Chatsworth trip was great, the house, Christmas decorations and market were fab.We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Sheila & Bill Coates

Well done Gordon, a top trip, we loved every minute.

Alan Smith

Thank you for organising such a wonderful trip. We have enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks again.

Maggie, Doreen Fe,Doreen Foggin and Gwynneth J

Many thanks, Gordon for all your hard work and the phone calls! The Hotel and the staff were great. The Christmas decorations were the best we have seen and the Christmas market was a great bonus, Carole even purchased a red hat! We had a great time!

Carole & George F

Thanks Gordon
All in order as ever
Thanks again from Jack and myself for a brilliant trip away.
Joan and Jack

What a wonderful two days we had at Chatsworth!

We dragged ourselves from our pits and climbed on the bus and were soon on our way. A welcome pit-stop at Wetherby on the way enabled some passengers to fill up on ‘snacks’ and they made merry until we reached the Crown Derby Factory. A small glitch meant we went on to Denby where there are outlets which provide us with the opportunity to buy some extra Christmas presents- ‘the bits and bobs’ and we watched a cookery demonstration which promoted several gadgets to help us with our cooking. We didn’t even know we needed them! There were samples of Yorkshire parking and Tikka salmon with peas ‘n rice, yum, yum, YUM.

Next we travelled to the Hilton at East Midlands Airport. It was very comfortable. We found our rooms, bounced on the beds like that actor from South Africa who was in Withnail and I. He has a series on Sky where he shows off very expensive hotels and he always bounces on the beds. We availed ourselves of the facilities and got dressed for dinner. It was scrumptious and there was a mountain of food .You’ll never guess- they had white table linen and the spittoons were out of sight; so out of sight that we couldn’t find them. The staff were so helpful and obliging. I couldn’t work my key so the manager (young fit and from Peterlee) had to accompany me to my room. He had to help me to prepare for bed. The next bit is censored for the puritans.

The next morning we had a tasty breakfast and set off for Chatsworth. It was sunny and the countryside was beautiful, the colours bright and fresh. We arrived and could see the colourful Christmas market. Lorna and I took the buggy to the top of the courtyard where the facilities are located. I should warn prospective visitors of the toilet system which has a motion sensor which automatically flushes.  The toilet provided gold reflections on two sides which with the auto flush gave us heebeegeebees.

We started at the top of the courtyard to examine the wares and the prices were very cheap at some stalls but pricy at others. We had covered the top third of stalls when the heavens opened and we ran to the restaurant for lunch and a breather. We then had an ice-cream to follow by the fountain in the stable yard. The rain had stopped so we rode to the bottom of the market and started perusing the goods on offer. When it rained again we took shelter in a tourist shelter with other members. It was soon time for our tour of the Christmas decorations in the house. It was like Fenwick’s windows but rooms instead. The theme this year is Wind in the willows.

Some of the staff were dressed up as characters and interacted with the viewers. The colours were fabulous and the lighting was just spectacular. You could feel transported back in time because of the setting with antiques all around us.

It was soon time to return to the bus in the rain, but if you ran quickly enough between the drops, you didn’t get wet. If you were old and slow you got wet. Of course we stayed dry as a bone. There was time to reflect on the delights of the break on the way back to Seaham. It stopped raining about halfway home and we climbed wearily from the coach and drove home where a cup of coffee or tea was needed to revive us. Some people needed stronger stuff.

It was a fantastic break and we have booked our places for another trip.

To those who were unable to go, we had a really awful time with deep snowdrifts and damp beds. But to those who came, where are we going next?

A big thank you to Gordon for arranging the trip and thanks to all the members for being good company!

Mind you, we needed two or three days to recover and some of us are still not ready for the Christmas festivities ahead!!!


Judith H