LAAG SOCIAL EVENT - Visit to Darwin's House

Update: 10-Aug-13. Please note the rail timetables added to itinerary below. Those coming via London Victoria rail station can meet at the "Paul" patisserie stand in front of platform 3.

Cost of entry will be £10. Please pay me in cash on the day as I will pay for us all together on my credit card..

Down House is an English Heritage managed museum and gardens in the rural Kent village of Downe (SE of London). The ground floor has been recreated from 1870 photographs including items of Darwin's own furniture and possessions which have been donated by his family. The first floor has exhibition rooms, including a recreation of Darwin's cabin from The Beagle and EH have laid out the gardens based on Emma Darwin's design notes. Taken altogether, the house is still very evocative of Darwin's family-oriented, gentleman-scientist lifestyle.


Down House as seen from the lawn and flowerbeds.

Darwin's orchard, greehouses, kitchen gardens and the famous "sandwalk" are all accessible (behind the camera in this picture).

 

 

 

Darwin's study, recreated from photographs taken in 1870 and containing items of his furniture and an interesting selection of his books and instruments.

 

 

 

Options: A one-hour guided tour of the garden can be arranged at extra cost (I will investigate and get prices). You can also listen to Sir David Attenborough on headphones as you tour the house (again, I think that is priced extra). And/or you can tune into me as I talk to anyone that will listen about Darwin's life and work.

Cost: £10 (£8.50 entry + £1.50 contribution to LAAG funds). Please pay me in cash on the day.

Travel: Volunteer drivers welcome, otherwise public transport involves rail to Bromley South, a 146 bus to Downe and a 10-min/half-mile walk to Down House.

Food & Drink: The house has a great tea-shop. Ask for recommendations on the cakes. One of the staff makes them and is a cake-baking genius. Plus there will be food at the pub afterwards.

Itinerary: For anyone using public transport, rail options run from London Victoria (fast and stopping via Brixton, Herne Hill, Beckenham Jcn etc.) and London Blackfriars (stopping via Elephant & C and Beckenham Hill etc.) as follows:

12:38 BFR - BMS 13:10 32m service to Orpington
12:45 VIC - BMS 13:01 16m service to Ashford Intl.
12:51 VIC - BMS 13:17 26m service to Orpington
13:05 VIC - BMS 13:21 16m service to Dover Priory
13:08 BFR - BMS 13:40 32m service to Orpington
13:21 VIC - BMS 13:47 26m cuts it fine; take the next one
13:24 VIC - BMS 13:43 19m service to Canterbury East

Ashford train is hourly, rest repeat each 30 mins, if you are running late.

13:20-50 Gather at Bus Stop X Bromley South railway station. Come out of station through the main entrance, turn right, it's the second bus-stop you come to.

13:51 Take 146 Bus to St Mary's Church Bus Stop, Downe. The next bus is in an hour so latecomers can wait for that or take a 15-20 minute cab ride to Downe (Carlton Cars: [masked])

14:10-20 Walk to Down House. Tickets and in by 14:30.

16:30-40 Walk back to The Queen's Head at Downe. Food until 6pm.

Buses leave from Downe Church stop hourly at 19 past the hour until 23:19. Bus ride to Bromley South takes 18 mins. Six trains/hour to Victoria until 23:43 and two trains/hour to Blackfriars until 22:56.

NB. Adrian: selection of nightclubs in Downe is severely limited.

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  • Catriona

    I wanted to say a big thank-you to Jason and anyone else involved in organising this trip. I really enjoyed it - a great day out with a great group of people.

    2 · August 14, 2013

  • Joanne

    Fun and educational (who knew that it was Darwin who wrote Alice in Wonderland!). Good to see we're all being the "bigger person"and not mentioning Ginny's pole / lap dancing.

    2 · August 11, 2013

    • Joanne

      I thought it was Dr Muffy???

      1 · August 12, 2013

    • Andre

      Dr Who?

      August 12, 2013

  • Devorah R.

    Thank you everyone for such a lovely day. Was great seeing you all!

    3 · August 11, 2013

    • Adrian

      Great to see you. Hope we won't have to wait so long for your next appearance :-)

      August 12, 2013

  • Adrian

    Great day out with excellent company! The house was very interesting and the audio guide by David Attenbrough certainly illuminated the place well. Great gardens too. There were some fruit trees and such in the garden and at one point several of us had Darwin's plums in our mouths. Good work Jason for organising a top trip!

