AIVC Events Bulletin

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Events Bulletin from 23 April 2018
This is a list of headline and extended period events that are worth an early mention.
Headline Headline / Extended Period
Llangollen Canal, A Week's Cruise With Merseyside
Sat 5 May 2018 to Sat 12 May 2018
Book By: ASAP
Wildlife Adventure Weekend in Kent Headline
Fri 18 May 2018 to Sun 20 May 2018
Book By: Contact Dave asap to book a place
Trip to Northern Ireland
Tue 22 May 2018 to Mon 28 May 2018
Camping at Shell Island
Mon 18 Jun 2018 to Sun 24 Jun 2018
w/e in Wiltshire visiting gardens Meetup
Fri 29 Jun 2018 to Sun 1 Jul 2018
Weekend away in Brighton & aIVC AGM
Fri 13 Jul 2018 to Sun 15 Jul 2018
Dance/Disco at the AIVC 2018 AGM
Sat 14 Jul 2018
Book By: 07/Jul/2018
Darsham Country Centre - Suffolk
Sun 29 Jul 2018 to Sun 5 Aug 2018
A week at the Edinburgh Festival Headline
Sat 4 Aug 2018 to Sat 11 Aug 2018
Book By: ASAP
Sri Lanka Holiday - Dates now confirmed
Tue 14 Aug 2018 to Wed 29 Aug 2018
Thu 6 Sep 2018 to Sun 9 Sep 2018
Wed 10 Oct 2018 to Wed 17 Oct 2018


20 events found for: All members

Events for May 2018
Sat 5 May to Sat 12 May

Join Merseyside IVC members for a week’s canal cruise, starting and ending in Middlewich, Cheshire. On Saturday, 5th May 2018, the Fjord Viscount ( will depart and head towards Llangollen. It will travel out for three and a half days then return. In all there will be seven nights afloat. The emphasis will be on a leisurely pace and canal side diversion rather than eating up miles. The cost is £250. 

If you are interested then time is of the essence. A £100 deposit is required by the end of December. Merseyside IVC has paid the deposit from club funds so we have eight berths. The balance is to be paid before the end of January. The tight financial schedule is very necessary as we may wish to hire a second vessel. If the deadlines are passed and you wish to go then do contact the organiser as there may be space on a second boat.

The price per berth is overstated with intent to reimburse if the trip is fully subscribed. We have the Fjord Viscount, which sleeps eight, and six berths are already booked. The price of £250 will pay for a boat if only five go. The balance must be paid by the end of January 2018. If more than eight people subscribe then a returnable deposit will be taken from the ninth person pending the subscription of a tenth person and the booking of a second vessel. The cost will be equitably divided between all those who subscribe. 


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The Llangollen Canal ( is justifiably one of the more popular boating holiday canals in Britain. Most of its route is through unspoilt agricultural countryside, but with just enough locks and waterside villages to add interest. As the canal winds its way into Wales, it also features outstanding scenery and some world famous aqueducts. There are also has several short tunnels on this canal, to add to the excitement.

Through rural Cheshire towards Wales

Leaving Middlewich by way of an arm of the Shropshire Union Canal, the route has fine views over the valley of the River Weaver before making its way directly through an area full of Shropshire's 'black and white cows' to the main line of the canal. Here a short deviation would take you to the 'black and white buildings' of Nantwich.

Turning off at Hurleston Junction, the Llangollen Canal itself then ascends a short flight of locks and sets off across open country, winding its way through Wrenbury under quaint old wooden lift bridges. It is worth pausing at Marbury for a short walk up to its remarkable church. As a bonus, several of the locks on this section have good pubs adjacent. At Willeymoor you don't have to walk at all, because there's a delightful pub slap bang alongside the lock.

Gradually you have become used to locks, but at Grindley Brook half a dozen come all at once, the top three being telescoped together as a 'staircase' which can be something of a bottleneck in the summer season, especially on Thursdays when all the boats that have travelled towards Llangollen from the English end of the canal are busily heading back to base. Boaters have been in the habit of taking a taxi or catching the bus from Grindley Brook into nearby Whitchurch, but part of the old arm which once led right into the town has been restored to provide visitor moorings, and it is difficult to resist mooring up here and walking into this interesting old country town, famous as a centre of cheese-making. In the heyday of the canal a special cheese boat left here daily for Manchester, its hold covered with white canvas to keep the cheese as cool as possible. Beyond Whitchurch there are no more locks for many miles, though there are a number of lift bridges to be raised and lowered with the same windlass you use for operating locks.

