Lancaster offers a variety of options for those that love to stay healthy and active. In addition to its range of healthy cafes and restaurants - see our Get Out and About blog - you can take part in a range of activities to boost your mental health and wellbeing.
Outdoor runs and hiking
For the outdoor fitness enthusiast, Lancaster has it all. The idyllic River Lune and its surrounding canals present the perfect backdrops for runners, and you’ll find many of them gracing its banks morning, noon and night. There are also various reservoirs nearby – including Blea Tarn Reservoir – that are popular running and hiking spots.
The city’s expansive countryside and parks are the perfect places for a range of other outdoor activities. Be sure to visit the enchanting Williamson Park, which is just a few minutes away from campus by foot. Home to the iconic Ashton Memorial, there’s beautiful parkland and woodland to explore, and the added bonus of breathtaking views across Morecambe Bay.
Williamson Park is also the home of Lancaster Parkrun, a free, fun and friendly weekly 5k community event that takes place every Saturday morning. While the Lancaster course is challenging, you can walk, jog, run or even volunteer.
If you love being in nature, the Fairfield Nature Reserve across the other side of the city is a great spot for seeing some local wildlife.
There are several gyms you can choose from in Lancaster. Snap Fitness and Salt Ayre Leisure Centre are popular with our students and have some great value membership packages.
And, of course, we have our own health facilities. Be sure to visit our University of Cumbria Sports Complex, where we host a programme of classes, events and training sessions. Here, you can take part in a variety of sports, including football, tennis, badminton and many more. We also have our own fitness suite, which many of our students prefer as we offer such good value for money.
If you prefer to take part in a specific sport or class, Lancaster has some great options. By the river, there’s a CrossFit centre, which our students love. This offers high-intensity classes that are designed to push you to your limit and help you reach your endurance goals. 3-1-5 Health Club also has an impressive timetable with over 100 classes a week!
Another huge draw of Lancaster is its array of water sports. As we’re lucky enough to enjoy easy access to the River Lune, it’s possible to take up canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding and boating. Various watersports centres sit along the riverbank, and most of these are reachable by foot.
Thrill-seekers can go a step further and head on over to the Halton Rapids. Situated on the River Lune just northwest of the city, this natural wonder creates white water rapids that are popular with kayakers and rafters year-round.
You can take advantage of Lancaster's fitness scene by applying for one of our Lancaster-based Health and Social Care, Sports, or Business courses.