BATH & BRISTOL - 20-24/10/2019 - Tonbridge U3A-Travel

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BATH & BRISTOL - 20-24/10/2019

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Thank you for organising the visit to Bath and area. I  think we were very lucky with the weather and it was a lovely area to  revisit.   I found the hotel's heating seemed eccentric, but as our room  was excessively hot, we were able to sleep with the sash window open. I  gather one of the other group was cold.   I could never find how our  room was so hot, as the radiator and towel rail never came on, but that  will be one of life's mysteries.  The food was so very good and of  course our driver was exceptional.   I am not sure I could get our small  Fiat Panda into the spaces he managed.
A truly lovely, well-organised visit and again our thanks.
Pam and Brian C

 
Our departure on Sunday 20th October 2019 went according to plan and our brilliant, happy Welsh driver, Les, became even happier by the time we had our first stop near Reading, when he heard Wales had beaten South Africa in the Rugby World Cup.  However I think we English would have preferred to play Wales in the final!
 
We spent the afternoon at the fascinating unspoilt 13th century village and Abbey at Lacock before travelling on to the Limpley Stoke Hotel.  Our four nights there were generally comfortable, once over or under heating was sorted out, and we enjoyed good food and pleasant company with some piano accompaniment on two evenings.
 
After a guided whistle stop tour by coach of Bath we were left to our own devices and explored the lovely city, returning to Limpley Stoke to prepare ourselves for our tour of Bristol the following day.  Our guide and Les took us up onto the Downs were we were able to  admire the views of the River Avon and the wonderful Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Brunel.  Most of us took up the opportunity to walk over the bridge before visiting the 12th century St Mary’s Church.  The afternoon was, for me, the highlight of the trip – a tour of the SS Great Britain at the Great Western Dockyard.  It is a wonderful exhibition, suitable for all ages from young school children to seniors like us.  It is cleverly displayed and managed, with helpful informative volunteers who seemed to be able to answer any question.  The atmosphere of what it must have been like to travel on the ship and the historic significance is well maintained throughout – even the original enormous masts are displayed nearby.   They were rescued from the Falkland Islands where the ship was used as a quarantine ship, then as a storage warehouse for wool and coal, before being scuttled in 1937.  In 1970 she was refloated and repaired sufficiently to be towed back to where she was built more than a 100 years before.
 
To add further interest there was sufficient time to take a ferryboat ride up to the boat yards and back, past MV Balmoral, which is awaiting renovation, before returning to the hotel.
 
Our last day in the lovely countryside of Wiltshire was spent in Wells.  However this writer decided a rest day was essential and arranged to meet an old friend for
lunch after a nice long lie in!Les drove us back to Tonbridge the following day, but not before a visit en route to Dyrham Park, an elegant 17th century house with acres of deer park, through which we walked, down into the valley to the house and formally laid out gardens.  We were extremely lucky to have lovely weather throughout our trip and the rain only started on our homeward journey.
 
Thank you organisers for yet another successful, informative and entertaining TU3A Travel trip!
Lois M

Dear Neil and Amy (and, indeed, the whole Travel Team)
Some time has gone by since our trip to Bath but I have been taken up with having my second cataract done and am therefore rather late in writing to thank you for a wonderful holiday. I thought the whole thing was brilliant!  The hotel was very comfortable, and suitable for our purposes. Our guide, Val, led us around efficiently and gave us just the right amount of information, in my opinion. Tonbridge U3A/Tailored Travel always pack a tremendous amount into each holiday and this one was no exception. However, the distances we had to travel not being too great, I didn't find it as tiring as sometimes! (That's not a criticism, merely a comment).
I enjoyed all the things we saw and did and appreciated being back at the hotel in reasonable time to relax a bit before dinner. It was also good to be able to meet new people by means of sitting in different places for meals.
   
Thank you so much to you both for looking after us all on the trip and ensuring things went smoothly. I appreciate greatly the fact that, as volunteers, the Travel Team are not obliged to do any of this stuff but set about their tasks with enthusiasm, efficiency, and grace.
Here's to Belfast!
Linda M
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