5 years, 9 months ago
New balls please!
Tennis fever is set to bounce into town and invade London as we (hopefully) warm up for Wimbledon starting next week. If the likes of Murray, Nadal and Federer leave you feeling inspired but you lack their sizeable budget, and bag carriers, then seek out any of the following places in London where you can hop on a tennis court and show off your ball skills for free.
The majority of these courts operate on a free-to-all basis, meaning you can go down and play if the court is not in use, or alternatively wait your turn. Most parks will stay open as long as the sun is up during the summer and most will stay available during the winter months. You’ll need to bring your own rackets and balls and tennis whites, however sweatbands and John “You cannot be serious!” McEnroe attitude are optional.
Rosemary Gardens, Islington
This popular and pretty park, complete with children’s playground and other sports facilities, boasts four hard tennis courts. Walking distance from Angel tube station and Essex Road overground, these courts are also easy to get to from the City of London or nearby Highbury and Islington.
Need to stay somewhere nice nearby? Try this gorgeous 2 bedroom townhouse a two minute walk from the gardens.
Shepherd’s Bush Green, Hammersmith & Fulham
Two hard courts can be found on Shepherd’s Bush Green, a busy triangular park area surrounded by shops and passing traffic that is less than two minutes walk from both Shepherd’s Bush Market and Shepherd’s Bush tube stations. Play tennis as the famous red double decker buses pass by behind you and take a stroll around the recently redesigned Green to see the famous Shepherd’s Bush Empire – one of the original recording theatres for the BBC – or try and find Ginglik a music and comedy venue that was once underground public toilets.
This two bedroom apartment is so comfortable, and has stunning views right onto the green below.
Streatham Vale Park, Lambeth
In addition to three community tennis courts in Streatham Vale Park there are also areas for basketball and football games so there are plenty of opportunities to exhaust yourself in this park in South London. If you’re bringing children with you then you’ll have to factor in time to let them roam free on the impressive adventure playground too.
Are a lot of you travelling together? Enjoy the lap of luxury in nearby Streatham.
Furzedown Park, Wandsworth
Staying in South London, there are two tennis courts in this almost secret park tucked away in a leafy residential area of Wandsworth. Not far from the multicultural area of Tooting, it’s highly recommended that you reward your sporting efforts with a curry for which Tooting Broadway is famous.
Travelling with a special someone? Here’s a stunning bedroom right next to the park.
Bruce Castle Park, Tottenham
A whopping seven tennis courts are available in Bruce Castle Park and they have recently been improved to offer some of the best tennis in the area. A stone’s (or tennis ball’s) throw away from Tottenham Hotspur, if you’re playing during a match you’ll likely be able to hear the cheers and supporters songs. The park is named after the historic House of Bruce who owned much of the area many years ago, Bruce Castle is worth a little look at on your way home.
And if you want to visit the beautiful Bruce Castle Park, consider staying in this spacious two bedroom house nearby.
Ropemaker’s Fields, Tower Hamlets
Close to Limehouse Basin and easily accessible from Canary Wharf, Ropemaker’s Fields is a small park close to the banks of the River Thames where you can play tennis on one of two courts next to a children’s play park. The nearest station is Limehouse on the Docklands Light Railway or you could even get one of the river ferries from across London to Canary Wharf Pier.
Quite close to Ropemaker’s Fields you’ll find this spectacular riverside apartment to retire to at the end of a long day of tennis filled fun.
Dulwich Park, Dulwich
Dulwich Park is a large and leafy park in the family-friendly area of Dulwich in Southeast London. A great place to hire bikes and cycle around, the four tennis courts found here are open all year round. There is a cafe in the park offering refreshments and while public transport links aren’t as convenient as you would like there is a car park.
And best of all, accommodation in nearby Dulwich Village is really great value.
Southwark Park, Southwark
It seems the London Borough of Southwark is the unofficial home of free tennis in London as this is another great place to knock a few balls around on one of their two free tennis courts. Once “Game, Set, Match!” has been called, head over to the Ada Salter Rose Garden and walk around the peaceful lake that can be found there; you’ll be fooled into thinking you’re miles from Central London.
This homely and spacious two bedroom apartment is right alongside the park, to help your weary legs get home easily after practicing for your own entry to Wimbledon. Maybe next year!
If you want to hire tennis equipment we recommend popping into a nearby sports shop or alternatively you can hire courts with equipment for a small fee at Westway Sports Centre in West London. For a full list of council owned free tennis courts in London and the whole of the UK head to Tennisforfree.com.
Featured image by yersinia.