Outings & Vacations

The ‘Outings & Vacations Team’ work hard to arrange trips to interesting venues, including theatre, concerts and quiz nights, throughout the year together with an annual vacation. The current schedule of outings and vacations is suspended due to the pandemic but will start again as soon as is safe and practical to do so. The outings/vacation schedule can be found on the Noticeboard page.

Previous Outings & Vacations

Click on title to read full report.

Annual Holiday – Harrogate – 28th September to 1st October 2021

We departed our new Windlesham base early, with some trepidation at our first coach trip for 18 months, a full coach up close for long journeys and excursions, trusting each other to take coronavirus precautions. We appreciated that we were almost pioneering in organising and running a holiday before there was a roadmap and the…

Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Woking Theatre, 16 January 2020

For the first outing of the new decade we gathered at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking. The show was the follow on from the very successful “The Play That Goes Wrong”. This time it was the pantomime that kept going horribly and hilariously wrong. “This is not a Pantomime” as one character defiantly declared…

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra concert at G-Live Guildford, 30 November 2019

The acoustics of the, relatively new, G-Live hall helped to present the orchestra and the singer to good effect. Opening with Waughan Williams’ Overture: The Wasps one could well appreciate the ethereal shimmering sound of some 17 or more violins playing softly together, contrasted witht the smooth deep bass sounds of a similar number of…

Jaguar/Land Rover factory at West Bromwich, 28 August 2019

A pleasantly swift and traffic-jam free coach journey got us to the MacDonalds and KFC round the back of JLR in good time for a lunch break. Coffee and biscuits followed in the Jaguar visitor Centre, with time to admire the latest Jaguar electric cars, and have an introductory talk from our two guides. That…

RAF/USAF 100th Air Refuelling Wing at Mildenhall, 20 August 2019

We arrived early for vehicle search and Identity check, to enter the USA. The tour was meticulously structured, planned, and executed – as you might expect from a military organisation.   The comprehensive Tour included maintenance and fabrication facilities, an overview lecture of history of the base and Inflight refuelling and a visit to a Boeing…

Horse Drawn Canal Boat Trip, June 2019

Our outing with the canal boat was really different   We started from an end-of-the road, very quiet backwater on the Kennet and Avon Canal, known as Kintbury .  The silence was deafening.–– The canal and towpath had very little traffic and there were not even any cattle or sheep in the field – only the…

50th Anniversary Annual Holiday 2019 Lake Annecy, 6 -12 May 2019

The holiday was at the Les Grillons Hotel at Talloires, on Lake Annecy.   An excellent Hotel with good –size rooms, most with fabulous views of the Lake, friendly and helpful staff for whom nothing was too much trouble, great atmosphere of a small establishment  – family- run by Auriele and Sabastienne .  Excellent Restaurant, worth…

Battle of Britain Command Centre, 21 February 2019

We all arrived in our own cars at the Uxbridge Command Centre at 10 a.m. in good time for a coffee (and cake) in the new Visitor Centre cafe. We then had time to look around the exhibits in the Centre. These included full scale, fully detailed replicas of a Spitfire and a Hurricane flying…

Trip to Winchester Christmas Market, 22 November 2018

We all gathered at midday on the coach for the trip to Winchester. All that is, except for the Outings Committee member who thought the scheduled time was one hour later than was the case. Which caused a slight delay and some hilarity. The day was rather cool and grey, but remained dry. The market…

Probus Annual Holiday to Lake Bled in Slovenia – 2018

The 2018 Club annual holiday was to Lake Bled in Slovenia, an. excellent water-centric location with a church on the island in the centre of the Lake, and mountains surrounding. The Park Hotel was conveniently located for self-organise activities, on the very edge of the quiet lake (a renowned international Rowing centre with an Olympic…

Farnborough Air Museum (FAST), 30 August 2018

Some 20 Probus members gathered at the Museum on the edge of the Farnborough airfield. We were given an introduction to the history of aviation at Farborough, starting with the move of the Aldershot Ballon Factory to Farnborough Common in 1905. This led to experiments with heavier than air machines,  and Samuel Cody’s flight in…

Stourhead & Stonehenge, 17 May 2018

The weather for the day was set fair when we left Pine Ridge Golf Club, this was the prelude to a great day. Stourhead Gardens were set out by Henry the Magnificent in the early eighteenth century when he and a team of fifty gardeners planted and tended beech , oak , sycamore, ash and…

British Airways Heritage Museum at Waterside, 26 April 2018

Waterside is a fascinating location situated just off Heathrow Airport. It is the  BA Admin. Head Office, with Lawyers, Personnel (HR) etc, Cabin Crew Training Centre, plus the Heritage Centre. The spine  of the building is a long glass atrium, known as the “Street”, with many trees and a small stream – all enclosed, with…

