Return to Islington U3A

Islington U3A Groups

Alexander Technique     

Meets Friday mornings
Details This group has moved online. The co-ordinator is a qualified Alexander Technique teacher and is running a series of short 4-week online sessions with a different small group for each series. Each session is a guided online talk-through of the Alexander Technique Active Rest exercise, which can be done at home to help align the spine and promote a sense of calm, easier breathing and renewed energy. There's a waiting list, so for the moment this group is closed to new members and we'll review later in the year.


Meets Monthly
Details Hope to see you at the monthly meetings. Please let me know if you are coming. Nick Coulson

Art in London     

Meets Once or twice per month, varied
Details Visits to exhibitions and galleries (restarted mid July, small groups only). Ad hoc discussion groups via Zoom - please contact co-ordinator for details of next study groups.

Art: i-Pad Painting & Drawing     

Meets Mon 10.30 every two weeks
Details This friendly informal group will be hosted by an amateur enthusiast. We will be using the Procreate app but are also open to other suggestions. We will be using our own very varied choice of subject matter resulting in friendly sharing and inspiring activities

Art: Life Drawing     

Meets Thursday 14.30

Art: Painting & Drawing     

Meets 1st & 3rd Tues 10.00
Details Getting together to paint and draw. We use paint, water colour and acrylic, chalks, charcoal, inks and try a variety of exercises.


Meets Two visits per month
Details While we have over fifty signed up members, most of our visits we have about 6. So not too many to disturb the birds! We range from complete beginners to a few with some experience of birdwatching. New members are welcome, whatever their level of expertise. Group members share ideas they have for outings, and we do our best to follow up all of them. We try to have one local half day visit and one further afield longer day, per month. The emphasis is very much on getting out and enjoying nature and birds in particular. If you would like to join the group, please sign up on the Groups listing page. Currently due to Covid-19 we are not showing visit details here in Beacon. Look at the web site for latest info.

Boat Group     

Meets Tues 10.45 arrival, 11 at waterside, 1pm off water
Details Islington Boat Club holds an "Upperdeckers" session most Tuesday mornings (11am-1pm) for people over 50; we join this. It doesn't meet in school holidays - check their website or the U3A co-ordinator. It is in City Road Basin, off Graham Street N1 next to the park. The Club has kayaks (the most popular activity), canoes, and a traditional canal barge. It provides instructors, lifejackets (though of course the canal isnt very deep!), changing rooms and lockers, and hot drinks. All free of charge. No special clothing is needed, but dress warmly (when its cold), preferably with waterproof trousers and top as paddles drip. Bring gloves as your hands may blister. Preferably shoes that arent bulky or sharp (ideally something like beach shoes of the sort you wear to get over pebbles), and a change of clothes and towel in the extremely unlikely event of your falling in. That said, youre as likely to be overheated from a bit of exertion!

Book Group - German     

Meets Monday morning at 10am, approx every 6 weeks
Details We read mainly, but not exclusively, modern German literature, then meet to discuss it. Members can speak in either English or German, in whichever language they feel most comfortable. Our first choice of book was "Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharine Blum" by Heinrich Boell. More recently we have read 'F' by Daniel Kehlmann and "Gleis 4" by Franz Hohler.

Book Group - Rethink Economics     

Meets Friday morning twice a month
Details The Great Financial Crash of 2008 unleashed an exciting wave of new thinking about economics and about its relationship with politics and with society. As a result it is becoming clearer again that economics is not a science, it is a contested arena. In this book group we will explore the most interesting of this wave of new thinking, reading books or articles chosen by group members and considering their implications for today’s politics.

Book Group - Science Fiction     

Meets Friday afternoons, every five or six weeks
Details We discuss science fiction novels, novellas and short stories chosen by members. We meet at a member's house in Highbury.

