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Coronavirus: Parks, leisure and venues

Last updated: Friday 31 July

Leisure centres

We are pleased that the Council and Places Leisure, which operates the Council’s gyms and swimming pools, have agreed that leisure centres in Horsham District will reopen from Monday 17 August. Find out more about the reopening of leisure centres.

Places Leisure are implementing new measures to keep colleagues and customers safe. Changes will include signage to ensure social distancing is respected, reduced activity capacities, enhanced cleaning regimes, and hand sanitizing and cleaning stations.

Customers will be asked to pre-book sessions up to 14 days in advance on the Places Locker app or via the Places Leisure website.

Visit the Places Leisure website for customer information

Parks and countryside

Horsham District’s parks and countryside sites are vitally important at this time. However, social distancing, as set out by the Government, is absolutely crucial. We have therefore put in place some restrictions.

The following conditions apply at our sites. We are keeping the situation under constant review.

Play areas

We are delighted that all our play areas are open.

All our play areas have been safety inspected but cannot be guaranteed to be coronavirus (COVID -19) free.

If you are using our play areas, please take all reasonable precautions to ensure your and your family’s safety, following the guidelines below:

  • Social distancing remains in place – please be respectful of other people
  • If you or any of your party are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), do not enter the play area. Return home and seek medical assistance
  • Only 1 adult should accompany their children into the playground
  • Equipment which can accommodate multiple children e.g. climbing frames or a basket swing should be used by one family unit at a time (For Horsham Park and Dinosaur Island, we state a maximum of 4 children per piece of play equipment).
  • If a piece of equipment or the playground is busy, please come back later.
  • Do not use any equipment marked as out of use – such as talk tubes. These have been marked out of use as there may be an increased risk to using them.
  • Adults are reminded to ensure good hygiene by providing regular hand sanitation, especially on leaving the playground.
  • Please don’t eat and drink in the playground.
  • Please place your litter in a bin, or take it home with you

Southwater Country Park

  • The car parks are open and charges apply
  • The number of toilets available is limited, while they undergo a deep clean and essential repairs
  • The café is open for takeaway service only
  • Dinosaur Island play area is open. Please follow our play area guidelines.
  • Watersports is open and managed by Southwater Sports
  • The beach area on the lake will remain closed until we feel it is safe to be able to re-open

Warnham Local Nature Reserve

As of Monday 8 June, Warnham Local Nature Reserve is open with the following safety measures in place:

  • Access to the reserve is via a temporary path leading from the main car park. For your own safety, please do not try to access the fenced construction area.
  • To ensure adequate social distancing, a one-way system around the reserve is now in place. Please follow the signs and remain 2 meters from other visitors at all times.
    Please do not block the paths or set up equipment which can affect other people passing safely.
  • The Herons Rest café and all the hides remain closed.
  • One toilet will be open for everyone to use from Tuesday 9 June. Access is via the main path through the old garden.
  • Car parking space is limited, so please walk to the reserve if you are able to.

For the time being the reserve is free to enter, but a donation box will located by the temporary entrance and any contributions to the upkeep of the reserve will be greatly appreciated.

We would ask all our visitors to help us keep the reserve open by following these safety measures.

Public health remains paramount and we do reserve the right to limit our visitor numbers to maintain adequate social distancing.

Horsham Park

  • The children’s play area is open. Please follow our play area guidelines
  • The skatepark is open
  • Open-access ball courts are open. It is not permitted to play team games with anyone outside of your household. Read the Government's updated guidance about what you can and can't do.
  • Tennis courts are open for single play
  • The café is open for takeaway service only
  • Car parks are open

Horsham Park outdoor gym

From Saturday 4 July the Horsham Park outdoor gym equipment is available to use.

Users should follow the on-site signage to ensure they are using the machines and fitness equipment correctly and if the equipment is busy and does not allow for adequate social distancing, please come back later.

This equipment is for use by adults and older children only.

Leechpool and Owlbeech Woods

  • All car parks are open

Skate parks and BMX tracks

Horsham Park skate park, Broadbridge Heath Skate Park and Highwood Pump Track are open for public use with social distancing guidelines in place to help save lives.

Even though these outdoor skate parks are re-opening, you must follow the Government advice about social distancing and safety.

We are asking everyone to follow Skateboard England’s guidelines when using open skate parks and pump tracks

If you are a parent of a younger user, please have chat with them about not congregating in groups and that it is essential that they follow the guidelines from Skateboard England and the Government.

Lead by example. We’re in this together. #SkateSafeStaySafe

Changing rooms

The changing rooms at Horsham Park and Bennetts Field are closed and no further line marking of pitches will take place this season.

Events and volunteer groups

All events and gatherings, including volunteer activities have been postponed until further notice and this will be further reviewed in due course.


Horsham District allotments are all currently open. Allotment holders are reminded to please follow the social distancing guidance when at their allotment. When using communal gates, padlocks, tools and taps, please make sure you wear gloves at all times and clean your hands as soon as you can.

Visiting the site constitutes your daily exercise set out by the government.

For further advice, please visit the National Allotment Society website.

Public venues

The Capitol theatre and cinema

The Capitol theatre and cinema is currently closed.

The cinema will re-open on Friday 17 July with social distancing and hygiene measure in place.

For full details, visit The Capitol website.

Horsham Museum

Horsham Museum & Art Gallery will be closed for the foreseeable future. The Museum will continue to answer enquiries so do get in touch with the team by telephone 01403 282595 and email or

Drill Hall and Park Barn

Drill Hall and Park Barn are closed and unavailable for hire.

Events and activities

Horsham Town Centre events

We are suspending all event activity in Horsham Town Centre until further notice. The length of suspension will be reviewed on an ongoing basis with the aim of restoring event activities once practical and safe to do so, as they will continue to be an essential tool in the Council’s support for the local economy.

Events and volunteer groups

All events and gatherings, including volunteer activities have been postponed until further notice and this will be further reviewed in due course.

Guided health walks

Our programme of guided health walks are postponed until further notice.

Guided cycle rides

Our programme of guided cycle rides are postponed until further notice.

Horsham District Sports Development

All Horsham District Sports Development sport and physical activity sessions and events are cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Health and wellbeing appointments

Any face to face appointments/sessions will be conducted over the phone.

Health and wellbeing group exercise sessions

Group exercise courses, including Exercise to Music, Learn to Run and Strong & Steady are postponed. Weight Off Workshops will be replaced with over the phone support.

Junior Citizen Week

Unfortunately, Junior Citizen Week will not go ahead.

Great British Spring Clean

Keep Britain Tidy has postponed the Great British Spring Clean until September 2020.