A couple of weeks ago I played tennis as a guest at David Lloyd Chigwell and played some of my best tennis ever. No wind or sun to interfere with your game, no squirrels rushing across the court, no dogs barking or kids screaming, no stray balls flying across from the next court. Playing at David Lloyd Chigwell is tennis heaven.
Roding Lane, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG7 6BQ. The nearest tube station is Buckhurst Hill on the Central Line (zone 4). Chigwell tube station, also on the Central Line, is the next closest. The club is about a 1 mile walk from either tube station, but you can catch bus 167 along Roding Lane to get there faster, just get off when you see the David Lloyd Club sign on the roadside which directs you down a tree-lined road to the club itself. If you drive, there’s plenty of parking at the club.
There are 8 indoor tennis courts inside a couple of huge domes (with an attractive purple carpet court surface) and 5 outdoor courts. Tennis coaches are available for private individual/group lessons, and there are box leagues, ladders, tournaments, even LTA events.
I was impressed with the court surface, not too fast and not too slow. There is netting that separates each court to stop stray balls, and this netting extends from floor to ceiling, which is the first time I’ve seen ceiling-high netting at any indoor courts.
As well as tennis, there are also 2 badminton courts, 3 padel tennis courts, 3 table-tennis tables. The club has a modern and well-equipped gym with Woodway Curve treadmills, Watt-Bikes, Water-Rowers and a range of free-weights and resistance machines. The gym also a Boditrax body composition monitor. Personal trainers are available for a fee.
The sheer spaciousness of the club is striking. There is a 20m outdoor swimming pool with a terrace and also a 25m indoor pool. There is also an outdoor saltwater hydro-pool, an outdoor fire-pit and a spa-garden. Indoors there’s a Spa Retreat with aromatherapy steam-room, a Finnish sauna, meditation rooms and an ice-cave.
After my tennis match I checked out the restaurant and enjoyed a refreshing Lean Green protein shake which I thoroughly recommend (pea protein, spinach, kale, banana, mango, passion fruit, broccoli, chlorella, spirulina, apple juice). There are two huge screen TVs to entertain you while you eat and drink.
David Lloyd clubs are certainly high-end, and Europe’s most prestigious rackets & fitness brand with 130 clubs spread across 9 countries, 101 of which are in the UK. For me, the indoor tennis courts are the best feature of these clubs.
There’s a shortage of indoor tennis courts in London, but there are several David Lloyd clubs in London, including Enfield, Finchley, Cricklewood Lane, Fulham, Kensington.
(Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London and keen tennis player.)