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Newly refurbished indoor pool & tennis courts near Barbican

BY Boon Koh
Published 15 September 2013

I have been going to this sports centre near Barbican called Golden Lane Leisure Centre, and am very impressed by it. Golden Lane has been around for ages, but recently underwent a modernisation and renovation, and it’s such a hidden gem in the middle of the city.

It’s one of those places that you wouldn’t be able to find unless you knew about it already. Hidden in the middle of the Golden Lane housing estate, the leisure centre occupies the ground floor of one of the buildings. There’s a 20m heated indoor swimming pool. There are two outdoor tennis courts, a state of the art gym, and an indoor sports hall that is used for badminton and table tennis. All these facilities are available to the public – unlike some members-only gyms and sports facilities in the City!

I have been using the pool for a few weeks now, and it is decent. The length is a bit on the short side – 20m. And there are only 4 lanes. Surprisingly, when I go on a Sunday afternoon, the pool is almost completely empty, except for some really hardcore swimmers and some beginners taking lessons.

golden lane swimming pool

The swimming pool is accessible via pay as you go – £5 per entry, swim for as long as you like. They do have memberships as well, both on a monthly and yearly basis, that gives you free access to the pool as often as you want, as well as the gyms and free access to tennis, badminton, netball, table tennis, and more. There’s also a special discount for the leisure centre for City of London residents too. So if you live or work near Barbican or anywhere else in the City, you might be able to get the Golden Lane membership for cheaper!

golden lane tennis courts

There are two outdoor tennis courts – which look quite decent. But always occupied – I guess it is quite rare to find tennis courts in the centre of London! They are really expensive to book though – I’ve heard they are £20/hour, which is well above what most tennis courts in London charge. But I guess it is just a case of supply and demand.

The changing rooms are very clean, the showers powerful and warm. The staff are friendly, and overall it is one of the nicer public swimming pools and sports centres I have been to. If this was private, they would have advertised massively and tripled the price, given the great location of Golden Lane Leisure Centre. So there you go – another hidden gem in London! If you’re paying through the nose for your gym membership or dying for a place to exercise in central London, you might not find better than Golden Lane Leisure Centre.