Redbridge Social Centre

Centre Coach Outings

Walton-on-the Naze, Essex: August 2019


Members and friends spent the day at the traditional seaside town of Walton -on -the -Naze. The town includes a number of places of interest, including the present pier which was built in 1870 and the former lifeboat station – now a museum of local and maritime history. The Naze Tower, 86ft high and built in 1720 by Trinity House as a landmark to mariners is located beyond the eastern part of the town. The climb to the top of the Naze Tower is well worth the spectacular views inland and out to sea.

Stowe Gardens, Buckinghamshire, May 2019

Members and friends had a free-flow visit to Stowe Gardens owned by the National Trust which created in the early 18th Century. Visitors were able to take in Stowe’s picture-perfect views and explore lakeside walks, winding paths and many classical temples which all help to create a landscape reflecting the changing seasons. At the time of the visit the season chose to change from sunshine to showery rain!

Painshill Park, Surrey: August 2018

Members and friends had a free-flow visit to Painshill Park in Surrey which was created in the 18th Century by the Hon Charles Hamilton. He was inspired by Renaissance Art and his Grand Tours of Europe which prompted him to create a sequence of breath- taking and surprising vistas, enhanced by a Serpentine Lake over 158 acres of the Park which has been authentically restored.

Winding paths across the Park lead the visitors on a voyage of discovery of a series of follies, which include a Ruined Abbey, Gothic temple, Turkish Tent, Gothic Tower and Crystal Grotto.

Canterbury Christmas Market: November 2017

At the end of November members and friends spent a full day at the annual Christmas Market in Canterbury. This provided the opportunity to browse around 40 decorated stalls near the Historic Cathedral as well as the busy local shopping centre close to Cathedral founded in the 6th century and renown following the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket.

Coggeshall Town and Green Island Gardens, Essex: May 2018


 Members and friends spent the morning in the attractive town of Coggeshall which include nearly 200 listed buildings, many of which are timber framed, including Paycockes House an example of a 16th Century clothiers’ house.

After lunch the group had a free-flow visit to the 20-acre Green Island Gardens, near Ardleigh, Colchester. The gardens are laid out with a terrace area, water gardens, a seaside garden, Japanese gardens and extensive woodland gardens. The gardens are for all seasons with bluebells and tulips in May along with Azaleas and Rhododendrons.      

Arundel Castle, West Sussex: August 2017


In August members and friends enjoyed a free-flow visit to Arundel Castle, the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk and founded shortly after the Norman conquest. The castle is the longest inhabited country house in England. Many original Norman features have survived, but in the late Victorian period the house was completely rebuilt in the Gothic style.

The free-flow visit enabled the group to explore the gardens at their leisure, including the Earl’s Garden with it water fountains, the Italianate terraces the Rose garden and the restored Victorian Vine House.

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk: August 2016


In August members and friends had full day’s visit to the historic city of St Edmunds which boasts many places of historic interest, particularly the church of St James founded in the 12th Century, which in 1914 became St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, the Abbey Gate and the Norman Tower. The adjacent Abbey Gardens, created within the walls of the former medieval monastery, provided a glorious mixture of formal bedding displays and quiet corners.

In the busy town centre there are several places of interest such as the Nutshell, the smallest public house in the country, the Suffolk Regiment Museum and Moyse’s Hall the town museum and one of the last Norman houses in Britain. En route the party stopped in the market town of Sudbury, birthplace of the painter Thomas Gainsborough.

Cranbrook and Hole Park Garden, Kent: April 2017


In April members and friends spent the morning in Cranbrook for lunch and an opportunity to explore the picturesque market town which includes St Dunstan’s church, often known as “The Cathedral of the Weald” because of its size and the George Hotel, a late medieval inn where Queen Elizabeth is said to have been received in 1573. 

In the afternoon the group moved on to Hole Park Garden with its colourful gardens and 200 acres of classic parkland. Hole Park has extensive fine lawns and a spectacular spring displays of daffodils rhododendrons and azaleas. The group was able to enjoy the display of bluebells on the woodland walk and to see the recently crafted carving of bears. The day concluded with a delicious cream tea.

Borde Hill Garden, West Sussex: May 2016


In May members and friends had a full day’s visit to Borde Hill’s award winning garden located near Haywards Heath. The garden nestles in 200 acres of English Heritage grade II woodland and parkland.

Borde Hill includes 17 acres of formal “garden rooms” overlooked by an Elizabethan mansion dating from 1598. The garden rooms each have their own distinctive character and style, such as an Azalea Ring, Rose Garden and Italian Garden complete with a fountain. The visitors were able to enjoy the seasonal displays of early flowering magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. In the afternoon the party had the benefit of a guided tour of the mansion.


St Albans Christmas Market: December 2015

In December members and friends spent a full day at the annual Christmas Market in St Albans. They had the opportunity to browse around the more than 60 stalls in traditional wooden chalets outside the Cathedral as well as the busy city centre adjacent to the 11th century Cathedral

Chiltern Open Air Museum and Bekonscot Model Village & Railway, Buckinghamshire: August 2015

Chiltern Open Air Museum                        Bekonscot Model Village & Model Railway         


In August members and friends had a morning visit to Chiltern Open Air Museum which is a unique 45 acre site where over 30 historic buildings have been rescued and rebuilt. Buildings include a 1940’s Prefab, A Sewell Nissen Hut RAF Briefing Room, a Victorian Toll House, a Blacksmith’s Forge, 18th and 20th Century Cottages, Agricultural Barns & Granaries as well as a reconstructed Iron Age Roundhouse.