Book Group - Short Stories     

Meets 2nd Monday of each month
Details We meet at the coordinator's house near Old Street roundabout to discuss the 5 short stories (about 70 - 80 pages) that we read during the month. Over the 3 years since we've been meeting our reading has ranged from stories that date as far back as Aesop to contemporary authors. We've made our way through 2 large collections, one of British shorts (Penguin, V2) and one claiming to include the 100 finest shorts from around the world (but it was largely Western). We take occasional detours and have read fairy tales, African shorts, Norse myths and Greek Myths. We're just about to try something new again, reading 3 science fiction classics along side 2 from a single contemporary author of mixed heritage. :)

Book Group -Mid 20th Century 2     

Meets 2nd Friday at 11am
Details Currently devoted to reading British, Irish and Commonwealth works published during the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Recently we have read *Flora Thompson, Lark Rise *R C Sherriff, The Fortnight in September *Patrick Hamilton, Hangover Square

Book Group -Mid-20th century 1     

Meets 2nd Thursday at 11;30
Details British, Irish and Commonwealth books, currently from the 20s, 30s and 40s. Recent reading has included: *Julia Strachey, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding *P G Wodehouse, Right Ho, Jeeves *Elizabeth Bowen, The House in Paris

Book Group 1     

Meets 4th Mon 10.15
Details Informal reading and discussion of both fiction and non-fiction books chosen by group members. Meets monthly in Highbury on Monday mornings

Book Group 2     

Meets 3rd Wed of month
Details Discussion of a varied selection of books, chosen by members, in a relaxed and friendly environment

Book Group 3     

Meets 2nd Mon 14.30
Details Reading and discussion of books chosen by members

Book Group 4     

Meets 2nd Mon 10.00
Details Reading and discussion of books chosen by members

Book Group 5     

Meets 1st Tues 11.00
Details Discussion of a varied selection of books, chosen by members, in a relaxed and friendly environment

Book Group 6     

Meets Ist Wed - 10.30

Book Group 7     

Meets 3rd Thurs 3pm
Details This is a ‘general’ book group. We meet every third Thursday each month at 3pm. It is our hope that each group member will get a chance to choose a book. We meet in Finsbury Park.

Book Group- French 1     

Meets Tues every 6 weeks 14.30
Details Discussion in English of books written in French. read a wide range of books from classics such as Balzac and Zola to modern novels such as "En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule" by Edouard Louis.

Book Group- French 2     

Meets Mon approximately every 6 weeks 10.30
Details Discussion of books written in French. The discussion is conducted largely in French, although members use English as necessary. The level of French is quite variable, and at present there are no native speakers in the group. The books are mostly contemporary, although we have read a few nineteenth-century classics.


Meets 1st & 3rd Thurs 14.00
Details Friendly bridge sessions - usually two to four tables

Chamber Music     

Meets Once per month, varied
Details A gathering of like minded musicians to form groups and enjoy playing classical chamber music together

Chess for beginners     

Meets Corresponding on-line. Contact coordinator.
Details We are a friendly group with beginners at various stages. We have excellent coaches who advise and help us to improve. Our venue is a very pleasant pub in the Highbury area. We are in need of players with some experience who will help our beginners learn this intriguing game. We cannot accept any new beginner members at the moment.

Coffee Mornings     

Meets Once per month, varied
Details Monthly coffee mornings, which are free of charge, enable members to get to know others who live near them. Priority is given to members who have not yet attended a coffee morning.

Concerts: Classical & Jazz     

Meets Once per month, varied
Details Classical and jazz concerts in a variety of London venues.


Meets 2nd Tues 14.30, currently not meeting
Details A self-help group for portable craft - bring along your work, share your expertise and learn from other members

Cryptic Crosswords     

Meets 1st and 3rd Mon 14.30
Details Meet other members and learn how to solve cryptic crossword puzzles and improve your skills

Current Affairs 1     

Meets 2nd and 4th Weds at 10am
Details A discussion group covering a wide range of current affairs. Topics to talk about are decided on the day based primarily on the main stories in the newspapers and other media. It is quite informal and conducted in a way which helps understanding and the sharing of views on what is happening. Holding forth on individual opinions is strongly discouraged and everybody's view is listened to and respected. The atmosphere is very convivial.

