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.