Ashfield U3A Holidays Group

CO-ORDINATOR(S): Caroline Rhoades

TELEPHONE NUMBER(S): 01623-721987 or 07724-210563


VENUE: Dependent on the venue of the holiday

MEETING DATE & TIME: As and when

COST OF VENUE, MATERIALS ETC.: Dependent on the cost of the holiday




PAGE CODE: Fully Updateable


Contact Caroline by phone or email to make her aware of your interest in any holidays advertised below or if you have any queries you would like to discuss. Ashfield U3A holidays are primarily for Ashfield U3A members who will be given first choice of single rooms, etc. However, members of other U3As are more than welcome to join us. So far, we have visited Fort William, Paris, Amsterdam, Fuertaventura, Sicily and The Shetlands, enjoying the company of Hucknall, Sherwood and Mansfield U3A members.

June 2 weeks Croatia - Cavtat nr. Dubrovnik
  • 4 star hotel - half board.
  • This holiday is fully allocated but Caroline is taking names for a reserve list.
  • Contact Caroline for more details.
October 2/4 weeks Venezuela & Angel Falls
  • 2 weeks adventure trip up the Orinoco River.
  • 2 weeks OPTIONAL extension on the Paradise Archipelago of Los Roques.
  • As this is an adventure holiday, be prepared to rough it a bit.
You will need to have an itinerary from Explore, Worldwide [phone: 01252 884987] and ask for trip notes Angel Falls & Orinoco code AF2017. Caroline is organising a meeting in June 2017 - please ring her and leave your contact details. It is imperative that you have a copy of the trip notes to hand for the meeting.
12 October 7 nights Florence
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Flying from Manchester
3 December 5 nights Weston Super Mare
  • Half board with ALFA Travel
  • Full festive menu & included excursions
  • Local coach pickup
  • £208 pp sharing twin/double
  • £40 deposit
30 December 3 nights Newquay
  • New Year break
  • Half board
  • Full festivities plus excursion included
  • Local coach pickup
  • All rooms heated with tea/coffee making facilities
  • £279 pp sharing twin/double

Croatian Adventures - Holiday May/June 2015:

Members from four local U3As spent two weeks in Croatia from the end of May 2015, flying from East Midlands Airport and staying at Cavtat. The flight time from the UK was 2.30 hrs and the currency was the Kuna.

Cavtat is a small fishing village, 10km from Dubrovnik. The tranquil village has changed little since my last visit in 1979. Our group of 17 stayed at the Epidaurus Hotel, set on the shores of the Adriatic, overlooking the islands and Tia Bay. An easy, pleasant 10 minute stroll into the village takes you to the centre, where there is a plethora of bars, restaurants and a small harbour. We wanted to see as much as possible of the area and organised a private coach with guide for our days out.

A water taxi from just outside our hotel for the 40 minute crossing to Dubrovnik cost around £8.00 return. We braved the heat and walked the city walls - a leisurely 3 hours with stop-offs in the shade and stunning views of the city and coast. A cable car ride to the Napoleonic fort and museum which now serves as a living memory museum to the Homeland War of 1994. I would strongly recommend a visit to this place... unmissable and educational!

We set off for the day - blue sky and a pleasant breeze of around 28°C. Our own privately-charted boat took us on an idyllic cruise visiting the islands of Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep - a stunning trio set in the clear turquoise waters of the Adriatic. The islands are sparsely inhabited and seemingly untouched by the hustle and bustle of the modern world. Our captain sailed in close to the ancient walls of Dubrovnik for photo opportunities. We had time to explore at each stop, and lunch consisted of a barbeque on our boat - freshly grilled chicken sardines served with salad and as much vino as you could want, then back in time for a pre dinner G&T at the hotel.

This was a lovely inland journey across three borders - Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia. Mostar does not disappoint. The old town and iconic bridge have been lovingly restored to their former glory, a testament to the unity and strength of its people. In the cemetery, Muslims lie along side Christians - an emotive reminder of the recent war. On our return, we traveled an alternative route through the inhospitable limestone mountain scrub of the Serbian Republc, then onwards to lush agricultural farmlands where local farmers in tiny roadside kiosks sold their produce - honey, figs, candied peel, garlic & lavender. This fertile area also produces tobacco. Euros and kuna were accepted on the island. We returned the the hotel after a tiring but fascinating day.

After an early start for a long but fabulous journey along the coast, we were treated to spectacular views across the bay of Kotor, stopping en route at the Montenegran border control. The ancient walled city of Kotor is a maze of narrow cobbled streets, lined with tiny shops, restaurants and churches. It is very compact and easy to find your way around. Sadly it was too hot (35°C) to walk the city walls, so we meandered the streets admiring the architecture and stopping off for the occasional cold beer along the way! The coast of goods was much cheaper here than in Croatia, and we used our euros to buy lunch and momentos. Late afternoon, we boarded our coach for a final visit to Budva and Sveti Stefan. The return trip is via a 4 minute ferry crossing, saving a 50 minute road trip. We were informed that there was much Russian investment in Montenegro, and we did see alot of development of apartments and hotels on the coast.

A highly recommended holiday destination for relaxing days, wonderful walks & stunning coastline with easy access to Dubrovnik and other places of interest. There were 17 of us from Ashfield, Ravenshead, Hucknall and Sutton U3As. New friendships were forged and memories made. Thank you everyone for the laughs and the Latin.


Caroline Rhoades.

Turkish Delight Holiday September 2014:

Fourteen members from Ashfield, Hucknall & Ravenshead U3As came together recently for a delightful 2-week stay at the St.
Nicholas Park Hotel, Hisonaru, set in a wonderful location high in the hills, with spectacular views of Olu Deniz.

