There are lots of activities, groups and classes in Newcastle that offer fun ways to be more active, get out and about, meet new people and keep fit. Use the Quick links on the right to find information that matches your interests.
You can find out more about the health benefits of taking exercise in our section on Keeping physically active.
Tyneside Badminton Centre run a Keenagers session for the over 50s. The sessions are suitable for all standards of play, from beginner to expert.
You don’t have to move around much to take some kind of exercise. There are exercises that you can do while sitting down, or while standing up and holding on to a chair to help you. Chair-based exercise classes tend to be held in the community, for example in community centres, sheltered housing complexes and churches. Active Newcastle has more information on where classes are held in Newcastle.
Yoga Therapies run chair-based yoga classes.
St. George’s United Reformed Church have a seated gentle exercise class for the over 60s.
Silverline Memories’ Zumba Gold Chair is seated exercise set to lively and energetic music.
St Martin’s Centre Byker run a Fit and Fab exercise class for over 55’s.
Climbing and bouldering is a great way to stay in shape. There are a few places where you can learn to climb or practice your climbing indoors in Newcastle such as
If you have enjoyed competitive sport in the past but now find games like tennis too physically taxing, croquet could be the game for you. There are many health benefits for older players; including gentle physical exercise, intellectual stimulation and warm sociability. It can also be played competitively or purely for pleasure.
Tyneside Croquet Club actively encourages new members. You can go along to try the game out at venues such as the old bowling greens in Exhibition Park and Nuns Moor Park.
You can cycle by yourself or as with others as part of a group. As a group exercise, cycling encourages team building and leadership skills.
For information on cycling groups in Newcastle, visit Active Newcastle. The following organisations may also be of interest;
British Cycling Lets Ride Programme organises traffic-free bike rides through major towns and cities and small local rides which are great for families and beginners.
Newcastle City Council Bikeability are an accredited Bikeability Cycle Training provider and they deliver National Standard cycle training in Newcastle to both children and adults.
Cycling in the City is Newcastle’s campaign to get more people on their bikes and more active. On their website you can find, free guided bike rides, adult cycling training, bike maintenance, and information about where to get a bike.
WATbike organise regular guided bike rides, support and training for all abilities across the North East. They transport bikes and riders to various locations to offer longer bike rides such as Edinburgh and John O’Groats. Guided rides are usually on evenings or weekends. There’s a small charge for transportation and support.
The Breeze Network can help you find a bike to ride, get some basic training and join other women who just want to enjoy a safe, local bike ride. There are opportunities to volunteer to encourage other women to get back on a bike.
Recyke y’bike refurbish and sell bikes at a low cost. They offer training on bike maintenance and bike services for a small fee. You can donate your old bike to be refurbished and sold on to help the charity or learn to fix it yourself in their workshop. It is a community project supporting people to access bikes and training including long-term unemployed people, those who have been homeless, and those with mental health problems.
Sustrans run the Silver Cyclists group with free guided bike rides for over 50’s. They also offer training to help you to use your bike safely. They help people think about and change the travel choices they make and work to create better walking and cycling links, including the National Cycle Network, they’re providing the space to make sure sustainable travel is not just a choice: it’s the most obvious and convenient option.
Sustrans run the Bike Garden in Nuns Moor Park, a new space offering volunteer opportunities & training, weekly Dr Bike sessions for all local residents with led walks and rides.
The Cycle Hub is a cycling cafe and bike shop where you can stop for repairs, maintenance and equipment. They host a range of activities from group rides, cycle classes and refresher training to shows and events.
The International Bike Fitting Institute (IBFI) is an international organisation developing a global standard for the bike fitting industry.
Anyone can enjoy dancing, regardless of age, shape, size, or whether or not you have danced before. Usually, you don’t need any special equipment to be able to dance. You can dance as part of a group, or alone, and in a variety of places. The social side of dancing can reduce isolation and help you to build your confidence and self-esteem. The following organisations may also be of interest;
Active Newcastle for more information on dance sessions in Newcastle.
Age UK Gateshead run several different dance classes across Newcastle.
Chapel House and District Community Association (CHADCA) offer a range of dance classes including Irish and Line.
Dance City has an extensive programme of dance classes for people aged 55+. You can take part in classes, keep fit, learn new skills, watch performances and talk about dance. Classes include:
- Tap Dancing – for intermediate/advanced tappers.
- Cuban Salsa – Learn to salsa the Cuban way including footwork, rhythm/salsa beats and partner work. No partner required.
- Ballet* – New class created for the more mature body. Ballet targets core strength, flexibility, balance and alignment whilst challenging the mind through musicality and sequencing. This class is a wonderful way to stretch, learn, and engage your sense of expression through classical movement in a friendly and positive environment.
- Pilates* – Holistic exercise which elongates, strengthens and restores the bodies balance. This is a core strength class using controlled contractions of the abdominal and lower back muscles.
- Dance for Parkinsons
- Dance for Dementia
Denton Youth and Community Project offer dance sessions for all ages such as line dancing.
East End Pool and Library offer dance sessions for all ages such as line dancing.