Mountbatten Festival of Music, Royal Albert Hall, 9 March 2018

The Festival showcased the Pageantry, the outstanding versatility and incredible musicianship. of some of the world’s finest military musicians in a wide range of musical styles, including music from the big screen and superb solo items  Forecast as being 200 instrumentalists – four times the size of the normal RLC concert, but we didn’t expect…

Barrow Boys & Bankers, 20 February 2018

Excellent day out.   Very impressed by the Bank of England Museum – fully up to date with the latest high security notes and liked the little toy yacht on which Mark Carney uses a Tiller to steer the ship and presses the Red and Blue buttons to control Inflation and Quantitative easing. We all had…

The Play That Goes Wrong, 23 November 2017

Our coach dropped us off at the Duchess Theatre in London for an excellent comedy based on all the things that can go wrong during a performance. Plenty of slapstick, collapsing and revolving scenery , pregnant pauses, wrong lines ,repeated lines, offstage prompts, wrong entrances, great acting and impeccable timing – what more could you…

VintageTrain & Jurassic Coast Cruise, 19 September 2017

Nordon was our start point for the Heritage railway. the Station was a small branch line station with skeleton ticket office and short platform which got very crowded as the train arrived – although we had reserved seats, we had to chuck some interlopers out. Such interest in vintage railways! even in mid-September!! We looked…

Annual Holiday to Norfolk, 2017

On the way to Norwich we stopped at Lavenham, in Suffolk. This ancient woollen town still has its original Medieval timber framed buildings, dating from around 1500. Over time the timber frames of many buildings have warped to the extent that one can only look and marvel that they are still standing. We stopped there…

Kew Gardens, August 2017

The day dawned dull(ish), but dry. Our coach had the fastest ever run into West London, arriving early. So we had to “talk among ourselves” for 10 minutes before being allowed in for a coffee and a day exploring. The highlights were the new Treetop Walk, and the “Hive”. The Walk was reached by spiral…

West Dean Gardens & Goodwood House, 17 August 2015

A sunny start to the day for our drive down to the Chichester area and arrived for an early coffee. The West Dean Gardens were established almost 400 years ago, and comprise a huge area with a variety of different horticultural attractions. Members explored the  2½ acre Walled Kitchen Garden (neat rows of vegetables, intricate…

Cambridge Colleges Tour became Hughenden Manor, 21 June 2017

As we search further afield for new attractions, we do more mileage and although we try to avoid rush hours, it was inevitable that one day we would fall foul of a major traffic jam. We battled against the widespread traffic jams (M3, M25, M4, M40, A30, A322) and although adopting a cross country route…

Chatham Historic Dockyard, 16 May 2017

For the nautically-inclined, we ventured to Chatham Historic dockyard with a wide choice of attractions in the 80 acres–The most visited exhibits were the three boats in dry dock – from the ancient sailing frigate HMS Gannet, through the WW2 destroyer HMS Cavalier. Those who investigated ‘the Silent Service’ and clambered down into the submarine…

Osterley Park Mansion & Design Museum, 5 April 2017

Several of the rooms at the National Trust site at Osterley Park had unique matching floor, ceiling and furniture designs. The history of the banker owners (the Childs) – their hospitality, entertaining and their moneyed existence were fascinating. Most members liked the new Design Museum and were surprised at the content and scope and intriguing…

Eltham Palace & Thames Cruise, 21 March 2017

Eltham Palace was once one of Henry VIII’s favourite palaces. Over the centuries it fell into disrepair, until it was taken over by the Courtalds in the early 20th century. They restored the Great Hall and built a mansion as a kind of “annex”. The interiors of the mansion  were decorated and furnished in beatiful…

Russian Masters Concert at G Live Theatre, Guildford, 17 February 2017

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, under the direction of Grzegorz Nowak, attacked the challenging scores from a wide range of Russian composers (Borodin, Rachmaninov, Mussorgsky, Rimsky–Korsakov, Khachaturian and Tchaiokovsky), with enthusiasm and gusto, and the soloist (Alexander Ullman) was very talented. The cherry on the Russian cake was the pre-concert briefing from a very professional and…

Farnborough Airport Tours, 18 October & 1 November 2016

These two outings really were crackers. Firstly we learned the history of how the Ministry of Defence decided to abandon the long-established base of experimental military flying and move to Boscombe Down – followed by the bidding process, then the initial modifications and then the environmental hoops that TAG had to jump through, to establish…

Hythe & Romney Marsh, 18 August 2016

To start, we enjoyed a coach tour of Kent, involving a twisting and winding drive from Ashford, through small side roads, showing off the varied hamlets, and villages with farming and local trades, ending at Tenterden  –familiar to many of us from a previous outing.  Onto the fascinating St Augustine’s church with its unique separate…