Current Affairs 2     

Meets 1st and 3rd Wednesday 2.30pm
Details A wide-ranging current affairs discussion group covering a mix of topics agreed in advance, with occasional background reading, as well as topics chosen on the day. The emphasis is on learning and the sharing of views rather than argument and the assertion of individual opinions. Meetings via Zoom until further notice.

Dance visits     

Meets Varied
Details Enjoy dance with iU3A (from the comfort of your seat!). The core programming of this new group will be the opportunity to enjoy dance via a live cinema relay at the comfortable Barbican cinema, in the company of iU3A friends. Additional live performances at a local theatre can be added if the group agrees. Members will be responsible for buying their own tickets and there’ll be the opportunity to meet beforehand and in the intervals. Group discussions can be arranged if there’s demand and there are volunteers to facilitate them!

Discovering Islington On Foot     

Meets 2nd or 3rd Wed
Details Get to know the nooks and crannies of Islington and neighbouring boroughs through a one / one and a half hour walk

Exploring London     

Meets At least once per month, varied
Details Explore your city with walks and visits to places of interest in or near London, with at least one 'day trip' a year!

Film - Classic, 1 and 2     

Meets Normally 1st and 3rd Tue and Wed of the month.
Details A group which meets in Islington to watch and discuss classic films Tue Session 1 - 10.30-13.00 Wed Session 2 - 14.00-16.30 The same film is shown at each session.

Film - Current     

Meets Every Thurs
Details The group goes to see current releases and discusses them afterwards. The meeting time and place depend on the showing time of the chosen film and the cinema at which it is being shown.

Film - French     

Meets 2nd Monday of the month
Details The group will meet to watch a film in the French language, followed by a discussion in French. Films will be chosen by members, with the intention that they should come from those owned by members.

Film - Spanish     

Meets Ist Monday
Details This group will be of equal interest to iU3A members with no knowledge of the Spanish language as those learning Spanish, as all films will be subtitled in English. There will be 10 screenings between October and July, usually on the first Monday of the month, at the Old Fire Station in Mayton Street. The films will be drawn from several countries in Latin America as well as Spain, and will cover a wide range of genres. There will be an opportunity for members who have DVDs in Spanish to have them included in the programme. Plenty of time will be allowed for a group discussion at the end, to ensure we get the most out of each film.

Food - World Cuisine     

Meets 1st Tuesday early evening
Details This will be an early evening dining group, which will normally meet on the first Tuesday of the month. The aim will be to explore world cuisine by meeting in a small group to eat in local restaurants in Islington and beyond. Members will need to join the group first, then there will be a monthly first come, first served signing up process to a maximum of around eight members per event.

Freeflow Eutony     

Meets Group 1 Thur, Group 2 Fri, Group 3 Tue.
Details Freeflow Eutony is about the pleasure of feeling alive in your own body. It helps you develop better balance, fluidity in your movements, easier sitting posture, and strength and lightness in your step. It is suitable for people at all levels of fitness. While coronavirus is with us, we will meet on zoom, and the sessions will only last ½ an hour. All you'll need is a calm room and a chair. Lying on the floor is optional. These zoom sessions are only open to those who have had at least 8 “live” sessions before. For further information and enrolment please contact Therese directly.

French Advanc. Conversation 1     

Meets 2nd & 4th Fri 10.00
Details Discussions about topical subjects in a French context, introduced and led by a native French speaker

French Advanc. Conversation 2     

Meets 2nd & 4th Sat 10.30
Details Discussions about topical subjects in a French context

French Interm. Conversation 1     

Meets 1st and 3rd Tuesday 3pm - 4.30pm
Details Discussion in French on topics chosen by the group; presentations on eg events, news, films, plays, books etc. Practice in asking and answering questions. Normally held on 1st and 3rd Tuesday afternoons of each month - this can vary depending on the coordinator's / group members' availability. The group re-starts on Tuesday 7 January 2020 at 3pm

French Interm. Conversation 2     

Meets 2nd & 4th Fridays
Details Venez parler français dans un groupe animé par Jean-Louis. Vous êtes soutenu(e) et accompagné(e) dans vos échanges avec les autres membres du groupe et l'animateur. En conséquence, chacun se sent heureux et libre de s'exprimer avec toutes les différences d'expérience de la pratique de cette langue. C'est la richesse de ce groupe original. Mais parler de quoi, vous demandez-vous ? De tout ce qui vous intéresse "par bleu". À la bonheur.


