Invest in Dover > Coastal Living > Leisure Time

Leisure Time

It’s not all about work!

With a 21 mile coastline and 21% of the district designated as part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AoNB), you won’t be lost for things to do in your leisure time. From stunning beaches, to some of the best golf courses in the country, and from world renowned heritage to stunning parks and gardens, there’s something for everyone in the Dover district.

Messing about in boats!

As the closest part of the UK to mainland Europe, you’re never far from the sea. Opportunities to take to the sea are many and varied. For serious swimmers, Dover marks the start of the greatest endurance swim of all, the English Channel! Most weekends during the summer will see swimmers training in Dover harbour for this epic, 21 mile open water swim.

If sailing rocks your boat, there are many local clubs, including the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club in Dover, the Downs Sailing Club in Walmer, and the Sandwich Sailing & Motorboat Club. Boat moorings are available at Dover Marina, or the Quay in Sandwich. The £2.5 million Dover Sea Sports Centre is located on Dover seafront and offers a whole host of RYA accredited sea sports, including sailing, wind surfing, rowing, and kayaking from a purpose built facility, including changing rooms, disabled access and facilities. There is also a restaurant with views across Dover harbour. 

Anyone for golf?

The Open to return to Royal St George's at Sandwich in 2020!

The Dover district boasts some of the finest championship Links golf courses in the country, many of them in spectacular coastal settings. The premier golf course in Kent is Royal St George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, which has played host to The Open on 14 occasions.  The Open returns to Royal St George's in 2020 when the course will play host to the world's top golfers.

The nearby Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club is another fine Links course and hosted The Open in 1900 and 1920. More recently, the Club hosted the 2013 Amateur Championships, along with a third Links course at Princes Golf Club, one of the leading venues for society and corporate golf days with extensive function facilities. Further along the coast, Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club is located high on the famous White Cliffs with panoramic views across the Channel to France. This ‘hidden gem’ welcomes youngsters and families into a very friendly and community-feeling club.

Leisure Centres

The Dover district boasts an excellent range of leisure facilities, from multi-purpose leisure centres to a free outdoor paddling pool for the young ones. The current Dover Leisure Centre has a 25m pool, 10m teaching pool, 8 court sports hall, squash courts, exercise studio, health & fitness club and sauna/steam suite. In Deal, the Tides Leisure Centre is a family favourite with its beach-style pool with wave machine, slides and jacuzzi pools. The centre also offers a 4 court sports hall, health & fitness club, and sauna/steam suite. The adjoining Deal Indoor Tennis Centre includes 4 acrylic courts, spectator areas and a comprehensive membership and coaching programme. In total, there are 56 tennis courts across the Dover district, including many outdoor courts in public parks. Walmer Paddling Pool is a popular destination in the summer season with free entry.

New Dover Leisure Centre

Dover District Council is currently working on plans for a new £26m Leisure Centre for Dover.  The new facility on a 2.1ha site in Whitfield would include a competition standard, eight-lane swimming pool with spectator seating for 250 people, along with a learner pool.  Other facilities would include a four court sports hall, squash courts, multi-function room, fitness gym, fitness studios, clip ‘n’ climb wall, and a café.

The plans also include two outdoor 3G artificial pitches for five-a-side football, landscaping and a minimum of 250 parking spaces.

For more information on what's on and what to do in the Dover district please visit

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