East Lothian u3a has more than 40 learning and leisure groups catering for a wide range of interests. Members are free to join as many groups as they wish. Groups are usually held in the daytime. Meetings take place weekly, fortnightly or monthly at venues agreed by the members. Excursions may be organised by some groups.

A Timetable showing when and where groups meet is available here.

Click on the title of the group to get more information about the group’s activities and use the link to access the group’s page.

Non-members wanting more information about a specific group should access the group’s page and then use the contact email address to contact the group’s leader.

Arts & Crafts

Art in the Drawing Room
Click here for Group page For anyone with an interest in resuming drawing or perhaps trying out some different techniques using a variety of pencils and other media. Basic drawing materials will be required. Although these will not be teaching sessions, much can be learned with regular practice and by sharing ideas and experience with each other. Meets monthly on 1st Wednesday in members’ homes on a rota basis.  1.30 – 3.30 (Nov thru Jan), 2.00 – 4.00 (Feb – Oct)
Needlework and Craftwork
Click here for Group page Members share their interest in needle and craft work and are hopeful of attracting members with new skills to share with us. Before Christmas we tend to concentrate on making cards, small gifts and some decorations. We would also encourage anyone who has a skill to come and demonstrate this to us. Meets Thursdays 2.00 – 4.00 October – March in Longniddry Community Centre.


Bridge for Improvers
Click here for Group page We attempt to improve our bidding and play in a relaxed atmosphere. This is a fun group for folk who want to play better Bridge, and everyone is encouraged to use the same bidding system (info. sheet provided), so that no-one has to cope with a variety of conventions. Partners are chosen at random. New members welcome. Meets weekly, on a Thursday, with play starting 1.30 – 3.30 in Nungate and Haddington Community Centre, Haddington.
Mah Jong 2
Click here for Group page Come and enjoy this ancient game. Meets every  other Friday 10.00 – 13.00 in Members’ homes.
Modern Board Games
Click here for Group page Members meet together, currently in each other’s homes to socialise and enjoy learning and playing “modern” games which have emerged from the recent renaissance in board gaming.
These modern games (sometimes called “Euro games”), are competitive but not aggressive; you don’t win by attacking other players and there is no player elimination. You often have to influence the others by trading or even working together. Most games last from 30 to 90 minutes.
They typically require more thought and planning than party games, such as Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit or pub games like dominoes and cribbage, but are less intense than classic strategy games, such as chess and Go. This allows for relaxed and friendly socialising whilst enjoying time together and stretching our minds a bit. Having fun is the goal rather than winning.
Meets weekly: Monday mornings in members’ homes.
Click here for Group page Meets first Monday of every month 2.00 – 4.00 in members’ homes.

