Activity Groups

Winchester U3A has a wide range of activity Groups. A comprehensive list of groups and related information can be found on the Groups page. Each group has a group leader who should be contacted in the first instance if you would like to join a group. The group leaders co-ordinate the activities of their group but all group members are encouraged to share in a joint process of learning.

The broad categories into which the groups fall are described below. Occasionally there are groups which meet for a limited period of time, perhaps for six months, on a more specific topic of interest. These groups are advertised on the website and in our Newsletter.

Many groups meet in members’ homes and so this limits the possible size of the group. If a group is full, the group leader will keep a waiting list. If you cannot find a group for your particular interest, you may like to start a new group. Guidelines are available for anyone wishing to start a new group.

The Groups Secretary is John Craig. Please contact him through the link below if you have any further queries or any difficulties in joining groups and he will do his best to help you.

Because the size of many groups is limited by the size of the meeting place, some groups may not have vacancies. In this case, the group leader runs a waiting list. The Groups page shows the current list of Groups is available showing when they meet.

In addition to the Group activities there is a Monthly Meeting at which typically an external speaker gives a talk on the second Tuesday of the month, held at Littleton Memorial Hall.

The broad categories into which the groups fall are described below. Click on the entries below to view more details of the activity groups within each category.

A comprehensive list of Groups and Group Leaders can be found on the Groups page. If you cannot find the particular activity that interests you, we will try to help you form a new group. Many new groups have been formed in this way, and details of new groups can be found on the Home page in the Members' Area.

The Group Secretary is John Craig. Please contact him through Group Secretary if you have any further queries.

Art & ArchitectureBoard & Card GamesCraftsComputing
Film & TheatreFood & DrinkGardens & GardeningGeneral Interest
Health & WellbeingHistoryLanguagesLiterature
Music & DanceReligionScience & TechnologySocial
Outdoor ActivitiesVisits



There are two architecture groups meeting monthly which choose topics for research and discussion. Talks or visits to may be arranged to augment study.

Art Appreciation

Art Appreciation members meet monthly in members’ homes to study and discuss various aspects of art history. The topics are chosen by members, and occasional visits to galleries or exhibitions may be arranged.

Art Explorers

Art Explorers members meet monthly to explore and discuss various aspects of art. The topics are chosen by members, and occasional visits to galleries or exhibitions may be arranged.

Art Today

The Art Today group focuses on modern art with regular trips to London galleries as a basis for discussion. Members take it in turn to organise visits, which may include short breaks to galleries in Europe.


There is one Painting Group which meets weekly and members work in the medium of their choice. There is no formal course of instruction, but members share their expertise and experience. The group meets in a local hall during term time and a small extra charge is made to cover this cost.



Two Bridge groups, offering a range of opportunities, meet on a weekly basis. Beginners meet in the Littleton Millennium Hall. A degree of experience is required to join either the rubber bridge group or the duplicate bridge group. As a room or hall is used for each of these groups, there is a small charge to cover the hire cost.


One Mah-jong group meet fortnightly on a Wednesday afternoon.


There are two Scrabble groups meet in homes of members to enjoy a sociable game. Two groups meet in the evenings and one is an afternoon group.



There are two knitting groups which meet on a weekly basis. All levels of expertise are represented, and members share their knowledge with others.



One computing group for Apple Mac users meets in the Littleton Millennium Hall and cover a wide range of computer related issues. A small charge is made to cover the cost of the hiring of the hall.



This group arranges visits to local theatres for stage productions.

Film Criticism

The Film Criticism Group meets monthly to discuss a film viewed in the previous month. Members take turns to choose the film and lead the discussion.

Play Reading

This group meets in members’ homes to discuss plays and playwrights.



The cooking group meets monthly at members’ homes. There are eight members which is the maximum number our kitchens can accommodate. Members take it in turns to host the meeting, choosing the menu, buying the food and circulating the recipes. Costs are evened out over an eight month cycle. We start at 11am and eat around 1pm, so time is a restraint. Everyone is involved in the preparation. There is ongoing discussion about methods and equipment used, sourcing the produce, and how the meal might be improved. We are learning not to fuss about dishes going wrong.

