Nothing sparks the desire to play tennis quite as effectively as watching the world’s best go at it on the All England Club’s pristine grass courts for two weeks, so the weekend after Wimbledon finishes is always one of the busiest of the year for Britain’s tennis courts.
Coincidentally, the weekend after the Wimbledon final is the Great British Tennis Weekend, when tennis clubs and venues all over the country fling their doors open so you can play and receive coaching for free.
Contrary to its name, the Great British Tennis Weekend actually runs throughout the summer, but holds two main events. The first of these fell on 12th-13th May and this weekend (21st-22nd July) is the second, although it’s worth checking to see if your local club offers free courts or coaching at other times too.
The best way to see what’s available near you is to go the ClubSpark website and enter your postcode. This will bring up all the Great British Tennis Weekend events around you ordered by how far away they are, along with details of what’s going on. At some places the courts will just be opened up for general use, but lots of clubs will be putting on free coaching sessions for all abilities.
If you’re near a David Lloyd gym with a tennis court you can head down between 2pm and 5pm on both Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of July to play for free. In fact you can use the entire club for free on those dates, so take a dip in the pool or hit the gym after your tennis session. Do try and make sure you play some tennis though – skipping that part is as frowned upon as cutting in front of Sue Barker for strawberries at Wimbledon, and you can expect some very unpleasant mutterings directed at your person. Find your nearest participating club and sign up for the weekend on the David Lloyd website.
If you haven’t swung a racket in anger since your childhood, this is an opportune time to get back into tennis, and if you’re an experienced player it’s a great opportunity to check out your local facilities and clubs if you’re not already a member. And if all this sounds a bit too organised and you just want to know where you can play tennis in London, then check out this guide to courts you can book right now.