No gyms, no problem: how to stay fit in Newcastle during lockdown

Lockdown got you down? Missing the gym like you'd never believe? Here are some great tips on how to stay active during these dire times

Emily Oakshott
16th November 2020
Image: The Courier
While you may view your regular trip to the gym as essential to both your mental and physical well-being, sadly the new lockdown restrictions across England require all gyms and leisure centres to close for four weeks.

But never fear, although gym doors may have closed on Thursday, there are still lots of opportunities to stay fit, healthy and motivated in and around Newcastle during lockdown.


Newcastle (in my slightly biased opinion) is one of the best cities in the UK to be a runner.

Ideally nestled between the rugged hills of the North Pennines and the wild and windy Northumberland Coastline, you simply can't run out of new and exciting places to explore.

In the city, Jesmond Dene, Town Moor and the Quayside boast some scenic routes for easy running. For sessions, City Stadium's gravel track is perfect when you want to pick up the pace.

A little further afield - although easily accessible by bike, metro or car - is Tynemouth, a quirky coastal town with a long beach and coastal footpath ideally suited for a relaxing afternoon run, and who knows, you may even spot one of the Tynemouth locals - a friendly Grey Seal.

If you are a keen hill runner (or just missing the stair climber in the gym), then Northumberland is the place to be. Steel Rig car park offers easy access to the well-signposted Hadrian's wall footpath and the beautiful town of Allendale is a great place to start a hilly exploration of the wild and windy North Pennines.


Missing your weekly spin class? Never fear, there are some great cycling routes in and around Newcastle.

If you are new to cycling, or just fancy a relaxing spin around the city, head to Town Moor, Exhibition Park or Jesmond Dene. These parks boast many miles of well-marked, traffic-free cycle routes that are a perfect alternative to the gym.

If you are keen to explore a little further, take a look at the following cycle routes in and around Newcastle.

Although the global pandemic has temporarily put a stop to long-distance cycle touring, all of these routes can be easily adapted for shorter day rides.

Hadrian's cycleway

Broadly following Hadrian's wall, this 174-mile cycle route stretches from near Carlisle to Tynemouth. Not got time for the entire route? Simply hop on the well-marked cycle path and cruise from Newcastle to the beach in less than an hour.

Coast and castles

Stretching between Newcastle and Edinburgh, this cycle route follows the breath-taking Northumberland coastline and takes in many attractions including the impressive Bamburgh castle and Lindisfarne Islands.

Mountain biking Kielder

Kielder forest is home to some of England's best mountain biking trails. Marked according to ability, these trails are fun and well maintained. Alternatively, there is a 27-mile cycle path around Kielder Water and many shorter-distance routes are also available.

Sandstone way

This mountain bike route stretches 120-miles from Berwick Upon Tweed to Hexham and is suitable for all abilities.

Workout at home

With gyms closed and many fitness classes put on hold, it would be easy to neglect your busy workout schedule. But never fear, there are many online opportunities to get your body moving.

Hotpod Yoga

While the studio is temporarily closed, Newcastle's Hotpod Yoga is streaming 45-minute yoga classes online for you to do at home.

Dance City

From ballet to belly dance, Newcastle's Dance City is offering a wide range of dance and movement classes via Zoom.

Runner's world at home workout

Every Wednesday at 12pm, Runner's World host a live 40-minute workout on their instagram. So grab a water-bottle and be prepared to get very sweaty.

Global Cycling Network Youtube

If you are lucky enough to have a stationary bike or rollers at home, take a look at Global Cycling Network's youtube channel and take part in one of their intense spin classes.

Disclaimer: due to the current COVID climate, long-distanced unnecessary travelling is highly unadvised. Perhaps refrain from any out-of-Newcastle journeys until these measures are relaxed.

Featured Image: Twitter @CarltonReid
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  1. While this is a good round-up of things to do in the area, it's seriously irresponsible to be suggesting a round trip of more than 100 miles to Kielder or 130 miles to Berwick at a time when we are meant to be avoiding all unnecessary travel. As your article shows, there is much that people can do without leaving the city and without creating unnecessary risk of transmission between areas.

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