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Active Ageing Bristol

Welcome to Active Ageing Bristol – a new initiative engaging, inspiring and enabling people to be active, healthy and happy in later life.

About Active Ageing Bristol

Get involved

Age-Friendly Physical Activity Hub Scheme


Our ambassadors

Our partners

Contact us.

About Active Ageing Bristol

Active Ageing Bristol is a ground breaking project set up to transform attitudes to, and opportunities for, sport and physical activity.

This fully inclusive programme will build on existing provision and develop new opportunities to encourage people aged 55 and over to become and stay active.

Everyone, regardless of their age, background or level of ability, should live actively to their fullest potential.

Keeping as active as possible is good for your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health, as it increases our social networks, helping to reduce the risk of us becoming lonely or isolated. 

Older people walking in an urban landscape

Get involved

To help you get started, we’ve listed below a selection of activities that are already happening across the city:

ActiveAGE Festival

Join us on Sunday 6 October 2019 at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex between 11am to 3pm for a day of free physical activity tasters - offering people aged 50 or older chances to sample a wide choice of ways to improve their health and wellbeing, including come and try sessions of walking sports, Nordic walking, tai chi, chair aerobics and Zumba Gold.

It promises to be great fun and you can have a go at your own pace, as it showcases the array of activities that are available to take up.

Download ActiveAGE Festival flyer.

What will happen on the day?

Friendly and enthusiastic providers and coaches will be hosting walking football, netball, rugby and tennis, Nordic walking, tai chi, chair aerobics and Zumba Gold - try as many as you like. You don’t have to go it alone, so feel free to bring partners and friends along to join the fun.

There will also be information stands allowing participants the chance to have free tests to help them understand and improve their health and the Gloucestershire Football Association will be launching their new over 70s walking football League where you can watch the players in action.

To see what activities are taking place and when, please download the timetable.

What time should I arrive?

Free tasters will run between 11am to 3pm, although you don’t have to be there the whole time. You can drop in anytime.

Who are the activities suitable for?

The free tasters cater to all levels and abilities, whether you’re a complete beginner or just interested in trying something new.

Do I need to book?

There’s no need to book, turn up on the day and take part.

Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If we can’t get you onto one of our free tasters, there’s still plenty to see and do at the festival such as a host of information stands with details about local activity groups across the city and a chance to see what walking sports are all about.

What should I wear?

Something comfortable, warm, and safe – tracksuit/leggings or shorts and trainers will be fine.

How do I get there?

The festival takes place at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex, Coombe Lane, Bristol, BS9 2BJ. Take a look at this map to see where to go when you arrive.

Travelwest is the one-stop website for travel information in the West of England, however you like to travel. Visit this website for information about how to get here by bus. The ‘3’ stops just outside Coombe Dingle and the ‘4’ stops a 5/10-minute walk away.

Free parking is available on-site.

Who is organising the festival?

ActiveAGE Festival for over 50s is being delivered via a partnership between the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, facilitated by Active Ageing Bristol.

The event is part of the Celebrating Age Festival 2019 which opens on Tuesday 1 October - the international day of older people - and runs throughout the month.

Further information

For any enquiries please call 07979 786623 or email Beth Lewis on


Celebrating Age Festival - October 2019

Active Ageing Bristol (AAB) is pleased to be a part of this year's Celebrating Age Festival, in partnership with Age UK Bristol, Bristol Ageing Better, St Monica Trust and LinkAge Network.

The Celebrating Age Festival aims to challenge stereotypes and recognise the contribution of older people in society. Everyone is welcome to take part - healthy and active ageing is important for us all. The festival is a fantastic opportunity to try a new activity, make new friends and share experiences.

This year we are trying something a bit different and will be working with the Festival of Ideas to look at issues related to active ageing, like our panel discussion on Wednesday, 23 October 2019, 6pm to 8pm at Watershed, Room: Waterside 3, 1 Canon's Road, Bristol BS1 5TX. The emphasis is on promoting quality of life and active ageing with a focus on the benefits of keeping active in later life.

A diverse panel of experts will challenge, inform, engage and entertain in equal measure. Chaired by Estella Tincknell, Associate Professor in Film and Culture, UWE and Bristol City Councillor, Lockleaze. Panellists include Christina Gray, Director of Public Health, Bristol City Council, Dr Peter Wilde, Trustee and Care Committee Chair for St Monica Trust and our very own AAB ambassador Dr Alex Rotas, photographer, writer, speaker, amongst others.

As part of the festival, we’re also hosting an ActiveAGE Festival on Sunday, 6 October at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex, 11am to 3pm. On offer a range of free taster sessions including a variety of walking sports and activities such as Tai Chi, Zumba Gold and Nordic Walking.

Throughout the month there will be plenty of taster activities, open days and events for everyone to get involved in, the majority of which are completely free of charge thanks to the amazing partners supporting the festival. See the CAF 2019 programme for details.


Blue Care Guide . A guide to water-based wellbeing for people over 55.

This guide celebrates the great outdoor water-based activities on our doorstep in the West of England - in particular along the River Avon and River Frome to Bristol, around Bristol’s historic harbour and out to the Severn Estuary. From open water swimming to fishing lakes, sailing, rowing, volunteering and walking, we aim to highlight a variety of activities which we hope offer something appealing for everyone. 


