Break featuring two top bands.

Lakes Maggiore & d’Orta in Italy ~ 1 - 6 May Staying at Stresa on Lake Maggiore with visits to Lake d’Orta and the Borromean Islands this should be another lovely spring break.

Thoresby Hall & Chatsworth Flower Show ~ 5 - 9 June A new R.H.S. show, larger than Tatton Park, it should be very special!

A Week in Gotland ~ 14 - 21 June 2017 We will stay in the capital Visby and Brightwater Holidays have arranged a very comprehensive itinerary.

South then West of France ~ 11 - 21 September 2017 This should be a lovely time of year to visit the South of France

Plans for Future Holidays New Zealand - a tour is planned for November 2017 A visit to the Holy Land in Spring-time ~ 2018

Sunday 5th - Tuesday 7th February

JAZZ BREAK! at the Livermead

Jeremy Huggett & the Harlem 5

House Hotel

John Maddocks Jazz Band

After the great success of two of our very own Jazz Weekends, I’ve been asked by several of you if I will arrange another! In order to obtain the services of John Maddocks, who was just fantastic last year, I have had to change the dates a little and we will now go on Sunday and return on Tuesday. This will be our fifth visit to the Livermead House Hotel where we are all spoilt by the wonderful service and food. You will have plenty of free time in Torquay to do as you please but I’m sure there will be several going for some long walks if you want to join in.

Jeremy Huggett’s Harlem 5 who entertained us two years ago but who could not fit us in last January, are booked for Sunday night. They are a great band and I’m sure you will enjoy their music again.

John Maddocks Jazzmen

are a Dorset based Traditional jazz band that has been active for more than 30 years and has played extensively in the UK, Holland, Germany and Belgium. Prepare to hear some stunning clarinet solos from John together with brilliant ensemble work. They will round off the party and be playing for us on Monday night. So why not brighten up next February, have a relaxing weekend away for what I think is exceptional value, you will have two evenings of top-class music, optional walks and exceptional food. Cost: Includes travel in a Ridlers executive coach, two nights D B & B at The Livermead House Hotel, two evenings of great music & gratuities. The option to upgrade to a sea-view room and the single room supplement are both £20pp Sharing a twin/double room ~ £195pp

Monday 1st - Saturday 6th May 2017

Lakes Maggiore & d’Orta in Italy I’m very aware the foreign holidays for 2017 are rather costly and I want to give you the opportunity of booking one that’s less expensive. My good friend Pina (who is Italian) has put together an itinerary for a few days at Lake Maggiore that I hope you will enjoy.

Hotel Milan Speranza Au Lac

Day 1- Depart UK - having looked at all the options by far the best one is a direct B.A. afternoon flight from Heathrow to Malpensa in Italy which will get us to our hotel for an evening meal -

Hotel Milan Speranza Au Lac, Stresa

Excursion to Isola Bella

Excursion to Lake d’Orta

Villa Taranto in Pallanza

This superior 3 star hotel is a very comfortable hotel with a lakeside location directly opposite the boat landing stage in the centre of Stresa. It offers a professional level of service with a highly prized cuisine. All rooms have bath or shower, hairdryer, satellite TV, radio, phone and air conditioning during high season. Day 2 – will be free time for you to get acquainted with the delightful town of Stresa. Recommended is a visit to either Parco Pallavicino that you can reach via the town’s sight-seeing train or a small excursion to Villa Taranto in Pallanza. Alternatively you can simply enjoy the window shopping or people watching sat at a typical Italian café. Day 3 - Today we visit the Borromean Islands, you will have a hop-on-hop-off ferry ticket that lasts all day so you can plan your visits as you like (subject to timetable). The three islands are all very different; they include Isola Madre which has one of Italy’s

oldest botanical gardens with a beautiful plant collection, a charming villa, chapel garden and aviary. Isola Pescatore, with its quaint and picturesque fishing village, is the only one of the three islands with permanent inhabitants. Isola Bella is surely the most famous of the three and our visit includes admission to the Palace and Gardens, rich in sumptuous rooms filled with paintings and ornate furniture; the stunning gardens are laid out over 10 terraces. Day 4 - Today we have a full day guided excursion to Lake d’Orta; we will stop first in Omegna for a special view of the lake and then we will head to Orta where our guide will show us the best of this lovely old town - later there will be free time to explore the characteristically narrow streets, lovely al fresco cafes and restaurants and the small harbour. Above the town is Sacro Monte di Orta with its 21 chapels built between the end of the 16 th & 18 th centuries decorated with frescos and terracotta sculptures that illustrate the life of St Francis. A small train can take you there if you wish to avoid walking up the steep hill. We will also cross to the island of San Giulio with its very picturesque buildings. Day 5 – An optional excursion is planned today - the details are not yet finalised but I’m hoping we can use The Lake Maggiore Express. This is a full day round trip by narrow gauge railway and ferry. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see the valleys and towns surrounding Lake Maggiore. After taking the train from Stresa to Domodossola we board the narrow gauge Centovalli Railway that travels to Locarno in Switzerland through the “hundred valleys” area. The little train winds its way up the valley passing many traditional villages and old stone houses. From the train you will enjoy the spectacular scenery of beech and chestnut woods, alpine pastures, mountains and waterfalls. The railway crosses 83 bridges and travels through 31 tunnels during the journey to Locarno. When you arrive in Locarno there will be free time for lunch, explore the town centre or ride up the funicular to the Madonna del Sasso Sanctuary. The ferry leaves Locarno in the afternoon for a gentle cruise back down Lake Maggiore to Stresa. £32 Day 6 – we bid farewell to Stresa and transfer to Malpensa for our return flight where our coach will meet us for the return journey home. Cost: Includes return B.A. flights Heathrow to Malpensa, coach transfers UK and Italy, five nights B&B at the Hotel Milan Speranza Au Lac, two dinners, first & last nights, excursions as described and gratuities. A limited number of single rooms available at a supplement of £100pp Sharing a twin/double room £665 - £740pp depending on numbers.