Heaton Community Centre offers a range of dance classes including Morris.
Helix Arts run a free weekly dance workshop for anyone over 65. The dance workshops are held at West Denton Community Centre.
The Jenian School of Dancing have a variety of dance classes including ballroom, tango, salsacise and tea dances.
Newcastle Dance Centre has a programme of dance classes for all ages and abilities; whether you are a beginner, an accomplished professional, or just seeking extra enjoyment from dancing.
St. Vincent’s Centre (Blackfriars Centre) Newcastle host tea dances and dance classes including Ceroc.
Walbottle Village Institute runs dance sessions including tango and line.
Westerhope Community Association (The Tute) offer a range of dance classes including Sequence and Line.
Tea Dances take place across Newcastle.
Age UK Gateshead offer a weekly programme of opportunities across the Newcastle where you can look after yourself, get to know new people and stay connected in your community by joining a class. Contact Age UK Newcastle for times, prices and more information. Classes include
- Keep fit
- Tai Chi
- Men’s Keep Fit
West Denton Community Centre have a programme of exercise classes, including, Zumba and Metafit. Contact them for more details.
St Martin’s Centre Byker run a Fit and Fab exercise class for over 55’s.
Denton Burn Community Association offer a programme of exercise classes.
Jesmond Pool offer a programme of exercise classes including Men’s Keep Fit, yoga and swimming.
Denton Burn Community Association offer a programme of exercise classes.
Chapel House and District Community Association (CHADCA) offer a range of exercise classes including Kickboxing.
Heaton Community Centre offers a range of classes including Tai Chi and karate.
Healthworks runs the Staying Steady programme. It is for anyone who is worried about their balance OR is afraid of falling OR has had a fall OR has osteoporosis. It will help to improve your balance to reduce the risk of you falling. Download a self-referral form from the Healthworks website.
Jesmond Pool also run their Standing Taller exercise class for the over 50s. This class might suit you if you’ve attended the Healthworks Staying Steady classes, or if you do other fitness activities and want to maintain your balance, strength and posture. Classes take place on Fridays from 11.30am -12.15pm at Jesmond Pool.
If you have long term medical conditions, or you’ve always thought that exercise wasn’t for you, it can be almost impossible to think of ways you can exercise safely, comfortably and enjoyably.
Healthworks Next Steps – exercise class: This class involves gentle movement to music helping to gradually build up your fitness and your confidence.
Healthworks social prescribing Healthworks can work with you to organise a tailored made exercise programme suitable for you and your medical condition. They start slowly and help you to gradually build up your fitness and your confidence in the exercise equipment. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to or use equipment that you don’t like and you won’t be on your own in a room full of fitness fanatics. To get involved you will need to be referred to the scheme usually by your GP, Practice Nurse, health visitor or Physiotherapist. You can also download a referral form on their website.
Walkerville Community Centre offers gentle exercise classes.
Search Newcastle run a ‘Mature Movers’ gentle exercise class every Thursday from 1.30pm – 2.30pm at Benwell St John Church, Fergusons Lane. The class costs £1.50 per session.
Active Newcastle sometimes hold beginner’s golf sessions at Parklands Golf Course in High Gosforth Park. Check their website for the latest information.
Healthworks have 2 community facilities which you can access at a reduced rate.
Leisure centres are available across Newcastle.
Groundwork run The Green Gym for adults who have an inactive lifestyle, feel lonely, or have mental or physical health problems. You can ‘work out’ in your local community through activities such as litter picking, woodland management and hedge pruning. Training and support is available so you can develop skills and confidence. This helps to make new friends, learn new skills, increase your fitness, to be healthier and happier.
Cani-fit offer hiking and trail running opportunities with your dog including Rising Sun Country Park and Weetslade.
Groundwork offer free Nordic Walking Sessions from Newcastle Quayside, Mondays 10am. The walks will last no longer then 1 hour and are great for getting/keeping fit, losing weight or just enjoying a nice walk with new friends. They supply the poles, just bring yourself and some comfortable walking shoes.
Active Newcastle run nordic walking regularly every two weeks
Pickleball is a new sport to the UK- and played mainly by the over 50s- and is a “cross” between tennis, badminton and table tennis. They use a badminton court and a tennis height net and special paddles – about twice the size and thickness of a table tennis bat – and balls- all of which they provide.
Newcastle Pickleball play every Thursday at Tyneside Badminton Centre. It is a very easy game to pick up and is suitable for all ages including over 50s.
Pilates combines western and eastern philosophies; teaching body awareness and breathing techniques, as well as promoting strength, flexibility, balance and co-ordination.
Active Newcastle for more information on pilates sessions in Newcastle. See their Over 50s section
Body Control Pilates has a network of qualified teachers who work to a strict Code of Practice governing their teaching standards and professional ethics. Visit their website to look for a qualified teacher close to you.
East End Pool and Library offers pilates classes.
Dance City is expanding its programme for older people and offers Pilates classes.
Walbottle Village Institute runs pilates classes.
Jesmond Pool and Gym run a Pilates class for people aged 60 +.
LD Sports Massage provide sorts massage and run regular Pilates classes in numerous locations.
