Stuart Wood, Outings, Holidays and Visits Organiser for Bexhill Horticultural Society in East Sussex, took 48 members on a five-day trip to Derbyshire and the Peak District in early May.
The group travelled by Ramblers Coaches of St Leonards-on-Sea and stayed at the four-star Mickleover Court of the Menzies Hotel group, situated two miles west of Derby’s city centre. Stuart says, “I organised the booking with Menzies’ Travel Trade Manager, Jackie Taylor, and my group was extremely impressed with the exceptional quality of the hotel and the service we received from the staff.”
A highlight of the trip was a visit to English Heritage’s Bolsover Castle to see a showing of the Cavalier Horsemanship. Stuart explains, “The show is now in its second year and consists of expert horseman in 17th century costume performing spectacular displays of dressage.”
The group also witnessed the Peak District’s first weekend of Well Dressing in the village of Etwall. Stuart says, “The ancient custom takes place every summer in villages and towns throughout the region. Intricate mosaics made from flowers and other natural materials are displayed next to wells and water features. It was fascinating to see the tradition.”
Other attractions on the packed itinerary included the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, Sudbury Hall and Chatsworth House and two Bedfordshire-based properties, Woburn Abbey and English Heritage’s Wrest Park.
Stuart concludes, “The weather was perfect, which meant we were able to see the Derbyshire countryside at its best. It is truly a wonderful place to visit.”