    1 · August 12, 2013

  • Andre

    There is something I need to say which only Adrian will understand: it's called Bonobo.

    1 · August 12, 2013

  • Kieron

    Excellent.

    1 · August 12, 2013

  • Hoogendoorn W.

    nice people, and very historic

    2 · August 11, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Yes Wilemien, the staff were incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, patient, enthusiastic weren't they - it made the day all the more enjoyable. Jason and I were saying that we both felt a great sense of awe at being there - in the very spot and surrounded by things of a man who had such a world-changing revelation. Seeing how his remarkable patient curiosity led him to a lifetime of painstaking experiment, observation and noting. I wonder if religious people get any of that awe if they visit, or maybe a sense of revulsion?!

      1 · August 12, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    Flawlessly organised and executed by Jason. Lovely crowd, thank Darwin for the weather, blood, tears (of laughter), S & M fruit, ginger wine soaked carrier bag licking ....what more could one ask for

    2 · August 12, 2013

  • Roma

    Thanks Jason for a lovely day

    2 · August 11, 2013

  • Wasim

    Had a deliciously god free day! Thank you. Especially because you're all a bunch of godless heathens with not a divine bone in your evolved bodies.

    4 · August 11, 2013

  • Kieron

    Many thanks for all your work on this Jason, much appreciated, and Georgi L of course, and to all those that make these meetups work so well.

    1 · August 10, 2013

  • Julie M.

    Hi all - am looking forward to this outing. I'm going to be picking up the train at Herne Hill, cos this is only a few stops from my local Tooting station. I think I'm going to aim for an earlier one, so will catch you all at the bus stop.

    Cheers - Julie

    August 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Jason, I will be bringing 3 guests now. Hope this is ok. We will drive there as we live in Surrey. We may get there early so I might pay directly when I arrive. Would this be an issue?

    August 10, 2013

    • Jason

      Hi Paul, just seen this. No problem if you go in directly. There are still enough of us to form what English Heritage will consider "a group".

      August 10, 2013

  • Wasim

    Thanks Jason. See you there!

    Darwin-ate-my-religion.

    2 · August 10, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Wasim, you will also get an email with mobile number

      August 10, 2013

  • Wasim

    Just to confirm, if I'm going via train, are we meeting at Victoria to catch the 13:05 to Ramsgate? Will there be a group at Victoria i can identify?

    August 10, 2013

    • Jason

      Hi Wasim. Let's meet at London Victoria 12:45ish by the "Paul" coffee stand in front of platform 3. BTW that particular train, the 13:05 fast to Bromley South, terminates at DOVER PRIORY and not Ramsgate as previously suggested. I will update the MeetUp with more train options shortly.

      August 10, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Thanks Jason ( and as usual, I will send out the LAAG outside events mobile number to all by email)

      August 10, 2013

  • Hoogendoorn W.

    can i still join in?

    August 9, 2013

    • Jason

      Hi Hoogendoorn. I have just expanded the group size to fit you in. We originally thought we were limited by how many could fit in a minibus. Now the only limit is set by the size of the 146 bus and how many other people want to go to Downe on a Sunday afternoon. We shall see.

      August 9, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    Jason, the 20 limit was somewhat of an arbitrary restriction in order not to have too large a group wasn't it? ie. Roma wants to come along, and she can't make it to our wednesday events ...could we squeeze her in? :-)

    August 7, 2013

    • Jason

      Of course. Sorry, the same occurred to me, it just slipped my mind to fix the limit

      1 · August 7, 2013

    • Roma

      Thanks.
      See you Sunday

      August 9, 2013

  • Devorah R.

    I really really would have loved this! Would you let us know if there are any cancellations? :)

    August 8, 2013

    • Jason

      Hi Devorah. I have just extended the group size for you. Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.

      August 8, 2013

    • Devorah R.

      Thank you!

      August 8, 2013

  • Adam

    I am happy to go by public transport if the cars are taken.
    Anyone else planning to travel by train?

    August 5, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Adam, I think the cars idea was scrapped so we're all going by train. Julie checked out the following: 15 mins by train out of Victoria to Bromley South and then 20 minute bus journey on a 146 to the village Downe...and I just checked - it's the 13:05 train out of victoria towards ramsgate that we'll need to get.

      August 5, 2013

    • Adam

      Sounds perfect then.

