Skip to content Go to accessibility help
We use cookies to keep our websites easy to use and relevant to our users' requirements and to enable us to learn which advertisements bring users to our website. We do NOT use cookies to collect any personal information about you. By continuing to browse our web pages, you agree that we may use cookies for these purposes. Find out more.×

Are Brits burning a hobby hole in their pockets


New research from Yorkshire Bank reveals that the average cost of an active hobby in the UK is almost £280 a year.

But which hobbies hit the UK’s pockets hardest? From golf to swimming, the cost of pursuing your favourite hobby can mount up. The Yorkshire Bank survey found that golf is one of the most popular, but also one of the UK’s most expensive active hobbies. While costs can vary from club to club, a passion for golf costs an average of £755 per year - a staggering £275 more than its nearest rival, going to the gym.

While people’s hobbies’ can range from a free walk to more costly pursuits, such as skydiving, which can cost up to £4000 a year, the majority incur a cost that can be worked into an average household budget.

Gary Lumby, Yorkshire Bank’s head of retail, said: “Our research looked at the UK’s most popular active and sporting hobbies by number of participants and assessed their average costs for a year. As the credit crunch bites, many of us are looking at how we can cut costs, but are reluctant to give up our favourite pastimes. However, the good news is that with a little planning and careful budgeting, continuing to pursue these hobbies can be easier than you think.”

Golf  1,457,347  £755
Gym (incl. exercise bikes/rowing machines) 4,722,762   £480
Tennis  874,040  £385
Badminton 900,332 £365
Cycling (mod intensity 30 + mins) 3,175,650 £330
Swimming 5,625,539 £176
Fishing 281,083 £148
Football 2,910,684 £88.95
Running 1,872,819 £70
Walking (mod intensity 30+ mins) 8,142,693 £0
Average Cost   £279.79

Gary Lumby continues: “Barely a week passes without another report that Brits are some of the most stressed workers in Europe - hobbies are a vital way of escaping these stresses and form an important part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.” 

Despite current financial worries, planning ahead and researching how to cut the cost of your hobby can pay off. Yorkshire Bank’s top tips for saving money for your hobby can help ensure your hobby remains part of your life.

Yorkshire Bank’s top tips for saving money for your active hobby:

  1. Calculate how much your hobby is costing you every month – make sure this figure covers all your costs and use it in your household budget
  2. Budget, budget, budget – include your hobby costs in your household budget to ensure you don’t have any nasty surprises at the end of the month. By writing down exactly what you are spending your money on, you might be able to cut down on things that are less important to you than your hobby 
  3. Assess the equipment you currently own - do you really need it all? Selling any surplus on the internet or trading it in for money off new kit could significantly cut your costs
  4. Shop around – if you hobby requires a particular venue or specific kit, make sure you have researched all the options and are sure you have the best deal before parting with your cash
  5. Make ‘hobby’ buddies – club together with friends who share your passion and spilt the cost of everything from venue hire and  membership fees  to petrol and equipment.

Yorkshire Bank has a range of savings accounts that can help you make the most of your hobby cash. For more information, please go to

For more media information contact:

Mandy Lowe – 0141 333 9585/ 07766 465 670 /

Matthew Pittam – 0141 333 9585 / 07763 909 599 /

Notes to Editors:

All research was carried out in the week beginning the 11th August 2008.

The ‘yearly cost’ of the hobby quoted, includes (where applicable) the costs of membership fees, hiring costs, licences and vital equipment with the participant, where appropriate, doing the activity once a week.

Membership costs and court fees were obtained from activity halls and clubs and an average cost was taken. The equipment costs were taken as an average of recommended retail prices.

The participation figures were taken from the Sport England's Active People Survey which was conducted between Oct 05 and Oct 06. These are the latest official figures available.

About Yorkshire Bank
Yorkshire Bank was founded in 1859 in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Yorkshire Bank has 190 retail branches, a strong personal customer base and a growing business capability in the North of England and the Midlands. Yorkshire Bank is a trading name of Clydesdale Bank plc, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group of companies. Yorkshire Bank joined the Group in 1990. In 2006, Yorkshire Bank was voted the UK's 'Best Business Bank' by the Forum of Private Business.

You are here: Media Relations > News Archive > 2008 +