Physical Activity Directory for Older People 2019/20 

Find over 200 free or low-cost physical activity and sport sessions that are age friendly, welcoming and inclusive. View a copy of the directory.  

From Thursday, 1 August 2019 get your free copy from GP surgeries, libraries and leisure centres. A limited supply of hard copies is also available by contacting the Well Aware free phone telephone service on 0808 808 5252 Monday to Friday.

This publication is only produced once a year (current edition 2019/20) so if you are interested in any of the activities listed in the current edition, we strongly advise that you contact the provider to ensure that the information listed is up to date. Alternatively, the directory is based on regularly updated listings at

The directory has been produced by Active Ageing Bristol in partnership with The Care Forum and Well Aware with funding from Bristol Ageing Better and Bristol Health Partners.

Walking for Health


Walking Sports

For information on all the walking sport sessions across Greater Bristol, please download our Walking Sports Programme.


Other programmes and activities

You can also find:

Activities and health information at OneYou
Health and wellbeing services at Well Aware

Age-Friendly Physical Activity Hub Scheme

Our Age-Friendly Activity Hub Scheme is a self-assessment framework and checklist to be used by physical activity providers, including leisure operators, community centres and other facility-based providers, to review their provision for older people in Bristol.

The framework and checklist focus on four key areas:

  • place (physical environment and facilities)
  • programme (activities)
  • people (staff and community engagement) and;
  • promotion (communications and marketing).

Providers that meet, or plan to work towards meeting, the checklist criteria can be signed up by Active Ageing Bristol as an ‘Age-Friendly Physical Activity Hub', and will receive a certificate to display in their reception area, information on relevant training, conferences, networking events, and funding opportunities, and inclusion in the Active Ageing Bristol Physical Activity Directory for Older People.

The framework and checklist will be available here in early summer 2019. In the meantime, please get in touch if you would like to register your interest in becoming an ‘Age-Friendly Physical Activity Hub’, or if you would like any further information on the scheme.



By kind permission of © Rich Kenington.

Active Ageing Bristol mounts a day of free physical activity tasters for over 50s September 11, 2019.

NO LIMITS - a photographic celebration of active living July 2, 2019.

Bristol gets more age-friendly thanks to new older people’s physical activity directory July 1, 2019.

Festival 2019 offers record walking choices March 18, 2019.

This city's made for walking: Walking cricket game to launch #BristolWalkFest April 12, 2018. 

Put your best foot forward ... Bristol Walk Fest is back February 8, 2018.

Video: Active Ageing kicks off at British and Irish Cup clash October 23, 2017.

Active Ageing project to kick off at British and Irish Cup clash October 18, 2017 - A project designed to transform attitudes to - and opportunities for - sport and physical activity in over 55s will launch at Bristol Rugby’s British and Irish Cup clash with Doncaster at Ashton Gate on Sunday.

Active Ageing project to give Bristol's older generation a sporting chance October 17, 2017 - Bristol Sport Foundation has teamed up St Monica Trust, The Anchor Society and LinkAge Bristol to launch a new project set up to transform attitudes to - and opportunities for - sport and physical activity in over 55s.


Bristol Walk Fest 2020

Please use the submission form fo notify us of a walk or event that you would like to be included in Bristol Walk Fest 2020. The deadline for walks to be included in the printed programme is 24th February. 

Read the latest report.

Read our infographic. 


Our ambassadors

Our ambassadors support the programme in promoting our work to help encourage and inspire older people to be active, healthy and happy.

Alex Rotas – Photographer

"I’m passionate about encouraging older people to be as active as they possibly can. So many myths about ageing reinforce the view that physical frailty and limitations are inevitable as we get older. They imply that this is a time to wind down and do less and less. From my work photographing elite competitive athletes in their 70s, 80s and 90s, I know that this is far from true.

"We can all do so much more than we think we can as we age (and I speak as a 68-year-old here myself).  When we do, we enjoy the satisfaction of pushing ourselves physically (and mentally) and feeling ourselves grow stronger and safer. And we also inevitably make new friends from people we meet alongside us doing the same.

"Since Active Ageing Bristol encourages all of these things, it’s everything I believe in, packed into the city I live in and love! I’m super-proud to be a part of it."

Read full profile 

Our partners

Active Ageing Bristol is a collaboration between Bristol Sport FoundationThe Anchor Society and St Monica Trust.

Contact us

If you have any questions or need help finding an activity that’s right for you, you can get in touch by calling Karen Lloyd on 0773 433 5878, or via email at

Connect with us on:

We’ll do our best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

People playing walking rugby

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Age-friendly Bristol

An age-friendly city is a city that encourages active ageing by optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance the quality of life as people age - World Health Organisation

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The Partnership

Age-friendly Bristol is a partnership made up of Bristol Ageing Better, Age UK Bristol and Bristol City Council.

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The World Health Organisation have developed a framework for tackling such wide ranging issues in a way which is designed to improve the quality of life of older people – the Age-friendly City network.

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