Activities in Islington Parks

Find out:

  • What Islington parks offer and their health benefits
  • Activities in parks, including ones that are approved for referrals by health and care professionals

Parks in Islington shows where Islington parks are and highlights the main parks and their features. 
Support for organisations to deliver an activity in a park states the support available for organisations to create or continue an activity in an Islington park.
Parks and open spaces has other information about parks.

What Islington parks offer
  • Free and open to all. They offer something to see and do, to be in nature, and to meet other people
  • Open long hours. Parks with gates open at 8am, usually close at sunset, and are open all year
  • There are over 100 parks in Islington, so there is a park near to everyone
Health benefits

The Governnment says being in nature, such as a park, improves our mental health and wellbeing and can:

  • reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression
  • help boost immune systems, encourage physical activity and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as asthma, and can combat loneliness.

Parks are an excellent place to be active, which cuts the risk of dementia & Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, bowel, breast and womb cancer, type 2 diabetes and other health conditions.

Activities in parks

  • Activities are shown for north Islington (Archway, Holloway, Tufnell Park), central Islington (Canonbury, Highbury, Newington Green) and south Islington (Barnsbury, Clerkenwell, Finsbury). Included are activities run by Friends of Park groups, who are residents that volunteer to help maintain a park and may offer gardening and other activities. They are a great way to be involved with a park and meet other people
  • Leaflets showing activities in parks for August to September 2022 in north, central and south Islington are to the right
  • Activities in parks are free and open to everyone unless stated otherwise
  • Booking is required for most activities; these activities are shown by an asterisk. Please check an activity is taking place before attending for the first time
  • Gardening is a popular activity. A leaflet showing gardening in Islington parks is to the right
  • 17 activities have been approved by Age UK Islington in its role as a social prescribing organisation to accept referrals by health and care professionals. These activities are all free; a donation may be requested for some of them. These activities are marked Approved for referral. An Islington resident can go straight to any of these activities without a referral by a health and care professional 
  • 39 parks offer opportunities to do sport including football, basketball and netball, outdoor gym, table-tennis, tennis, running and walking routes, cricket, and bowls.

North Islington: Archway, Holloway, Tufnell Park            

Activity

When

Organiser           * Booking required 

Caledonian Park, near Caledonian Road tube station, N7

2k run for 4- to 14-year-olds

Sundays, 9am

Junior parkrun *

Art project inspired by Windrush

29 September, 2-4pm

See the leaflet to the right

Cardio and muscles keep fit
Approved for referral

Wednesdays, 10.30-11.45am

Healthy Generations *
£3 optional donation

Gardening
Approved for referral

Occasional Fridays, 11am-1pm

Parks team, Islington Council *

Gardening

Wednesdays & Sundays, 10am-12pm

Caledonian Park Friends Group

Health and history walk: 4000 steps
Approved for referral

Various times

Parks team, Islington Council *

Health and history walk; a gentle walk
Approved for referral

Various times

Parks team, Islington Council *

Knit Natter

Various times, 6.30-8pm

Parks team, Islington Council *

Park Cuppa
Approved for referral

Wednesdays, 11am-12pm

Age UK Islington *

Tour of the clock tower

Various times

Parks team, Islington Council *

Under 5s story time

Various times, 10-11am

Parks team, Islington Council *

Under 5s music time

Various times, 10-11am

Parks team, Islington Council *

Dartmouth Park, Tufnell Park, N19

Qi Gong
Approved for referral

Mondays, 10-11am

Healthy Generations *
£3 optional donation

Elthorne Park, Archway, N19

Sport for young people

Various times

Access to Sport *

Paradise Park, near Liverpool Road, N7

Gardening

Most Wednesday mornings and 2nd Tuesday of each month

Friends of Paradise Park 

Tag rugby

Various times

Try Tag Rugby * Fee applies

Parkland Walk, N19

A walk for intermediate walkers; meet at Station Place, Finsbury Park
Approved for referral

Wednesdays, 2pm

Contact Susan Aykroyd, Hornsey Lane Estate Community Association walkleader@hlcea.org.uk, 07985 156876 *

Volunteering each week at one of Islington’s 3 nature reserves: Barnsbury Wood, Gillespie Park, Parkland Walk
Approved for referral

Thursdays, 10am-3.30pm

Ecology Centre, Islington Council

 

