Day Trips

Cothelstone Manor  | A Tale of Two Abbeys  | Holnicote Estate |
Plymouth Gin Distillery  |

Cothelstone Manor
Back to top Wednesday 13th September 2017

WSNTA Cothelstone

Rare Visit to Cothelstone Manor

This hidden treasure in the Quantock Hills is still a private home for Nigel Muers-Raby and his family. It has been a continuous settlement since 600 AD and is notable for its Grade 1 gate house and chapel. To quote Thomas Gerade 1633 “Their mansion house is faire and with ancient, pleasantly sceated on the declining of a hill towards the south, and accomodated a park adjoyninge”. Fascinating talks by Nigel and David Dacey followed by a lavish home-made cream tea and sandwiches. Lunch will be available before for those who wish at The Blue Ball Inn, Triscombe - a menu will be available nearer the time with travel details.

Own cars – plenty of parking space.

  • 12.00 noon Own lunch at The Blue Ball Inn at (menu to follow)
  • 1.30 Leave for Cothelstone
  • 2.00 p.m arrival and welcome
  • 2.15 p.m. history and tour of the Manor
  • 3.00 p.m. history of and visit to the church
  • 3.45 p.m. enjoy a scrumptious home-made tea in the Galleried Hall and wander around the private house and gardens at will.
Cost to include entry and tea £18.00 per person Bookings to Glen and Brian Heaton [contact details in newsletter]
Buckland Abbey NT & Buckfast Abbey
Back to top Thursday, 21st September 2017

WSNTA Cothelstone

A Tale of Two Abbeys

We will make a longer than customary comfort/coffee stop en route at Buckfast Abbey. This is an interesting place, so worth the extra time to give you a chance to look round. Next year they will be celebrating 1,000 years of history since it was first founded by King Cnut. After the dissolution of the Monasteries it fell into ruin until 1882 when French Benedictine monks settled there. A group of 4-6 monks, over 30 years, painstakingly rebuilt the Abbey Church themselves. It is the only English medieval monastery to have been restored and used again for its original purpose. The gardens, modelled partly on medieval plans are a tranquil haven worth visiting.

We then go to our main visit of the day Buckland Abbey – founded hundreds of years ago by Cistercian monks, later converted into a house. Today it combines furnished rooms with museum galleries bringing to life the story of how seafaring adventurers Sir Richard Grenville & Sir Francis Drake changed the shape of Buckland Abbey and the fate of England. Picnics are welcomed in the garden and grounds, but there is also a good restaurant serving freshly cooked local produce. We will have a guided tour of the Abbey, then time to explore. The garden includes a walled kitchen garden, Cider House garden and wild garden, and there is an impressive medieval Great Barn, orchards and woodland walks.

Cost: £18.00 per head Depart: Minehead 8.30 am
Return: approx. 7.00 p.m. Bookings to: Veronica Cole [contact details in newsletter]
Holnicote Estate Yard & Surrounds
Back to top Friday September 29th 2017

WSNTA Holnicote Estate
The Holnicote Estate Yard, with its stables, out-buildings, walled garden and nursery gardens, is not open to the public, but [thanks to General Manager Simon Larkins,] we have been granted a rare guided visit.
WSNTA Holnicote Estate
WSNTA Holnicote Estate
WSNTA Holnicote Estate
On the A39, coming from Minehead towards Porlock, turn left just before Selworthy and park in the Estate Yard.
The visit begins 10.00, and finishes approx 12.00. There is no set charge but we suggest a minimum donation of £5, to be collected in cash on the day. Numbers limited to 30, contact Phillip (details in the newsletter) or send a booking form, but no cheque, to Phillip Manvell. If you can't attend after all please inform Phillip - there could be a waiting list.
Plymouth Gin Distillery
Back to top Wednesday 18th October 2017

WSNTA Cothelstone

We will stop for coffee at Buckfast Abbey before continuing to Plymouth where we will meet with our Blue badge guide who will take us by coach, on a medieval flavoured tour of Plymouth which will take approximately 2 hrs. (Depending on weather, some of this may be on foot)

The Tour will end at the Barbican where lunch can be taken in one of the many eating places in the area.

After lunch we will meet at the Plymouth Gin Distillery, which is within the Barbican Area, ready for our 40 minute tour starting at 14.30 hrs.

Black Friars Distillery, the working home of Plymouth Gin since 1793, is the oldest working gin distillery in England and is situated in the heart of the historic port city of Plymouth.

The building dates back to the early 1400’s with the oldest part of the building – the Refectory, a medieval hall with a fine hull-shaped timber roof, dating back to 1431.

On completion of the tour there will be time to have refreshments before departure back to Minehead.

Cost: £27.00 per head Depart: Minehead 8.15 am
Return: approx. 6.30 p.m. Bookings to: Martin Ellis [contact details in newsletter]