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Whitwick & District U3A

Registered Charity No. 1181238

Saturday, 21 May 2022

Saturday, 21 May 2022

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This page displays pictures from various groups which have not got a dedicated gallery page. The most recent are at the top of the page.

Walking Holiday 7th to 11th October 2019

Derwent Water, Lake District

13 members of our U3A participated in this year's walking holiday in the delightful surroundings of Derwentwater in the Lake District. We stayed in HF's country house called Derwent Bank, and I don't think I need to describe the location as the name speaks for itself! Luckily for us the whole property had been refurbished this year and had been done to a very high standard.

Our mid-afternoon arrival was celebrated by a sharing of Afternoon tea, discussions about the journey and what sort of rooms we had. Being an old building, all the rooms are different shapes and sizes and enjoy different views of the surroundings. We were then invited to join in a short orientation walk around Portinscale, the village where we were situated. After dinner, some of us participated in some entertaining quizzes, nothing too taxing after our long journey.

Our first day of walking for the shorter and medium walk included the Castlerigg Stone Circle and ended back in Keswick where we had time to look around, visit the Pencil museum, walk back to the house, or return by shuttle bus. The longer group, brave Vanessa as ever, conquered Blencathra.

In the evening after an early dinner, we ventured out either to see a live event at the local cinema or to the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick. Whatever we saw we all agreed this was a very entertaining evening. The theatre has a local connection, having been built on the site where our present Century Theatre in Coalville once stood. At that time it was known as The Blue Box.

The second day of walking took in Borrowdale and returned along the Cat Bells Terrace for the first two groups or up to Scafell Pike for the harder group. That evening we took part in the Inter-house quiz run by HF, being split into two teams which we named Whitwick Wonders or Whitwick Wanderers. We really must be slipping because this year neither of our groups took first place!

Our final day of walking was in the picturesque Newlands Valley for the first two groups and tackled the Coledale Horseshoe for the harder group. That evening the holiday was finished off by a 5 course Cumbrian Taster Menu dinner during which we sampled beautifully tasty and tender Cumbrian lamb as well as the famous sticky toffee pudding, rounded off with samples of the local cheeses.

Some of our group did not walk every day but instead decided to do some local sightseeing and they were really spoilt for choice. The visits included Hilltop and the Beatrix Potter museum, as well as Dalmain Mansion and Historic Gardens and meandering around Keswick and the famous Pencil Museum where 'Derwent' pencils come from.

While the weather could have been better, we all agreed it could have been a lot worse! Most days were showery but snuggly inside our weather and waterproof clothing we never got soaked or too cold. Our worst enemy was the strong and gusty winds, which when on high peaks came frighteningly close to blowing us off our feet!

Another successful walking holiday and we look forward to the next one.....

Posing for the 'official' photo on our last night. It took about 20 attempts to get it looking this good!

Derwent Bank and the lovely knot garden.

Hardy walkers braving the wind.

Lovely view at the bottom of Derwent Water.

The clouds are gathering.....

Will we get there?

All downhill from here.

Lunch stop for the shorter walks group.

Another lovely view.

Derwentwater from Cat Bells Terrace.

The view from Derwent Bank - nice to wake up to every morning.

Castlerigg Stone Circle.

This really is a wonderful place!

Hardy walkers battling weather conditions. Yes, Vanessa is there, second from right!.



Walking Holiday 1st to 5th October 2018

Bourton on the Water, Cotswolds

This year 12 WAD members went on the walking holiday to Bourton on the Water. Three of our group had decided to 'do their own thing' and not take part in the organised walking programme, but I am sure their holiday included lots of walking and sightseeing too!

We stayed at Harrington House very close to the centre of Bourton and run by HF holidays. It is a lovely Tudor building with every bedroom being unique, and very pleasant public areas for us to enjoy pre-dinner drinks, dinner and our evening entertainment.

Some of our group visited Charlecote Park on the journey down to the Cotswolds, while others enjoyed Hidcote Gardens. We all met up for afternoon tea at Harrington House at 4pm. This was followed by an interesting orientation walk around Bourton on which we learned a lot we would not have otherwise found out. After an enjoyable 3 course dinner, we spent the remainder of the evening participating in a game of 'guess the mysterious object'.

Day one of walking, whichever length of walk you took part in, visited Chedworth Roman Villa and through the Coln Valley went on to the picturesque village of Bibury where we had some time to look around and mingle with the Chinese tourists before our coach took us back to Harrington House. After dinner, we were treated to a very enlightening talk on the local area by a visiting speaker.

