Active places in England

In this month’s blog, we’ve taken a look at the location and spread of ‘Active Places’ in England. Here’s the different types and total number of facilities that we’re looking at throughout the country.

  • Athletics Tracks
    396
  • Ski Slopes
    160
  • Ice Rinks
    49
  • Golf
    3,139
  • Sports Hall
    13,289
  • Swimming Pool
    5,943
  • Grass Pitches
    42,725
  • Squash Courts
    2,387
  • Indoor Bowls
    373
  • Health & Fitness Suite
    8,777
  • Studio
    6,775
  • Synthetic Turf Pitch
    4,119
  • Tennis Courts
    3,716
  • Indoor Tennis Centre
    379
  •  Total Active Places
     92,227

The first image shows just how many sports facilities there are in England and their spread. You’ll notice the incredible number of green icons (grass pitches) highlighting the popularity of sports such as football and rugby; it also shows the great level of accessibility for people looking to play these sports.

A map showing the location of sports facilities in England.

For the next image, we’ve hidden the grass pitches to help us visualise the locations of the other sports facilities. Now we can see more of the sports halls and health and fitness suites as well as some of the less prominent venues such as swimming pools and golf courses.

A map showing the locations of non-grass sports facilities in England.

Let's take a closer look

We’ve now taken a closer look at Peterborough, Hull and Blackpool. This allows us to get a better understanding of the breakdown of active facilities within cities, however, keep in mind that some facilities may be located on top of each other as they're within the same building.

Again, you'll notice just how many football pitches (grass and synthetic) there are, as well as gyms and sports halls. It’s then interesting to see how swimming pools are spread across a city with most areas having access to at least one pool. You can then see some of the less prominent sports facilities such as tennis courts, indoor bowls and the occasional ice rink. Lastly, as we start to move away from the city centres and heavily urbanised parts of the cities, you will start to notice more dark green icons appear which represent golf courses.  

A map showing the location of sports facilities in Peterborough.

A map showing the location of sports facilities in Hull.

A map showing the location of sports facilities in Blackpool.

We've found this dataset really interesting, as well as the locations of each sports or active facility; it also provides additional information for most sites. This data includes things such as for grass pitches, the number of pitches and whether they are floodlit, and for golf courses, the number of holes and length, etc.  For more information or if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.