Contact: Merryn Dineley

  Email: [email protected] 

Meets: In summer, usually every two weeks on Tuesdays.

The Botany group meets regularly in summer particularly to find and identify plants, but with ample opportunity also to look at the geology and other wildlife of Orkney. Short walks are involved, with plenty of opportunities for photography and other interests. Most outings are two hours long and, where possible, go on to a tea room. There are some longer trips to the outer isles and we car share whenever possible. The group is suitable for the complete beginner as well as the more expert. The group contributes species lists to the local plant database via the county recorder for plants. We take it in turns to co-ordinate the trips, and we share transport and costs.




  Contact:  Keith Ramsay

  Email c/o : [email protected]

A flexible group that meets at the Pickaquoy Centre cafe before watching the selected film, and then returns to the cafe for discussions about the film and related topics. New members welcome.



  Contact:  Pam Woodcock

  Email c/o : [email protected]

We are a friendly social group of like-minded crafters who want to learn and experiment with new crafts while sharing our skills and ideas. In the past we have tried encoustic art, Temari, needle felting (creating beautiful pansy brooches, pictures and handbags), Swiss straw work, Somerset and cathedral patchwork and various paper crafts. Currently we are refreshing and practising our embroidery stitches. If any of these appeal or you can instruct us in something new, please get in touch - details above. All the action now takes place in the Orkney Library on the ground floor, small meeting room, every Thursday morning 10 am til 12. The venue is free and there is disabled parking and facilities available.

The weekly craft group will meet from 10.00am until 12.00 midday in the Marwick room at the Kirkwall Library.






  Glenys Alsop (Mon) and Valerie Pomfret (Tues)

   Email: [email protected]

The two u3s music groups each listen to and discuss a wide variety of music. It isn't at all academic; we just enjoy listening to recordings brought by each other and sometimes what comes in overlaps, often it doesn't.  It's interesting to hear whatever appears.
Music Group 1 is led by Glenys and meets in the morning on the last monday of the month, at the Kirkwall home of the group leader. It is currently restricted to six members, but there is space for one or two new members.  Music Group 2 is led by Valerie and meets in the morning of (usually) the second Wednesday of the month, at the Kirkwall home of the group leader. It also has room for additional members. Please contact the relevant group leader for details of meeting arrangements.
See Blogs for the most recent activities.






Contact: Peter Drummond

E-mail: [email protected]

All the action now takes place in the Orkney Library on the ground floor, small meeting room, every Thursday from 12 noon until 2 pm. There is disabled parking and facilities available.


[email protected]



  Tim Wright



Email: [email protected]


We meet every 4th Wednesday at 2 pm at a previously agreed venue.  For about 1 - 2 hours we take photographs of anything that appeals to our eye.  From there we usually adjourn to a nearby tearoom to look at and discuss our best pictures taken at the previous venue and some of a theme set by the group each month (our homework as it were) oh and tea and stickies of course!  There is no pressure and no competitions, just good fun and company, the aim being to update and improve our photography skills.



Outing to papa Stronsay


Due to the success and over-subscription of Photography Group 1 a second group has been set up. However the group is need of a new leader.




  email: [email protected]

This second group is active and currently, during the summer, visiting off islands, the next being Swona and a further one to visit Rinnigill on Hoy. We are also looking into possible indoor meetings, with ideas for table top photography. New members are always welcome! Spaces available now.




  Jeanne Marie Graham

  John Graham


      Email: [email protected] 

Meets: Twice a month

We alternate between locations. Jeanne is the play selector taking ideas from all members of the group. We read round in rotation. In the past twelve months we have read amongst other plays; 'Pygmalion', 'Blythe Spirit', 'The Three Sisters', 'A View from the Bridge', 'A Country Wife', 'A Comedy of Errors'




  Pat Retson


Email:  [email protected]


The scrabble group meets every Friday from 10-12md at Glennevis, Holm Road, Kirkwall.  The group is a relaxed, non competitive gathering, with time for a coffee.
As this is a private home, numbers are restricted, but if you are interested in joining us, please contact Pat to see if there is a space.





