Winter Sports in Kent
Winter sports such as skiing, tobogganing, snowboarding, and curling are becoming ever more popular. But there is no need to venture to countries far afield in order to enjoy them – there are some exceptional Kent-based locations to choose from if you want to give these snowy sports a go without getting (too) cold.
Folkestone Ski & Tobogganing Centre
The dry ski slopes at the Folkestone Sports Centre allow everyone – young and old, beginners and experts – to enjoy some winter sports at any time of the year. Amongst the fun activities on offer are skiing and tobogganing.
At the Folkestone Sports Centre you can join in with dedicated classes such as the Ski School (for 11 years and older). This one hour learn to ski’ class includes all of the equipment you will need, and costs £12 per session per person. There is also a junior class for 7 -16 year old beginners at a cost of £8 per session. If you don’t like the idea of working in a group environment, you can even book one-to-one private ski tuition starting at £25 an hour.
Tobogganing is a fantastic way to get some exercise without even realising it, and at a cost of £5 for an hour, it is certainly value for money. Plus, sledging is a novel idea for a children’s party, which the Folkestone Sports Centre can arrange for you.
Bromley Ski and Snowboard Centre
Snowboarding is super fun and a different way to spend some time on the slopes if skiing isn’t your thing,but you still love the feeling of rushing down a hill! At Bromley Ski and Snowboard Centre there are a variety of different lessons you can take if snowboarding is the way you want to go.
Start at the very beginning with a beginners’ course that lasts for four fun-packed and thrilling hours. This course is all about getting you to grips with the basics of snowboarding, including working out your balance and teaching you how to start, turn, and most importantly, stop. It costs £80 and includes use of the lift. Once you’ve mastered the basics you can pop along to the Snowboard Improvers sessions. These informal two-hour classes cost £19.50 per adult and £15 per junior (with discounts for members). For those with a passion for snowboarding, join in with the Snowboard Club Night, an untutored session using ramps and rails that lasts for an adrenalin pumping two hours and costs £19 for adults and £15 for juniors.
Not sure about snowboarding? That’s okay – there is a taster session available at the Bromley Ski and Snowboard Centre as well. It covers everything from safety equipment to starting off, and costs £24 for an hour.
Silver Blades Ice Rink
Situated on the Gillingham Business Park just off the M2, Silver Blades Ice Rink offers something for everyone when it comes to ice skating. There’s the Family Skate for everyone to hone their skills, the Eazy Skate for those who like to take things slower giving you lots of space and time to get acquainted with the ice, disco sessions for under 15s, the Public Skate for those with a bit more confidence, and plenty more besides.
You can also learn to speed skate or play ice hockey, two new hobbies that are both different and incredibly good for you.
Prices depend on which class and which time you want to go, so take a look at the website or call 08700 852929 for more information.
Fenton’s Curling Rink
This Tunbridge Wells-based rink is the UK’s only dedicated curling rink, so if this particular winter sport is the one you’ve got your eye on, there is no better place to go than here. As well as being able to hire lanes for you and your team to practice on (a team consists of 8 people, and a lane costs £160 for two hours, working out at £20 each), there are a number of club sessions to teach you the basics too.
The rink is open seven days a week (10am to 10pm) from October to April, so you are sure to find a time that suits you.
The rink also has a licensed bar and offers a catering service, so you can really concentrate on learning the art of curling!