Meets normally first Thursday of the month
Details We are having very small open air get togethers on the first Thursday of the month

German Interm. Conversation     

Meets alternate Tuesdays
Details We are a small, welcoming group of people who are generally interested in German art, culture and society. We talk in German about a wide range of topics informally over a cup of coffee. Topics are chosen by the group and may include discussing political events, a film, an exhibition or a poem. Depending on members’ suggestions, we may also read a short newspaper article or meet at a gallery or a German-related event offered elsewhere in London. The group is supported by the co-ordinator who is a native speaker and an experienced professional. Do get in touch with us if you would like to practise your German in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere and your language ability is at intermediate level or above.

German: Art, Culture & Society     

Meets 1st & 3rd Wednesday
Details Conversation, work on texts and visits to exhibitions, covering all aspects of German culture (art, literature, society).

Green Issues     

Meets 2nd Thurs of the month (Presently through Zoom)
Details This group will discuss contemporary issues that confront our modern lives such as recycling and plastics and non-fossil fuels. The programme of topics will be determined by the members of the group. The scope will be broad to provide for suggestions and perspectives from group members about their particular interests. Some basic introductory material will be distributed prior to each meeting to encourage participation at the meetings. There is the possibility of having speakers or experts from local green groups and of visiting establishments such as the local recycling centre.

History In A Global Context     

Meets 2nd and 4th Monday of the month
Details The Group chooses a period in history and researches what happened at that time across the world. We each choose a subject that takes our fancy, read around it, and then talk about it. Our new period is 1700-1815, and talks can be as short as 15 minutes or take the whole session

History: Local     

Meets 3rd Tues every other month
Details The group's interest is in discovering and researching local history - Islington and adjoining boroughs. It is a discussion group where individual interests can be shared and joint projects taken forward.

I-Pad Users     

Meets 2nd Mon
Details Shared learning among group members on the use of Apple iPads

International Affairs     

Meets 4th Thursday 2.30
Details If you like discussing international contemporary events in a lively and informative atmosphere, the International Affairs group provides a great way of doing so. In turn one member in each month provides a very short paper on a chosen topic and then it is discussed in the group. There are definitely no experts/outside speakers and so all the discussion is entirely self generated. We all want to be better informed so it is all about dialogue not argument. For 2019/20 topics will be primarily centred on a range of issues facing the world at a time of great uncertainly in the international arena. Recent topics have included China/Japan, globalisation, the rise of populism, India and China in Africa. During the current Lockdown we are meeting using Zoom.

Italian Intermed. Conversation     

Meets 1st and 3rd Fridays 11am
Details Conversation in Italian in a small informal group. The Co-ordinator of this group is a native Italian speaker.

Italian Intermediate/Advanced     

Meets Fri 11.00 to be notified once or twice a month
Details General conversation in Italian - good conversational ability.


Meets Alternate Weds
Details Crouch End and District U3A have invited members from iU3A to join their Latin group. The group is for both beginners and those who already know some Latin. The aim is to have fun, though scholars are welcome too. Please contact: and we can then forward your contact details.


Meets 2nd & 4th Thurs 14.00
Details The mahjong groups meets twice a month and caters for all levels of players. People whom have not played but wanting to learn should contact the organiser directly regarding lessons. Our style is Western and we will score but this is something you can pick up as you go along. If you have any questions please email me.