      August 6, 2013

  • Jason

    Cats of the LAAG delegation to Down House, prepare to be herded. I will send in the group booking form in a couple of days. My plan is NOT to book a group Garden Tour (starts as soon as we get there and feels a bit Radio4 for us) and also NOT to tell the tearoom to expect us (since we are planning to eat in the pub afterwards). Both options are still there if anyone wants to take advantage ad-hoc. If any wants to suggest anything different, that's fine, just say now. That is all. As you were.

    July 29, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Sounds good to me - prefer not having a set schedule of garden tour, teashop, David Attenborough on headphones etc and just doing our own thing - we are cats after all ;-) Thanks Jason.

      July 29, 2013

    • Adrian

      "feels a bit Radio4 for us" - spot on!

      1 · August 5, 2013

  • Joanne

    Oops thought I'd RSVP'd already. I'll be public transporting it and hopefully don't get lost. Sense of direction never evolved in my family :-)

    July 28, 2013

  • Cloe

    JESUS SAVES!

    Darwin scores on the rebound.

    1 · July 18, 2013

  • Jason

    Hi folks. So we have reached 15 takers for this trip, which is fantastic news, but I think we need to draw a line there until we have explored our transport options. So 15 people means 3-4 cars or 1 minibus. I can cover 5, so if we have 2-3 others able/willing to drive (ideally based in South or South East London) then we are all good. If not, then I will look at hiring a minibus. I don't mind being our driver, but it will probably add about £9-10/head to the cost for hire and fuel. If there are any drivers here can you post a comment here or drop me a mail? Gratzi mille.

    July 12, 2013

    • Cloe

      I laughed out loud at "Georginny guffawed so loudly she let out a little pee!"

      1 · July 15, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Paul knows me so well!

      1 · July 15, 2013

  • Adrian

    Can't help noticing that name of Darwin's house is more evolved than the name of the village: Down House: Downe village.

    July 15, 2013

  • Cloe

    I don't finch at the idea..
    I mean..flinch.

    3 · July 7, 2013

    • Rav

      Very good

      July 8, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Cloe, I missed this one, lol ...I think beating you for the next smartarse award is going to be tough!

      July 14, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    Jason, that was Andrew Buckingham. And East London Humanists had scheduled an outing there today - I suggested to them several weeks back that we make it a joint event as they only had 3 people down for it but with a few LAAGers it would have been feasible. Unfortunately organiser didn't respond to my enquiry. I did pass onto Andrew that he could go along with EHS, but if you want to do this we could promote it to the front page. Again, think you will just need to choose a date and see, as guaging doesn't seem to work.

    July 7, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      ... waitlist is on, and you are 'event host' - so you can alter whatever you want (sorry thought I'd done that already)

      July 12, 2013

    • Jason

      Thanks Ginny. So Aisha, looks like you are in. I hope we can expand the numbers a little once we know more about the transport situation.

      July 12, 2013

  • Adrian

    He's not going to be hiding when we get there like that Anne Frank's gaff?

    July 11, 2013

    • Jason

      :D yes sorry to disappoint Adrian. He stopped taking visitors in 1882. You know what these reclusive scientists are like. He didn't even make an exception when Justin Beiber dropped by.

      2 · July 11, 2013

    • Cloe

      That's annoying. Was going to bring my Origin of Species for him to sign!

      1 · July 12, 2013

  • Kathryn

    Great idea. Thanks for organising this. I don't have a car, so a minibus would be great or I am happy to share petrol costs if anyone is driving. Thanks.

    July 10, 2013

  • Julie M.

    Sounds great. Thanks for organising this. Looking forward to it.

    July 8, 2013

  • terence f.

    Well worth a visit.

    July 8, 2013

  • Jason­ changed the date and time to Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    July 7, 2013

22 went

  • Jason
    ORGANISER. Tetris-tastic wordsmith
    Event Host
  • Georgi L.
    FOUNDER, ORGANISER, cat herding faith virus boghossinator, Co-Organizer
  • Roma
    A naughty one!
  • Julie M.
    Has a twin called Phyllis
  • Cloe
    Initiation Organiser ;-) Charlie Sheen, Horny Devil, Shots Queen
  • Andre +1
    Tee-total whimsy
  • Adam
    ORGANISER (non meetings), resident gambling shark!
  • Catriona
    Musical Maestro
  • Andy S.
    Good wit' the Ladeez apparently!
  • Joanne
    Sweet as Bro!
  • Adrian
    FOUNDER, Cat herding KingHell of Puns, Organizer
  • Kieron
    ORGANISER, Founder Member.
  • A former member
    +3 guests

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