Oxford has a proud sporting history. Oxford University alumni have won 160 Olympic medals to date, and include the first person to win gold in both summer and winter Olympics (boxing and bobsleigh respectively!). In addition, the first ever rugby club was founded here and the 4 minute mile barrier was broken at the Iffley Road athletics track.
Here we present a list of places to sport, and groups to join, whether you're aiming for that 161st medal, or just want a quick game of tennis at the weekend. (If you're looking for a nice spot for an outdoors kickabout, or somewhere to throw a frisbee, try our Parks and Open Spaces page.)
These facilities, often council-owned and run by Fusion Leisure, usually charge per activity, with no membership fees.
Oxford City Area
South Oxfordshire District
Vale of White Horse District
West Oxfordshire District
Plus Didcot Wave, all outlying satellite towns
These facilities tend to charge a membership fee. In some cases classes are available to members and non-members but at different prices.
Digme Fitness Oxford is a boutique facility in the city centre, with spin and HIIT classes. The 36-bike indoor cycling studio features a sophisticated data system on two HD TV screens.
Cantay House, Park End Street (enter from Park End Place), Oxford, OX1 1JD. Map. Tel: 01865 920507.
Hotel gym, but membership also available to the public. Gym, pool, squash courts and sauna. The pool is more a splash pool than a swimming pool owing to its size and kidney-shape, but excellent for small people, and a nice temperature. Offers a "Get Speedo Fit" swimming programme.
Godstow Road, Oxford OX2 8AL. Map. Tel: 01865 489901. Email: email@example.com
Mon - Thu, 6.30am - 10pm; Fri, 6.30am - 8pm; Sat & Sun, 7am - 8pm.
Centrally-located and ideal for quick lunchtime (or midnight) visits . All the usual amenities, plus free wifi and over 50 weekly exercise classes. No-contract memberships available. Formerly LA Fitness.
16 & 17 St Ebbe's Street, Oxford OX1 1PT. Map. Tel: +44 845 8355874
Open 24/7 daily.
Larger cousin of the central location. Also open day and night.
Templars Shopping Park, Cowley Oxford OX4 3JP. Map. Tel: +44 8458355868
Open 24/7 daily.
Smallish, central gym within touching distance of the train station. Exercise rooms, classes, cafe and cheap memberships. Beauty treatments also available.
Oxford Lifestyle Centre, Oxpens Road, Oxford OX1 1SA. Map. Tel: 01865 551 521. For beauty treatments, tel: 01865 551895 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon - Fri, 6.30am - 10pm; Sat & Sun, 9am - 6pm.
Hair and beauty: Mon, 9am - 3pm; Tue & Thu, 9.30am - 8pm; Wed, 9am - 8pm; Fri & Sat, 9am - 4.30pm.
Not for the faint hearted: Oxford's centre for boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, TaeKwonDo and self-defence. Offers a free trial for any martial art. Membership and one-off options. Also includes sauna and spa.
21 Templar’s Square, Oxford OX4 3XQ. Map. Tel: 01865 711 333. Email: email@example.com
Mon - Fri, 6.30am - 10pm; Sat & Sun, 9am - 10pm.
Onsite gym of the University social club. You must be a member of the club to join, but membership for students and staff is free (also available to alumni, for a fee). Includes all-weather pitch, treatment room and exercise classes.
11 Mansfield Road , Oxford OX1 3SZ. Map. Tel: 01865 271044.
Mon - Fri, 7am - 11pm; Sat & Sun, 7am - 10pm.
The site of one of the 20th century's greatest sporting achievements - Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile. Memberships available to students, staff, alumni, partners, spouses and members of the public (see website for rates). Featuring two gyms, athletics track with spectator seating, 8-lane, 25m swimming pool, indoor rowing tank, racket courts, dojo, football & hockey pitches, cafe and free members parking. Facilities may be very heavily booked during university term time.
Oxford University Sport, Iffley Road, Oxford OX4 1EQ. Map. Tel: 01865 240 476.
Mon - Fri, 6am - 10.30pm; Sat, 7am - 7pm; Sun, 8.30am - 7.30pm.
Gym, multi-lane swimming pool, sauna, steam room and classes, plus free parking, located just north of the Oxford ring road. Membership and pay-as-you-go options.
Spirit Health Club, Holiday Inn Oxford, Peartree Roundabout, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 8JD. Map. Tel: 01865 888444. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon - Fri, 6.30am - 10pm; Sat & Sun, 7am - 9pm.
Elite strength and conditioning gym run by former athletes (and a soldier, gulp). Specialises in CrossFit, and offers tailored training programmes for individual athletes preparing for competitions.
Osney Mead House, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0FA. Map. Tel: 01865 249999. Email: email@example.com
Mon - Thu, 6am - 9pm; Fri, 6am - 8pm; Sat, 8am - 4pm; Sun; 10am - 2pm.