Ellesmere on the Llangollen Canal

Passing briefly in and out of Wales, and crossing the mysteriously remote 'mosses' the canal reaches Shropshire's 'Lake District', skirting several of the charming meres which were formed hereabouts the end of the Ice Age.

One of them, Blake Mere, is separated from the canal by the slenderest of margins, and makes a beautiful spot for a picnic.

A short tunnel precedes Ellesmere, a timeless old town with some particularly good shops specialising in local produce.

The town arm provides pleasant moorings near to the canal company's original workshops, still used by British Waterways as a maintenance base, and the staff here welcome enquiries from passing boaters.

Amazing Sights

At New Marton you pass through the last pair of locks on your way to Wales. Soon the canal is running parallel to the London-Holyhead road. Then it turns a wooded corner and you are confronted with two huge stone bridges, an aqueduct and a viaduct, carrying the canal and a railway respectively, across the valley of the River Ceiriog, from UK into Wales.

Border crossings don't come much more dramatic than this, especially as, on reaching the far side of the aqueduct, the canal plunges almost immediately into a long tunnel. From moorings at either end of this tunnel it's a short walk into the little town of Chirk, useful for shopping and with a 14th century castle to visit as well. The mountains, which have been simply pale outlines on the horizon, become more tangible as the canal slips into Offa's Dyke country.

World Heritage Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

Winding through woodlands you come to the River Dee and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, the most astonishing feat of waterway engineering anywhere in the world. The 18 kilometres of canal from Chirk to Llangollen was awarded World Heritage site status by Unesco in 2009. A hundred and twenty feet above the river, in an iron trough no wider than the width of you boat, crossing the aqueduct is tantamount to flying through mid air!

You could be forgiven for thinking that the last lap into Llangollen would be an anti-climax. It is nothing of the sort, as on a high shelf above the Vale of Llangollen and surrounded by high limestone ridges, the canal makes for its terminal wharf.

Exploring Llangollen

Twenty six hours cruising away from Middlewich, should leave you with plenty of time to explore some of Llangollen's well known attractions. Take a ride further on along the Dee Valley by steam train; visit Plas Newydd, where the Ladies of Llangollen were the centre of gossip in the 18th century; climb up to the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran, over a thousand feet above sea level; visit the Canal Exhibition Centre; stroll along the last two unnavigable miles of the canal to the famous Horseshoe Falls; or just wander about the charming streets of the town, grateful that you haven't got to find a parking space!

Fjord Viscount Refitted in 2016. Excellent style boat for larger groups of friends and family. Sleeps up to 8 people.

2 doubles and 4 singles (plus 2 pipe cots for under 12's) in 4 cabins or 1 double and 6 singles (plus 2 pipe cots for under 12's) in 4 cabins. 

Length 21.03M (69ft)

A splendid narrowboat, designed and individually built by us to ensure the highest quality for our hirers. Beautifully fitted throughout in Ash, creating a bright and open visual space. There are 2 shower/toilet rooms on board. This Semi-traditional style boat has lots of living space, with a large galley/dining area, and lots of storage space available. 

» 12v socket for mobile phone etc (12v car leads required)  
» Radiator central heating  
» LCD TV with Freeview  
» DVD Player  
» Stereo radio CD player  
» Duvets and bed linen  
» Hair dryer and cot sides on request  
» Two sets of waterproofs per boat  
» Semi-traditional stern  
» Galley fitted with opening skylight  
» Fitted with sustainable teak and ash  
» All fixed berths made up on arrival  
» 2 shower/WC rooms  
» 240v system  
» Hair Dryer  
» Iron

Organiser    Chris Purcell of Merseyside IVC

This is an IVC National Event. You must be a full (paid up) member of IVC to attend. If you are not a member do not contact the organisers. Speak with your nearest branch of IVC. Your nearest club is to be found at

For the organisers contact details and other confidential information, please, ask a committee member.

Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)

Cost:     £250
Book By:     ASAP Shared By:    tickets Association of IVCs (AIVC) (& Active Hampshire, Edinburgh Socialives, Exeter IVC, Halifax & Huddersfield IVC, London IVC, Surrey Social (Formerly West Surrey IVC), Sheffield IVC)
Fri 18 May to Sun 20 May
A weekend camping with nature at a wild woodland in Kent. The highpoint is surveying for dormice. There is also a BBQ, campfire, curry night, conservation work and wildlife walks.  
Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)

Book By:     Contact Dave asap to book a place Shared By:    tickets London IVC (& All AIVC Groups)
Tue 22 May to Mon 28 May

Trip to Belfast Northern Ireland with Cardiff IVC.

