F51, Folkestone’s much-anticipated new sports park is now open, bringing high-octane sports right to the heart of the town.
As the first ever purpose-built multi-storey skatepark, F51 is already receiving worldwide recognition for its cutting-edge design and skating features.
Funded by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and operated by The Sports Trust, it features the world’s first suspended concrete bowls, the tallest climbing wall in the south east, boxing facilities and three dedicated skatepark floors.
It’s a must-visit (if only for a drink or a bite at the café as an excuse to take a look at this extraordinary space) and it offers something for all abilities. Local children can access the facilities for just £1 a month by joining The Shred Club membership.
World-class is a phrase that’s increasingly used when talking about this district, with Folkestone’s international reputation for its outdoor art collection, its food from around the world and recent accolade as one of Lonely Planet’s top regions in the world to visit in 2022.
Whether you want thrilling action and adventure or restorative activities for a wellbeing boost, Folkestone and Hythe has lots to offer as a place to get active. Positioned on the coast, it’s perhaps no surprise that water sports are a real draw for people wanting to experience an active visit to the seaside.
Why not give paddlesport activities a try for the first time? Or if you’re experienced on the water, Seapoint Canoe & Kayak Centre is a perfect place to start. With tuition, canoe, kayak and bell boating, it offers something for individuals, couples or families to enjoy.
Sea swimming is a simple, free activity that can be enjoyed at many spots along the coast – people often set off from the beachfront in Hythe or from the beautiful Sunny Sands beach in Folkestone.
If its relaxation you’re looking for, then yoga on the beach is a regular sight once the winter weather starts to recede. Plenty of local yoga practitioners take their classes outside and onto the beach in the warmer weather, including I am Solstice Yoga shown in our video.
Three Hills Sports Park offers a wide-range of activities, so whether you have a passion for hockey, cricket, football, athletics, running, basketball, netball, pickleball or Karate there will be a sport to appeal to people of all ages and fitness levels. The centre also offers exercise classes, table tennis, gymnastics and many more.
Overlooking the sea and right next to a Martello Tower, East Cliff Sports on Wear Bay Road, Folkestone is a fantastic spot to enjoy a game of tennis bowls and pitch and putt.
If you’ve have been inspired by the Winter Olympics, the newly-refurbished dry ski slope at Folkestone Snowsport Centre is the perfect place to visit for experienced skiers and snowboards or first-timers alike. If being on skis isn’t quite your thing, then the Snow Rings will have families laughing together, or at each other, for hours after.
As if that wasn’t enough, the keen cyclist can find a route to suit every ability. From flat family trails through to cycling the length of the North Downs Way or the Pilgrims Trail, Cycling Weekly have several trails throughout Kent and the Heritage Coast.
For those that want to take in the scenery at a more leisurely pace, then a gentle ride from Hythe, through Folkestone and along the Heritage Coast, stopping at one of the beautiful cafes or bars along the way, is a must. Click2Cycle bike hire connects Folkestone, Sandgate and Hythe, just download the app to ride! It’s pay as you go, with six bike hire stations / drop off points along the coastline.
Swing into the golfing season at one of the district’s top-quality courses – from championship links course Littlestone Golf Club’s undulating dunes on the coast at Romney Marsh, or the adjacent Littlestone Warren, a slightly shorter course.
Etchinghill Golf Club is set in the Elham Valley countryside and offers three courses and a driving range. Or try out Foot Golf – a hugely fun combination of…you guessed it, football and golf, that’s popular with players of all abilities.
Watch our video for a snapshot of sport in the district – there is so much to discover on a visit to Folkestone and Hythe.
Many thanks to everyone involved in the making of this video:
- The Sports Trust
- F51 Sports Park
- Seapoint Canoe & Kayak Centre
- I am Solstice Yoga
- Folkestone & Hythe District Council
- Three Hills Sports Club and hockey team
- Hawkinge Hurricanes and RunAbility
- Folkestone Running Club
- Lucy Trodd and sea swimmers (filmed summer 2021)
- Folkestone Sports Centre – ski slope
This feature and video have been created with the support of the Welcome Back Fund, a fund that is providing councils across England with a share of £56m from the European Development Fund (ERDF) which supports the safe return to high streets and helps build back better from the pandemic.