Portsdown U3A

Travel Group

Travel pic

Our group began meeting regularly in August 2015. We meet on the second Wednesday of the month at 2.00pm at the Church of the Resurrection. Members bring along details of trips that they would like to go on and if anyone else is interested then they plan the visit.

In the last year, we have been on many adventures, in pairs, small groups and large groups. In February, a group spent a wonderful week in Bavaria. Fifteen of us went up to London to visit the Bank of England and the Kensington Museums in March and a group of ten of us spent a lovely weekend based in Folkestone. On a windy day in May we visited the Butser Settlement and heard a very interesting talk about Iron Age dwellings. A group of also visited Chichester to see an Alan Bennet play, "40 Years On". We had a very successful visit to Bosworth Hall in Leicestershire in May. A large group of us had a great day out with Solent cruises visiting the Needles and Yarmouth in June. This July we have also had a trip to the Isle of Wight by hovercraft and went on the steam train and some of us had a lovely cream tea on the Chichester Canal. Please visit our blogs to find out what we did.

As we are moving to a larger venue at the Church of the Resurrection in September the meetings will be open to anyone who expressed an interest to the group leader. If you are interested in travelling with us, please contact me and I will put you on my email list so that you can be kept up to date about our planned trips. If you have an idea for a trip or outing, please contact me and you will be invited to the next meeting to propose your idea.

Group Leader: Judy Jones
Email: contact@portsdownu3a.org.uk

BOOKED - Places May Still Be Available TOP-TIP: You can print this page

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    2nd August 5 nights.

    Contact: Angela’s

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    Waterways Trip

    8th - 15th September

    Contact: Janice

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    27th to 30th October, plus trip to Dorchester. Only twin or double rooms still available at £154 for bed, breakfast and evening meal.

    Contact: Julie

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    Tour of Portsmouth Guildhall

    Monday 6th November at 2pm - Price £8.50 which includes tea and cake

    Contact: Julie or Guildhall 023 93870200

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    Christmas at Thursford

    4th to 7th December £249 + £37.50 single supplement, twin and double rooms available

    Contact: Janice or Just Go


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    International Horse Show at Olympia

    Sunday 17th December £90

    Contact: Janice

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    Bulb Fields in Holland

    April 2018

    Contact: Eileen

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    Monet’s Garden:

    Summer 2018

    Contact: Judy

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    Oberammergau Passion Play

    16th May to 4th October 2020

    Contact: Judy


TRIP TO LONDON - by Julie Bloomfield

On the day before our trip news broke of the awful terrorist attack in Westminster. Undeterred, and showing true British spirit, fifteen of us were picked up by coach to visit the museums in London. The journey was longer than usual due to road closures in central London but we finally arrived at the Bank of England just before midday.

Here we took a self-guided tour of the museum, some of us opting to listen to a recorded tour. It was a really interesting exhibition and it was fascinating to actually be able to try and lift a real gold bar.

A small group then stayed in the city to visit a sky garden on top of the Walkie Talkie tower and the rest of us re-joined the coach and were heading towards the museums in Kensington for the afternoon. However, our driver took us on a sightseeing trip back across the river so that he could drive across Westminster Bridge, which had reopened to traffic. He kept us “entertained” by pointing out places of interest. When we finally arrived in Kensington our group dispersed into the museum of their choice. For those of us who had not had the foresight to bring a packed lunch, food was a priority. Time was limited but all of us managed to visit some exhibits before returning to the coach.

The journey home proved interesting, our driver appeared to have his own itinerary, as we found ourselves heading out along the M4 in very slow moving traffic and joining the M25 somewhere north/west of the Airport and where the traffic was moving even slower! It was interesting watching the planes coming low over the motorway to land at Heathrow. We finally arrived back after a long three-hour journey with only the driver’s singing, jokes and anecdotes to “entertain’ us.

However we all had a good day out, enjoyed visiting new places and finding out about the world of finance amongst other things.

