May 17, 2019
Our first visit on Friday, May 17th will be to Coates English Willows: the Willow & Wetlands Centre at Stoke-St-Gregory near Taunton, where the Coate family have been working with willow since 1819. We will arrive in time for coffee and can then look around and possibly see work in progress or go to the DVD room where there is a film of how the willows are grown and prepared for weaving. There is a large shop full of tempting goods.
We then move on to Taunton for a lunch stop, with members free to make their own arrangements, before making our way to Cothay Manor & Gardens for a guided tour at 2.30.
Cothay is considered to be one of the finest small medieval manor houses in England. It dates back to the 14th century and has been lovingly restored and furnished. Our guided tour of the house will take us to the Guest Hall, the Winter Parlour, the Dining Room, the Gold Room, the Oratory, the Guest Chamber, the Book Room, the Georgian Hall and, finally, the Great Chamber. The house contains many treasures including 15th century wall paintings, fine stained glass windows and 17th century oak panelling.
The Manor is surrounded by 12 acres of magical gardens which have been nominated among the 20 best gardens in England. There are garden 'rooms' set off a 200 yard yew walk, fine trees, courtyards and a river walk.
We plan to leave Christ Church, at 9.30am and All Saints, Pembroke Rd at 9.35am. We will leave Cothay at 5pm. Tea and cake will be available at Cothay at a cost of £5 and must be booked and paid for in advance. The cost of the trip is £30.
As always, numbers are limited and this exceptional house and garden are likely to be very popular. Please contact Rosemary as soon as possible to reserve a place. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org