The coronavirus situation has made it very difficult for groups to travel, whether locally, further afield in the UK, or abroad. But the Tours have always been an important feature in the calendar of this society.

Each year we have planned for a ‘mini’ tour in the UK, perhaps to one of the great cities, Glasgow or Liverpool for the galleries or museums, or a region of England where we can visit great houses and discover more about local industries. For example in 2019 the mini tour was centred on Stratford, and included a visit to the jewellery quarter of Birmingham. Sadly the 2020 tour of the Cotswolds and Oxford University was cancelled because of the pandemic.

The programme would normally include a ‘grand’ tour. Last year the venue was Berlin, to study the History and Art of Berlin and Potsdam. We have had to withdraw from the tour to Bologna, Ravenna, Mantua and Ferrara in October. It is hoped that this tour can be restored to our programme – perhaps later this year.

All tours are booked with companies that have a national reputation for this kind of travel. The accommodation is always in a quality hotel, and all visits are guided by expert guides.

The future programme for tours and visits, whether locally or abroad will become clearer in the fullness of time.

Gill McLean is our Tours and Mini-tours secretary.

ExeDFAS group on the steps of the Altesmuseum in Berlin Photographed by Lucilla Phelps.