Brighton Royal Pavilion, 25 May 2016

We travelled to that Icon on the South coast known as Brighton, where visitors can rollup their trousers and paddle in the sea, have a fish and chips lunch, and then visit a building where previous Monarchs took their lady friends – the Royal Pavilion, an exotic palace with a colourful history. Built as a…

Amberley Working Museum, 30 March 2016

Our group were fortunate with the weather, no rain and the sun shone most of the day – ideal for visiting an open-air museum. Amberley Working Museum is an extensive 36-acre open-air museum, dedicated to the industrial heritage of South East England and with a special interest in aspects of the history of communications and…

London Unlimited, Southbank, 23 February 2016

A small but determined bunch of travellers wrapped up well and braved the cold but bright sunshine, to travel to the Southbank. Enterprising Members found many attractions, within reasonable walking distance of being dropped at the London Eye – including the exhibitions at the Imperial War museum, and more locally – National Portrait Gallery, Royal…

Bodleian Library & Ashmolean Museum Oxford, 19 January 2016

The January weather kind to us on this visit – cold but winter sunshine.  Maps helped participants find their way between the two main attractions and other points of interest, and a good outbound journey provided more time to wander. We had four different guides for our tours of the world-famous Bodleian Library, each with…

Classical Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall, November 2015

Every section of the arena was completely full – no wonder we have to book so early to get a block of seats!  A full arena of enthusiastic listeners  made the experience all the more enjoyable. ‘Spectacular’ was the right description for the assembled performers – the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the military bands of the…

Four Rivers Cruise, 12 September 2015

The Four, or was it just Two(?), Rivers cruise. Starting at Southampton, we got to know each deck of the boat well before lunch. At lunch, the scenery did not move very much (the battery for one of the engines failed, and no replacement available), so we were able to appreciate the delicious lunch without…

Holiday to Chester, 13- 17 July 2015

Our first destination was in Wales, but we were destined not to reach it without incident, since the coach broke down en-route. Plan B featured delaying our reservation on the Lee Valley Railway, an impromptu Al Fresco lunch, and arranging a local coach to get us to LLangollen. Once there, we joined the vintage engine…

Old Bailey and Old Operating Theatre Museum, 2 June 2015

First call was the Old Operating Theatre Museum of St Thomas Hospital, located in a garrett, above St Thomas church and adjacent to the Old St Thomas Hospital.  The only entrance/exit to the Museum was up a steep spiral staircase with rope handle, but that did not deter the majority of our party. The fascinating…

Double National Trust Outing, 21 May 2015

An early start on a dull day, motoring north of Reading and finding the very narrow entrance and driveway to Basildon Park and understanding why only one coach per day is allowed into the site. Built in 1783 by the architect John Carr for Francis Sykes, both Yorkshiremen. Sold 50 years later, to the Liberal…

Annual President’s Dinner, 15 April 2015

The evening of April 15th was the occasion for the Annual President’s Dinner. Although not strictly an “Outing” this is one of the regular social events of the year, where we invite our Ladies, plus the Presidents of the other local Probus clubs and their ladies (or Husband in the case of the Ladies Probus…

Emirates Cable Car, 19 February 2015

Some traffic delays meant that we were a little late to meet our guide Victoria and to proceed to a modern barge moored in the King George V dock – an excellent relaxed setting, close to the end of the runway at London City Airport (perhaps closer to planes than at any other airport!!). The…

Billy Elliot Musical at Victoria Theatre London, 22 January 2015

It was a change to visit a very old theatre, with plush furnishings all over, and a design such that you had to pass through the bars to get from anywhere to anywhere. It was easy to see why the show has been running successfully for 6 years in London – it had everything –…

BBC at Broadcasting House, 16 September 2014

An all-embracing tour of Broadcasting House ranged from a short synopsis of the history of the BBC and their pride in the range and scope of its coverage (claimed to be third-largest in the world),  through to modern programmes and technology. We started at the News room and saw the familiar News presentation cubicle, and…

Bristol Ancient & Modern – SS Great Britain and Bloodhound, 27 August 2014

Everyone managed the early start and long journey down the M4 and then M5 to the Bloodhound HQ at Avonmouth, where we had an eye-opening wake-up to the challenges facing the Bloodhound team in their quest to raise the Land speed record by 30% to close to 1000 mph.(1000 mph means faster than a bullet,…

Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, July 2014

The Guided tour of Weald and Downland Museum took us to the key historical houses, whilst others made their own menu from the 45 historical houses on display, The guide pointing out the prime features of each as we progressed, and included the bakery with its old tools. The party also looked at the Artifacts…

Swan Upping, 14 July 2014

The initial stage of the day went well and the Bells Of Ouzley coped well with 40+ people for lunch, in the relatively short time available. Then we boarded our boat at Runnymede, motored downstream and all was quiet until the Queens Swan Marker (that’s David Barber) and the Swan Uppers of the Worshipful Companies…

