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In September 2018, 15 of us went to East Sussex (4 Members plus their spouses plus 7 friends). This was several fewer than was originally expected. Whilst there are always pluses and minuses in numbers depending on the destination, this year we lost several regulars for whom consecutive days of activity had become a little too much. We missed them but we enjoyed the benefits of being a small group of people who knew each other quite well. [Just 1 person was not well known to many before the trip but she fitted in so well that she would certainly be very welcome again!] Having fewer people on the trip certainly made it easier for Peter, the trip organiser and writer of this report, when he had to count everyone on board to make sure we did not leave anyone behind at any stage!

Our base was The Hydro Hotel, a 4-star hotel in Eastbourne. The intention had been to 'go upmarket a bit' this year for the hotel and The Hydro met our needs excellently. It was very comfortable with excellent food. One of the things that had attracted it to us was its range of good lounges for we wanted to be able to relax together in the evenings. In practice we did not use them as much as we had expected. That was simply because we spent so long at the (round) dinner tables after the evening meals, chatting in the attractive Crystal Restaurant, that most of us were talked-out by the time we left the table!

Linked to below is a page on each day. In order to give everyone a chance to plan their days in advance, Peter had distributed his Information Pack on the trip two and a bit weeks before it started. The plan was followed without any mishap. This was the first year in which we had relied on Norman Allen Group Travel Limited to organise both the coach and the hotel accommodation for us. [They had helped with providing the coach for our trip to Galway in 2014 but that was 'behind the scenes'.] They were asked to be involved mainly in anticipation of our needing their input in 2019 as we had anticipated having problems with numbers by then. That was just as well. It was only because of their involvement that we managed to keep the trip going in 2018 with so few people. Many thanks are due to them for their support. The only major change to our plans that resulted from our reduced numbers was our use of a 32-seater coach in place of the originally-planned 49-seater. That led to their introducing us to a new coach company, Astons of Worcester. Their friendly driver, Roger Siviter, became a welcome part of our holiday group. We felt safe in his hands. Thank you Roger. Indeed, thanks to everyone who came on the trip. There was a very good & friendly atmosphere throughout.


Reference Day - Date Outline
E18M1 Day 1 - Monday, 3rd September Travelled to Eastbourne by coach with a visit to Petworth House on the way.
E18M2 Day 2 - Tuesday, 4th September Visited Battle Abbey (and town) and then Great Dixter House & Gardens.
E18M3 Day 3 - Wednesday, 5th September Visited Michelham Priory then spent the afternoon in Lewes.
E18M4 Day 4 - Thursday, 6th September Spent most of the day in Brighton.
E18M5 Day 5 - Friday, 7th September Journeyed back home.