Volunteering maintenance

Check website

Friends of the Parkland Walk

Penn Road Gardens, near Holloway Road, N7

Gardening

Last Sunday of the month, 10am-12pm

Penn Road Residents Association

Sunnyside Community Gardens, Hazellville Road, next to Elthorne Park, N19

Gardening

Various times during the week

Sunnyside Community Gardens *

Activities for residents with a child under 5

Various times

Brightstart, Islington Council *

Tufnell Park Playing Fields, near Tufnell Park tube station, N7

Total Body Workout
Approved for referral

Tuesdays, 10-11am

Healthy Generations *
£3 optional donation

Whittington Park, Holloway Road, N19

Football for ages 2-12

Various times

Islington Football Development Partnership * Fee applies

Football for girls and women

Various times

Islington Borough Ladies Football Club * Fee applies

Gardening
Approved for referral

Occasional Fridays, 11am-1pm

Parks team, Islington Council

Qi Gong
Approved for referral

Wednesdays, 8.30-9.45am

Healthy Generations *
£3 optional donation

Wray Crescent, near Hornsey Road, N4

Cricket

Various times

Pacific Cricket Club * Fee applies

Gardening

Check website

Friends of Wray Crescent 

Pilates Cardio Lite

Thursdays, 9.30-10.15am

Liv-Pilates * £10/class

Central Islington: Canonbury, Highbury, Newington Green        

Activity

When

Organiser   * Booking required 

Arlington Square, near Regent’s Canal, N1

Gardening

Check website

Arlington Association

Arvon Road Community Garden, near Holloway Road, N5

Gardening

Check website

Arvon Road Community Garden

Canonbury Square, Highbury, N1

Gardening

Third Saturday of the month from 10am

Friends of Canonbury Square *

Compton Terrace Gardens, Highbury, N1

Gardening

Check website

Compton Terrace Gardening Group

Duncan Terrace Gardens and Colebrook Row Gardens, Angel, N1

Gardening

Check website

Friends of Duncan Terrace and Colebrooke Row Gardens

Gillespie Park and Ecology Centre, Highbury, N5

Activities for residents with a child under 5

Various times

Brightstart, Islington Council *

Apple Day

Sunday 23 October, 12-4pm

Friends of Gillespie Park and Ecology Centre, Islington Council
See the leaflet to the right, Apple Day

Dementia- and family-friendly walk
Approved for referral

First Friday of the month, 10am

Ecology Centre, Islington Council

Islam and Nature: a walk in Gillespie Park

Sunday 2 October, 11am

AbdulMaalik Tailor and Jo Corrall *
See the leaflet to the right, Islam and Nature: a walk in Gillespie Park

Volunteering each week at one of Islington’s 3 nature reserves: Barnsbury Wood, Gillespie Park, Parkland Walk
Approved for referral

Thursdays, 10am-3.30pm

Ecology Centre, Islington Council

 

Graham Street Park, near City Road and next to Regent's Canal, N1

Gardening

Check website

Friends of Graham Street Park

Highbury Fields, near to Highbury & Islington station, N5

5k run

Saturdays, 9am

parkrun *

2k run for 4- to 14-year-olds

Sundays, 9am

junior parkrun *

Activities for residents with a child under 5

Various times

Brightstart, Islington Council *

Fitness session

Saturdays, 9.45am

Healthy Minds Healthy Bods. For more information, contact Lawrence Curtis: hmhb2016@outlook.com

Gardening
Approved for referral

Wednesdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm

Highbury Fields Garden Volunteers. Contact Flora Goldhill: flora@highburyplace.co.uk; 07487 880778 *

Nature-themed fun for families with children aged under 5

Various times

The Garden Classroom

Netball

Tuesday and Wednesday evenings

Islington Netball *

Tennis

Check website

Highbury Fields Tennis League; membership fee applies

Tennis

Check website

Highbury Tennis Club; membership fee applies

Total Body Workout
Approved for referral

Fridays, 9.45-10.45am

Healthy Generations * £3 optional fee

Walks for adults with a learning disability. The group meets at Highbury Corner and takes in local parks

Wednesdays, 11am-12.30pm

Mencap. For more information, contact Johny (07506 844 649, johny.brown@mencap.org.uk) or Jonathan (jonathan.quarterman@mencap.org.uk)

Zumba

Sundays in September, 12pm

Healthy Minds Healthy Bods. For more information, contact Lawrence Curtis: hmhb2016@outlook.com

Highbury Fields Association is a Friends group for the park

New River Walk, Canonbury, N1

Gardening

Occasional Fridays, 11am-1pm

Parks team, Islington Council

Maintenance

Check website

Friends of the New River Walk

Olden Road Community Garden, near Holloway Road, N5

Gardening

Check website

Olden Community Garden

Packington Square, Canalside Square, Rheidol Gardens, Towpath Orchard, near Regent’s Canal, N1

Gardening

Various times

The Arc Centre *

Rosemary Gardens, Southgate Road, N1

Friends of Rosemary Gardens is a Friends group for the park

 

South Islington: Barnsbury, Clerkenwell, Finsbury                      

Activity

When

Organiser * Booking required

Barnard Park, near Caledonian Road, N1

Activities for residents with a child under 5

Various times

Brightstart, Islington Council *

Gardening

Check website

Friends of Barnard Park

Barnsbury Square Gardens, between Caledonian Rd and Upper St, N1

Gardening

Fridays & Saturdays from 10am

Friends of Barnsbury Square Gardens

Barnsbury Wood nature reserve, near Caledonian Rd and Barnsbury station, N1

Volunteering each week at one of Islington’s 3 nature reserves: Barnsbury Wood, Gillespie Park, Parkland Walk
Approved for referral

Thursdays, 10am-3.30pm

Ecology Centre, Islington Council

 

Culpeper Community Garden, near Upper St, N1

Gardening

Check website

Culpeper Community Garden

Fortune Street, Golden Lane, EC2

The park has a Friends Group

King Square Gardens, near Goswell Road, EC1

Men's shed for local men aged 55+ to socialise while gardening
Approved for referral

Tuesdays, 2-3.30pm

St Luke's Community Centre *

Qi Gong
Approved for referral

Tuesdays, 10-11.15am

Healthy Generations *
£3 optional donation

Thornhill Square Garden, near Caledonian Road, N1

Thornhill Square Association is a Friends group for the park

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