You need to be a member of one of the many IVC clubs around the country to attend this event.

If you are interested in joining Cardiff IVC check out there website here

Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)
Shared By:    tickets Association of IVCs (AIVC) (& All AIVC Groups)

Events for June 2018
Mon 18 Jun to Sun 24 Jun

Join Merseyside IVC on its annual excursion to Shell Island ( From Monday, 18th June to Sunday, 24th June 2018, for five nights under canvas. Shell Island is a stunningly beautiful place with very good facilities (hot showers, pub, shops and restaurant). It lies on the Welsh coast between Harlech and Barmouth. It is the largest campsite in Europe. When that nugget was first heard it rang alarm bells but it is the antithesis of a cross between Butlins and Hieronymus Bosch's vision of hell ( It is low density and in some areas almost wild. It is possible to camp 15 minutes walk away from the amenity block. As most children will be in school, the campsite will be quiet and the roads clear. Bring a tent, wine and walking boots.

Some people arrive early and leave late, so you can add to the core weekend. It is perfectly all right to come for just one night. The daily charge is £7·75 per person. (If you are over 60 years old, bring proof and ask for the reduced price.) Bookings may be made online at the Shell Island website. In the evening we play petanque, barbecue and discuss what we will be doing the following day.

It cannot be predicted whereabouts on the site we will be setting camp. There are favourite places but it is always possible for them to be already occupied. By our tents there will be signs bearing the Merseyside IVC emblem. We aim to pitch the tents in a big circle around a central gathering and cooking area. If you arrive when there is no one about, please do not set up in that nice big space in the middle.

For those approaching from the north and the M62 corridor, the North Wales Express Way (A55) is very strongly recommended. At Conwy turn south onto the A470 to travel up the Conway valley. After Llanrwst and after passing the road to Betws-y-Coed, take the turning on the right signposted Blaenau Ffestiniog. It is still the A470.

At the bottom of the hill, before Blaenau Ffestiniog town centre, there is a very small round-a-bout. Turn right here, following the signpost for Porthmadog A496 (A487). As soon as you see them, follow signposts for Harlech, which will lead you onto the A487.

Harlech is a medieval town stuck on a lump of rock and is to be avoided. Look out for the sign to Barmouth. It will indicate a right turn shortly before Harlech. Take that turn. It is further but quicker.

Continue towards Barmouth. You will not be going as far as Barmouth. In Llanbedr look out for the Victoria Inn, cross over the bridge and immediately turn right towards the railway station. 2·2 miles later you are at Shell Island.

If you miss the tide, go and eat in the Victoria. If you are a couple of minutes late do not be tempted to drive through. The salt water will ruin your car and the difficulty is not the depth of water but locating the road surface.

Approaches from the south and east involve going through Dolgellau. The road between Llangollen and Dolgellau is prone to clogging with slow moving vehicles.

Links to Tide Times ( & Camping Details (

Link to Google Street View

Link to The Turn to Shell Island from the A469

Shell Island’s Location - Post Code LL45 2PJ
OS Map OL18 - NGR SH 556 266
Camping at Shell Island [2014] by Sarah Davis

Camping at Shell Island, which is situated on the coast of North Wales, just south of Harlech, was the perfect camping experience. The site was amazing, the views were stunning, the company was excellent and the weather was glorious.........what more could anyone want.

The event was organised by Nick Wilkinson from Merseyside IVC, who proved the perfect host. Nick had been to Shell Island before, so picked an ideal camping spot for the group and had everything well organised.

The camping party had 6 IVC members, from 3 different IVC clubs, Merseyside, Sheffield and Cambridge, as well as a few friends. Everyone arrived on Friday, in time to get tents set up and prepare for the BBQ in the evening. We ate exceedingly well, washed down with a glass or two of wine and sat around chatting and getting to know each other before retiring to our cosy accommodation.

Saturday morning was a very chilled affair; people surfaced in dribs and drabs, boiled kettles, drank tea and ate breakfast before deciding what to do during the coming day. We split into different groups during the day, some people heading for Barmouth, others exploring the fabulous beaches and Shell Island itself and drinking tea in nearby Llanbedr. In the evening we had another BBQ ...........all in all a perfect day.