Contact:   Tim Wright


 Email: [email protected]

The Walking Group meets monthly either on a Thursday or a Friday morning usually 10 am. We walk for one to two hours and have a small break for refreshments half way along route. We do not do power walking but may walk up some hills. Walks will be taken in all weather but drenching rain and gales and snow. The Winter walks might be shorter and lower depending on circumstances. A reasonable degree of fitness is required. Any questions to Tim Wright, currently the leader.



 Contact: Ellie Wiltshire

Email: [email protected]

WALKING GROUP 2 – a second walking group for those of us who still enjoy walking but owing to aches and pains can no longer manage long hilly walks.

We meet every second Monday or Tuesday of the month usually at 10.00am. (light rain and wind is fine, but not drenching rain or gales). We walk for about two hours with plenty time for stops and a chatter and where possible go on to a tearoom. Longer trips organised in the spring/summer to the outer isles when we share transport and costs. A very friendly easy going walking group.

New members always welcome. For more information, please contact Ellie.


Contact: Ellie Wiltshire

E-mail: [email protected]

We are a friendly group of likeminded people who enjoy reading. We meet at 12.00pm. every six weeks over lunch, usually for 1-2 hours and discuss the book we previously recommended; we take it in turns to lead the discussion. The reading list is very varied from crime, fiction or historical.

The group has ten members and is currently full, with a waiting list.



Contact: Bill Stout

E-mail: [email protected]


This very new group is still finding its way. The current plan is to base each meeting on discussion of a book of popular non-fiction. The reading list will be set by the members, each taking a turn to make a proposal. The diverse backgrounds of the membership should ensure a varied mix of subjects, necessarily presented at a non-specialist level. The amount of prior expertise required to understand and engage with each topic will naturally be limited. The aim will be to find readings which stimulate discussion rather than present pure information.

The group currently has five members. We would welcome further participants, but we have agreed to a limit of seven or eight members to keep discussion manageable. Initially meetings will be held at the group leader’s house in Kirkwall. The going-in target is one meeting per month, but that may change as we gain more experience. The meetings will generally be held on Thursdays from 11.00am.     

A selection of possible texts:


Contact: Gill Cooke                  e-mail: [email protected]

Meet throughout the year every Friday afternoon 1pm - 3pm in Stromness Community Centre.

The group welcomes artists of all abilities from absolute beginners to experienced so we have a wide range of abilities. The aim of the group is to provide a safe environment for members to learn from each other and practice new skills and techniques also to paint, sketch and most importantly have fun. It is a practical hands on group and members have the opportunity to try out a range of mediums eg watercolours, acrylics, pastels, charcoal, oils etc. We will also be going out together to try painting 'en plein air' outside to normal folk.


Contact: Valerie Pomfret

E-mail: [email protected]

This is a new group that was started by a few u3a members early in 2024. Most members had played a descant recorder in their early school days, and wanted to transfer to the larger, and lower pitched, treble or tenor recorders so that they could play in a group with others. One member was a complete beginner. The emphasis is on enjoying playing with other people.

If you are interested in joining the group, or in learning or re-learning to play treble or tenor recorder, please contact the group leader. There is space for one or two new members, and we can start another group if required.

Instruments can be borrowed from the Instrument Bank run by Orkney Arts and Culture.




The Virtual u3a (Vu3a), which went live in January 2009, is an online-only u3a, affiliated to the Third Age Trust. One of its principal aims is to provide the u3a experience for those who are rendered isolated in some way by circumstances or geography and unable to play a full pgart in a terrestrial u3a. More information and a video are available on the public website www.vu3a.org.uk where you can also apply for membership. Why not pay it a visit? And if you know of anyone who might benefit, please pass the information on.



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