Coronavirus (COVID-19) service closures

Camden’s leisure centres are managed by Better. Following Government guidance issued on Friday 20 March, all Better Leisure Centres and Better Gyms across the UK have temporarily closed.
This includes: 

  • Kentish Town Sports Centre,
  • Oasis Sports Centre,
  • Swiss Cottage leisure Centre, 
  • Pancras Square Leisure 
  • Talacre Community Sports Centre and Cantelowes Sports Pitch
  • Archway Leisure Centre
  • Islington Tennis Centre
  • Cally Pool
  • Highbury Leisure Centre
  • Sobell Leisure Centre
  • Finsbury Leisure Centre
  • Ironmonger Row Leisure Centre

The health and wellbeing of staff and customers is paramount and we have a social responsibility to everyone in the community to take action to protect ourselves and others.

Better will automatically apply a payment freeze for all members. This means that you will retain your membership or lesson/course, but will not have to pay during the period that the centre is closed. 

We are working closely with Better and local public health authorities and receiving official updates from the Government. Further updates based on this advice will be given when available.

If you are a Better member and would like further information or have any queries, please visit their dedicated page.

The following services have temporarily stopped operating: 

  • Exercise on Referral and Adult Weight Management
  • Talacre Community Sports Centre and Cantelowes Sports Pitch – all children and adult drop-in, term-time and holiday sports programmes
  • Sports outreach activities (Kilburn Grange) and Friday Night Project (FNP)
  • Camden Health Walks
  • Community based Better 55+ Club activities (Peckwater Centre, Royal Free Recreation Club)

Further updates will be provided when available.

Finding your activities

Getting active as you are older is a great thing to do. There is plenty of choice of activity in Camden. Ranging from a walk to a workout at a wide range of venues, from community centres to gyms.

Stay Active Whilst at Home

  • Sports England have provided information on some good ways you can stay active and fit whilst at home.

  • Ensure you are moving a lot more whilst at home by exercising daily for just 10 minutes. 10 Today provides short 10 minute exercise videos you can follow, listen and watch in the comfort of your home.

Finding Activities in Camden

  • Find all the fun and favourite activities for older adults near you using our Camden Sports and Physical activity map.

  • Find inspiring stories about how your Camden residents like you, are moving more. Locate all the activities and places to be active close to you with We Can Move.

  • Recommend me provides information about a wide range of recreational activities, including physical activity and educational workshops in Camden for older adults.

Fun Ways to Stay Active Together 

  • Camden has 9 Outdoor Gyms for you as well as your friends and family. A fun and different way to enjoy exercising for FREE, whilst getting the fresh air you need.

  • Camden Health Walks are FREE to attend and available all through the week. Get involved staying healthy by walking around Camden, meeting new friends and exploring your local area. 

Assisted Sessions in Camden

  • Several Camden leisure centres provide specialist classes for older adults, often with a strong social element. In the south of the Borough the YMCA has great over 60s club.

  • Working in partnership with Camden Council, Better provide leisure opportunities for Camden residents including the Better Camden 55+ Club Activity Programme

  • Level 4 Postural Stability Instructors delivering activities at local community centres

  • Kentish Town Sports Centre is an accessible and dementia friendly centre. Attendance to the Dementia Club and Programme is FREE, with each session aiming to provide professional advice, gentle exercise to music and fun activities in a social atmosphere served with tea, coffee and cakes.

Tips and Ways to Stay Active

  • Find inspiring stories about how your Camden residents like you, are moving more. Locate all the activities and places to be active close to you with We Can Move.

  • How to stay happy, healthy and aiming to be the best person you can be? One You provides helpful information on how you can get into good daily practices to improve your lifestyle.

Visit Live Sport Events

  • Be inspired by watching top-class sport and seeing elite international athletes performing around London with SportonSpec. An opportunity to book and visit the sporting events that are taking place in and around the city. 

Choosing the right level of physical activity

Getting active can make a massive difference to your health and well-being,  if you want to find sessions that work at the right level for you, the attached pyramid diagram and the table below explains the types of activity and the qualifications of instructors who might lead them.

Whilst any physical activity is good, if you have a health condition or  want to get your strength back after a fall, it is good idea to  find one that is delivered by someone who is qualified to work with your age group or health condition.

