Activity Groups

Winchester U3A has a wide range of activity groups. A comprehensive list of groups and related information can be found on the Home page in the Members' Area. 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 to 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 in the Members' Area of this 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 this link if you have any further queries or any difficulties in joining groups and she will do her 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. A 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. In addition, there are frequent ad hoc groups that form for limited periods to study particular topics. These groups are advertised in the Members' Area of this website and in our Newsletter.

A comprehensive list of Groups and Group Leaders can be found on the Home page in the Members' Area. 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 Notices page in the Members' Area.

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


Art/Crafts Languages Literature Architecture & History
Science & Technology Food & Drink Games Outdoor Activities




Music groups for amateur musicians are aimed at both enjoyment and improving skills. There are two groups for recorders and one each for clarinet and 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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.


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



Foreign Languages : French

There are eight groups in French, ranging from an Improvers group to an advanced group in university level litera

Foreign Languages : Italian

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

ture. The French co-ordinator will be able to advise you on the appropriate group for you.)

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

One of these is at intermediate level and also includes translation and grammar. The four Italian groups cater for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels.

Classic Languages : Latin

There are two Latin groups, one for beginners and one intermediate level.

Classic Languages : Word Derivation

This group looks at the influence of Greek and Latin on our language today.



Modern Novels

There are nine 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.

Drama Criticism

Members select, read and discuss individual plays. We admit that we read playwrights who are a bit challenging, such as Pinter and Arthur Miller. Beckett, Tom Stoppard and Caryl Churchill are next on the list. We combine play readings with theatre visits where possible.

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.

Play Reading

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




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

Local History

There are four 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 two history groups study 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.


This small group meets monthly and studies particular topics of agreed interest.




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

Science & Technology

There are two discussion groups in science and technology which have lively discussions following presentations by members on particular topics of interest.


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.




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.



Board Games

Members enjoy experiencing a wide variety of board games, often new to them to extend their knowledge and expertise.


Three 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.


This group is for members who are already canasta players and would like to improve.


Two Mah-jong groups meet fortnightly on a Wednesday afternoon.


There are three 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 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.


This group arranges visits to local theatres for stage productions.

Members On Their Own (MOTO)

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


Three walking groups each meet monthly. Two of the groups enjoy all-day walks and usually include a pub lunch. One group organises shorter half day walks of 4-5 miles. Members of the groups take it in turn to organize the walks.


There are nine 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.


We have an enthusiastic group of cyclists who meet periodically.


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.


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.


Railway Group

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