Cushy hotel gym. Guests enjoy complimentary access; memberships available to the public. Gym, 12.3 x 7.6m heated pool, sauna & steam room, spa. Reviewed here by Daily Info (in 2001!). Also see Jerome's at Oxford Thames Four Pillars in Sandford-on-Thames, just south of Oxford.
Oxford Spires Hotel, Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4PS. Map. Tel: 01865 324672.
Mon - Fri, 6.30am - 9.30pm; Sat & Sun, 7am - 9.30pm.
Beauty Suite: Wed & Fri, 12pm - 7pm; Thu, 10am - 6pm; Sat; 9am - 5pm; Sun, 10am - 4pm.
For an interactive map of all of Oxford's Pokémon Go gyms, click here.
You can find tennis courts at a number of members gyms, including the Oxford Brookes Sports Centre, Oxford University Sports Centre and Nuffield Health, but the City Council also provides excellent facilities. You can book courts by the hour at any of six locations online through their lovely website. All offer hard courts, and there are 12 grass courts available at Alexandra Park over the summer as well. Equipment can be hired out at parks where there is a kiosk. For more info, visit the website or call: 0845 475 1147
6 hard courts and 12 summer-only grass courts located off Woodstock road in Summertown. Outdoor basketball court and kids' play area next door. Also home to a venerable members club, Norham Gardens LTC.
Alexandra Park, Middle Way, Oxford OX2 7LP. Map.
4 hard courts in the heart of Headington, but with views of a large country manor you might as well be in Surrey.
Bury Knowle Park, London Road, Oxford OX3 9JJ. Map.
2 hard courts which can be booked completely free. On-site community centre and cafe too.
Botley Park, Botley Road, Oxford OX2 0BT. Map.
4 hard courts in Oxfordshire's most popular park. Great to unwind after a nerve-shredding ride on the miniature railway.
Cutteslowe Park, Oxford OX2 7XD. Map.
5 hard courts available by the Rymers Lane entrance of this lovely Cowley Park. Free parking.
Florence Park, Rymers Lane, Oxford OX4 3JZ. Map.
4 hard courts off the Abingdon Road, by Hinksey outdoor swimming pool.
Hinksey Park, Abingdon Road, Cumnor, Oxford OX1 4RP. Map.
The Council courts are perfect for the occasional tennis dabbler or underarm server. More serious players might want to join a club. Beyond all the obvious benefits, you might even get the chance to enter a ballot for Wimbledon tickets. Below are the Oxford clubs that we know of.
North Oxford club sharing the facilities at Alexandra Courts (most importantly, its ramshackle ice cream stand) with the Council. 6 hard and 8 grass courts are available to members, and membership prices are very reasonable.
Norham gardens LTC, Alexandra Park, Middle Way, Oxford OX2 7LP. Map.
Oxfordshire’s biggest tennis club, located just north of the Oxford ring road. Apparently Tim Henman unveiled their clubhouse when it opened some years back. Boasts 10 grass and 9 floodlit hard courts, along with a full roster of competitions, training sessions and social events. They also have a clubhouse with showers, kitchen, free wifi and a bar. Have a look at their website for membership details.
North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club, 546 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 8EQ. Map.
East Oxford’s only tennis club, located on the courts at the Oxford Spires Academy. There are 4 hard courts (3 floodlit) and 6 grass courts for use in the summer. Coaching, club nights and competitive tennis are all available. Check their website for membership details (nb – they recommend not joining if you are an absolute beginner).
Oxford City Tennis Club, Oxford Spires Academy, Glanville Rd, Oxford OX4 2AU. Map. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like tennis? Love pastoral idylls? This might be the club for you. Technically in Oxford, actually at the end of a country lane in pretty North Hinksey. 8 floodlit full-size courts and 4 mini courts for kids. The club house has a kitchen, tv and chill-out area. Club nights, coaching and competitions too. Check their website for membership prices.
Oxford Sports Lawn Tennis Club, North Hinksey Village, Oxford OX2 0NA. Map. Tel: 01865 848 658. Email: email@example.com or use their online contact form.
It doesn’t get much better than this: summer grass court tennis in lovely, tranquil University Parks. There are 8 grass courts, open only during the summer season (April – September) and only available to Association members. Although the courts are owned by Oxford University, memberships are available to the public too. Check their website for pricing and application forms.
The Parks Tennis Association, University Parks, Oxford. Map.
For such a small city, Oxford seems to have really quite a lot of golf courses. In addition to the three clubs listed below, there’s a 9-hole course at the Oxford Brookes Botley Sports Centre and 9 more holes at St Edward’s School in Summertown. Best of all, we have a dedicated 18 hole footgolf course (at the Hinksey Heights club). Footgolf is a modified (and to our untrained eyes, funner-sounding) version of golf played with a size-5 football. Look, here’s a video of the Man Utd team playing a sponsored round of footgolf for a Swiss bank.
(nb – while we are fully supportive of footgolf it doesn’t quite live up to this wondrous badminton-football mashup).
Styles itself as a more progressive, slightly cheaper option than its competitors. Also has by far the best views over Oxford’s skyline and a dedicated footgolf course.