Most people packed up Sunday morning after another lazy start to the day, before heading off home. My friend and I stayed on and visited Harlech Castle in the afternoon, a spectacular castle built by Edward 1 in the late 13th century.

Unfortunately, I awoke the next day to the sound of rain at 5am.........well it was Wales! The rain was torrential and we even had thunder, but after breakfast it cleared so that we were able to pack up relatively dry tents before leaving to beat the high tide at 12:30.

All in all the perfect weekend end away.

Emma Thompson expresses the sentiment of IVC at Shell Island. 



Some friends who are not members of IVC may also be camping.

One of the activity options is to stroll south along the beach the ten kilometres to Barmouth. At the halfway point, the Afon Ysgethin runs to the sea across a pebble beach. The water is only 20cm deep but you will want to take off your good footwear to ford it. Because of the pebbles, it is very uncomfortable in bare feet. A pair of crocks or old plimsolls are invaluable.

There is another option for a group expedition.

An option is to drive to Porthmadog and catch the Welsh Highland Railway ( to Caernarfon ( Then going for an evening meal in Porthmadog to let the drivers rest a little before the ride back to Shell Island.

Porth Merion ( is nearby.

Follow the links, have a think and it will be discussed at Shell.

This is an IVC National Event. You must be a full (paid up) member of IVC to attend. If you are not a member do not contact the organisers. Speak with your nearest branch of IVC. Your nearest club is to be found at .

For the organiser’s contact details and other confidential information, please, ask a committee member.

Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)
Fri 29 Jun to Sun 1 Jul
visiting the following gardens

* Abbey House Garden. This was the private garden of Barbara and Ian Pollard, famous as the ‘naked gardeners’.
* Misarden Park, near Stroud. Originally designed in the 17th century, the gardens were redeveloped in the 20th century by Sir Edwin Lutyens in his famous Edwardian style. aturday The gardens of f Ridleys Cheer, which contains mixed borders, sweeping lawns and a flight of steps in Cotswold stone greeting the visitor.
* A another tbd, possibly  lford Manor  This romantic award-winning Italian garden designed by Harold Peto contains a formal garden on old terraces embellished with his collection of classical statuary and architectural fragments.
* Bowood. Home to the Marquess and Marchioness of Lansdowne, this exquisite 18th century house is encircled by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s stunning park, with spectacular formal gardens, a rockwork garden and the renowned pinetum and arboretumSunday 1 Ju
* Cerney Gardens Set around a Victorian walled garden, they are described by Country Living as "what most people aspire to in their gardens – and few achieve".
* A private garden of Redenham Park, The garden is made up of a series of separate ‘rooms’, beginning with the rose garden, enclosed by yew hedges and centered on a large circular fish pond. An abundant Paul’s Himalayan Musk envelops the archway leading up to the herbaceous border, from which a gate opens on to the croquet lawn.

The cost is from £385 to include comfortable coach travel throughout, 2nights DB&B and entrances to gardens
Contact Ann at for further details and a booking form.  
Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)
Shared By:    tickets London IVC (& All AIVC Groups)

Events for July 2018
Fri 13 Jul to Sun 15 Jul
Join Brighton IVC and the aIVC committee for this social weekend in Brighton which also includes the 2018 aIVC AGM  
Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)

Cost:     from £66 Shared By:    tickets Association of IVCs (AIVC) (& All AIVC Groups)
Sat 14 Jul
7 to 11.30 pm

Our Dance/Disco being held at the Swan Inn in conjunction with the AIVC 2018 Annual Conference. The price for tickets is £15 each and include a Disco and Buffet. The venue is 10 minutes easy walk from the University of Sussex.

Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)

Cost:     £15
Book By:     07/Jul/2018
Sun 29 Jul to Sun 5 Aug
Darsham. Suffolk IP7 3PL
Notice: You have to be a fully paid up member of an AIVC club to attend this event. Details

What we'll do
This part of the UK is very rarely visited by Northern folk! Due to it being on the funny side of the country. Well, let me tell you it’s a brilliant place to go. All the local pubs sell Adnams beers! Loads of really nice places to visit!

