Forth Valley U3A

Location: Forth Valley region is a popular tourist destination in central Scotland. The historic city of Stirling is at its heart. The strategic position of Stirling, guarding the crossing of the river Forth, has long made it a site of historic importance. It has good transport links to all of Scotland's major cities.

Local attractions: Stirling Castle (above), the National Wallace Monument, the Battle of Bannockburn experience, Stirling Bridge, Blair Drummond Safari Park, the Falkirk Wheel, the Helix Park at Falkirk, Sheriffmuir, Roman remains of the Antonine wall and its forts. Stirling University has a scenic campus with student accommodation available to the public during University breaks. The Ochil Hills and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park provide nearby scenery and hillwalking opportunities.

Membership and Activities: Our growing membership reached 400 (in 2016) with over 60 interest groups. These include foreign languages, discussion groups, art and art appreciation, physical activities, technology, games (Scrabble, Bridge, Chess and Mah Jong), book groups and music groups. Several groups have outings either locally or abroad. We have a popular memory course and an award winning project, Cultural Activities in Care Homes (CACH) which provides stimulation in local care homes with reminiscence sessions and live music.

Comment: The welcoming attitude and social side of our local U3A is as important as anything we learn. Many of our members joined to make friends. My own circle of friends has expanded hugely and includes the most amazing people from all walks of life.

Beth Turner