Monday 5th - Friday 9th June 2017

Thoresby Hall & Chatsworth Flower Show

The Royal Horticultural Society and Chatsworth House Enterprises Ltd are delighted to announce a new annual RHS Flower Show on the beautiful 1,000 acre parkland of the Duke of Devonshire’s 300 year old home in Derbyshire’s Peak District. I was delighted to hear of this new R.H.S. Show and was fortunate to manage to reserve accommodation at Thoresby Hall Hotel before much news leaked out! Those of us who went to the Tatton Park Flower Show had a marvellous day there, partly because of the wonderful weather, but also because of the very high standard of exhibits the R.H.S. Shows attract. I plan to visit Chatsworth on Thursday 8th June and hope to make this another enjoyable break, incorporating some other interesting visits including:

Barnsdale Gardens - somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time, it’s too far for a day visit so this seems the ideal opportunity. Created by Geoff Hamilton for BBC Gardner’s World, it's teeming with great ideas and with Britain's largest collection of individually designed gardens, it’s an inspiring place to visit at any time of the year. We’ll have lunch there and a guided tour so as to make the most of our visit at this lovely time of the year.

Thoresby Hall Hotel will be our base for four nights of half board. This Warner Leisure Hotel located in the Nottinghamshire countryside has a great deal to offer and on Tuesday you’ll be able to enjoy the facilities available, including leisure activities and guided history and garden tours. Wednesday 7th June ~ Althorp House.

Built in 1508 and set within 550 acres of walled park, Althorp has been the home of the Spencer family for 500 years. Today it contains one of the finest private collections of art, furniture and ceramics in the world, including numerous paintings by world class artists. For those who would like a visit, we will have a guided tour of this historic property, visit the museum and view the island where Princess Diana lies at rest. Thursday 8th June – R.H.S. Chatsworth Flower Show Friday 9th June we’ll head home via the National Memorial Arboretum near Litchfield. It will be five years since we visited and I know there have been many developments since then. Cost: Includes return coach travel in a Ridlers executive coach, four nights DB&B at the 4* Thoresby Hall Hotel, entrance to Chatsworth Flower Show and other attractions as described and gratuities. A very limited number of single rooms at a supplement of £80. Sharing a twin/double room £495pp

A Week in Gotland ~ 14


- 21st June 2017

Wednesday 14 June 2017 - fly from London to Stockholm then take a ferry to Gotland and check into the Best Western Solhem Hotel in Visby. Thursday 15 June 2017 - Today we’ll have a tour of Visby, a mediaeval Hanseatic town which has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll also visit Visby Cathedral, Gotland Museum and the Botanic Gardens. Dinner is in our hotel tonight. Friday 16 June 2017 - We visit the Farm Museum at Bottarve then visit the sea stacks of Hoburgsgubben and the 13th century church at Vamlingbo. Evening at leisure. Saturday 17 June 2017 - full day excursion to the island of Fårö which features wonderful sandy beaches and magnificent fields of sea stacks. Sunday 18 June 2017 - includes Dalhem Heritage Railway, the east coast, the church at Gammelgarn and the Bronze Age burial cairns at Uggårda. Monday 19 June 2017 – we visit the north of Gotland, have a guided tour of the Lummelunda Cave and visit Bunge Museum, one of the largest outdoor museums in Sweden. Tuesday 20 June 2017 - we have a day at leisure, relaxing in the hotel or shopping and sightseeing in Visby. Wednesday 21 June 2017 This morning we check out of the hotel and transfer to the harbour in time for the morning ferry back to Nynäshamn. We continue to Arlanda Airport for our afternoon flight back to London, where our coach will be waiting to return us to our original departure point. Cost: from £1,399 - £1,699 depending on numbers, please ask for the full details in the flyer and a booking form if you are interested.