Wine Appreciation

The two wine appreciation groups were formed to enable members to learn about and taste a wide selection of wines. Meetings are normally held monthly in members’ houses with the host being responsible for selecting and leading a tasting of six wines. Visits are also arranged to vineyards in England and France. None of the members is an expert but each wants to learn more about wine.



The gardening group visits gardens from April to October, for example, those in the National Gardens scheme. Often a morning visit to a garden is followed by a pub lunch and then another garden visit in the afternoon. A talk with an outside speaker may be arranged for the winter months.


Members of the allotment group share an allotment in Stanmore. Members work together to grow a range of vegetables and salad which is then shared among members, in addition to the fruit from a range of bushes. Most of the action is during the summer months; in the autumn/winter members meet to plan crops for the following year.



The Photography group meets in Littleton Hall for monthly meetings. The group considers available software to improve and display digital photos as well as the more basic elements of photography.

Railway Group

There is a large and lively group of railway enthusiasts which, apart from meetings, arranges visits to vintage railways or museums.


Symbols & the Search for Meaning

The Symbols and the Search for Meaning Group meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at the Group Leader's home. Its aim is to encourage members continue to explore life’s big questions to promote lively discussion as well as personal reflection.


Local History

There are three local history groups, each of which has a slightly different approach to active participation in local history research. A group may focus on particular time periods in local history, or arrange study around particular local historical themes, such as education, transport or crime. Typically, members of a group research topics which interest them and then make short presentations to their group. In addition to these indoor activities, groups also often make visits to local sites of historical interest, particularly during the summer months.


The history group studies English history, identifying a particular period for study. All group members research the background to the period and then, within this framework, group members explore topics which are of particular interest to them, such as social history, the theatre or the arts. Past topics have included costumes and notable women of the period.


Foreign Languages : French

There are five groups in French, ranging from an Improvers group to an advanced group in university level literature.

Foreign Languages : German

There are four German groups, two for conversation, one ‘Improvers’ and one intermediate level

Foreign Languages : Italian

There are two Italian groups, one ‘Improvers’ and one intermediate level.

Foreign Languages : Spanish

There are four Spanish groups catering for beginners, intermediates and those who wish to brush up their conversational skills.

Classic Languages : Latin

There is one Latin group at intermediate level.


Modern Novels

There are seven Modern Novels Groups for members interested in reading and discussing contemporary works of fiction The autonomous groups are small (no more than twelve members), encouraging participation in a relaxed and friendly environment. Meetings are held monthly in members' homes, when, following a brief introductory review by a member of the group, the selected book is discussed.

Classic Novels

This group meets monthly and discusses a previously chosen book that has stood the test of time.

Poetry Appreciation

There are two groups that meet monthly and study individual poets. Members sometimes are asked to bring a poem of their choice for discussion on a previously agreed topic.



Music groups for amateur musicians are aimed at both enjoyment and improving skills. There is one group for recorders and one for piano.

Operatic Appreciation

Opera Appreciation members choose and view an opera on DVD. They study the historical and social background of the composer and librettist and the content of the opera itself.


Contemporary Spirituality

Our group, which was called the Theology Group, has widened its remit to explore what spirituality might mean for us in the twenty-first century.



One Science group meets to listen to and discuss prepared subjects of topical interest.

Science & Technology

There is a discussion group in science and technology which have lively discussions following presentations by members on particular topics of interest.


Members On Their Own (MOTO)

This popular group tends to meet at weekends; food and drink often feature in the meetings.


There is a wide variety of groups which involve outings or outdoor activities. Members often car share so if you don’t drive it doesn’t prevent you joining a group. You just contribute to the petrol costs.


We have an enthusiastic group of cyclists who meet periodically.


This group arranges to meet according to what types of birds are being observed. Contact the group leader (see groups list) to find out what visits are planned.


Two walking groups each meet monthly. Both of the groups enjoy all-day walks and usually include a pub lunch. Members of the groups take it in turn to organize the walks.



There are six Quester groups whose object is to visit places that are not generally open to the general public o r that require group bookings. The trips are held monthly and arranged by individual members. The trips are varied – typical examples include the Compost Heap at Kew Gardens, the Watts Gallery at Guildford, the MRI Scanner at Winchester Hospital and the BBC studios in London.