NT Centre Holiday to Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, 18th to 22nd May 2020.

Just a reminder that there are, at the moment, the following rooms available:- 3 Double, 3 Twins and 4 Singles.

Would Members wishing to book for this holiday please complete the Booking Request Form in the November Newsletter, or which is below and  phone David and Adris Cooke on 01453 765391 as soon as possible please.

Bookings must be made, ideally by the 18th December, to secure your place on this holiday because of the Christmas holidays.



Please note that there is an update of the Health and Safety guidance on holidays and outings further down this page.  Please take time to read this.


NBPlease see the Volunteer vacancies page for a request for members to help with outings and holidays


Outing reports


After a false start in Cheltenham to deposit three ”stowaways,• who had boarded the wrong coach, a party of 44 (the correct number!) from around the Centre set off  for Hartlebury Castle, near Kidderminster. Some of us, including your reporter, had never heard of it, but what a revelation it proved to be.

Hartlebury Castle was home to the bishops of Worcester for over 1000 years until 2006, when the bishop moved closer to Worcester Cathedral.  The building we see today dates from 1675 and is more stately home than castle, although it does have some castellations for authenticity, added when the Hurd library was created in 1782.

Worcester has had three Italian bishops. None of them visited their diocese, or even the country, but one of them, Giulio de Medici, bishop in 1521-2, was elected Pope Clement VII and famously refused to grant Henry VIII a divorce from Katherine of Aragon.

Hartlebury has received many royal visitors, including George III and Queen Charlotte. They travelled from Cheltenham on 2nd August 1788, returning the same day — a round trip of some 70 miles in a coach on, presumably, poor roads!

The tour of the Castle starts in a simple but elegant chapel and this understatement in both architecture and furnishings continues throughout the house.  An impressive commentary is given by high-tech moving pictures and sound recordings, representing the Victorian Bishop Pepys and his family.

Our visit included tea or coffee and a selection of fresh sandwiches. It was a most enjoyable day for which thanks are due, among others, to Julph Miers, who ”discovered" the Castle and organised the outing, and to our coach driver Dave.

Chris Haslewood


Gloucester Churches Trip Wednesday 25th September 

Thirteen members and guests met at The Cross to explore two historic, but contrasting, churches in the city. 

The group walked down Southgate Street in the company of Robert Tucker, one of our guides, who pointed out important features on the way to take refreshments at the newly updated St Mary de Crypt. 

The group were guided round St Mary de Crypt by Joan Tucker. Although it was her first talk on the history of this fascinating building and Tudor schoolroom, no one would have known, given her almost encyclopedic knowledge of the site and her fluent presentation. The hour there seemed to fly past.

Joan accompanied the group down to St Nicholas, a complete contrast, owned by the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), and, unlike St Mary de Crypt, it had no modern facilities other than electricity for the lighting! The group noted the leaning walls and tower as Robert took us around, correcting a lot of the ”facts• about the site that appear in learned books about it.

Voluntary contributions requested at St Nicholas amounted to £19 which has been sent to the CCT.  Judging by the number of emails sent to me afterwards, attendees appeared to have had a very enjoyable and instructive morning which I put down to our two excellent guides. Thee guides told me that ”they both enjoyed guiding the group round the Churches especially as they were very interested.• 

If you were expecting full details of the information provided by the guides I am afraid you are out of luck. It would have taken four pages of the newsletter and still have left key information out!

If you are interested, then both churches are open at various times during the year but check their websites or Gloucester Tourist Information Centre for details beforehand.

Bill Cronin

Photo by Maureen Race


Outings are arranged for the benefit and enjoyment of Centre Members and their guests only.


David and Adris, with help from Julph and Bill, have kindly arranged these outings for 2019:

Tuesday 2nd April Lacock Village and Abbey (NT) (Member‘s request)

Thursday 9th May Cirencester and Buscot Park (NT) (led by Julph Miers)

Thursday 6th June Hereford and Hellens House, Much Marcle (Member‘s recommendation)

Tuesday 16th July Aylesbury and Ascott House (NT) (not the race course!)

Tuesday 20th August Tyntesfield (NT) (Member‘s request)  

Tuesday 17th September Hartlebury (recommended, arranged and led by Julph Miers)

Wednesday 16th October Free Day in Worcester (Led by Bill Cronin)


For detailed information on Lectures, see the link on left-hand side of this page.

                                                          Centre Coach Outings

              The following report is by David Cooke, our Coach Outings Organiser

After three years of organising Coach Outings for the Centre, I find that I am running short of National Trust venues to visit within a reasonable day‘s journey. I have therefore started to consider visits to privately owned properties of which there are a great number from which to choose. The downside is that, as we do not have free entry to privately owned properties, as we do for the National Trust ones. The charges for visits to private properties will be higher than perhaps to which we have become accustomed. Increased charges for the coach will also affect the overall charge for Outings. Against this background, I have nevertheless tried to keep charges as low as possible. I have also introduced some initiatives such as a visit to an interesting town followed by a visit to a nearby property and on one occasion in the Summer including a lunch at a nearby hotel before visiting a National Trust which, unusually, does not offer refreshments for visitors. The day visit to Wells in October was very well received and I have consequently planned to end the 2018 season with a trip to Winchester which, arguably, has even more attractions than Wells!
I and I know our Committee, much value the support Members give to Outings and I very much hope that you will continue to give us your usual support in 2019. 


Please Note - The following comments apply to future Centre Holidays and Outings




PLEASE NOTE that the insurance carried by The Cheltenham and Gloucestershire Centre through the
National Trust does not provide Personal Accident cover for members aged 90 years and above. The Centre is not allowed by Government Statute to offer any advice about insurance but, of course, members in that category may wish to make their own arrangements.

Subject to the age limit, friends accompanying members to events who are not members of the Centre but are members of the National Trust are covered by the insurance.


Members of The Cheltenham and Gloucestershire Centre are informed that, for the purposes of record only, some details relating to their membership are stored electronically. Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, it is necessary for all members to be advised of that fact. If you have any queries about what is stored please contact the hon. secretary and not the membership secretary. Please note the membership secretary does not store her records electronically but uses a card system which is outside the ambit of this legislation.



If you wish to book for any of these outings, complete the appropriate Booking Form, in the Newsletter,
remembering that the instructions for booking may well be different to those in previous years.

Please send to the Booking Address on the form and write a separate cheque for each booking. The Mobile Telephone number for the leader of each outing will be provided for use on the day of the outing only. Please remember to bring your NT Membership Card for free entry to NT Properties. Failure to do so may result in having to pay the full entrance fee.


Coaches will be provided by Rover of Nailsworth, near Stroud, which is a well - established family coach company specialising in holidays in the UK and abroad and seasonal day trips. If you are interested in learning more about the public services offered by Rover, their Brochure can be obtained by contacting their  office on 01453-832121 and at www.rovereuropean.co.uk.    

Pick up points for all outings will be as follows:
                             Nailsworth    -    the Nailsworth Bus Station;
                             Stroud          -    the Bus Station Merrywalks; 
                             Gloucester   -    Westgate Street, Opp. Folk Museum
                             Cheltenham -    Royal Well Bus Station.

All participating in these outings must be paid-up members of the Centre and participate at their own risk. They are assumed to be in good health sufficient to be able to walk and climb steps and stairs as required. The NT ensures all members under the age of 90 against Public Liability risks and against  Accidental Injury, but members aged 90 and over are advised to have their own appropriate insurance.




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