Where to play sport in London this winter

By Get Active in partnership with Playfinder

It’s that time of year again. The clocks have gone back and the days are becoming increasingly shorter in the lead up to Christmas. It can sometimes be difficult to find the motivation to keep fit throughout the cold and dark winter months, especially without the knowledge of where your local sports venues are! So we’ve joined forces with Playfinder, who have drawn up a list detailing a range of venues where you can play sport in London during the coming months. 

Football 

Powerleague offer numerous pitches throughout the city, including venues in Vauxhall, Nine Elms (a stunning rooftop pitch in Battersea) and hip urban pitches in Shoreditch directly opposite Shoreditch High Street train station.

One of London’s coolest pitches, the Calthorpe Project located in Camden offers a 5-a-side pitch with a wall mural you definitely need to check out! If you’re looking to play a game of footy in the Royal Borough, then Chelsea Sports Centre in Kensington will perfectly suit you. Situated next to St. Luke’s Church, it’s definitely a venue not be missed. Other classy floodlit football pitches in London can be found at Finsbury Leisure Centre and Three Corners Adventure Playground in Islington.

Calthorpe Project football pitch. Image from Playfinder

Battersea Park Millennium Arena. Image from Playfinder.

Athletics 

If you’re looking to become the next star of the heptathlon or simply want to keep fit on the track, then New River Sport and Fitness in Wood Green boasts some of the best sporting facilities in the whole of London. Catering for many different events, its state-of-the-art floodlit athletics track certainly provides the motivation to keep running.

If you’re looking to keep fit in Battersea, then it doesn’t get much easier or better than the Battersea Park Millennium Arena. Well floodlit, a superb 400m running track and open until 22:00 during the week, what’s not to like? Neither located near you? Check out Oaklands School in Hounslow or Paddington Recreation Ground in Maida Vale which both represent perfectly viable alternatives for some athletics #UnderTheLights in the comings months.

Badminton 

The Dome located in Camden, is a hive of activity all-year round due to its quirky and modern appearance. An inflatable floodlit indoor arena particularly perfect for the winter months. The Harris Academy St. Johns Wood represents a perfect venue to play badminton in north-London. The academy – open for public use outside of school hours – contains a brilliantly kept indoor sports hall with clear markings.

Finsbury Leisure Centre, situated close to Old Street tube station, is the ideal setting for a game of badminton with mates either before, during, or after work. Opening at 06:30 and not turning its lights off until 22:00 during the week, you pick and choose when you want to play! To round off the excellent choices, Somers Town Community Sports Centre is a superb multi-sports centre with badminton one of the many options. Located a few minutes walk from St. Pancras Station, easily book the court online then get playing! 

The Dome, Camden. Image from Playfinder.

The Globe Academy. Image from Playfinder.

Basketball 

The Globe Academy in south-east London – Elephant & Castle to be precise – boasts a well lit indoor sports hall perfect for a game of b-ball with mates.

Looking to play basketball in Battersea? Look no further than the Battersea Sports Centre, a stunning venue open from 07:00 to 22:00 during the week, allowing you ample time to practice your slam dunks. If you’re a north-London resident but not sure where to play, you’re in luck. Kilburn Grange plays host to an outdoor court with great lighting, allowing you to play well into the evening.

Cricket

Given the nature of the sport and the English weather, this is one sport that you’ll be forced to play indoors, but not to worry! There are a number of excellent indoor cricket nets in London to keep your game in order throughout the winter.

Somers Town Community Sports Centre in Camden is late well into the evening 7 days a week for you to take advantage of. Ark All Saints Academy – fittingly situated just down the road from Surrey and England’s cricket ground The Oval – boasts some of the best indoor cricket nets in London. Further nets in London can be found in either the Walworth Academy and Putney Academy, both containing quality cricket nets within their sports halls.

Somers Town Community Sports Centre. Image from Playfinder.

Somers Town Community Sports Centre. Image from Playfinder.

Hockey

If you’re looking to play some hockey throughout the winter, be sure to check out Mile End Park Leisure Centre. Located in the pleasant setting of Mile End Park, the faultless astroturf hockey pitch is truly one of the best in London.

The Crystal Palace National Sports Centre has a reputation for sporting excellence, and it’s not difficult to see why. The astroturf hockey pitch is available to hire until 21:30 Monday-Friday, so represents the perfect opportunity for a post-work match for those in close proximity to Penge. The Eric Liddell Sports Centre in Mottingham, south-east London and the Chobham Academy in Stratford both offer splendid hockey pitches as alternatives that are well suited to a game #UnderTheLights.

Netball

If you’re just one of those that has been inspired by this years’ Netball World Cup and are looking for a venue in central London, then the Marlborough Sports Garden in Borough will not disappoint –  a well floodlit court overlooked by The Shard emits a real urban outlook to your game.

Will to Win Hyde Park offers another picturesque setting for a game of netball, with a floodlit astroturf court in the middle of the Royal Park available to hire, be sure to check it out! Netbusters always provide quality netball courts for your enjoyment, with venues in Camden and Brixton that are just waiting to be played on throughout the winter! If you’re a north-London resident, be sure to #PlayUnderTheLights at Highbury Fields in Islington, a court which can easily be hired through the online bookings calendar.

Marlborough Sports Garden. Image from Playfinder.

Rosslyn Park Rugby Club. Image from Playfinder.

Rugby

Rosslyn Park Rugby Club in Roehampton has some of the best facilities in the whole of London with a full-size 3G astroturf pitch that will be kept in great condition throughout the winter.

New River Sport and Fitness based in Wood Green offers the best of both. A superb 3G astroturf pitch as well as a full-size grass pitch, the choice is yours, but may well be decided by the weather! Looking to play a game of tag rugby in the heart of London? The Warren Sports Pitch is a 5-a-side 3G astroturf pitch in Fitzrovia that serves as the perfect setting for a game of tag after work.

Tennis

Popular all-year round, Islington Tennis Centre offers state-of-the-art tennis facilities, with a faultless outdoor court as well as a stunning indoor court for when the elements become too harsh to handle! Looking for a tennis court in central London?

The Colombo Centre situated in Southwark is perfect for a post-work knock about with some friends this winter. If you’re a resident near Regents Park, you should know about the Will to Win centre located at the south side of the park, just next to Regents University London! Other great floodlit venues include John Orwell Sports Centre in Wapping as well as Haggerston Park in Hackney

Colombo Centre. Image from Playfinder.