Exchange visits

We arrange exchange visits for adults and families, going to France one year and welcoming the French to us in the following year. The visits generally take place over a long weekend in the spring.

Group visit to Villedômer – 3-5 May 2024

If you are interested in joining us, please complete and return the form that members will have received from Tony Hore. And if you have any questions or requests, please email us using the envelope icon at the bottom of this page.

This is the cherry on the cake for members this year! These visits are extremely enjoyable occasions with our generous French hosts laying on some delightful local cultural and culinary treats. All this, and local accommodation for two nights, is provided free of charge.

If you are planning to join us on the Ryanair flights to France, please note that the outgoing flight time has changed from what was previously advised. The new flight schedule is:

Outward Flight: 3rd May 2024 Flight No FR2768 departing Stansted 08:45 arriving Tours 11:10

Return Flight: 5th May 2024 Flight No FR2769 departing Tours 16:45 arriving Stansted 17:10

Getting to and from Stansted Airport: try car or taxi-sharing; or a train from Shelford (outward departures 05:36 or 06:03).

If you’re not a member it’s easy and inexpensive to become one – only £15 per adult per year. You don’t have to live in Stapleford and you don’t need to speak French! Details can be found here.

Group visit from Villedômer to Stapleford – May 2023

A thirteen-strong group from Villedômer made the long-awaited visit to Stapleford over the late spring bank holiday weekend. This was the first exchange visit since 2019! The group arrived on the afternoon of Friday 26 May and departed early in the morning of Monday 29 May.  It was the first exchange visit for four years – and the sun shone throughout!

Friday 26 May – welcome reception and supper in the Stapleford Pavilion. Together again, at last! We were all watching the ‘twinning’ clock on the wall in the pavilion in eager anticipation! Our friends arrived just after 6.00 pm.

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La Présidente, Villedômer twinning, Lisa Benoit; and our Chair, Tony Hore, shook hands shortly after the arrival. They were then were joined by the Vice Chairs: Karine Letort and Jill Gardner for a photo opportunity. After the greetings we went inside for a Prosecco reception followed by a fish and chip supper – with mushy peas, of course!

Saturday 27 May – a day’s outing to Bressingham: 17 acres of award-nominated gardens, and a steam train museum, surrounding a handsome eighteenth-century manor house and barn. There was also a working carousel!

Riding the carousel
Steam roller
Bevan the steam engine
Riding on steam train
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Stapleford twinning member, Jane Steadman, wrote about the Bressingham visit:

On May 27th 2023  the thirteen visitors from Villdomer plus some of the Stapleford Twinning Association members went by car to the Bressingham Gardens.

We enjoyed riding on the three miniature trains – though one did break down late in the afternoon! – a visit to the Museum shed where  coaches from the Royal Trains could be gawped as well as other full size steam engines and railway memorabilia. The Oakington Signal Box could be explored and there was a beautiful carousel which everyone enjoyed riding on at least once –  sometimes three times! – plus seventeen acres of beautiful gardens to explore.

Most people began their visit in the café before starting their visit proper or sampled the delicious variety of ice cream flavours on offer. At midday we each sat down to a beautifully presented Ploughman’s lunch in a private room near the carousel.

The weather was kind and a good time was had by all.

Sunday 28 May – progressive lunch around Stapleford with a number of local twinning members hosting courses in their homes.

3HS drink
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This was followed by the final gathering in Cox’s Close and farewell speeches. Some of Tony Hore’s speech can be heard in the video below.

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Our guests presented us with a carved disc depicting a silhouette of the London skyline.

Monday 29 May – Not goodbye, but au revoir!

Early morning departure from Stapleford on the 29th!
Front Cover of the July 2023 edition of the Stapleford Messenger

Details of the guests, hosts, programme and a few more photos for the weekend can be found here.

Information and photos about previous exchange visits can be found in the ‘Archive’ section.