In the afternoon the party moved on to the Bekonscot Model Village and Railway at Beaconsfield which was established in 1929 and depicts rural England during the 1930’s and is the oldest model village in the world. Its Gauge 1 railway is the largest and most complex in Great Britain.

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire: April 2015


In April members and their friends had a full day’s visit to Blenheim Palace, the 18th Century baroque masterpiece of Sir John Vanbrugh. They had a free flow visit of the palace which is the historic home of the Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace in 1874 of Sir Winston Churchill. During their visit to the palace visitors had the opportunity to see a temporary exhibition of the work by the Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei in some of the state rooms and a magnificent chandelier in the main entrance hall. Members and friends were also able to explore some of the 2,000 acres of Parkland and Formal Gardens landscaped by “Capability “Brown in which Blenheim is situated.

Penshurst Place, Kent, August 2014


In August Centre members and friends had a day’s visit to Penshurst Place, the 14th Century ancestral home of the Sidney family. They had a free-flow visit around the House which is a patchwork of different designs and architecture over the centuries and include the 60ft. high-vaulted Baron’s Hall, the State Dining Room, 17th Century Tapestry Room and the Queen Elizabeth I Room. The gardens, often considered to be one of the most beautiful in England are a series of “rooms” each with its own seasonal colour and planting. Of particular note is the Union Flag Garden in roses and lavender.

Ely and Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire, May 2014

Ely Cathedral

 In May the Centre members and friends visited the ancient cathedral city of Ely and took the opportunity of visiting the ancient Cathedral. Some also visited Oliver Cromwell’s house where he lived for over ten years whilst others relaxed by the River Ouse. After lunch members and friends explored Anglesey Abbey now converted into an Elizabethan Manor House, its working watermill and the extensive gardens with captivating views.

Brooklands Motorsport & Aviation Museum, Weybridge, Surrey, August 2013




In August 2013 Centre members and friends had an all-day visit to Brooklands Museum located on the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit .They had the opportunity to wander through the extensive exhibition of record-breaking racing cars,  the London Bus Museum operated by the London Bus Preservation Trust as well as the varied collection of civil and military aircraft. Many of the group took the opportunity to crown their visit by taking a 30-minute virtual flight on Concorde Regn. No. G-BBDG and receive a certificate to prove it! 

Emmetts Garden and Ightham Mote, Kent, May 2013


 Emmetts Garden

 Ightham Mote


In May 2013 Centre members and friends went in the morning to the National Trust property of Emmetts Garden where they were able to tour the garden with its examples of exotic and rare trees and shrubs from around the world as well as the enclosed rose and rock gardens. The high point of the visit was the spectacular views of banks of blue bells amid the woodland walks. The afternoon was taken up with a visit to the medieval moated manor house of Ightham Mote. It was possible to tour the house with its many features, including Great Hall, crypt, Tudor Chapel and Drawing Room with Jacobean fireplace as well as the English style garden.

RHS Garden Hyde Hall & Ingatestone Hall, August 2012

 RHS Garden Hyde Hall

Ingatestone Hall

In August 2012 Centre members and their friends went to the Royal Horticultural Garden near Chelmsford where they could see a wide range of garden types, including the Dry Garden of drought tolerant plants, the rose garden and the colour-themed herbaceous border. The afternoon was taken up by a guided tour of Ingatestone Hall and garden, the ancestral home of the Petre family. The Hall was built by Sir William Petre in 1540 who was Secretary of State to four Tudor monarchs. The day concluded with tea and refreshments.

Lewes, East Sussex, May 2012


Lewes Castle                                              Anne of Cleves House

In May 2012 the Centre went to the historic town of Lewes, East Sussex for a free-flow visit. Members and their friends had the opportunity to explore the town including Lewes Castle with its attractive gardens along with the associated Barbican House Museum and to visit Anne of Cleves House and garden which Henry VIII is said to have included in her divorce settlement. For those with an interest in antiques there was an opportunity to browse among the many antiques shops in the area of the town bridge over the River Ouse.  

Marks Hall Gardens, August 2011 


Marks Hall Gardens, near Coggeshall.

Layer Marney Tower, August 2011

Layer Marney Tower and Gardens

In August 2011 members and friends of the Centre had a free-flow visit to Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum followed in the afternoon by a guided tour of the Layer Marney Tower which has Britain's tallest Tudor gatehouse. The visit included a climb of the tower which provided stunning views of the Essex countryside. The day concluded with a cream tea in the Long Gallery of Layer Marney Tower.  

Historic Naval Dockyard, Chatham, May 2011

In May 2011the Centre visited the Historic Naval Dockyard,Chatham which provided an opportunity to explore former naval ships including the World War II Destroyer HMS Cavalier and the cold war spy  submarine, Ocelot as well as viewing the extensive collection of lifeboats. The all-day visit enabled Centre members and their friends to visit the whole dockyard site and to see  a demonstration of rope making in the Victorian Ropery building.     

Centre Coach Outings 2010

Scotney Castle, May 2010


Dover Castle, August 2010

In May 2010 the Centre visited Scotney Castle, Kent followed by a boat trip on nearby Bewl Water. In August 2010 the Centre went to Dover Castle where the visit included viewing the restoration of the Great Tower in 12th Century style as well as the World War I & II areas with their Secret Tunnels.