A new study by outdoors specialist Blacks shows that the City of London has the largest number of gyms nearby, followed by Edinburgh and Manchester.

If you’re an exercise bike addict or dedicated strength trainer, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you live in Greater London, Edinburgh or Greater Manchester. Those are the findings from new research by outdoors retailer Blacks, spelling good news for avid gym-goers who live in or near some of the UK’s major cities.

Its researchers analysed a range of factors including the number of mindfulness retreats, highly-rated spas, gyms, yoga studios, as well as air quality, to reveal the UK’s best wellness locations. Part of that research focused on the UK population’s access to gyms.

Cut-outs of top three destinations for gym-goers
The list is topped by some of the UK’s biggest cities, although there are some notable omissions

Best locations for UK gym-goers

Now, although we’re not so surprised to see Greater London coming out on top where access to gyms is concerned, we expected to see cities like Birmingham or Sheffield on the list. Likewise, we were surprise to find the likes of Oxford, Coventry and Southampton making the top ten. The way Blacks compiled its list was to calculate the number of gyms within five miles of the region’s most populous city.

So although Greater London may not seem a surprise, the number of gyms – some 562 – was only taken within five miles of the City of London. Popular and affordable gyms in the capital include Fitness4Less in Southwark, PureGym in Covent Garden and Ringtone Boxing Gym. Likewise, for East Sussex in fourth, its 161 gyms were totted up within five miles of the county’s most populous city, Brighton.

The Edinburgh council area came in second, with 200 gyms within five miles of the area’s most populous city – Edinburgh. The Scottish capital also has a PureGym site, The Gym Edinburgh and Factory Gyms – all conveniently located and popular with locals.

Greater Manchester came in third. Its most populous city, Manchester, has 169 gyms within five miles of its boundary. Manchester is home to the highly rated Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Gym and the popular The Gym Manchester on Portland Street.

Further findings

  • Greater Manchester is the best UK location for your wellbeing, scoring 9.03 out of 10. Greater Manchester ranked well across most of the factors – it ranked third for the most walking trails per 100 square miles (111), including the Greenfield Waterfall Circular and the Dovestone Reservoir Circular trails, both providing excellent opportunities for birdwatching and idyllic views.
  • Greater London has the highest number of health retreats in the UK. The area has 39 retreats, including the London Day Retreat for Women, offering self-care workshops and meditation sessions, Wildheart Yoga Spring Retreat, and Healthier and Happier Beam Park.
  • Surrey comes in first as the location with the most outdoor walking trails with 130 walking trails per 100 square miles.
  • Berkshire and Hampshire are tied for first place for areas with the highest tree coverage. With an average tree coverage of 21%, these areas offer plenty of access to natural and green spaces.
  • Ranking top as the location with the highest percentage of highly-rated spas is Gloucestershire. The location has 10 spas on Tripadvisor, 90% of which are rated at least four out of five.