Outdoor Activities


Our cycling group is up-and-riding every Tuesday. See Fitness & Wellbeing.

Days Out

Leaders: Barbara Bliss & Denise Randall

Strawberry Hill House and Gardens — Tuesday 30 July.

External view of Strawberry Hill house, a large white building with a tower.We shall be going by coach to this Gothic Revival villa in Twickenham. This beautiful villa was built in 1747 by Horace Walpole (1717- 1797), an English writer and politician. It houses an important collection of paintings and objects.

Horace Walpole, also known as the Earl of Orford, was the youngest son of Sir Horace Walpole, the first British Prime Minister.

If you would like to book, please contact Barbara Bliss on barbliss1@outlook.com.

Contact groupsorg@hgsu3a.uk if you want to be added to the group’s mailing list.

Growing for Pleasure

Leader: Eric Hess

Vegetable plot with greenhouse

Join Eric for advice on how to get the best out of your vegetable garden or allotment. Eric has a background working in agriculture abroad. After he returned to the UK he established a Horticultural Project for Adults with Learning Difficulties, focusing on growing and selling vegetables.

Learn about growing winter vegetables, preparing for the spring, dealing with pests, and sowing. Although the main focus is on vegetables, Eric will also try to answer other questions you might have related to gardening.

Eric also maintains a blog dedicated to vegetable growing.

  • Location: Gordon Road Allotments, London N3 1EL  — off Elm Park Road and Nether Street near Finchley Central Station

History and Heritage Outings

Man in glasses and tieMark King, a professional Blue Badge tourist guide, has kindly offered to share some of London’s remarkable history, heritage, and current happenings with our u3a. He is a former chair and Life Fellow of the British Guild of Tourist Guides. Author of The Blue Badge Guide’s London Quiz Book, published in 2016 by The History Press, he acted as consulting editor for other books in the series covering Oxford, Liverpool, and Edinburgh.

In the course of lengthy and typically enthusiastic research for his book, his long-suffering family felt it necessary to bring in a house rule limiting him to ‘Three Facts Per Meal’. Mark tells us ‘suffice it to say that this programme of tours and visits to be organised for HGS U3A will be entertaining, unusual, and never knowingly under-informed!’

Mark’s outings are advertised in the monthly newsletter sent to all current members on the first of each month.

Friday 17 May: get to know the life and work of one of the most celebrated artists of the 18th century, Angelica Kauffman, in the Royal Academy’s latest exhibition.

Wednesday 12 June: a Blue Badge led tour of what, for many Londoners, is an overlooked West End neighbourhood — Fitzrovia.

Outdoor Sketching

See Arts & Crafts.

Photography in London

Leaders: Michael Jacobs & Roger Cookson

Members of the photo group enjoying a drink in the open air

Each month we visit a place of interest in London, normally choosing locations easily accessible by public transport followed  by sharing our best shots a fortnight later on Zoom. It’s intended to be a fun-oriented group rather than a technocratic, competitive society.

  • When: Wednesday 10.30 am – 12 noon
  • Frequency: Fortnightly, alternating between outdoor shootings and review sessions.
  • Number of places: 15

Walking Groups

We currently have two walking groups: Walking Wednesdays meets once a month for a gentle walk; Thames Path in London & Other Walks ventures further afield for longer walks usually twice a month.

Thames Path in London & Other Walks

Leader: David Powers

Thirsty walkers arrive at The Fox in Hanwell after a six-mile walk from Richmond (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 5 miles, sometimes longer. 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.

Walks start and end at different places, so participants need to be willing to travel by public transport (or make arrangements for someone else to drop them off and pick them up by car).

We normally stop for coffee after about an hour, and then find a nice pub or restaurant for lunch. Staying for lunch is optional, but most people join in.

  • When: 2nd and 4th Friday of the month throughout the year, except when the leader is away (NO walks on 28 June, 23 August, 13 September)
  • Time: Walks normally begin at 10.15 am and end around 12.30–1.00 pm (not including travel time)
  • Travel: Instructions are sent to members several days in advance of each walk. Members in the Golders Green area normally travel together from Golders Green station after 9.00 am (time depends on destination). Others join at the start of the walk.

Walking Wednesdays

Leader: Arlene Hyman

A gentle walk held once a month.

The walk will be approximately 2–3 miles , finishing at 12.30 with a coffee break and chance to use toilet facilities.