Outdoor Activities

—Days Out

Leader: Barbara Bliss

Organised visits to places of interest, travelling by coach or other transport. Trip duration varies depending on venue.

Thursday 17 October — Whitchurch Silk Mill & Bombay Sapphire Distillery

The Whitchurch Silk Mill is a gem of industrial heritage in beautiful rural Hampshire. The oldest working silk mill in the UK still in its original building and still weaving silk for the trade, customised textiles for interior design, historic projects and modern fashion houses. The guided tour will give us a unique opportunity to see silk weaving from the production of the thread to the finished product.

After lunch at the silk mill, we will take the coach to have a guided tour of the Laverstoke Distillery—the home of Bombay Sapphire Gin—where gin has been made since 1760. We will see the beautiful state of the art glasshouses that grow the Mediterranean plants and experience the ten exotic botanicals infused into the spirit through two separate structures.

Bookings must be received not later than 25th September. Further details will be sent on booking. The cost, including lunch, is £46.50. Payment can be made by cheque or bank transfer:

  • Make cheques payable to ‘HGS OUTINGS’, write SM on the back, and post to 1 Kingsley Close, London N2 0ES
  • Bank transfer: A/c No 80290149  Sort Code 20-29-47

Please complete the booking form below. Please also provide the name and phone number of someone we can contact on the day in the unfortunate event you are taken ill or have an accident.

If booking for more than one person, enter their details in the “Accompanied by” box (all participants must be members of HGS U3A). All bookings are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

We regret we are unable to reserve a place without a confirmed booking. Coach pick-up time and other arrangements will be sent nearer the time.

November outing to Charterhouse — details coming soon.

Grow Your Own Vegetables

Leader: Eric Hess – blog: http://treesrockandwater.BlogSpot.com

An opportunity to learn from the group leader’s experience and to share group experiences in growing vegetables. A mixture of practical and theory. Leader’s early background working in agriculture abroad. After returning to the UK he established a Horticultural Project for Adults with Learning Difficulties, focusing on growing and selling vegetables.

Topics will include:

  • preparing the soil
  • growing winter vegetables
  • pests
  • sowin

Clothing: Hats and closed shoes

  • Autumn dates: 23 September, 21 October, 25 November, 2 December
  • When: Monday mornings from 11 am – flexibility to suit the group
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Location: Gordon Road Allotments, London, N3 1EL –  off Elm Park Road and Nether Street near Finchley Central station
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Charges: 50p donation for refreshments
  • Number of places: 8

Lawn Bowls

Leader: Patricia Taylor, assisted by Phyllis Ellis

Seven-week course: coaching and introduction to lawn bowls. Learn the rules of the game and how to play lawn bowls. You will be able to enjoy informal games with other members, and gain confidence in delivering all types of shots.  You learn how to score, deliver the small jack on the rink to start play, and which shots to choose to play.

  • Start dates: Resuming Spring 2020
  • When: Mondays 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Location: Temple Fortune Club, 122 Bridge Lane, NW11 9JS
  • Frequency: Weekly
  • Charges: £3.00 per session (includes tea and biscuits) to club payable through coach
  • Number of places: 15
  • Notes: All equipment provided. Just wear comfortable clothing and flat soled shoes
  • Booking: Necessary

Photography in London

Leaders: Michael Jacobs & Roger Cookson

Members of the group on a shoot in the Hill Garden

A group that meets alternately at a London venue to take photos, and at a location where we can show each other our best photos of the venue projected on a screen, and discuss them. Outside locations will be notified to members a week in advance.

It’s intended to be a fun-oriented group rather than a technocratic, competitive society.

  • Autumn Term Dates: On location 11 September 2019
  • When: Wednesday.  Shootings start at 10 am and screenings from 10.30 am – 12 noon a fortnight later
  • Location: Shooting takes place at various London locations, and screenings are held at Alyth Synagogue, Alyth Gardens, NW11 7EN
  • Frequency: Fortnightly, alternating between location shooting and screening
  • Charges: We will not go to locations that levy charges without prior agreement of the group, but participants will be expected to make their own travel arrangements
  • Number of places: 15


See Music & Theatre

Walking Groups

We currently have three walking groups:

    • Historical London Walks
    • Short Sunday Walks
    • Thames Path in London & Other Walks

The Historic London Walks tend to make frequent stops to look at landmarks en route, whereas the Thames Path in London group focuses more on walking.  Short Sunday Walks are closer to home and less demanding.

Historical London Walks

Leader: Simon Sackman and Philip Tobin

Books about LondonGet to know London better!These are walks in inner and outer London that explore new places and look more closely at more familiar ones to find out about their history, buildings and the people who lived there. Areas walked in 2018/2019 included Enfield, Hackney, Marylebone, Roman London and the Inns of Court.

Walks start from a station within the Freedom Pass area and end at the same or different station. Walks are led by members of the group; new members willing to lead occasional walks are particularly welcome! Notes on the historical background together with a description of the proposed route are circulated in advance. The length of walks varies but participants can expect to walk with some standing for 2 hours. There will be a short coffee/comfort stop along the way. Walks normally finish around 1 pm, but a few may offer the option of a lunch and early afternoon extension.

  • When: Wednesday morning – contact Leader
  • Duration: Usually about 2½ hours (plus travelling time)
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Number of places: 25 members can register for this group, but a maximum of 15 places are available on each walk
  • Currently full with a short waiting list

Short Sunday Walks

Leader: Daphne Berkovi

For members who want to walk more locally than further afield, once a month on a Sunday morning, ending at a café for refreshments.

  • Next walks:   15 September, 13 October, 10 November
  • When: Starting at 10.15 am
  • Duration: 45 minutes – 1 hour excluding refreshments
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Charges: Café refreshments
  • Maximum number of places: 15
  • Advance booking necessary: Yes please to group leader

Thames Path in London & Other Walks

Leader: David Powers

Members of the group at Dr Salter’s Daydream in Rotherhithe (photo: Alan Judes)

Walking is an excellent way to get and keep fit. We try to get into the fresh air away from busy roads, exploring not only the Thames, but London’s canals, waterways, and green spaces. The length of each walk varies, but is generally 4–4½ miles, sometimes longer. We usually break in the middle for coffee. We walk at a moderately brisk pace, but not so fast that it’s impossible to talk. In fact, good conversation is one of the many pleasures of this group.

Joining instructions for each walk are usually sent out a few days in advance. Most of us meet in the ticket hall of Golders Green station shortly after 9 am (the actual time depends on where the walk starts); but others join at the starting point at 10.15 am if Golders Green isn’t convenient. The walk usually finishes at 12.30 pm or 1.00 pm close to a pub or reasonably priced café/restaurant. Most members stay for lunch, but there’s no obligation to do so.

Most walks are about an hour by public transport away from the HGS area.

  • Start date: 13 September 2019
  • When: Second and fourth Friday of each month (Summer dates: 9 August)
  • Location: Starting and end points are usually within the Freedom Pass zone
  • Charges: Pay for own food and drink
  • Number of places: 15
  • Notes: Comfortable walking shoes essential