Older Adults Physical Activity Guide

View the Older Adults Physical Activity Guide (PDF)


Level 3 and 4 refer to Exercise Instructor qualifications

       For All          For everyone any physical activity is great, whether carried out independently  or instructor-led. It doesn't matter if this is dance, going to the gym, a walk in the park, swimming, joining a walking group using an outdoor gym.
       Level 3                                                              For people with long term conditions, older adults those referred to exercise by GP. Qualified instructor provide a range of activities mainly carried out in leisure and community centres. 
Level 4 For people progressing from clinical or physio-led structured exercise programmes to community provision. These are mainly carried out in leisure and community centres. 
Clinical Level  Services provided in a hospital /  clinical settings or through the community rehabilitation services (CNWL). 

Free swimming

Did you know free swimming is available for Camden residents aged 60+, weekdays 7am-12pm at our Better Camden leisure centres?  To access this offer, all you need is to be a Camden resident and have a Pay and Play card which costs £5.50 per year. 

If you are interested in swimming but feel you have limited mobility so you aren’t able to access the pool, at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre and Kentish Town Sports Centre we have a PoolPod. This is the latest innovation to access the pool in a safe, secure and friendly way.

Camden Health Walk

Join our free weekly health walks.

Our organised walks are relaxed, friendly and a great chance to meet new people.

At each of our walks, there are toilets and benches along the route. Many of our walks also finish at cafes for social opportunities.

No prior booking needed  (apart from the Camden Carers Walk) , although each group meets 10 minutes before the walk starts and leaves promptly. Walks typically last 30-90 minutes. No specialist equipment needed, just wear clothes and shoes comfortable for walking.


Hampstead Heath Walk - a more challenging walk

Time 10am - 12pm
Meeting Point Hampstead Heath Overground Station, South End Road, NW3 2QD
Transport Buses 46, 168, C11
Booking needed No, just arrive at the meeting point

Parliament Hill Walk- a leisurely walk

Time 10am - 11am
Meeting Point Parliament Hill Cafe
Transport Buses 214, C11 or C2 William Ellis School  or Train - Gospel Oak Overground Station
Booking Needed No, just arrive at the meeting point


Likewise Walk - anyone is welcome, it starts at the mental health and well-being centre

Time 2pm - 3pm
Meeting Point Likewise, 9 Fairhazel Gardens, NW6 3SG
Transport South Hampstead Overground Station or Swiss Cottage Underground Station or Buses 268, 46, 31, 189
 ​​​​​Booking Needed: No, just arrive at the meeting point


Regent's Park Walk - these walks are held every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month

Time 9:45am - 3pm
Meeting Point West Euston Partnership One Stop Shop, 29-31 Hampstead Road, NW1 3JA
Transport Warren Street Station or Euston Station or  Buses 24, 27, 29, 134
Booking Needed No, just arrive at the meeting point


Regent's Park Women's Walk

Time 10:30am - 11:30am
Meeting Point Green Light Pharmacy, 64-62 Hampstead Road, NW1 2NU
Transport Warren Street Station or  Euston Station or  Buses 24, 27, 29, 134
Booking Needed No, just arrive at the meeting point

Camden Carers Walk

Time 10:30am - 11:30am
Booking Needed Yes, please call in advance to book your place - 020 7428 8953


Queens Crescent Walk - this walk is for adults with learning disabilities

Time 12pm - 12:30pm
Meeting Point Queens Crescent Community Association, 45 Ashdown Crescent, NW5 4QE
Transport Buses 24, 46, 393 or Gospel Oak Overground Station or Chalk Farm Underground Station

For further information


Camden Walking Football

What is walking football?

Walking football is becoming more increasingly popular. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a standard game of football where players walk instead of run.

It's designed to help people get fit or maintain a healthy lifestyle no matter what your age or fitness levels are.

It's also a good way to get people back into football if they have previously stopped before due to age or injury.

Older People who have played have seen benefits such as:

  • Healthier heart rate
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Gained strength 
  • Improved mobility 
  • More sociable and have made new friends

How Can I Play?

Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre

Address 69-75 Stanhope St, Kings Cross, London, NW1 3LD
Day Every Tuesday
Time 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Cost FREE - Available to all

Tuesday Session:There is a sports coach to assist with elements of good advice and coaching tips if needed (recommended for those trying Walking Football for the first time).

Swiss Cottage Pitch

Address Swiss Cottage Sports Centre, Adelaide Road, NW3 3NF
Day Every Sunday


11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Cost FREE - Available to all

Sunday Session: Consists of no sports coach and is more faster paced.

For more information please contact 

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