Darsham Country Centre is an exciting and interesting venue that was the old Railway Stationmaster's house. It's close to the Suffolk coast and Darsham station is on the working railway line from Ipswich to Lowestoft and now has trains each way every hour through the day. There are good connections from London Liverpool Street. There is also a regular bus service that goes to places like Southwold and Aldeburgh or a dial-up bus which goes to Minsmere bird reserve and the coast at Walberswick. a wide range of activities including cycling, bird watching, walking and swimming
a central base for enjoying Suffolk's many visitor attractions
a wealth of nearby pubs and restaurants
a fully catering-equipped and spacious kitchen
an adjoining room for dining and other activities
a large but cosy sitting room with plenty of easy chairs
five upstairs bedrooms, sleeping up to 16 people in bunks and single beds (bed linen supplied)
another two bedrooms downstairs with beds for 4 in each room – next door to an accessible WC and shower for less able visitors
showers, washbasins and WCs upstairs and down
a newly refurbished patio area with picnic tables and a grassed area suitable for games and, by arrangement, overflow camping for up to 15
free internet access
Cost will be £90 per person or rent a room £300 (4 beds) / £350 (5 beds) per week!
Only 24 places in the centre available.

Contact: Peter Howe 07944 880722

Organiser:     Peter Howe 07944 880722

Cost:     £90

Events for August 2018
Sat 4 Aug to Sat 11 Aug

Join us at the world's greatest entertainment festival. After a terrific week at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 we will return in 2018. We will stay in value for money, student accommodation close to the heart of the festival. We will help you navigate your way round the festival which is vast and can be overwhelming. We will organise shared visits to events and several team social get togethers - or you can just do your own thing. Help will be provided with travel arrangements and prebooking of recommended avents - but most events can be booked when you are there.

Contact Dave now for more details and to join the acommodation waiting list. This will cost around £200 for the week for your own room in a shared student flat which is basic but comfortable.

Join London IVC to join us!

Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)

Cost:     £200
Book By:     ASAP Shared By:    tickets London IVC (& All AIVC Groups)
Tue 14 Aug to Wed 29 Aug
A holiday in Sri Lanka for IVC members and friends. A bargain compared with commercially organised holidays.  
Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)

Cost:     Approx £1700 Shared By:    tickets London IVC (& All AIVC Groups)
Tue 14 Aug
00:00 to 23:00
A holiday in Sri Lanka for IVC members and friends. A bargain compared with commercially organised holidays.  
Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)

Cost:     Approx £1700 Shared By:    tickets Association of IVCs (AIVC) (& All AIVC Groups)

Events for September 2018
Thu 6 Sep to Sun 9 Sep

Possible visit to Festival No 6 Port Meiron Wales.

You need to be a member of one of the many clubs around the country to attend this event.

This event is organised by London IVC. If you are interested in joining London IVC check out our website here

Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)
Shared By:    tickets Association of IVCs (AIVC) (& All AIVC Groups)

Events for October 2018
Wed 10 Oct to Wed 17 Oct

Merseyside IVC is off to Tenerife in October. Members stay in the seaside resort of Los Cristianos, on the southwest coast. Temperatures are likely to be in the mid 20s and most children are back in school. This is a national event and members of other IVCs will attend. Our host, Mike Hulligan, is inviting his friends so the event is not exclusively IVC.

It may be worth bringing walking gear and waterproofs or you may opt for the beach and bars. The holiday will be what you want.

Merseyside are staying at
Apartmentos Costamar
Av. Juan Carlos 1, 40
38660 Arona
Santa Cruz de Tenerife

Search for ‘Costamar Apartments los Cristianos’ [also listed a 'Costa Mar']. A number of firms broker the accommodation. Next door is the Spring Arona Gran Hotel for those looking for luxury and across the road are the Paloma Beach Apartments. For other accommodation go to
and see what is nearby.

Tenerife Apartments

Mike is flying from Liverpool with Ryanair. He leaves at 1135h and arrives at 1610h on Wednesday, 10th October 2018. His return flight leaves at 0645h on Wednesday, 17th October 2018 and arrives in Liverpool for 1110h. A taxi to los Cristianos costs around €25. Transfers are cheaper or catch a 111 bus.

Opposite the Costamar, on the Avenida Juan Carlos 1, is a row of shops, bars and restaurants. We will gather there for a meal around 1900h. Mike will have his telephone and will share the number with those who are travelling.


Mike Hulligan, Merseyside Intervarsity Club

For the organiser’s contact details and other confidential information, please, ask a committee member.

This is an IVC National Event. You must be a full (paid up) member of IVC to attend. If you are not a member do not contact the organisers. Speak with your nearest branch of IVC. Your nearest club is to be found at

Organiser:     Private to members of Association of IVCs (AIVC)

Cost:     Self Booking

Icons:   ticket = Invitation       tickets = Shared       Headline = Headline

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