Free and Low-cost Sport and Physical Activity in Islington

There are many ways to be active in Islington without spending any or much money. Find:

  • Activities that are free or low-cost
  • Venues and programmes for free or low-cost activity
  • Tips to keep costs down

The map shows where all free or low-cost sport and physical activity is on offer in Islington. 

Activities that are free or low-cost

Walking is a great way to be active. It is simple and cheap to do. You save money if you walk instead of using public transport or a car. Walking in Islington has more information about walking in the borough. 

Running is the most popular and easiest sport to do. You can run almost anywhere and do not need special kit or equipment apart from a decent pair of trainers. Running in Islington has information about running clubs. This includes:

  • parkrun, which is a free 5k run on Saturdays 9am in parks across the country, including Highbury Fields
  • junior parkrun, which is a free 2k run on Sundays 9am for 4- to 14-year-olds, including Caledonian Park and Highbury Fields

Cycling can save money if you cycle instead of using public transport or a car. Cycling in Islington has information about cycling clubs, maps, routes, free training, and free bike repairs.

Exercising at home costs nothing. You could follow a video:

Play is a fun and free way for children to be active, whether at home, in a park, a children’s playground in a park, or an adventure playground.

Venues and programmes for free or low-cost activity

Parks are free to use; there are over 100 parks in Islington. Walk, run, play, or organise your own informal sporting or physical activity. 39 parks offer opportunities to do sport and physical activity:

  • Football (28 parks)
  • Basketball (20 parks)
  • Outdoor gym (9 parks)
  • Table-tennis (8 parks)
  • Tennis (4 parks) and tennis net (1 park)
  • Running and walking route (4 parks)
  • Trim trail (3 parks)
  • Climbing wall (2 parks)
  • Netball (2 parks)
  • Cricket (1 park) and cricket net (2 parks)
  • Bowls (1 park)

Most of these facilities are free to use. Some need to be booked and paid for; of these a few have times when booking is not required and are free to use.

The Active Spaces programme offers a wide range of free fitness sessions at community centres in Islington, including for women only.        

Healthy Generations offer a wide range of fitness sessions at venues across Islington. The sessions are free; a £3 donation is requested at some of them.

Islington's leisure centres offer membership that reduces the cost of visiting a leisure centre. This includes for people who fall into one of the following categories:

  • under 16
  • 66 and over. This membership allows free usage during off-peak hours of tennis courts in Highbury Fields, Rosemary Gardens, and Tufnell Park Playing Fields, and the four leisure centres with swimming pools
  • a student
  • on benefits
  • have a disability

Community centres offer a wide range of free or low-cost activities:

Access to Sports offers free sport and physical activity sessions. Mainly these are for young people; some sessions are for women or members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Age UK Islington provides a selection of activities for adults of all ages, including help to find, try out and get to activities.

Arsenal in the Community offers free sport and physical activity sessions.

Youth clubs offer free activity to young people:

The Elfrida Society offers free activity to people with a learning disability.

Pedal Power offers cycling to people with a learning disability for £3/session.

Mencap offers low-cost sessions to adults with a learning disability; just bring pocket money. Contact johny.brown@mencap.org.uk or fatima.dasilva@mencap.org.uk

Tips to keep costs down

  • You may be able to obtain free exercise equipment from websites such as Freecycle.
  • It is not necessary to buy lots of special clothes or kit when you try an activity for the first few times.
  • Have a look at an activity to see what it is like. Many clubs and venues may let you have a go for free. A fitness class may be cheaper than usual the first time you try it. Islington’s leisure centres offer a day pass.

Sport and physical activity has full information about all the sport and physical activity on offer in Islington.

If you have a question about the content on this page, contact John Thorne: john.thorne@islington.gov.uk; 020 7527 7096.

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