Meets Various, including weekends
Details A social group with a difference. Members are putting a positive spin on living without spouses or partners and want to participate in and organise interesting events, outings and activities with people in the same situation. Some of the activities may well take place at those times when other people are involved with family, ie on Sundays and other holidays. So far we have had 2 meetings on a Sunday lunchtime in restaurants to discuss how to develop a distinctive set of activities. We expect members to volunteer to organise visits and experiences that may appeal to varying numbers of other members of the group, from just going to a one-off talk with one or two others, to arranging a group holiday abroad – it’s up to us. Ideas and invitations will be posted via Beacon to members and signing up for particular dates will mostly be necessary. Sub groups may form. Could be revolutionary. Regular meetings open to the whole group are certainly important but whether it’s a coffee morning or a sunny picnic is not yet clear.

Opera Visits     

Meets Variable, depending on the performance.
Details Visits to shows are not possible but there are many websites screening free productions on a daily basis. I circulate the most easily accessible on a regular basis and am happy to talk newcomers through any IT problems in logging onto sites. (Visits to operas both live and screened, and talks on upcoming productions from group members. Pre performance meet up at local cafe before-hand for chat and catch up).


Meets Every Tues 10.30
Details Friendly games of petanque (also known as boules) From time to time we also arrange games with other groups on other days but this is not compulsory.


Meets 1st Fri 10.30
Details A discussion group looking at central issues in philosophy from an engaged but definitely non-professional viewpoint


Meets 2nd Tues 10.15am and 4th Tues 2pm, every 2 months
Details Reading plays selected by members of the group

Poetry - Reading     

Meets 1st & 3rd Mon 11am
Details Members read published poetry, from any period, on a theme chosen by the group, followed by discussion

Power and Politics - Group 1     

Meets 3rd Friday
Details This new way of learning for iU3A uses a Massive Open Online Course called “Power and Politics in Today’s World” by Professor Ian Shapiro of Yale University. This ranges from the euphoria that accompanied the collapse of communism in the late 1980s to the politics of fear and resentment that has overtaken much of the world since 2016, focusing on how did we get from there to here, what comes next and what could lead us to better politics? Members watch one video lecture at home, and then meet once a month to discuss it.

Power and Politics - Group 2     

Meets 3rd Friday 2.30 p.m.
Details This new way of learning for iU3A uses a Massive Open Online Course called “Power and Politics in Today’s World” by Professor Ian Shapiro of Yale University. This ranges from the euphoria that accompanied the collapse of communism in the late 1980s to the politics of fear and resentment that has overtaken much of the world since 2016, focusing on how did we get from there to here, what comes next and what could lead us to better politics? Members watch two video lectures at home, and then meet once a month to discuss them.

Pub lunches     

Meets Once or twice a month, varied
Details Lunches are at pubs in the Islington Area. We welcome suggestions as to new venues, bearing in mind transportation issues. We are not limited in numbers and we welcome new members. Just email me for details. In the circumstances of Corvid-19, we are experimenting with various "virtual" formats.

Science Interests and Issues     

Meets 2nd Mon of each month 14.30
Details A group which discusses current science and technology and the issues it raises for society, and which visits places of scientific interest.

Scottish Dancing     

Meets 1st Tuesday of the Month October to June 7 - 9 pm


Meets Paused during lockdown; then alternateThursdays
Details A friendly game of scrabble. Members will be emailed with actual dates and locations.

Singing - Cooperative     

Meets 2nd & 4th Wed 10.30
Details Co-operative singing is a group of people who enjoy singing and who come together to share with each other the kind of music they enjoy and to try new things.

Spanish Advanc. Conversation     

Meets 1st & 3rd Thurs 10am
Details Topical conversation in Spanish

Spanish Interm. Conversation     

Meets 2nd Friday 2:30pm
Details Intermediate level. Need to be fluent enough to hold a social conversation and participate.

Table Tennis     

Meets Tues 11.30
Details Dear TT Members Please would you check your emails, even on a Tuesday morning, for any last minute changes of venue. Lesley Alt

Theatre - Fringe     

Meets 3/4 weekday evenings a month
Details London has more fringe theatres than any other city in the world and Islington has many of them. The fringe theatre group goes to a wide range of fringe plays often but not only in Islington and nearby venues. For example the Kings Head, Old Red Lion, Park, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Southwark Playhouse, Soho, Arcola. We have a wide range of tastes from the classic to the very modern, drama, comedy and cabaret. Because we try to visit three or four times a month there is always plenty of choice. Notice of planned visits is sent out to group members regularly with play details and notice of when we are going. The group is very informal. Each member buys their own ticket, between £12 - £25, which is incredibly good value, and just turns up at the theatre. All visits are in the evening and we meet in the bar about half an hour or so before curtain (if there is one) up. We also meet monthly for a morning coffee in the Park Theatre cafe and have a chat about anything we like that is vaguely related to the theatre.

