Sport and leisure centres

Leisure Centres and Swimming Pools

The University has its own Olympic-size swimming pool and a huge range of sports facilities which staff and partners can access at discounted rates. For information see Oxford University Sport.

You can also use the local leisure centres, where you will find gyms, swimming pools and fitness classes at a lower cost than private gyms. To access leisure centre facilities, you can pay per visit, or take out a monthly or annual membership. Pricing will depend on the facilities you wish to use and the days and times of use. Children and seniors qualify for free or discounted activities in many cases. You may need to provide proof of age or of residency within the council area to qualify for membership and discounts. You can see details of Oxford City Council's memberships here. Oxford Brookes University's Brookes Sport in Headington is also open for use by the general public.

For a comprehensive list of Oxfordshire leisure centres, please visit: 

Cherwell District Council (including Banbury, Bicester, Kidlington)

Oxford City Council 

South Oxfordshire District Council (including Didcot and Wallingford)

Vale of the White Horse District Council (including Abingdon and Wantage)

West Oxfordshire District Council (including Carterton, Chipping Norton, Eynsham, Standlake, Witney, Woodstock)

Sports Clubs and Facilities 

You can get involved in some of the University Sports Clubs which can be a great way of meeting new people.

The Go Active website has an excellent search tool for finding clubs and facilities for any sport in which you are interested located near you.


You can hire bikes and take cycling tours around Oxford. For more information on cycling in Oxford visit the Bikes page, where you will get more information about staff benefits, such as the bike scheme and repair services.


You can join the University Lawn Tennis Club or find one of the lawn tennis clubs across Oxfordshire at the Lawn Tennis Association. Oxford City Council, in partnership with Parks Tennis, run subsidised tennis coaching and cardio tennis sessions as well as matches for all ages across all of Oxford’s public parks. The Parks Tennis Association offers memberships during the summer season to play on the grass courts in the University Parks.

The ancient game of 'Real Tennis', a type of court tennis favoured by Henry VIII and popularised by Shakespeare, is still played in Oxford on a sixteenth-century court at Merton College.


You can search for local running or jogging groups on the Oxford City Council or Run Together websites.

Oxford is known for many charity running events. The most famous are:

Other running events include: 

Ultramarathon runners can look forward to the Race to the Stones, a 100 kilometre trek on an ancient path used by the Vikings and Romans through the nearby North Wessex Downs, the Vale of the White Horse and the Chilterns. 

More information about races in Oxfordshire can be found here.


Ramblers is a well-established walking club with groups for different age groups and locations around Oxfordshire, or you can find a list of local walking clubs and download free information on local walks on the Walking in Oxfordshire website. If you are looking for opportunities to walk in Oxford, visit the Walking page.