For anyone who is serious about Parkour, the choice of where to train is as crucial as the training itself. The right combination of open space, challenging obstacles and graded structure is essential. Seeking out the best spots can be difficult, especially as most town’s like to keep them on the down low, to avoid an influx of freerunning youth. Within the community, parts of Sussex are already well known for being prime freerunning hotspots. Horsham and Brighton for example are considered two of the best locations in the UK and regularly attract out-of-town enthusiasts, who come to sample the environment.
The popularity of Brighton in particular is not just due to the cityscape surroundings. The culture and atmosphere also play a big role in enticing traceurs to the seaside town. The vibe in Brighton is laid back and alternative and this fits the philosophy of parkour well. Add to this the fact that the City is home to some of the U.K.’s best parkour talent and has also featured in mainstream media as a freerunning hotspot and you can understand the allure. The City definitely does a good job of nurturing its talent, even if there are no official facilities. Brighton has produced some very respectable and popular parkour groups, such as Storror, who have a committed online fan base thanks to their impressive selection of parkour videos.
Asides from Brighton and Horsham, Sussex has so much more to offer. There are now several parkour parks situated in Sussex, including those at Newhaven and Lancing. Both facilties are well worth a visit, if only to meet the friendly locals who regularly use the sites. Worthing and Chichester are also decent locations, though neither town has any official facilities. Worthing and Chichester are both home-locations for West Sussex Parkour (WSPK). The team also trains at Lancing.
People looking to train somewhere in Sussex often labour under the illusion that there are no decent spots available. The hype surrounding other areas, such as London, Cardiff, Manchester or Bristol, serves to reinforce this misconception. However, as the community grows and consolidates, information on where to go becomes more and more apparent. New websites and online forums, such as the 3run forums, provide people with a means to meet fellow enthusiasts in a particular area, which results in the growth of new local and regional networks. As a consequence, freerunners can now be seen all over Sussex doing what the love most.
*** Photograph of Sam Phillips of WSPK ***