Hinksey Heights Golf Club, South Hinksey, Oxford OX1 5AB. Map. Tel: 01865 327775. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big, posh-looking club near Oxford Parkway train station. They even have a golf simulator! Check the website for varied membership deals.
North Oxford Golf Club, Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 8EZ. Map. Tel: 01865 554924. Email: email@example.com
Very swish 18-hole course, taking up an enormous chunk of East Oxford. Possibly the best choice for devoted players. Variety of membership options available: check their website for details.
Hill Top Road, Oxford OX4 1PF. Map. Tel: 01865 242158. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are plenty of yoga options in Oxford. Have a look here for a list of classes.
Perhaps not the most preposessing building in the world, the games hall nevertheless houses badminton, capoeira, basketball, gymnastics, and can be hired by teams. Apparently floodlit pitches are available, though we're not sure where they're hidden! Wifi access available. Situated behind Tesco on the Cowley Road.
5 Collins St, Oxford OX4 1XS. Map. Tel: 07786 266146 (ask for Clive).
Call to ask for opening hours.
General skating sessions, dance training, ice disco, private party hire. Also home to Oxford's very own ice hockey team, the Oxford City Stars. Read Daily Info's review of the Ice Rink here.
Oxpens Road, Oxford OX1 1RX. Map. Tel: 01865 305010.
Opening times vary. See website for live timetable.
An interactive map with all the suggestions listed above can be found here, or by clicking on the image below.
Oxford Sports Clubs
Oxford Roller Derby
Roller Derby is a fast and furious contact sport on roller skates. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a Dodgem car then this is definitely the sport for you. Our handy guide tells you all you need to know.
Oxford Isis Korfball Club
Korfball is a mixed team sport from the Netherlands that has similarities to netball, basketball and handball. No experience required, just enthusiasm and a pair of trainers! Training is on Monday nights. The club has two teams in local leagues. Visit www.oxfordisis.co.uk for more information, or email email@example.com.
Oxford Saints American Football Club
Founded in 1983, this is one of the UK's oldest American football clubs. They're on Facebook and Twitter too. Practices take place at Abingdon Rugby Club, Lambrick Way, Abingdon, OX14 5TJ (map). See their website for details.
Oxford Fencing Club
Offering taster sessions and beginners courses to novices as well as regular club nights, so you can get involved whether or not you know your parry from your plastron. Training currently takes place in the sports hall at Rye St Antony School (map) twice weekly. Check their website for membership prices and other info. There's even a for sale section if you aren't fully stocked with all the gear.
Tel: 07448 694552 (leave a message), or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oxford Sailing Club
...offers all year windsurfing, dinghy and cat. sailing on the 380 acre Farmoor Reservoir, within easy reach of Oxford and the surrounding areas. Check their website for membership prices or call 01865 863201 (usually answerphone).
Oxford Sailing Club, Cumnor Road, Oxford OX2 9NS. Map.
Isis Canoe Club
Small, growing club welcoming both beginners & experienced paddlers.
Falcon Rowing, Canoeing & Kayaking Club
The oldest surviving boat club in the city of Oxford, founded in 1869. Based near Donnington Bridge. See website for all info.
Oxford City Stars Ice Hockey Club
Lively website with everything about Oxford skating (match dates and results, gallery, forum, how to get involved, etc.). New players always welcome.
Hanney Cricket Club
'A friendly club which firmly believes that it is not the winning or losing but the drinking in the pub afterwards that is really important'. Village club with two teams playing in the OCA league. Always on the lookout for umpires and players of any standard.
Kidlington Cricket Club
See website for all info.
Mixed softball club. Softball is a kinder, softer version of baseball with a bigger ball and underarm pitching. New players of all abilities welcomed.
The Triathlon Club of the city of Oxford. Founded in 1988, Oxford Tri offers numerous coached training sessions and use of facilities to its members. Open to all levels. For more details see website or email the club.
...And some Oxford Community Activities
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
01865 775476. Vacancies in many aspects of volunteer conservation.
01865 252900. The bit of the City Council which promotes enjoyment of Oxford's natural environment and looks after the city's big open spaces (Shotover Park, Port Meadow, etc.).
Oxfordshire Community & Voluntary Action
01865 251946. 'The main umbrella body for the Oxfordshire voluntary and community sector. We provide advice, information and training, act as advocates and representatives, and build partnerships
Oxford Conservation Volunteers
A local group carrying out nature conservation work in the Oxford area every Sunday.
Offering girls in the county the opportunity to build confidence, learn new skills and make friends for life in a unique, girls-only space.
Daily Info's own page of willing helpers, volunteer opportunities and useful links. If you have an unpaid post or time to spare you can fill it here.
Oxford University Sports Federation: a 'representative body for Oxford University sportsmen and women' (University members only).
Oxfordshire Sports Partnership: 'your window to Oxfordshire Sport'. All sorts of helpful and motivating info.
Want to find out about skateboarding in Oxford? Click here.
Oxford Rowing - Our guide to the biggest rowing events in Oxford.