I’ve started having tennis lessons. Admittedly, this is largely because my boyfriend is really good and I don’t fancy losing all the time, or at least, if I lose, I want to do so with dignity. Anyway, this means that I’ve been on the search for tennis coaches. My goodness lessons can be expensive, but just one look at Wimbledon and you know it’s the right decision.
From parks to hotels, coaches are popping up everywhere to help us start serving up centre court realness. These are the best tennis courts in London for those wanting to take their hobby to the next level.
The Best Tennis Courts in London
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Where better to hone your tennis skills than the world famous tennis grounds of Wimbledon? Despite holding one of the most prestigious sporting tournaments in the world, the club remains a full functioning private member’s club. Complete with immaculate grounds, a museum and the Wingfield Cafe, members can enjoy the perfect day of practice.
You might need to practice some patience though- as the iconic club has a waitlist of 1,000 people. With the Duchess of Cambridge as the patron, you might just find yourself rubbing shoulders with some famous sports lovers.
Where: Church Rd, London SW19 5AG.
In the charming surrounds of Battersea Park, you may be acquainted with Go Ape or mini golf but there are also lots of tennis courts. In fact, there are 13 floodlit courts and six floodlit astro tennis courts available. You can play on your own – children and adults alike – to improve your general fitness, just practice, or get the help of a professional.
The courts are bookable for a maximum of 2 hours. But if you’re with a professional, one hour flies past in seconds. A simple Google search will help you stumble across lots of good teachers. I personally, have gone with Dani, who is a simply wonderful teacher. And he must have really good SEO skills, because he was the first search in Google. Although I’m sure there are lots more out there.
Where: Carriage Drive East, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ
Holland Park Lawn Tennis Club
If you’re really invested in a life of tennis, and it’s going to be for the long haul, then maybe this is the answer for you…
The Holland Park Lawn Tennis Club is built on the spot of the mansion the 3rd Lord Holland built for his eldest son, General Charles Richard Fox, back in 1827. It became known as Little Holland House and after Fox’s death in 1873, the house was knocked down but a wing of the house survived, which is now the clubhouse and the grounds of the tennis courts.
The club was first established in 1875 as a private lawn tennis, cycling, croquet and pleasure ground. It’s open to members for a fee, providing immaculate grass courts, which are sometimes used by the professionals before their big match at Wimbledon (such as Billie Jean King and Jimmy Connors).
Where: 1 Addison Road, Holland Park, W14 8DU
The Hurlingham Club
It’s tough to get into this club, as it has a rumoured waiting list of 15 years (and counts The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as members). The Fulham club opened in 1869 and as well as tennis courts has outdoor pools, four indoor squash courts and a fitness centre.
There’s a strict dress code – players must be dressed in tennis whites with each item at least 80% white (who calculates this?), so enter at your peril. The club can recommend some good coaches or you can bring your own.
Where: Ranelagh Gardens, SW6 3PR
Now that the pros have taken over Wimbledon, you can try out your serve at Queen’s instead, where they were all hanging out a few weeks before.
It’s tricky to get in. The club is membership only and entry is dependent on you being proposed and seconded by two existing members. So unless you know some people or are willing to harass members at the gates, you won’t get in. Once you’re in though, you’ll want to be there every day perfecting your volley.
Where: Palliser Road, West Kensington, W14 9EQ
Will to Win
You can grab some more affordable tennis lessons with Will to Win. They are the tennis operators across a load of London’s parks, including Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Greenwich Park and Chiswick Park Gardens. And they provide all sorts of lessons. Sign yourself up to a few group beginner courses or start some private lessons. Simply pay and play to get started.
However, you have to book well in advance. During the summer months the courts are pretty booked up, so the next availability is probably not until September. So get reserving to get serving.
Where: Multiple lcoations