Let’s face it, if you’re a tennis fan and you’re planning a short-break in the UK capital sometime soon, the ultimate ambition for such a trip would be to play tennis at the home of the sport, the Wimbledon tennis stadium, right? Well, naturally, it would. Sorry to shatter your possible dream, though; it’s very hard to get into Wimbledon for an actual game unless you know one of its members – you can definitely book up a tour and a visit to its museum as a second best; that said. Although, would that be second best? After all, London’s far from short of many facilities where you can play a great game of tennis…
Clapham Common Tennis Courts
One of the capital’s most inviting wide open, green spaces, this South London site now boasts a fantastic, recently renovated group of five, floodlit tennis courts; just a five-minute walk away from the Clapham South Tube station. In fact, as a sign of how great-looking and well equipped these courts are, it ought to be noted that they were, in part, renovated by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which oversees the sport in the UK, including of course, the Wimbledon Championships themselves.
Regent’s Park Tennis Centre
Possibly one of the capital’s most famous locations for tennis courts here, the frankly really rather wonderful Regent’s Park is an idyll of a place for lovers of everyday sporting fun thanks to its many facilities. Its 12 hard courts (of which four are floodlit) were actually the first non-council-run efforts anywhere in the UK to receive LTA-accreditation; yes, they’re that good – and should the rest of your brood get bored as you work on your serve, then there’s always the rest of park’s sumptuous 100 acres to explore; it’s among the London best attractions and no mistake. Bookings can be made swiftly and easily online – or by phone or in person – but always doing so in advance is recommended owing to their popularity with local punters.
Hyde Park Tennis Courts
That said, why frequent Regent’s Park when you can spend an afternoon with your racquet in Central London’s greatest Royal Park of all? Located at the southern end of Hyde Park, these courts are clearly ideally situated for those staying in the heart of the city for their stay in the capital (for instance, at a Kensington London hotel like the Park Grand London Hyde Park). Offering up a total six LTA-accredited courts, as well as two mini-courts, this effort has the added bonus of early openings (from 7am May-August and from 8am the rest of the year) and a changing pavilion; all very civilised then, not least as there’s also a café, garden area, bowling green and nine-hole putting green nearby.
Chiswick Tennis Centre
Finally, should you not mind heading westwards then these Chiswick-based courts are well worth your time – especially if you fancy a ‘toss-up’, of course. Again, LTA-accredited, the seven hard courts (in total) are open to all comers – booking is recommended – and also come complete with a changing room, café and even a sports shop, if you please. They’re also available for hire all-year-round, from 9am-8pm daily; so long as the weather holds up. And if it doesn’t? Why, it’ll be game, set and match to the old British weather, unfortunately!