Get Physical

Circle Dance
Click here for Group page Wide and varied repertoire of dances, old and new, to music from around the world. No partners or experience needed. Limited places available. Meets weekly, Thursday, 1.30 – 3.00 p.m. in the Alistair Grant Hall at the Bridge Centre, Haddington.
Dancing: "Strictly" We are not!
Click here for Group page Ladies, gents, and couples at all levels of experience most welcome – And yes, beginners please!  We are short of men, so single ladies, please be aware that you will be up dancing with a male partner some, but not all, of the time.At present, we practise under the guidance of the more experienced members of the group but we are  looking for occasional professional instruction to supplement our own expertise (In the past we’ve had a teacher either retired or self-employed who would join us every two or three weeks). We dance quickstep, cha cha, modern jive, waltz etc. See Group page for details  Meets weekly, Thursdays 10.30 – 12.00 in the Golf Club,Haddington.
Intermediate Walking
Click here for Group page This Group meets on every second Friday throughout the year, on alternate weeks from the Simply Strollers Group. Walks start at 10am and are between 5 and 7 miles with some flexibility. There is a short stop around midway. The walks start from a range of locations, usually within one hour’s drive from Haddington. The Group is managed by a small planning team. All members are encouraged to participate by leading walks and suggesting suitable places for a coffee or lunch at the end of the walk. We do not organise transport but encourage members to share cars where possible. Well behaved dogs with responsible owners are welcome – where there is a requirement for dogs to be on a lead this must be observed. Meets alternate Fridays throughout the year.
Click here for Group page Meets every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon at 2.0 p.m. throughout the year except on Christmas day at the Petanque Terrain next to Lady Kitty’s Garden, Church Street, Haddington.
Scottish Dancing for Fun
Click here for Group page We do a wide variety of Scottish dances. No experience is necessary – though useful! Just come along, enjoy the music, exercise and company. Meets weekly, from October to March, Mondays 1.00 – 3.00 in the Bridge Centre, Haddington (Alistair Grant Hall).
Simply Strolling
Click here for Group page The strolls start at different locations, within a 40 minutes drive of Haddington and are led by one or two members. We meet fortnightly on Friday mornings at 10.15 for a 10.30 start. We meet on alternate weeks from the Intermediate Walking group. Strolls are easy, along flat terrain, between 2 and 3 miles in length and can be through woods, along the coast and our many lovely beaches, through a village or most often a combination of these. We take our time to enjoy the land and seascapes and each other’s company and pride ourselves as being a friendly and sociable group. Meets fortnightly, Fridays, 10.15 for 10.30 start (Alternate weeks from ‘Intermediate Walking’).
Wednesday Walkers
Click here for Group page The group was founded in 1999 and currently numbers around 50 members. Walks are led by group members and are always very sociable occasions, with an average turnout of about 18. They take place throughout the year except for a break over Christmas/new year. Walks are usually between 8 and 10 miles, moderately demanding, sometimes including steep gradients, and with stops for coffee and lunch. We encourage all members to devise and lead a walk (or walks) during the year. A small committee looks after the common interests of the group and collates the programmes.
Meets weekly, Wednesdays, 9.00.


Archaeology, History and Genealogy
Click here for Group page Our programme of monthly talks and visits reflects the interests of the group. Meets monthly, usually Mondays, 11.00; More information about our meetings are on our group page.


Beginners Italian
Click here for Group page The Beginners’ Italian Group has restarted. It is aimed at members who have little or no Italian and would like to order a beer, wine or coffee, or even ask directions when they go to Italy on holiday. Meets every two weeks, Tuesdays 2.00 – 4.00.
French Conversation
Click here for Group page Members of this group have some experience of speaking French and have decided on various enjoyable means to encourage fearlessness in communication! Maximum practice and a little preparation are encouraged. The aim is to have more vocabulary and more confidence when speaking to French people. Meets fortnightly September to June in members’ homes, Mondays 2.00 – 4.00.
French Conversation 2
Click here for Group page For those who have some experience in speaking French, but who lack practice. The aim is to encourage each other to become more fluent for holidays and leisure, by conversation on a different topic each week (chosen in advance to allow for – optional – preparation). Meets Thursdays, fortnightly – 10.30-12.00 in members’ homes.
French Intermediate
Click here for Group page The group is using a course guide ‘Facon de Parler’ and is led by a tutor who is fluent and has teaching experience. No one in the group is a complete beginner but we all lack conversational skills. We are enjoying very good progress and the atmosphere in the group although earnest is relaxed and can be quite light-hearted on occasions. This group is currently in abeyance.
Gaelic - Learners
Click here for Group page We are meeting as a small informal group with the aim of developing our learning and our conversational skills in the language. New members are very welcome to join us from complete beginners to those who may have some fluency in the language. We individually supplement our learning using online resources or by attending formal classes. Meets: Weekly on a Friday morning at 11 a.m. in a quiet hotel setting.
German Language and Culture
Click here for Group page Concentrating on listening and speaking skills, the group’s aim is to build up confidence in communication. Varied methods are used to increase members’ knowledge of vocabulary and structures. Meets fortnightly, Mondays 10.00 – 11.00 in Haddington.
Intermediate Italian
Click here for Group page The group is learning Italian using “Colloquial Italian: The Complete Course for Beginners: v.10 (Colloquial Series) 20 Sept. 2005 by Sylvia Lymbery” as a basis. Meets every two weeks on Tuesdays, 2.00 – 4.00 in Haddington.
Parliamo Italiano
Click here for Group page A small intermediate group, mixing conversation, grammar and reading stories. Meets in members’ houses, fortnightly, Thursdays 11.30-1.00.
Spanish Conversation
Click here for Group page This group provides members, who should already have a basic grasp of spoken Spanish, the opportunity to practice their conversational skills and extend their vocabulary. New members are welcome. Meets fortnightly, Tuesdays  2.00 – 4.00 in members’ homes.