On day two we walked through the Cotswolds through the villages with 'Dunts' in their names to Cirencester. Along the way there were many beautiful Saxon and Norman churches to take a look inside, and depending on which length of walk you had done, we had varying amounts of time to explore Cirencester. Wednesday evening saw us taking part in HFs national quiz. We split ourselves into two teams and participated along with two other teams. At the end of the quiz, 3 of the teams at Harrington House were tied! This included our two U3A teams, but a tie break sorted us out, with our first team taking the prize of an HF handy shopping bag each. We do not know where we came in the national rankings except we know it was not top!

On our last walking day, we followed parts of several national walking trails, the Gloucestershire, Macmillan or Diamond Way which took us from our starting point of either Hazelton or Hampnett back to Bourton along the Windrush Valley. It was a beautiful day for early October which could be enjoyed walking in just Tshirts! Then a quick shower and time to get ready for the 'Bourton Boat Race'. We were invited to construct a boat made out of materials scavenged on our walks, which we would race down the Windrush. At least 14 boats were constructed and we had great fun following them down the river in the village from one bridge to the next. One of our members came in second place with a very simple design.

To celebrate the last night of our holiday, we were served a 5 course meal made with truly local ingredients. Very full, and very weary (but we do not give up) we went on to play a game of skittles and once again a U3A team triumphed.

On Friday morning we said our goodbyes and headed back to Leicestershire talking about what a great holiday we had once again enjoyed, and to look forward to the next one!

Waiting for the coach on day one

Arlington Row, the famous old houses in picturesque Bibury

Three of our hardy long walking group

Harrington House

One of the many lovely little Saxon / Norman churches

Our group with the winning quiz team holding up their prize bags

The array of constructed boats

Launching our boats on the Windrush

Walking Holiday 2nd to 6th October 2017

Sedbergh in the Yorkshire Dales

Ten intrepid WAD walkers, plus one enjoying a sightseeing break, enjoyed 4 nights at the beautiful 16th century Thorns Hall run by HF holidays. We arrived mid afternoon on Monday 5th just in time to unpack and enjoy afternoon tea. As the rain was very heavy we had to miss our usual village orientation walk in favour of staying in the dry!

Next day, three different length walks were sampled by members of the group, all using part of the Pennine Way starting from the little village of Dufton and going through the scenic woods along Dufton Ghyll. After a hard days walking and lovely dinner, we were entertained by a local group.

On our second day we set out with trepidation as heavy rain was forecast. A couple of our walkers opted out and visited Sizergh Castle instead, while the walkers set off in two different groups. The harder walkers did get soaked, but luckily those of us on the easier walk only encountered light drizzle. That evening we took part in the inter-house quiz which is run simultaneously in every HF house in the country (about 18 of them). Once again our WAD members triumphed with one team taking the top spot in our house (photos showing them displaying their exciting HF holiday mugs which were the prize) and our other team coming in 2nd.

Our third and final day's walking saw us taking in the magnificent Ribblehead Viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle railway line. The three walking groups all took different routes as part of this walk, the easier walkers concentrated on the Ingleton Waterfall trail, the medium walking traversing the amazing limestone pavements of Twistleton Scar, and the harder walkers ascending one of the Dales 'three peaks' Ingleborough. Sunny weather on the final day brought our walking holiday to a very satisfying finish. The day was rounded off with a delicious 4 (or was it 5) course meal focussing on local produce, and rounded off with a nice glass of port. That was a treat!

We all thoroughly enjoyed our break and look forward to next year in the Cotswolds!

Our group enjoying refreshment in the bar after a hard day's walking

Scenic Smardale Fell

Our proud quiz prize winners showing off their HF mugs!

Looking down the dale at Ribblehead Viaduct

Four of our walkers enjoying the Ingleton Waterfall Trail

Fascinating sink holes on Twistleton Scar

The magnificent waterfalls

The beautiful 16th Century Thorns Hall


Participants in the third Memory Course

This course was held during June / July 2017.

Walking Holiday 5th to 9th September 2016

Nine members of WAD enjoyed a walking break in sunny Somerset, and yes it was very sunny. We had the most amazing weather for September and our second walking day was very hot and humid, more weather for languishing in the shade then struggling up those hills!

We stayed at Holnicote House at Selworthy near Minehead in the heart of the Exmoor National Park. Hf Holidays lease this superb historic building set in peaceful grounds from the National Trust. As well as the main house, there are several wonderful cottages set in the grounds which accommodated some of our members. A bonus for a few of our members who enjoy swimming was a very well heated outdoor swimming pool. Just the thing after a long hot day out on the moors!

