Membership Free Tennis Courts at Tooting Bec Common
Published 5 August 2013
With space a premium in London, its not surprise that finding outdoor tennis courts is quite a challenge. There are premium tennis courts in Hyde Park and Holland Park, and even those in public leisure centres, like Golden Lane Leisure Centre in the city, cost up to £20 per hour for a tennis court.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are free tennis courts like the ones in Dulwich Park. Free to play, its open to anyone and everyone. But good luck trying to get some playing time on the weekends, and the courts are not that great because they are free. Plus there is no booking available, so its just down to luck when you arrive whether there’s a court free.
Then in the middle there are private, membership based tennis courts, where you have to be a member and pay yearly membership fees, in the hundreds of pounds a year. Just for the privilege of booking tennis courts – some of which still charge you per session! In addition, if your tennis partners aren’t members, they have to pay too – usually £5 to £10. Still, you can’t play tennis on your own, so that is a bit extra to pay, especially for doubles tennis!
One good compromise I’ve found are the tennis courts at Tooting Bec Common. There’s six courts in total, and while there is a membership system, non-members can book courts too, even on weekends. The catch is that non-members can only book on the day itself. However, every time I’ve called up on Saturday morning to book for Saturday afternoon, there’s always been availability.
The cost is only £7.50 per COURT, not per person, which is a bargain if you’re playing doubles, and affordable if you’re playing singles. The courts are also pretty good – standard macadam, with nets that are hole free and straight, as well as fences that are not leaky.
All in all, I think they are the perfect courts in London for amateur tennis players, who are looking to rally for fun during the summer sun but not hardcore enough to play all year round and take advantage of a yearly membership. Plus with courts available for same day booking, its great for planning impromptu tennis when the weather is nice.
Do you know of any other membership free and open to the public tennis courts in London? Let us know in the comments below!