Theatre visits     

Meets Once a month - varied
Details Theatre visits followed by a chat over a cup/glass of something in a nearby cafe. We also meet periodically in a pub/cafe in Islington to discuss the plays we have seen in more detail



Walks - Leisurely     

Meets Once a month on varying days of the week
Details This group will offer a monthly walk (on different days of the week) of up to three miles. The pace will be leisurely, with pauses along the way. Currently due to Covid-19 we are not showing walk details here in Beacon. Look at the web site for latest info.

Walks - Longer     

Meets Varied
Details The Longer Walks group has a programme of walks normally of between 8 to 14 miles, usually with options to shorten the walk. Walks are over a full day with a break for lunch. Currently due to Covid-19 we are not showing walk details here in Beacon. Look at the web site for latest info.

Walks - Nordic     

Meets Twice a month, on varying days
Details Nordic Walking is a specific technique for walking with poles that is far more effective in burning calories and whole body toning than walking alone. Members will need to have attended the training sessions, or be experienced Nordic Walkers, and have their own Nordic walking poles. Hiking poles are not suitable. Waterproof trainers are the best footwear; walking boots are not flexible enough. All walks will be in London Parks and accessible by public transport. There will be two walks a month, of varying lengths depending on location and will accommodate the needs of people wanting shorter and longer walks. They will all start with a warm up and end with a cool down.

Walks - Shorter     

Meets Twice a month on varying days of the week
Details The Shorter Walks Group has half-day morning walks of about 5 miles twice a month. Walks include a coffee break and usually end with an optional lunch. Each walk is advertised on the iU3A website in advance, with links to a sign-up form and details. Additional popup walks occur from time to time. Details are emailed to members about a week in advance.

Wine Appreciation     

Meets Once a month
Details The group will meet in members’ houses. There will be a theme selected by the group members (in advance), eg Loire wines. There will be a sign-up for each session with the limit set at the first 10. The person bringing a bottle will be expected to have researched the provenance and present to the Group. Nibbles will be provided by hosts. There will be a charge of £10 per head per session attended. This will cover the cost of wine & food for the evening with any surplus carried forward toward a group outing. Held early in an evening.

Writing: Creative 1     

Meets Monthly - Tuesdays or Wednesdays
Details The group is for writers who are engaged in or interested in working on longer pieces of writing, are happy to take turns in sharing their work and are willing to spend time listening to the work of others and offering constructive criticism. Members are free to choose their own genre, for example fiction, memoir, political writing. The group meets every four weeks usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday, as agreed by the members, in an accessible café in Islington.

Writing: Creative 2     

Meets 2nd Tuesday 2:30 pm
Details WHAT: A writers' workshop where members can share and discuss ideas, works-in-progress and finished pieces. Both experienced writers and beginners are welcome, as are all types of writing: e.g. fiction, memoir, poetry, other nonfiction, of any length. Members share issues that arise in their writing, discuss challenges and successes, read their work and listen to that of others, providing feedback and encouragement..

Writing: Memoir     

Meets Last Wednesday of the month.
Details explore and practise the writing of memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, family or group histories, etc., a form of writing which perhaps appeals more to us as we grow older and begin to reflect on our lives and times and those of our families or associates. We would meet monthly, or as often as is practical, to provide a forum to discuss such writing and to listen to and provide feedback on contributions from members of the group.


Meets Wednesdays 1-2.15. Thursdays 1-2.15
Details Classes for mixed abilities run by a trained BWY instructor. Zoom Yoga meetings Wednesdays 12-1pm/1.15pm Please email the co-ordinator to join the group or with any questions