Explore the outdoors

Student life

Enjoy nature, adventure and the great outdoors? You've come to the right place. Take a well-earned break from our bustling city centre campus and explore Lancashire's rolling hills and green spaces.

Run and bike

Enjoy running or cycling? Why not blow away the cobwebs and explore Preston's 21 miles of Guild Wheel paths through parks and woodlands. Just 12 minute's walk from our Preston campus.  For a more challenging trail head to the Forest of Bowland or Trough of Bowland to enjoy wide open spaces and breathtaking views.

Don't own a bike? Hire one from our bike hub or one of Preston's Bike and Go stations.

Explore cycling routes

Preston parks

If you're looking for a relaxed escape, Preston's parks are perfect no matter the season. Avenham Park is particularly popular with our students. This peaceful and calming environment is ideal for picnics and quiet contemplation. Stop by the Japanese gardens, or follow the River Ribble to the Continental for food and a live band. 

Discover more green spaces

Take a guided tour around Preston's parks

Nature lovers

Nature lovers will enjoy our wildlife reserves, among those on our doorstep are Brockholes and the Ribble Estuary. These reserves offer unique opportunities to watch wildlife and reconnect with nature.

Explore nature reserves

Pack a picnic

Take a short drive with friends to Beacon Fell and hike one of its many marked easy trails. Gaze at the spectacular 360 views of the Forest of Bowland and Morecambe Bay and beyond. You'll not want to leave so pack a picnic, the fresh air is sure to set you up for a productive week. 

Leisurely rambles

Students' Union clubs and societies

Getting involved in one of the many Students' Union's clubs and societies is a great way to make friends and have fun

Students' Union Sports clubs

Blackpool seaside

For less than £10 by train you can enjoy a fun day trip to Blackpool. In the summer, head to the beach to swim or build sandcastles. Between September and January grab some popcorn and stroll by world-famous Illuminations. Feeling brave? The 'Big One' roller coaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach offers all-year fun, and a bucket list must. 

Visit Blackpool

Singing tree Burnley

Headed to our Burnley Campus? Enjoy a unique and unforgettable experience at the Singing Tree Burnley.  This stunning art installation in the heart of Lancashire combines nature with technology. Tiny, motion-sensitive microphones pick up the sounds of the forest turning them into beautiful music. 

More things to do in Burnley

Big hike days in the Lake District National Park

Studying at our Westlakes Campus? Experience the stunning beauty of the Lake District National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is right on our doorstep. Have it all, and study in England's ultimate adventure playground. 

Visit the Lake District

Tight on time?

Keep active on Campus
  • Sports arena

    Our sports arena is Preston’s premier multi-sports venue. We cater for a wide range of outdoor sports such as football, rugby, athletics, hockey, tennis, netball, cycling and rounders.

  • Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre

    The Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre is our multi-million pound, state-of-the-art indoor facility located at the heart of our Preston Campus.

  • Sport and physical activity

    Whether you're a complete beginner, an elite performer, studying sport or just want to make the most of your gym membership, we have something for everyone at The University of Central Lancashire.