Three Bravehearts, Edith, Caroline & Colleen, embarked on a paragliding adventure. Starting on the beach at Olu Deniz, we
climbed into the Jeep which took us on a hair-raising one hour drive to the top of Babadag Mountain. Here, we were harnassed
up and introduced to our individual pilots. So, here we are, 6,900 feet at the top of a mountain, each strapped to a fine,
young Turk, who instructs us to ...hold on tight and take a short run to the edge..... Heart in mouth, we are up and away,
climbing higher and higher, the wind rushes by and we fly like birds on the wing. After 45 minutes in the air, we had a
peaceful, gentle descent back onto the beach. Edith said she thought it was OK but preferred the speedboat!

Charting our very own gulet for the day, we spent our time sailing the crystal waters, swimming and just relaxing. The crew
did us proud with an onboard barbecue of fresh fish & chicken, and a table laden down with an assortment of pasta, rice,
couscous, salads and local side dishes to accompany our meal. Then well-relaxed, we were offered individual massages by the
crew, enthusiastically embraced by two female members of our party, who gaily abandoned themselves completely to the experience.
I would love to report more on this subject but am bound by confidentiality! We found the Turks to be very enterprising and
business minded - a speedboat with a large, onboard fridge zoomed in and out of the bays selling ice cream to gulets. Another
speedboat offered hair-raising rides around the bay on inflatables. A very enjoyable day.

Deep in the mountains lies Saklikent - one of the largest gorges in Europe. To see the gorge at its best, the visitor enters on
foot, wading through the freezing, thigh-high waters. Making our way through the strong waters was well worth the effort, the
sheer walls being testament to nature's prodigious power. After leaving the gorge, we lunched at the Yakapark Trout Farm and
had the most delicious trout ever! Our final stop was at Tlos, a city with over 3,000 years of history. Its spectacular rock
tombs and amphitheatre were a mesmerising climax to our day out. Then, it was back at the hotel for some serious relaxing
beside the pool bar!

If you are thinking of a Turkish holiday, this hotel and location are highly recommended. The group agreed that it would
love to have a return stay.

Scotland - Dunoon Holiday June/July 2014:

Dunoon, Scotland was the venue for a 7-day break organised by
Caroline Rhoades for Ashfield U3A and attended by Ashfield
U3A members and friends between 29th June and 6th July 2014.

Seville Holiday May 2013:

A group of 19 U3A wine afficionados and flamenco wannabes had a wonderful 5 days, staying at the Vime Corrigdor hotel in central Seville.

Day 1 - Temperature: 34 degrees C.

Arriving at midday to very welcomesunshine, we had a swift and smooth transfer to the hotel, and after a brief siesta and cold sangria, we walked into the centre to see the Alcazaar. This Moorish palace, with its stunning architecture, was designed by the same architect as the Alhambra in Granada. Our first warm and balmy evening was spent in the nearby square of Alameda de Hercules, indulging in tapas, fine wine and local beers.

Day 2 – Temperature: 30 degrees C.

Our private coach arrived to take us on a full day to Ronda. The town is divided into two halves by a spectacular gorge and was originally linked by a small bridge at the lowest part. This was built by the Moors and Arabs in the 6th century; the Arab baths and original city fortifications are mostly intact.

A new bridge spanning the highest part of the gorge was built in the last century. This bridge is now the iconic image of Ronda and features on all postcards.

The day was spent exploring the town - it's ancient paths and history, as well as sampling the many gastronomic delights of local bars!

The evening was spent once again sitting outside enjoying local food and wine.

Day 3 – Temperature: 33 degrees C.

The group split up as we all wanted to do different things. Our small group of 5 enjoyed the following:
  • Horse and trap ride around the city and Santa Cruz area.
  • Found a lovely quiet restaurant overlooking the river in the Triana area.
  • Chartered a small ( 7 seater) pleasure cruiser, with our very own capitano. We enjoyed an hour’s leisurely cruise along the river.
  • Visited the amazing gothic cathedral and climbed the Giraldo tower overlooking the city.
To complete this series of pleasant interludes, we indulged in an extravagant amount of exotic ices, followed by a small glass of alcoholic beverage to enable us to walk back to the hotel. A late siesta and then a group get together with a gastronomic feast of typical Sevillian food followed, with lots of lively conversation well into the early hours!

Day 4 – Temperature: A staggering 38 degrees C!

We had a private coach to Cordoba, once the ancient capital of Spain, built by the Roman General Claudio Marcalo in 164 BC, and the birthplace of Senecca. Our visit coincided with opening of the old city gardens, patios, terrazas ( private homes) in the old Jewish district not normally on view to the public. Unfortunately for us, this annual event is very popular and the place was heaving with visitors. However, we made the best of it and meandered through the narrow winding streets, viewing the most delightful and intimate gardens, patios - terrazas. A myriad of shady squares with inviting tapas provided a welcome relief from the heat and the opportunity to share the day with each other. Some of the group visited the magnificent Mesquita palace.

The evening was spent back in Seville at the Plaza de Hercules, our group once again enjoying tapas, wine, laughter, wine, more tapas, ice cream, more wine, giggling .... 'Can we have the bill please?' Another pleasant interlude!

Day 5 – Temperature: 31degrees C.

On the final, leisurely day, we walked over the river to the Triana district in the quieter part of Seville, home to the original Flamenco dance. We visited the Spanish Inquisition museum, housed in the original building on the river side. Our final evening together was spent enjoying sangria on the hotel terazza.

Thank you to all from Hucknall, Sutton & Ashfield U3A for your most excellent company.


Iceland Holiday November 2012:

Click this link for Diary & Photographs

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