A long weekend in Folkestone - by JoanP

On Friday 24th March ten members of the Travel Group set off from Cosham to Folkestone for a long weekend. The coach came on time and we arrived at our very large hotel in the late afternoon with time to unpack before dinner. The rooms were basic but comfortable and the food plentiful and good with entertainment each evening.

Outside our hotel on a cold and windy morning

On Saturday, it was decided by everyone to go for a trip on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. We travelled from Hythe to Dungeness at the end of the line. The scenery is quite remarkable there and so was the wind.

On the train to Dungeness

It was only possible to take a short walk before returning to the cafe for coffee. On the return trip there was time to explore Hythe and then some of Folkestone’s Old Town.

On Sunday, there was the included excursion to Canterbury. On arriving there we made our way to the Cathedral in time for the Mothering Sunday Service.

Canterbury Cathedral just after the Mothering Sunday Service

Afterwards there was time for exploring and retail therapy for some. Then it was time to head back to the hotel. On Monday, we boarded the coach for home after an enjoyable weekend.

Visit to the Iron Age Farm at Butser Hill, Petersfield - April 2017

On one of the coldest days of the year members of the Travel Group combined forces with members of the Buildings Appreciation Group and visited the Iron Age Farm at Butser Hill. We came fully equipped with woolly hats, scarves and warm coats.

The visit was a fascinating and interesting experience thanks to David who was our guide.

The photos show a collection of reproduced Iron Age buildings - roundhouses and a long house - that had been built personally by David after extensive and detailed research from all parts of the UK. All buildings were constructed from materials that had been sourced locally.



Liverpool, Buxton and Chester - 2017



Bosworth - 2017



The Needles And Yarmouth Cruise June 22nd - by VivG

Our party of 15 arrived at The Gosport Ferry in plenty of time for our departure at 10.30 for our day long trip around the IOW to view The Needles at close quarters and then for a 90-minute stop over at Yarmouth. Our original party was to have been 17 but unfortunately due to various reasons we could not all make it.

Before our departure we had an unrivalled view of another “guest” on the cruise…. A dolphin decided to join us and delighted us with a few antics and then decided to escort us out of Portsmouth Harbour. Who knew we had dolphins in the harbour ? Perhaps he had heard on his sonar that Portsdown U3A Travel Group was something not be missed !


After the previous day, the hottest June day since 1976, it was a pleasant relief to get out on the water with a cooling sea breeze and in fact it was a bit blowy and many of us donned jackets (not the life variety !) We had an excellent commentary with information about all the forts and points of interest along the shoreline of Gosport, Lee on Solent and Alverstoke. Did you know for instance that Fort Monkton is now used as a debriefing centre for MI5 and MI6?... the secret is now out !

By 12 o’clock it was time for lunch which the majority of the party had pre-ordered and the food was excellent and for those of us who had a hot meal we had the added bonus of the staff carrying our trays up from the “galley” to our seats. At this point I would like to add that all the crew were extremely helpful and courteous and on a personal note, very easy on the eye!


As we approached the Needles it was a bit hazardous to get in really close as, by this time, it was extremely choppy. However, some of did manage to get some good shots of The Needles, the Lighthouse and the attractive colours of the sand at Alum Bay.


We then slowly made our way to Yarmouth for a scheduled 90 minute visit but as it turned out we had a little longer. Yarmouth has some of the oldest architecture on the IOW including a 16th century castle which was built in the reign of Henry VIII to fortify the defences against the French. Decisions, decisions, what to do? Some of us went to The Castle, others shopping and some generally rampaging through the town (only joking !)


Leaving Yarmouth at 3.30 we then made a leisurely journey back to Portsmouth along the north shore of the island with our guide pointing out points of interest along the way including Osborne House, the summer residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Before entering Portsmouth Harbour we also had a close up view of Spitbank Fort which for mere £125 you can have Sunday lunch….. table for ten then for me please !

Arriving back at our scheduled time of 5.30, I think I can say on behalf of all who attended that this was a very pleasant day. Also again speaking on behalf of the group, the crew were excellent, the boat itself was spotless and a very enjoyable experience all round.