The latest information to help you get active
No matter how much you do, physical activity is good for your body and mind. Some is good – more is better still. Even a daily brisk walk can boost your energy, lift your mood and make everyday activities easier. There are so many different ways you can be active.
There is lots of support and resources to help you get started:
Getting out and about
Parks and open spaces SHOW
Southampton is home to a network of green spaces across the city including 49 parks and 1,140 hectares of open space, such as Southampton Common. These spaces are free and open for everyone to enjoy, all year around.
Find out more about Southampton Parks and Allotments.
Looking for a free, friendly, weekly community event to get active? The Southampton Park Run takes place in Southampton Common every Saturday at 9am. Walk, jog, or run the 5km route – it’s up to you! Come along and join in whatever your pace. There’s also a Junior Parkrun (2km route) at both the Southampton Common and Riverside Park for 4–14-year-olds every Sunday at 9am.
Find out more about the local Parkrun events.
Couch to 5K is a running programme for absolute beginners. Complete in as little as nine weeks, or longer if you want to go at your own pace.
Find out more about Couch to 5k app.
Did you know you can apply to close your local street to allow children to play safely in the street and other events? This could be a one-off or on a regular basis (up to once a week). These are called Community Street Closures or Play Streets.
Find out more about Community Street Closures.
Leisure centres SHOW
Southampton has a range of leisure centres and facilities across the city. You can find out more information including opening times, location, timetables, and activities at Active Nation.
- Alpine Snowsports Southampton
- Bittern Leisure Centre*
- Chamberlayne Leisure Centre*
- The Quay Swimming and Diving Complex*
- St Mary’s Leisure Centre
- Southampton Water Activities Centre
- The Outdoor Sports Centre (Bassett)
- Woodmill Outdoor Activities Centre
*These leisure centres (operated by Active Nation) offer an Exercise Referral Programme called Get Active. This is a 12-week structured programme with guidance and advice to help you get started if you are currently inactive and have a long-term health condition. Read more about the Exercise Referral Programme.
Activity finders SHOW
There are a range of activities happening in Southampton to get involved in, whether that’s online or in-person. Find an activity to suit you using these tools:
Find an activity session near you or ways to be active at home using Get Active - What gets you moving?.
Search for an activity to suit you on our directory of support services.
Find local support groups and services on the SO:Linked community directory.
Walking, cycling and active travel SHOW
Enjoy Southampton’s walking and cycling routes with friends and family, as part of your commute, or to help improve your health and wellbeing.
- Discover a range of walking routes on the free Go Jauntly walking app
- Find a health walk or walking group in Southampton on My Journey – Walking Opportunities
- Find cycle routes, guided rides, and cycle confidence training on My Journey – Get Cycling
- Track your steps, set goals and boost your activity with the free Active 10 app
Southampton city council are working with local communities to roll out a network of Active Travel Zones, as part the city’s Local Transport Plan. These zones will aim to encourage people to walk and cycle for short trips, providing a range of clean and green travel options and introducing measures to help discourage traffic. Read more about Southampton’s Active Travel Zones.
SmartCities Card - Get Active SHOW
Residents living within the city council boundary, who are in receipt of some benefits, are entitled to discounted activities with a Get Active subscription on their SmartCities card. The discount applies during off-peak times in participating leisure venues in Southampton including Active Nation venues and activities, Southampton Municipal Golf Course and Allotments.
Find out more about the SmartCities Card and Get Active Subscription.
Support to get active
Community Navigators and Social Prescribers SHOW
The role of Southampton Community Navigators and Social Prescribers is to connect residents with local support in their communities through services, groups, or activities. This could be to improve your health and wellbeing, meet new people, or get access to other support. Both of these roles may be able to connect you to a variety of ways to be more active in a way that suits you.
You can find out more about Community Navigation by phoning SO:Linked on 023 8021 6050 or filling out an online referral form.
Alternatively, you can also ask your GP Practice if there is a Social Prescriber who could connect you with local activity groups or activities.
The Holiday Activity Fund (HAF) SHOW
The HAF programme provides a free schedule of enriching activities and nutritious food during Easter, Summer, and Christmas School holidays. These are for children aged 5-16 who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals. Previously the activities have included water-sports, skiing, and other traditional sports in addition to creative activities like art workshops. Find out more about the Southampton HAF programme.
Are you a childminder or teacher? SHOW
Southampton City Council is working with Early Years settings (pre-schools, nurseries, children centres, and child minders), Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Activity Providers to ensure children have opportunities to be physically active.
See the awards below for more information:
- The Healthy Early Years Award (HEYA) aims to support Early Years settings create a healthier environment for children, provide practice support for staff, and help families make positive choices. The award covers 3 areas: Health Eating, Healthy Mouth (oral health), and Physical Activity, and has 3 award levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Find out which Early Years settings in Southampton have achieved the HEYA award
- The Healthy High 5 Award aims to make it easier for schools to provide healthy and fun activity for all pupils to improve their wellbeing. The award has 5 elements (stars) including increasing the amount of physical activity children do during the day. This could be achieved through the Daily Mile, the Golden Mile, or alternative activities plus PE classes. Find out which Primary and Secondary schools in Southampton have achieved the Healthy High 5 Award
Find information for schools, workplaces, and healthcare professionals to help incorporate and embed physical activity into their own settings in the Energise Me’s Toolkits.
Read about Southampton’s Physical Activity Strategy We Can Be Active, which has been adopted by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight region including Southampton and led by Energise Me (the local Active Partnership).
You can also visit NHS Get Active or Join the Movement for more advice and inspiration.