10 unusual activities that you can take part in at Edinburgh Leisure

Edinburgh Leisure | Thursday 27th April 2023 9:26am

Wherever you’re at on the map or in life, Edinburgh Leisure is right up your street. With 50+ venues across the city, which includes 1 world-class climbing centre; 6 golf courses; 12 superb swimming pools, including 5 Victorian ones; 17 state-of-the-art gyms; 32 tennis courts; 141 sports pitches; and 750+ fitness classes per week, we like to think of ourselves at the biggest club in town.

As we launch our May membership campaign, here are 10 of the more unusual activities you can take part in at Edinburgh Leisure. Some of the activities will be included as part of your membership, others such as Clip ‘n Climb and Aquadash are available as pay-as-you-go.

1)     Pickleball

Don’t get yourself in a pickle!  Invented in the USA over 50 years ago by a family who named it after their dog Pickles, Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the world.  Played on a court very similar to badminton but with a lower net, it is played with a ball and a paddle, and uses racket skills from tennis, squash, badminton and table tennis. The rules and scoring system mean that pickleball is very accessible for the young and not so young, making it a family activity for everyone to enjoy. 

Pickleball is available at the new Meadowbank Sports Centre and Gracemount Leisure Centre. Book your place online or via the App under 'Social Sport Class" 

2)     Volunteering

Have time on your hands? Perhaps, you could consider volunteering for Edinburgh Leisure? At Edinburgh Leisure, our wonderful volunteers play a vital role in supporting people in our Active Communities programme. They make an enormous difference to people’s lives and, quite simply, many of our projects couldn’t exist without them. 

No matter which role you undertake as a volunteer, training and support will be provided.

While you support us to help our participants get and stay active, we will support you to get the most out of your time with us, empowering you to make your volunteering experience what you want it to be. 

Get an overview of our different programmes, and register your interest in any that suit you. A member of that team will get in contact with you with more information and explain the next steps.

3)     Aquadash

Dare you do the dash? Suitable for all fitness levels, it is the ideal activity for all the family to enjoy. Participants can slide, climb, and bounce their way through thrilling challenges, beating each one and racing friends and family to victory. There’s a bonkers bridge, slippery slide, wacky wiggle discs and an adventurous action tower to name a few.

Aquadash is available at the Royal Commonwealth Pool or Aquadash Adventure is at Ainslie Park Leisure Centre.

4)     Hydrospin

Most people are familiar with Aquafit, but Hydrospin takes working out in water to a whole new level. If you've tried spinning, then try cycling underwater for an hour to get a whole new perspective on a workout.

Hydrospin is a water-based fitness class combining the dynamism of indoor studio cycling with the benefits of water-based exercise.

You'll leave the session feeling invigorated and energised, having had a total body workout!   Available at the Royal Commonwealth Pool only.


5)     Adult swim and dive coaching

Hone your skills in the water with Edinburgh Leisure’s 1-2-1 swim and dive lessons. 

Whether you are looking to build confidence in the pool or perfect your technique our enthusiastic team will help guide, support and encourage you to achieve your goals - fast. Our lessons are open to all ages and abilities, although the swim 1-2-1 session times are more suitable for adults.  

Prices are £22 for a 25-minute session or £44 for 50 minutes.  Bookings can be made up to a week in advance (or 8 days in advance if you have a membership card).


6)     Squash

Grab your racquet and step on court at venues across Edinburgh. Available at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre and the new Meadowbank Sports Centre.

And if squash isn’t your bag, then there’s always tennis, badminton, Pickleball or table tennis.

We run a series of Adult social sport classes across our venues. These are regular social and fun classes designed for all ages and abilities. 

Badminton - Instructor led adult social classes available at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre, Gracemount Leisure Centre, Meadowbank Sports Centre and Wester Hailes High School.  More information on these sessions can be found here

Pickleball - Gracemount Leisure Centre and Meadowbank Sports Centre. Book your place in the class online or via the App under 'Social Sport Class" 

7)     Clip ‘n Climb

Get ready for a thrilling adventure in a vertical playground. Don't worry if you've never climbed before, it's suitable for beginners.

Challenge yourself or your family with 15 elements and 19 climbing routes providing a range of features and levels suitable for children and adults. If you lose your balance, the auto-belay gently lowers you and you can climb again unless it’s the end of your session. 

And for the adventurous and thrill seeking amongst you, the vertical drop slide element is included in the price and the 9m drop is suitable for anyone over 1.2m in height.  Available at The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena at Ratho.

8)     First Aid Courses

A skill for life, Edinburgh Leisure offers various First Aid Courses in Edinburgh. They are accredited by Ofqual and presented in association with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), which ensures your qualification is recognised nationwide. We are also able to offer in-house delivery of any of our training courses. Get in touch by emailing:

First Aid courses including:

        RLSS Emergency First Aid at Work (3-day courses, Refreshers, and 1-day courses available)

        RLSS UK Paediatric First Aid (1- or 2-day courses available)


9)     Take a dip in a Victorian pool

Edinburgh Leisure boasts not one but five Victorian pools at Glenogle, Portobello, Dalry, Leith Victoria and Warrender, which over the years have received substantial refurbishment and TLC.

To swim in a Victorian pool with the natural light that floods in through their glass roofs is a relaxing experience like no other.


10)  Turkish Baths, steam rooms and saunas

And chill! Looking for something a little less strenuous or to soothe your muscles after a workout? Or just a place to unwind? Taking some regular time out can improve your mental and physical wellbeing.  The gentle moist heat in our spa facilities will relax your mind and body which can have a beneficial effect on your sleep and help to alleviate any aches and pains. There are lots of options across Edinburgh!

And for the ultimate in relaxation therapy, look no further than our authentic, original Victorian-designed Turkish Baths at Portobello Swim Centre, the last of their kind in Edinburgh.

Sauna and Steam Room: Ainslie Park Leisure CentreGlenogle Swim CentreLeith Victoria Swim Centre

Sauna: Dalry Swim CentreDrumbrae Leisure CentreGracemount Leisure Centre and Warrender Swim Centre

Steam Room and Turkish Bath: Portobello Swim Centre


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