You don't need to be a member of a fancy (and pricey) private tennis club, there are cheap public courts all over London open to all
Photo: Fabian Kum, fabcoaching.com,
The two lovely courts can be booked at the tennis office in the Mansion House in Clissold Park or on the phone number below. The office is open: October-May Mon-Fri 10am to Sunset Sat-Sun 9am to Sunset and June-September: Mon-Fri 10am to 8pm, Sat-Sun 9am to 8pm. More details at hackneycitytennisclubs.co.uk
An online timetable makes booking online easy. Setting up an account doesnt take long and youll need to take your email confirmation with you when you play.
Prices: £4 an hour, rising to £6 on evenings and weekends.
Hackney council also runs a variety of tennis clubs and programmes including summer camps, coaching and disabled tennis courses.
London Fields, Richmond Road, Hackney, E8.
Open: 10am-Sunset (in the summer)
Bookings: 020 7254 4235
Fabian Kum is a Lawn Tennis Association-qualified tennis coach based in Hackney, East London.
Kilburn Grange Park Tennis Courts
As well as floodlit football and basketball courts, Kilburn Grange Park is home to two playgrounds, an outdoor gym and three tennis courts. Players can book up to a week in advance online, over the phone, or turn up at the bookings hut between ten to and ten past the hour. The courts are just off Kilburn High Road, two minutes from Brondesbury Overground and five from Kilburn Tube.
Court rental is £8 an hour or £4.10 for under 16s and over 60s and requires no membership or registration.
Kilburn Grange Park, Messina Avenue, NW6.
Open: 8am- an hour before the park closes at dusk.
Bookings: 07525 278641
Golders Hill Park Tennis Courts
Play on the four hard courts all year round, or the two grass courts on weekends between April and September.
Players can turn up on the day but if you want to book a court in advance youll have to buy an annual registration for £15. Otherwise court rental is £6.50 an hour. The City of London Corporation also offer summer group coaching at £46 for beginners and £67 for intermediate players (5 lessons).
Golders Hill Park, West Heath Avenue (off Finchley Road) NW11.
Bookings: 020 7332 3511
Following a £250,000 grant from Lambeth Council and the Lawn Tennis Association, Clapham Common now has some of the fanciest courts in South London. Anyone can rent one of the eight hard courts (five of which are floodlit) for just £5 an hour. These do get busy, especially after 5pm on weekdays, so book in advance on 020 7223 9837 . Five minutes from Clapham Common South Underground (or the Windmill Pub).
Clapham Common West Side, Wandsworth, SW4.
Bookings: 020 7738 6834
Parliament Hill Tennis Courts
To book in advance players need to register with the Tennis Keeper, but with 10 hard courts, youre unlikely to be disappointed, especially on a weekday. Group tuition is available with LTA qualified coaches in the summer. Expect to pay from £46 for five lessons for beginners, and £67 for intermediates.
10 minutes from Gospel Oak Overground and right on beautiful Hampstead Heath - a lovely place to spend a summer's evening.
Parliament Hill Fields, Highgate Road, NW5.
Bookings: 020 7332 3774