Heading to the South then West of France Monday 11th - Thursday 21st September 2017

Hospices de Beaune - the Hôtel-Dieu

Including visits to Beaune, Burgundy, Lyon & the Camargue. Join this fascinating tour visiting the delightful villages of the South of France, sample some of the famous wines & their delightful food. Monday 11 September - We make our way to Portsmouth where we catch the overnight ferry to St Malo, in Brittany with overnight cabins, an evening meal & breakfast is also included. Tuesday 12 September - After breakfast on board we make our way to Orleans. Our guide will take us around the old town and the Cathedral. We overnight in Orleans at the Novotel Hotel with dinner included. Wednesday 13 September – We head to Beaune with a lunch stop, (meal not included) on the way in Auxerre. We’ll have a leisurely guided walk and then free time to explore this delightful walled town in the centre of the Burgundy wine making region. Our hotel is the Hotel Henry II. Thursday 14 September 2017 –Today we go to Dijon – which as the capital city of the Burgundy region, offers far more than just mustard! Following a morning guided visit, you will have free time to explore and find yourself lunch. On our way back to Beaune we will take part in a wine tasting followed by dinner.

Friday 15 September 2017 – We say goodbye to Beaune and head for the historic monastery and town of Cluny, audio guides will enhance our visit.

Part of the Abbey at Cluny


Wild horses in the Camargue


From here we drive to Lyon and check into the Globe et Cecil, then have free time to explore this glorious city. Saturday 16 September 2017 – A guide will show us what Lyon has to offer ending with a visit to the Fine Arts Museum. After which you have time to wander around the shops and to check out the various restaurants. Sunday 17 September 2017 –We‘ll travel along the Rhône Valley to Avignon and visit the Papal Palace, started in 1335, it’s the largest Gothic palace in the world; audio guides will be supplied. Then on to Nimes & check into the Hotel Imperator. Monday 18 September 2017 – We’ll have a guided tour of Nimes followed by a visit to the Camargue area which offers a unique wildlife habitat with wild horses and flamingos. Tuesday 19 September 2017 – Today we visit Carcassonne, a World Heritage site, where a guide will explain, then head to Toulouse where we overnight at the Mercure Saint Georges. Wednesday 20 September 2017 – We head to Santander and catch the ferry, cabins dinner & breakfast included. Thursday 21st September – we arrive at Plymouth in the afternoon then drive back to West Somerset.

Cost: Includes return coach travel in a Ridlers executive coach, 8 nights B&B, 2 nights DB&B on board a ferry, wine-tasting, 3 dinners, guides & audio guides as per the Flyer & gratuities. Single room supplement £350. Sharing twin/double room from £1,240 - £1,390 depending on numbers

NEWSLETTERS AND BOOKINGS The “Exmoor Extroverts” is not a commercial organisation: there is an initial admin fee of £10 which also covers the newsletters until the end of 2016. Newsletters can then either be e-mailed (free of charge) or paper copies sent, the charge for which is £10 per annum per household. Prices for outings and meals are inclusive of gratuities. If you would like food that is not on the menu, for special diets, do please make a note on the booking form, or phone me. We acknowledge bookings via e-mail where possible and you can usually contact me by e-mail even if I am away or abroad. However, if you’ve not got e-mail and want to be sure that we’ve got your booking, please call on 01984 631036 - if I don’t answer PLEASE leave a clear message with your full name & phone number. A few days before the outing, we normally phone all those who have booked, just to remind them! Bookings that are cancelled: - if the tickets are re-sold, will be credited to your account (less £3 admin per ticket) to be used against a future booking. ‘Stay-Away’ cancellations can’t be refunded unless the place can be filled so holiday insurance is therefore recommended.


– for day trips start at the junction of King Edward Road with Alexandra Road, please try to park in Alexandra Road please do NOT block anyones drive or park where the coach stops! The coaches go through Alcombe, picking up at the Silvermead bus stop and from there make their way along the A39 to Williton, (picking up on the way as requested) and should arrive at Williton 15/20 minutes after leaving Minehead. The route from Williton depends on where we are heading; if we are going to Exeter then we can pick up in Taunton, either near the Cross Keys, the bus stop near the crematorium or in Wellington Industrial estate. For our trips to Bristol, Bath, or Cardiff we go via the A39 and can pick up en-route to Bridgwater. If you are in any doubt about pick-up points, do please give me a call. ‘Stay-Aways’ start in Townsend Road. The Exmoor Extroverts started life in 1999 with a trip to the Bristol Hippodrome to see Phantom of the Opera. This proved to be so popular I was asked to arrange more outings. From that small beginning, we have snowballed! In 2015 we undertook over 50 outings and 13 ‘Stay-Aways’. 2016 already has a busy programme! I hope you’ll find something to your liking and join us for some of the outings or holidays. If you’ve any queries, or ideas for future outings, please get in touch.

Sue Shapland