After a slow journey down the M5, and a long lunch break at Clevedon on the coast, we arrived at Holnicote House mid afternoon just in time for afternoon tea and an orientation walk around the local area. Before our tasty 3 course evening meal, the next days' walks were described to us and we chose which we would like to do. From our party, five opted for the shorter route, two for the medium, (and yes there is always one) our hardy Pearl, who braved the 12 miles and 1500 feet ascent of the longer walk. Our ninth member had come along to enjoy the local area at her own pace. Our first full day's walking was up to the nearby Dunkery Beacon and back to the house over the moors and through beautiful woodland via differing routes, stopping for breaks along the way from our well stocked packed lunches.

Our second day, saw us visiting Lynton and Lynmouth and the beautiful Watersmeet in our treks. In the evening we participated in an inter-house quiz, in which lots of holidaymakers over the UK staying at Hf locations are doing at the same time. Our group did very well, although didn't win, we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Our last day of walking was more local, walking from a spot a little further on from Porlock and back to the house through wooded valleys and moorland with dramatic views. Arriving back at the house in plenty of time, some of our party visited the nearby village of Selworthy, also owned by the National Trust and having a number of very pretty thatched cottages grouped around the village green.

Our final evening was spent over a superb dinner reviewing our week, agreeing that it had been the best of our holidays yet. Holnicote House had offered us very comfortable accommodation in a wonderfully peaceful setting, and providing excellent food. We decided although we had walked many miles in three days, that none of us would go home weighing any less than when we started!

Here's to next year………………….. and yes it is already booked.

1st day up to Dunkery beacon for medium walks group

Exmoor ponies at Dunkery beacon

Our group posing outside Holnicote House on a very sunny morning


Did we really walk from right over there?

Valley of the rocks near Lynton

Sunlight through the trees

Lovely thatched cottages around Selworthy village green

Some of our group outside Dunster historic yarn market


Science, Engineering & Technology - November 2015

The topic for this hands-on session was "How many sides has a football?" a look at regular solids

A football!

Practical formulae - 1

Practical formulae - 2


The Walking Holiday enjoyed by members of various walking groups - September 2015

Seven members of our U3A have enjoyed another holiday with Hf Holidays. This year, the group travelled to Whitby in North Yorkshire and stayed at the comfortable Larpool Hall.

Whitby was an ideal base for walking and sight-seeing with its cliffs and coastline and the North York Moors National Park close by. The three days of walking were spent in Captain Cook Country; on the Cleveland Way and Ravenscar Coast; and on the Moors. This beautiful area of England did not disappoint and the different walks arranged for each day catered for all abilities. Highlights included: Roseberry Topping and Great Ayton; the coastal footpath and Robin Hood’s Bay; The Hole of Horcum and Levisham, where some had a ride on a steam train.

The evenings were spent in pleasant relaxation as we enjoyed each other’s company over dinner and joined in activities, including an open-topped bus trip around Whitby and a quiz.

The days of the holiday seemed to fly by but have left us with very happy memories.

Walkers in the mist.

Robin Hood's Bay

Robin Hood's Bay after a hard day's walk

View from our hotel - and us!

Waiting for the coach outside the hotel.

Outside our hotel

An unwelcome walking companion - an adder!

Whitby Abbey


Some work of the Needles & Pins Group, Februrary 2015


The Needles & Pins Group members with their table of work at the December general meeting. Items were sold in aid of Home Start


Theatre Group members at Kilworth for South Pacific - July 2014

Awaiting the show at Kilworth

The Set for South Pacific


A selection of the attractive and intricate pieces made using a variety of tecniques, as shown at the the July 2014 Afternoon Tea.


Jukebox Group

The first meeting of 2014

Gene Pitney - featured artist of the month


The fun choir in action

Willow and Rowan

Music in movement

Our choir performing at Glenfield U3A Christmas Party - 2012



Finding Neverland - Theatre Group, September 2012

Warhorse - Theatre Group, October 2012

The Opera Dudes at Ibstock Palace- including some audience participation! - Theatre Group, December 2010


A Good Read At the February 2012 meeting of the Book Group, members voted for their favourite read of 2011. Sounds straightforward? It wasn't.

Each month, a member takes on the challenge of choosing a book for the whole group to read. The twelve books read in 2011 covered a quirky assortment of many different tastes and styles. The voting produced no clear winner, but high on everyone's list was "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by British writer Mark Haddon.


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