Our next planned trip will include a visit to Berkley Castle, Gloucester Docks and include a canal boat trip. Watch this space for further details.

Future planned trips include

  • Bourton-on-the-Water, the Cotswold Motoring Museum and toy collection and Model Village
  • Chichester and the Weald & Downland Living Museum – site of BBC’s Repair Shop
  • Bletchley Park – home to the WWII code breakers

Do you have a suggestion for a future outing or ways to keep down costs? Please contact organisers Jon Box on bramleys31@msn.com or Stephen Illingworth on boau3aoutings@gmail.com

Each year John and I meet to discuss ideas for outings for the following year. The factors we take into account include whether the trip will attract enough numbers to make it viable, journey length and the likely overall cost of the trip. We are always mindful that we all want value for money.

Transport is the key cost. A day’s coach hire starts at £650 – higher for more distant destinations. On top of this we tip the driver (£40) on behalf of all the passengers. 

We can’t know how many people will sign up to any one trip but plan on the basis of attracting 30 people. So just to cover the transport costs the starting point is £23pp. We then add the cost of entry to the attraction (usually a reduced group rate). Where possible we arrange visits to some National Trust properties which are free to existing members.

As an example the cost of the coach to go the Bletchley Park is £750 so with the driver’s tip it comes to £26.33 pp. Group admission is £19.50pp so the total cost for 30 people would be £46.83 – hence we ask £47.

We are aware that this is a substantial amount, particularly for two people, but we do not set out to make profit. If we do attract more than 30 people any surplus is either used to offset losses for less popular trips or is used to fund other u3a activities. Filling the coach would reduce the travel costs for each member but consistently attracting more than 35 people has been a challenge.