Click here for Group page Bookworms selects a reading programme drawn from a wide range of books and literature, which are arranged in three categories: Modern Fiction, Classic Fiction and Non Fiction. We read and discuss one book a month, members taking it in turn to introduce a book. Meets monthly, except December, Tuesdays 10.30 a.m. – 12 noon in The Waterside Bistro in Haddington.
Book Tuesday
Click here for Group page Two books supplied each month by East Lothian Library. One book is selected for reading and discussion and members take it in turn to lead discussions. We meet in members homes on a rota basis. Meets monthly on the third Tuesday 2.30 – 4.00 p.m.
Contemporary Fiction
Click here for Group page Members read and discuss a wide range of literary novels published mainly, though not exclusively, in the last twenty years. Books are chosen with the aim of stimulating thought and debate as well as entertainment. The group reads and discusses one book a month. Meets monthly, last Tuesdays 2.00 – 4.00, September – May in Haddington.
Play Reading
Click here for Group page The group has been going for a number of years and have read a large number of plays of various genres. We are at present reading ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and we plan to re-read some Shakespeare and other playwriters, mostly, but not all, well known.  We have a tea break after reading our parts, and there’s always lively chatter about the plays and sometimes about current affairs.Meets 1st & 3rd Thursdays, 1.20 – 3.30. The meetings are usually held in a member’s house in Haddington, At present, the group is full, but we will start a waiting list if anyone else shows interest.

Mind and Body

Circle Dance
Click here for Group page “Circle Dance fosters a spirit of inner calm, friendship and harmony, as all the dancers move in unison – each dependent on another”; “Circle Dance; music and rhythm, folk dances, exercise, co-ordination, meditation, togetherness”; “Good exercise but low impact”; “Gives me dance steps that allow me to move to familiar songs and to new rhythms”; “Eclectic music reminds us of our holidays abroad”; “I find it therapeutic”; “I go into a mindfulness zone”. Meets weekly, Thursday afternoon, 1.30 – 3.00 p.m. in the Alistair Grant Hall at the Bridge Centre, Haddington.
Click here for Group page Our group looks at the practices in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course, introduced 40 years ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, to deal with pain relief. The varied techniques are based on Buddhist meditations but are in no way religious; the neuroscience coming out recently shows the benefits of rewiring the brain – increased immunity, decreased tension, even anti-aging! Meets Monday, 2.00 – 4.00 in Dunbar.
Taiji and Qigong
Click here for Group page Advanced class and not suitable for beginners. We practise the Yang style short and long forms, and various qigong sets. Meets Thursdays 10.00 – 12.00 in the Alister Grant Hall, Bridge Centre, Haddington.


Enjoying Classical Music
Click here for Group page The aim of this group is to explore ‘classical music’ in a variety of ways and enjoy, as a group, both listening to, and watching performances of, selected pieces of music using audio CD, video DVD disks and other formats. Our programme for the year follows an agreed theme and each piece is chosen to illustrate a particular aspect, with suitable introductions and group discussions. If you just wish to sit back and enjoy a classical music performance and, perhaps, learn something about the piece, or its composer, you will be most welcome – we are a friendly group with a good sense of camaraderie! Taking part in this group doesn’t require any particular musical skills or knowledge as we try to avoid the un-necessary use of ‘theoretical language’. You may already have some knowledge of classical music and, if you would be happy to share this with like-minded people, you will be encouraged to do so, as everyone will benefit. Our meetings are held in the Pool Room at the Bridge Centre, Haddington. Meets monthly from October – June, at 2.00 – 4.00 p.m. on the third Friday of each month in the Star Room, The John Gray Centre Library, Haddington.
Folk Music
Click here for Group page This group plays and sings folk music from Scotland and around the world. If you would like to have some relaxing fun creating music with others on your flute, fiddle, whistle, guitar, concertina, clarsach, bodhran, chanter, etc. or with your voice, (or just come and listen), then come along. Meets The Star Room, John Gray Centre (Haddington Library) 2nd/4th Thursday of the month (except July/August) starting Thursday 22nd September 2022.
Jazz Appreciation
Click here for Group page The aim of this group is to extend and enhance members’ interest in jazz by listening to, and discussing, recorded jazz performances. Members are welcome to bring their own favourite – or perhaps historically significant – tracks for the group to hear, with some comments on what we’re listening to and why it’s important, or just enjoyable. Meets second Thursday of every month at 2.00 p.m. in a member’s home.
Recorder Group 1
Click here for Group page We are a small group (at present) playing compositions from all ages, usually sight reading, often one to a part. The music can be challenging but we are light hearted! Quartets, quintets and even more! Meets alternate Friday afternoons  1:45 – 4:15 in the Church Hall, West Church, Haddington.
Recorder Group 2 (formerly Recorder Playing)
Click here for Group page We are a group of mixed ability players who enjoy playing descant, treble and bass recorders. We play a variety of pieces from Early Music to Gershwin. On occasions we join forces with other recorder groups for playing days. Meets fortnightly, Fridays 1.30 – 4.30 p.m. in the Church Hall, West Church, Haddington. The group is currently full.

