Thursday 20 January 2022
Tate Modern – Who’s Afraid of Modern Arts
Tate Modern is the most visited museum of modern and contemporary art in the world.  The novelty of the display criteria, together with the wide selection and deep variety of artworks, has created a thought provoking challenge for visitors since the gallery opened in May 2000.  Join us for this tour exploring great masterpieces of the 20th century by Picasso, Dali, Mondrian, Duchamps, Boccioni and Matisse, and cutting-edge works of the 21st century by Meireles, Salcedo, Guerilla Girls and Vicuna.  Learn how not to be afraid of Modern Art!

Monday 7 February 2022
Royal Albert Hall Backstage Tour
Opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria, the Royal Albert Hall is a familiar London landmark. This is an opportunity to have an insight into how the show, hospitality and technical teams come together to stage over 390 events in the main auditorium every year.  Our guide will take us around many nooks and crannies, including going under the stage, into dressing rooms and underground into the loading bay. Visit the royal areas of the Hall and learn how they solved one of the UK’s most enduring engineering challenges – the Royal Albert Hall echo.

Thursday 17 March 2022
Oxford Day Trip
We will have an extensive walking tour of Oxford.  For centuries the city has been home to radicals,  intellectuals and innovators, and on our day-trip we will hear the stories of these fascinating people and explore their hallowed streets and halls.  From Town to Gown we will examine the central rôle that Oxford has played in the intellectual life of this country for many centuries. The morning will involve a two-hour walking tour of the city incorporating many of its most famous colleges and buildings, with the afternoon spent enjoying free time or a visit to one of Oxford’s wonderful museums.

Wednesday 27 April 2022
A Walk in the Olympic Park
Two tours lasting 2 hours with Blue Badge Guide and Arts Society Lecturer Pepe Martinez. Pepe will take us on a leisurely walking tour explaining the who, when and why of how a rubbish dump was turned into the scene of one of our biggest sporting successes, and how it has benefitted residents of a deprived area of London.  We will visit the Velodrome & Aquatic Centre and have a coffee stop.

Wednesday 18 May 2022
Henry Moore’s House & Sculpture Park at Much Hadham in Herfordshire
The Henry Moore Studios & Gardens in rural Hertfordshire is the best place in the world to appreciate the work of the sculptor Henry Moore.  His former estate is much as it was during his lifetime and provides the perfect backdrop for his work, which he always intended to be experienced in the landscape. We will visit his family home Hoglands, explore his studios, see his tapestries in the Aisled Barn and admire the gardens created by his wife Irina.

Thursday 9 June 2022
The Worshipful Company of Vintners at Vintners’ Hall in the City

Vintners’ Hall has been the home of the Worshipful Company of Vintners since the 15th century and is the spiritual home of the international wine trade.  The hall boasts a fine 17th century staircase and a magnificent dining hall.  The Court Room is probably the oldest in the City of London. Liveryman and Blue Badge Guide Guy Fairbank will guide us explaining the history and work of this ancient livery company, including their rôle in the ceremony of Swan Upping.

Thursday 14 July 2022
The London Mithraeum and Roman London Walk.

Our Blue Badge Guide, Anne Pollak, will give us a 45 minute tour of the restored Temple of Mithras, a Roman Mithraeum. After a coffee break (not included in the price) Anne will take us through the City of London and bring Roman London to life by showing us some of the key sites of Londinium, the settlement founded by the Romans almost 2,000 years ago, including the location of the original London Bridge.

Thursday 4 August 2022
Kenwood House

Kenwood House is on the edge of Hampstead Heath, In the 18th century Robert Adam transformed it into a neoclassical villa for William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, and the interiors include some of Adam’s finest surviving work.  Kenwood is now owned by English Heritage and is home to the 1st Earl of Iveagh’s magnificent collection of British and Old Master paintings including works by Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Van Dyck and Vermeer.

Wednesday 14 September 2022
Romsey Abbey and Mottisfont Abbey
Romsey Abbey is one of the most imposing churches in Southern England. It includes many treasures, including two Saxon roods (crucifixes), a 16th century reredos (ornamental screen behind altar) and the tomb of Lord Mountbatten.  Mottisfont Abbey was originally founded as an Augustinian priory in 1201 and was converted into a house at the Dissolution and further altered in the 18th century. In 1939 Rex Whistler completed the trompe l’oeil in the drawing room. There are extensive gardens.

Saturday 24 September 2022.
Evening visit to Westminster Abbey with the Purcell Singers

We are repeating a magical evening visit to Westminster Abbey that we last enjoyed in 2017 with enormous success. In addition to having an afterhours guided tour of the Abbey we will enjoy listening to singers from The Purcell Club which is named after Henry Purcell who was organist of the Abbey from 1679 to 1695. We will be welcomed in the Cloisters before moving to sit in the Nave for the first piece of sacred music. The speaker will then describe the history and architecture of the Abbey, moving from one location of interest to the next. At various points there is a pause for members of the Purcell Club to sing suitable musical items ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries.

Thursday 6 October 2022.
Visit to Westminster Cathedral
We will enjoy an afternoon visit to Westminster Cathedral for a one-hour tour with accredited Cathedral guides. The Cathedral is the largest Roman Catholic Church in the UK. It is the mother church of Roman Catholics in England and Wales and the seat of the Archbishop of Westminster. The site was purchased by the Diocese of Westminster in 1885 and construction was completed in 1903. It was designed by John Francis Bentley in neo-Byzantine style and is made almost entirely of brick without steel reinforcements. The Cathedral is a 4 minute walk from Victoria Station down Victoria Street on the way to Parliament Square.

Tuesday 8 November 2022
There will be morning and afternoon guided tours of the Wallace Collection each lasting two hours, focusing on French decorative and fine arts and led by London Blue Badge Guide Muriel Carré. We will discover the opulence of the stately Boulle furniture, the delicacy of the Sèvres soft-paste porcelain, the theatricality and sensuality of the representations of ladies at their toilette, the intricacy of the precious wood marquetry, the rococo volutes of the ormulu mounts and the sheer luxury of the dozens of gold snuff-boxes, all this in one of the world’s most beautiful museums [Ed – my favourite museum].

Wednesday 14 December 2022
Visit to the National Gallery to discover the Nativity in Art

Tuesday 24 January 2023
The Deutsche Bank London Collection

Click here for last year’s visits