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Sports, Exercise & Leisure: Facilities in Hailsham

Health, exercise and wellbeing are essential parts of everyday life and are crucial in terms of leading a happy and healthy lifestyle. As the first tier of local government in Hailsham, closest to residents, the Town Council plays a significant role in ensuring our local community is healthier and Hailsham is a thriving place to live.

Photo of Hailsham Active exercise group session at the Western Road Recreation GroundResidents can benefit from many recreational, exercise and sports opportunities offered at the Town Council’s public open spaces, maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle in the process and getting involved in specific activities by joining one of the many clubs which operate locally.

Hailsham has a thriving sports community and ample public open spaces where people can engage in moderate exercise, and is home to numerous clubs and groups suitable for people of all ages, each offering different ways to become more active and engage in activities with family members, friends, neighbours and co-workers – whilst supporting the local community at the same time.

Your Town Council continues to work in partnership with local organisations such as Hailsham Active to optimise our current sports, leisure and exercise facilities, details of which are available on this page.

Sports & Fitness Clubs in Hailsham

Click here for details about sports, leisure and exercise groups in Hailsham.

Hailsham Recreation Ground, Western Road

The Hailsham Recreation Ground in Western Road, created in 1855 as a result of an Enclosure Award for the parish of Hailsham, currently includes a football pitch, four all-weather tennis courts and general recreation area (Beaconsfield, purchased by Hailsham Parish Council in the 1930s), a cricket pitch, sports pavilion, hildren’s play area and outdoor gym.

Photo of Western Road Recreation GroundThe recreation ground is home to many active local sporting organisations, Hailsham Cricket Club being one of the oldest in East Sussex having been established in 1871. The club has been playing at their ground on Western Road in Hailsham ever since and have on a number of occasions throughout their history won championship awards.

Hailsham Town Football Club, known as ‘The Stringers’, currently in the first division of the Sussex County Football League, still uses the recreation ground to this day, and Hailsham Tennis Club, which was established in 1905 has been based there for over 50 years.

New members are always welcome to join the sports clubs and exercise groups who use the recreation ground.

In 2020, the recreation ground benefited from the construction of a new all-weather perimeter path (of which the Town Council allocated over £137,000 from Section 106 developer contributions for leisure facilities), giving access around and through the park all year and suitable for walking, cycling and running. More recently, the Town Council was awarded £58,333 from the Veolia Environmental Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund towards the cost of lighting the new perimeter footpath.

Photo of outdoor gym equipment at Western Road Recreation GroundThe recreation ground is a much-loved community site and provides local users with many opportunities to enjoy the vibrant open space for sport, leisure and other activities.

From April through to September, the recreation ground is home the Hailsham Active ‘Healthy Steps’ group, a free exercise class scheme launched by Hailsham Active in partnership with the Town Council and Our Parks/Fields In Trust, which continues to be of benefit to the local community, inspiring people to become more active and improve their health into the bargain.

The group has grown since its launch in 2018, with some classes/sessions attracting more than 30 participants. At the exercise classes, residents are able to meet their friends and join a qualified fitness instructor to get active and chat about health and well-being.

Exercise sessions are led by experienced, fully qualified and insured instructors and include a range of classes such as yoga, pilates, back-to-exercise and gentle exercise. No bookings are required – just turn up and take part!

EXTERNAL LINKS: Hailsham Active Healthy Steps Exercise Group | Hailsham Town Football Club | Hailsham Cricket Club | Hailsham Tennis Club

Maurice Thornton Playing Field, Marshfoot Lane

Photo of Maurice Thornton PavilionThe Maurice Thornton Playing Field site provides several pitches for junior football and is home to the Hailsham United Junior Football Club, which was established in 1982 and at present has over 200 players and 28 FA-trained coaches.

Leisure facilities on site include a children’s play area and the Tony Tack Memorial Skate Park, which consists of a concrete bowl with builtin ramps and jumps and has benefited younger people in the Hailsham community. The proposal to construct the skate park in 2012 was part of a wider package of improvements to recreational facilities in the town at the time, including the installation of an outdoor gym on the Western Road Recreation Ground.

The outdoor gym equipment on site adjacent to the Maurice Thornton Playing Field includes those for rowing, steps, arm exercises and weight lifting.

EXTERNAL LINKS: Hailsham United Junior Football Club |

Hailsham Country Park, Gleneagles Drive

The Council-maintained Country Park, situated off Gleneagles Drive, covers approximately 22 acres and incorporates woodland, a recreational grass area, two ponds and a lake. A water course skirts the open field area and all-weather footpaths can be found throughout the park to encourage people of all ages to enjoy this precious open space area.

Hailsham Country Park lakeFishing is permitted on season at the Country Park Gleneagles lake and Hempstead Pond (adjacent to Tilehurst Wood). Both fishing areas are well-stocked with fish including carp, bream, roach, rudd, tench, perch and the odd pike.

Daily/weekly fishing permits can be obtained from MFC Supplies (Station Road) and yearly season tickets are available from the Town Council offices (£40 adult; £25 senior citizens, disabled and children under 16 years). A current Environment Agency rod licence and passport photo must be produced when purchasing permits.

Hailsham Town Council is proud of its many improvements to the country park site in recent years, including the construction of a new path around Wentworth Pond and other area-specific projects such as the more upgrading and resurfacing of the pathway around the lake, making it more accessible for disabled users.

Sports & Fitness Clubs in Hailsham

Click here for details about sports, leisure and exercise groups in Hailsham.