Bentley Priory & RAF Museum Hendon, 17 June 2014

Bentley Priory at Stanmore, was formerly an 18th Cent stately home designed by architect Sir John Soane and owned by the Marquess of Abercorn, and was a magnet for the cream of society before being purchased by the Air Ministry in 1926 and converted into an RAF base.  Ten years later in June 1936, Air…

The Grand Quiz Night 2014

Generally agreed by participants to be a good evening’s entertainment; a different mix of quizes to the previous year, with a balance tipped towards the arts – Art, Books, Music and Cinema. The night started with a Quiz ‘Bones of the Body’ which was easy for Doctors, nurses and others with medical leanings but not…

Nymans House & Gardens and Standen House & Gardens, 22 May 2014

Nymans estate is located with wonderful views over the High Weald in West Sussex. Garden lovers had a field day with the variety of plants and trees in the extensive gardens and meadows (circa 30 acres). The rare plants had been collected from around the world by Ludwig Messel, the owner at that period during…

Croatia, Montenegro & Dubrovnik Holiday, 26 April – 2 May 2014

Croatia is a beautiful country with many intriguing small villages spread along a winding coastline and numerous small islands, and an inland range of mountains. We first noted the mountains when our plane flew level past the windows of houses and landed at the small Dubrovnik airport on the only level piece of land for…

Classical Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall, March 2014

Wow, what a spectacle it was, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the military Band of the Royal Welsh Guard, the 120 member Royal Choral Society choir, the Royal Albert Hall  organ in full flight and bass, tenor and piano soloists filling the stage – so many performers together is a trademark of Classical Spectacular, and…

West Side Story, 25 February 2014

In February, a large group of Members, partners and friends enjoyed the musical West Side Story at Woking Theatre, which was jammed packed at every performance – very popular. The scenery really created the impression of the New York apartments and balconies and ingeniously moved with changing lighting and backdrops to create different street scenes…

London Unlimited, 22 January 2014

We travelled in Robert Winslade’s new luxury coach (very comfortable) and despite the inevitable  traffic jams, arrived early enough to have a full day in Town.  The weather treated us kindly – it was not as cold as January generally is;  it was one of the few days in the previous couple of months in…

Soiree Hidden Northumbria Holiday, 12 November 2013

Holiday travellers gathered in the Garden Room at St Pauls Church to recall the five days in July when the group visited Hidden Northumbria. The evening sought to remind travellers of the events of those days, using photos of locations, happenings and people, plus videos and prompting from fellow travellers to remember what happened there….

Biddenden Wine tasting & Kent and East Sussex Railway, 22 August 2013

What A great day out! We learned about the history of Biddenden changing from being an apple orchard and losing money and the risk of laying down wines at a time when it was very risky, but now challenging the French and German wineries.in respect of the taste of the wines. All whilst simultaneously treated…

Holiday Hidden Northumbria, July 2013

For our holiday this year, we stayed in the UK – in fact we stayed in England – although we were only 10 miles from Scotland when we went to the Holy Isle. MONDAY Depart Pine Ridge early.   Kettlewells huge coach was much longer and higher than usual and very comfortable. FIRST  pleasant surprise. But…

Grand Quiz Night 2013

The Grand Quiz Night 2013 was generally agreed to be a good evening’s entertainment, but slightly harder than last year, and more favourable to those who specialise in crosswords, crozzles and anagrams. The night started with an easy Quiz of Twisted British Towns and continued into European Flags, which proved that most of us still…

Southampton Boat Trip, 20 June 2013

When we first announced this trip in December, we called it a Mystery Boat trip. Well, that is what we got. Thick mist for the majority of the day – odd boats drifted into sight and then disappeared again, Ferrys came and went, we couldn’t see either coast. We could have been drifting across the…

Brentford Music Museum & Chiswick House & Gardens, 9 May 2013

This trip was an undoubted success. – Chiswick House was a fascinating rare example of a house built to show off collections of paintings and artifacts gathered on European travels. One of two guides was really excellent, as were the gardens and the caféfor lunch. The contents of the Brentford music museum were brought to…

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre at Guildford, 14 February 2013

We enjoyed a hilarious time at the comedy Yes, Prime Minister on Valentine’s Day.  The play followed in the true traditions of the TV series, with the clash between the Prime Minister, Jim Hacker being his usual blundering, vain, self-serving and self-publicising personality. Versus Sir Humphry, being incredibly intelligent, efficient, purposeful and effortlessly managing the…

London Unlimited & Household Cavalry, 24 January 2013

The weather was cold but no snow in the centre of London, so it did not detract from a great day, with something to suit everyone. Those who went to the Household cavalry, were treated to a very good guide who described the 350 years of the fascinating history of the Cavalry  – we saw…