Tennis in London is thriving at the moment, with a wealth of private tennis clubs. Although some public tennis courts have been refurbished in some parts of London, too many are in poor repair, neglected, and some Boroughs just don’t have enough.
Here’s my selection of some of the best tennis courts and tennis clubs in London:
Tennis in North London
Coolhurst Tennis Club
(Crouch Hill, London N7)
When I started out as a personal trainer, I lived in Crouch End, London N7, a few minutes walk from Coolhurst Tennis Club. This is a very plush club, with a large clubhouse. There are 7 floodlit hard courts, two of which are covered by a balloon from October to April for indoor play. There are also 3 artificial grass courts, and 3 grass courts (summer only). Coolhurst has a country-club atmosphere, free from traffic noise.
Islington Tennis Centre
(Market Road, Islington, London N7 9PL)
This is one of north London’s best indoor tennis centres, with 6 indoor tennis courts, run by Aquaterra Leisure. The upstairs viewing gallery is a great feature. London desperately needs more indoor tennis courts like this, free from the snow and ice of winter, the rain of most of the year (particularly 2012), and the heat exhaustion of heatwaves in summer.
David Lloyd Finchley
All the David Lloyd clubs are a high standard, and membership fees reflect this. This club has 10 indoor courts, and 9 outdoor courts. There is also a thriving junior tennis club called Tennis All Stars.
Tennis in North West London
Regents Park Tennis Centre
(York Bridge Road, Regents Park, London NW1 4NU)
With a mock-tudor facade, the clubhouse of Regents Park Tennis Centre is a real feature. There are 12 outdoor hard courts, all floodlit, all in great condition, surrounded by lawns and away from traffic. Will To Win coaching company provides tennis coaches who give tennis lessons here every day.
Parliament Hill Fields Tennis Courts
(Highgate Road, London NW5 1QR)
Always busy at weekends, less so during the week, this is a thriving tennis hub with 10 outdoor hard courts, all in great condition. Parliament Hill Fields provides a great setting, in this affluent part of London. Plenty of tennis coaches here too.
Cumberland Lawn Tennis Club
(25 Alvanley Gardens, West Hampstead, London NW6 1JD)
This is one of London’s largest private tennis clubs. It boasts 20 outdoor tennis courts: 8 acrylic hard courts (3 floodlit), 6 sand-filled artificial grass courts (all floodlit), 4 grass tennis courts (May-September), and 2 tarmac courts.
Tennis in East London
Bethnal Green Park Tennis Courts
(Cambridge Heath Road, London E2)
4 hard courts, recently resurfaced and renovated, all with floodlights. This is a really smart facility, the standard we should expect of all public tennis courts in London. It’s run by Tower Hamlets Tennis Ltd.
West Ham Park Tennis Courts
(Upton Lane, London E7 9PU)
Set in spaceous and well-maintained West Ham Park, run by the Corporation of London, there are 12 hard courts. Around Wimbledon Championships time, these courts become swamped with local people inspired by seeing tennis on TV. Open to the public, just turn up, pay and play.
The Warren Italy Clay Court Tennis Club
(Overton Drive, Wanstead, London E11 2LW)
This is a small club, but worth a mention because of the high standard of its 3 clay courts, the same Italian clay surface found at the Monte Carlo tennis masters. This court surface slows the ball down and makes for longer rallies.
Linkside Lawn Tennis Club
(Overton Drive, Wanstead, London E11 2LW)
A stone’s-throw from The Warren tennis club, this tennis club could be in the middle of the countryside. Bordered by a large lake, a golf club, and a cricket club, you’ll enjoy a real country-club feel. This club boasts 5 artificial grass courts, and two hard courts.
Redbridge Sports & Leisure Centre
(Forest Road, Barkingside, Redbridge IG6 3HD)
This recently renovated sports centre has 8 indoor tennis courts, rare in this part of London. There are also 6 floodlit outdoor tennis courts.
Tennis in West London
The Park Club
(East Acton Lane, London W3 7HB)
Tennis is just part of The Park Club, a stunning club set in 27 acres, which offers many sports and leisure facilities. There’s an indoor Sports Dome with 4 astroturf tennis courts, with heating and overhead lighting, perfect for the winter. And outdoors, there are 7 further astroturf courts, 2 grass tennis courts, and 4 tarmac courts.