Running is a great way to get your heart rate up and build your bone strength. You can gradually build up your speed, stamina and distance on your own. If you want to collaborate or run with friends why not join the Newcastle Park Run or Good Gym and combine with volunteering.
Swim NE provide adult swimming lessons in various swimming pools in Newcastle.
Tai Chi originates from China and is a form of martial art which gently exercises the body, strengthens muscles, increases flexibility and improves balance. It is a great way of relaxing the mind and body, helping to combat the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Age UK Gateshead run Tai Chi classes in Community Venues in Newcastle.
Search run a weekly Tai Chi group for people aged over 50 on Tuesdays from 11.30am – 12.30pm at Fenham Association of Residents, Acanthus Avenue.
Active Newcastle has more information on tai chi sessions in Newcastle. Tai Chi is held at Community Hall, St Andrew’s Church, Station Road, Benton, NE12 8AW on Mondays at 7pm.
Rookie Sports offers Target Golf. It is suitable for everyone, including older people, people with sensory impairments, and people in wheelchairs. It’s a great way to meet new people and to get some gentle exercise.
Walking is an ideal way to get some fresh air. You can walk by yourself, or you can join others on an organised walk. There are some local organisations that provide support for walking activities, some of which are mentioned below. See our walking and health article.
Active Newcastle has information on organised walking groups in Newcastle.
Linskill Healthy Walks CIC provide organised Health Walks involving the local community to improve their health and fitness levels.
Walking for Health is England’s largest network of health walk schemes. Part of the Ramblers. They aim to help all kinds of people lead a more active lifestyle.
Newcastle City Guides take people on guided tours around landmarks in Newcastle. You can join them on a range of public walking tours from May to September.
Newcastle & District CHA HF Rambling Club has been around since 1902. They organise 3 led walks a week and weekends away.
Newcastle Volunteer Ranger Service provides details of a number of self-led walks on countryside sites in Newcastle. Locations vary from areas of ancient woodland to country parks developed on reclaimed land. Ranger-led walks are also available by request.
Newcastle U3A – University of the Third Age has several walking groups, undertaking coastal strolls, nature walks and rambles. Members walk at a steady pace, giving plenty of time to look around and chat.
Ouseburn Trust have developed several heritage walks around the Ouseburn Valley. They also have a programme of organised walks and talks.
Search Project organises several different walking groups. Their Wednesday walking group meets on the last Wednesday of each month and lasts 2-3 hours. They also run an easy walking group which lasts around 20 minutes. You can download free Heritage walking trails for the West end of Newcastle from their website.
Dog Walking – You can find social dog walking groups via Meetup. They’re a great opportunity to meet new people, get out in the fresh air and find new places to go for a stroll.
Walkerville Community Centre has a walking group.
The Ramblers is an organisation that helps everyone, everywhere in the UK, enjoy walking and protects the places we all love to walk.
walkit.com encourages people to walk more by providing tools, making it clear how long a walk may take, what the benefits are, as well as providing maps and directions.
Walk4Life enables you to create short walks near where you live, to find way-marked miles, or track your progress. It also lists free walking events.
The Walking Works Wonders scheme is a well-established weekly walking programme offering two free walks in Newcastle and eight in South Tyneside, including Nordic walking.
St Cuthbert’s 3 Church trail Northumberland
Take ten minutes meditation walks in Castle Farm (opposite the Freeman Hospital in High Heaton), Hodgkin Park in Benwell, City Stadium in Shieldfield, Iris Brickfield Park in Heaton and Tyne Riverside Park in Newburn.
The Hidden Gardens of Craster open as part of National gardens scheme
Blue Flames Sporting Club run weekly Walking Football sessions for over 50’s who enjoy football but perhaps haven’t played for some years. Sessions cost £3 and take place on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Active Newcastle run regular walking football sessions in Newcastle East and West. For further information, contact Matty or Noel at the Active Health team or search our Events section for Walking Football.
Yoga originated in India and combines exercise with posture, breathing and relaxation techniques. There are many different types of yoga.
Active Newcastle has information on yoga sessions in Newcastle
British Wheel of Yoga is a registered charity and is the governing body for yoga in Great Britain. They have a nationwide network of qualified teachers and can help you to find a class in your local area. They promote yoga classes to the general public.
Healthworks Core Fusion – exercise class. A mix of Yoga, Pilates & callanetic moves that concentrate on working the core muscles, build stamina, strengthen, lengthen and stretch the body. You get out what you put in to the exercises and everyone works to their own level. It’s suitable for any level of fitness and any age group.
Healthworks Stretch and Relaxation at The Lemington Centre. This class blends Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi moves to stretch the muscles, work the spine, lubricate the joints, and strengthen the core, finished by guided relaxation to set you up for the day. A wonderful way to exercise and de-stress. Suitable for any level of fitness and any age group.
Walbottle Village Institute runs yoga classes.
Yoga Therapies offers lunchtime sessions of Yoga in the community where you can leave a donation for the class which will be used to support local causes.
Many Community Centres and local leisure centres offer Zumba classes including
Last updated: July 22, 2021