Sciences and Philosophy

Biology as though Life Matters
Click here for Group page There is much confusion in public and political discussions due to a misunderstanding of the biological basis of life. By looking at the underlying biology this group endeavours to distinguish certainty from the unknown and uncertain and thereby gain some new perspectives on matters related to health, the environment and farming, and distinguish where it is good to tread and where it is unwise to meddle. It will question what biological science is about, and marvel yet more at life around us. Meets monthly, 2nd Mondays 2.00 – 4.00 October to June in the John Gray Centre, Meeting Room.
Exploring Philosophy
Click here for Group page A wide range of methods are used within this group to facilitate discussion, including DVDs, podcasts, books and members introducing topics of interest. Group members have the opportunity to participate in the advance planning of the programme. Meets first Monday in the month except for January and August at 2.00 p.m. in the Star Room, John Gray Centre, Haddington.
Click here for Group page Geology is ‘the science which deals with the physical structure and substance of the earth’. How, when and what are the questions the group is asking. The answers come by way of illustrated talks, videos and guided museum visits in the winter months, and by short field trips in the summer months to places of particular geological interest in and beyond East Lothian. Meets from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays each month . In mid-September, our structured programme of talks will resume in the Star Room at the John Gray Centre.
Reading Philosophy
Click here for Group page It is official! Intellectual stimulation can help stave off the natural age related decline of cognitive abilities, and how better to simulate the little grey cells than by reading and discussing the great works of philosophy. Our current reading is of Bertrand Russell’s ‘Problems of Philosophy’. This work is giving us much to talk about. Future works will include ethics, existentialism, and Philosophy of mind. There are two groups, A & B.  Groups Meet at 10.00; Group A meets every third Thursday, Group B one week later.  Members host group meetings in their homes.
Click here for Group page We offer a programme of talks by visiting speakers on a variety of topics in sciences, medicine and the environment. Visits to places of scientific interest are an occasional feature. Suggestions or contributions from group members are always welcomed for inclusion in our programmes. Meets monthly (September – May) 4th Monday (excluding December) 2.00 – 4.00 p.m. in the Star Room, John Gray Centre, Haddington.


Click here for Group page Spring and summer events are usually visits to a member’s garden or to a public/private garden or nursery . These are mostly in East Lothian, but can be a bit further afield. Plants, information and questions are exchanged throughout the year using email. Over the winter, we meet less frequently, approximately monthly. We use the sessions to view DVD’s, practical demonstrations, discuss books and have brought in speakers. We aim to share our own knowledge and ideas within the group. Meets fortnightly at 10.30, Garden visits as identified in the Annual Programme.
Lunch Club
Click here for Group page The Lunch Club has been running since 1999. Between 15 and 20 members attend once a month at various venues within East Lothian. Meets monthly on consecutive weekdays in various venues.
Museums and Places of Interest
Click here for Group page Suggestions from group members for museums, galleries and places of interest to visit are listed. Volunteers then take turns to arrange one visit each per year, collecting all the information required and organising a guide to take our group if possible. A programme is arranged for the year. Costs: Entry fees if applicable and travel. Meets monthly, 2nd or Thursdays, a.m. and/or p.m., March- October.