FRWA Trips and Visits

Check this page for the latest updates on Trips and Visits organised by the Friends of the RWA.

For general information about trips and visits email Barbara Henderson at  (please note 2 “y”s!); or telephone 0117 949 9093; or text only to 07989 354 963.

Herefordshire – 12 May 2022 SOLD OUT – waiting list only

A wonderful opportunity to enjoy the treasures of Hereford Cathedral plus visit the Painted Room at Ledbury and St Catherine’s Church in Hoarwithy (pictured).

The upstairs room of a timber-framed house in Church Street, Ledbury, contains a remarkable and rare example of Elizabethan wall painting.  Discovered thirty years ago during restoration, the floral design is based on an Elizabethan knot garden and incorporates biblical texts.  You could also take in Ledbury Market House (1617 – 1668)

A highlight of any visit to Hereford Cathedral is the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library interpretive exhibition. The Mappa Mundi (1300) is described as the most important and celebrated medieval map in any form.  The Chained Library offers a later view of scholarly thinking.  In addition you can explore the building, and the gardens.

Pevsner described St Catherine’s church (1878) as “the most impressive Victorian church in the country”. Simon Jenkins called it “an astonishing creation.”  Far from Victorian Gothic, the design is eclectic, incorporating a range of styles, notably Italian Romanesque and Byzantine.

Download a booking form here.

For more info email Barbara Henderson at (note the double “y”)

Stanley Spencer – Tuesday 12 July 2022 SOLD OUT – waiting list only

Sandham Memorial Chapel is in the village of Burghclere, near Newbury   It is a grade I listed 1920s decorated chapel, designed by Lionel Godfrey Pearson.  The chapel was built to accommodate a series of paintings by Stanley Spencer and expresses in paint his military experience during the Great War.  The nineteen canvases, which took six years to complete, are unique in that they depict everyday routine rather than the horror of combat.

We will also visit The Stanley Spencer Gallery, in Cookham, (between Maidenhead and Marlow). Converted from The Wesleyan Chapel in Cookham High Street in 1962, the building was completely refurbished in 2006/7 at a cost of over £800,000, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund.  It was reopened on 29 September 2007, creating a modern, light space, which displays Spencer’s works to their best advantage.

There will also be an opportunity to explore Cookham, see the locations of Spencer’s Cookham paintings, and enjoy the independent shops and restaurants, in a lovely setting on a bend in the river.

Download a booking form here.

For more info contact Hilary Gallery at  

Late 2022 City Trips

Cardiff – 15 September 22
A whole day in Cardiff  where you are free to enjoy the city in your own time; there are opportunities to visit various places for which Cardiff is well known, including:.the National Museum and Art Gallery of Wales, numerous private galleries showing work by contemporary Welsh artists, the exciting Bay Area including the Richard Rodgers designed  Senedd Building, the Millennium Centre, galleries shops and  cafes; Cardiff Castle, the wonderful Victorian arcades full of independent shops, Llandaff Cathedral . 

London – 6 December 22
A whole day in London where you are free to enjoy the city in your own time. Exhibitions include: Cezanne (Tate Modern), Making modernism – Kathy Kollwitz and others (Royal Academy), Lucien Freud (National Gallery),  and many others.

For nformation about these trips email Barbara Henderson at  (please note 2 “y”s) Tel: 0117 949 9093; mob: 07989 354 963 (text only)  

2022 – Residential Visit

The Isle of Purbeck – November 8-11 2022

Grand Hotel, Swanage

Join us for a late autumn visit to the bewitching Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.

We will be staying for three nights in the Grand Hotel in Swanage, beautifully restored from its Victorian origins, and highly recommended for its comfort, service and food.  Guests enjoy use of the Health Spa and Fitness Club, with plunge pool, jacuzzi and sauna.  

As well as the programme of day-time visits, an innovation for the dark evenings is after-dinner talks by local experts on artists, such as Paul Nash, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Mark Gertler and many others who were entranced by Purbeck; and on the idiosyncratic history and architecture of Swanage.  You can end the evening in the hotel’s comfortable bar with open fires and spectacular views of the night sky and the lights around the bay.

On the way to Swanage we have a guided tour of Kingston Lacy house, with its renowned art collection and famous gardens. From Swanage, we take you via the Studland ferry to Bournemouth for the brilliant Russell Cotes art gallery and museum, and the less well-known Red House museum in Christchurch.  For a day in Swanage you are free but we offer you choices: explore the town by taking a tour with a local artist to find locations of well-known paintings; follow a trail to find the evidence of the town’s architectural history; visit an artist’s workplace. You might want to have lunch in the Victorian folly that is Durleston Castle and visit the Great Globe installed in 1887. The journey home on our last day includes a guided tour of the church of St Nicholas in Moreton with its engraved glass windows by Laurence Whistler (1955-1984). T.E.Lawrence is buried in the cemetery.

The price of this visit includes coach travel, and room, breakfast and dinner at The Grand Hotel. All tours and talks are included.  Rates vary according to the choice of hotel room.  Rooms with a sea view cost extra. No single rooms are available; we have negotiated a favourable rate for single occupancy of a double or twin room but there is still a supplement.  In general the cost for the whole visit will be between £427 and £513

This visit is now fully booked.

We have started a waiting list. If you would like to go on the waiting list, email Pat Triggs at who can also provide further information.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Barbara Henderson, Pat Triggs, Hilary Gallery, Priscilla Sorapure, Janet Taylor

For just £35 a year Friends can make unlimited visits to RWA exhibitions and enjoy a host of other benefits including 10% discounts on trips and visits, as well as making an important contribution to the arts in Bristol and the South West. Find out more and join up here.