The head coach, Shane Hurst, is internationally experienced, and his claim to fame is that he’s played and beaten Lleyton Hewitt in competition.
Ealing Lawn Tennis Club
(Daniel Road, London W5 3RY)
Founded in 1882 as Ealing Lawn Tennis & Archery Club, the archery was dropped in 1903, and the club became exclusively tennis. The club is steeped in history: the most famous former female member was Dorothea Lambert, who won Wimbledon womens singles in 1903 and 1914.
This club boasts 8 grass tennis courts, 4 artificial grass courts, and 3 indoor floodlit courts under a dome. It’s an LTA Elite club (achieved both LTA clubmark status, and Satellite Performance status in 2009).
Brentham Tennis Club
(38a Meadvale Road, London W5 1NP)
Located in the heart of Ealing, this club boasts stunning surroundings alongside the River Brent. There are 12 outdoor courts: 6 grass tennis courts, and 6 hard courts (4 floodlit). Fred Perry played here between 1919 – 1935.
Campden Hill Lawn Tennis Club
(9 Aubrey Walk, London W8 7JH)
This is one of the largest private tennis clubs in central London, with 12 tennis courts. 6 are indoor courts (Plexipave hard surface), and 6 outdoor artificial grass courts.
Paddington Recreation Grounds
(Randolph Avenue, London W9 1PD)
Great facility with 6 tarmac courts and 5 synthetic grass courts. What I like about these courts are the high perimeter metal cage fences, which guarantees the bottom of the fences won’t curl up and allow balls to escape. And nicely secluded from traffic. Sports Members get enhanced booking rights (14 days in advance rather than the usual 7). This is a very popular facility, so it’s worth booking in advance.
Westway Tennis Courts
(1 Crowthorne Road, London W10 6RP)
This is a fantastic facility for indoor tennis, with 8 indoor acrylic courts, boasting the same surface as the Australian Open grand slam. There are also 2 outdoor floodlit clay courts, rare for a public facility.
Tennis in South West London
Bishop’s Park Tennis Centre
(Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, London SW6 6DZ)
In 2010 this tennis centre received substantial funding from the Tennis Foundation (£150,000), Hammersmith & Fulham Council (£170,000), and The Queen’s Club (£20,000), to produce 12 refurbished hard tennis courts, and 4 mini-tennis courts. It would be great to see this level of investment pumped into more public tennis courts around London.
Harbour Club Chelsea
If money is no object, treat yourself to a membership of this club. There are 13 tennis courts, 9 are indoor, and the remaining 4 become indoor during winter thanks to a huge bubble cover. There are 27 tennis professional coaches here, and this club is known as a magnet for the best and brightest tennis coaches from all over the world.
There is also a paddle tennis court, and it was the first to be built in London. It’s a third of the size of a standard tennis court, with 4 toughened glass walls around it, like a tournament squash court, and you can hit the ball against the wall, as long as it goes over the net. Instead of tennis rackets, you use short solid wooden bats. Give it a try!
Battersea Park Millennium Arena Tennis Courts
(East Carriage Drive, London SW8)
One of the largest outdoor public tennis facilities in the whole of London, with 19 outdoor hard courts, all floodlit. Great location, in the heart of Battersea Park.
Tennis in South East London
Catford Wanderers Sports Club
(Blacklands Road, London SE6 3AE)
Nicknamed the home of sport in Lewisham, with both tennis and badminton facilities, this club is steeped in history, with a reputation for being welcoming and bursting with social events. It has 6 grass tennis courts (April to Sept) and 3 hard courts.
Hornfair Park Tennis Facility
(Charlton Park Lane, London SE18 4QH)
This facility is a highlight of tennis in Greenwich, open to the public for recreational play and coaching, with 8 hard courts.
Dulwich Lawn Tennis Club
(Giant Arches Road, off Burbage Road, London SE24 9HP)
This club boasts 6 grass courts (May to late October), and 5 hard courts (3 floodlit).
I’m sure I’ve missed out some great tennis clubs and public tennis centres, and tennis courts in London’s many parks, that are worthy of inclusion. Feel free to add your favourite tennis courts in the comments section below….