When you think of tennis, what thoughts come into your head ? Do you think of long, hot summer days, tennis whites, refreshing homemade lemonade and picnic style food ? All this set against a background of the low monotonous sound of the tennis ball, as it is hit from one side of the court to the other. Yes, that is the romantic view of tennis in the UK, but the reality is much different.
The weather in the UK is so unpredictable and any outdoor sports are played with a level of uncertainty. None so more than tennis. As a tennis player of forty years, I am well aware that our erratic weather can play havoc with our plans to play a set or two on a Sunday afternoon. As I write this in the middle of August, I am looking at heavy rain and grey skies. I know that any keen tennis player will be looking at the same weather with a heavy heart.
DAVID LLOYD CLUBS
Sadly in the UK there are few places that can provide all year round tennis, regardless of the weather. This is due to the lack of indoor facilities across the country. Fear not my tennis loving friends, this is where David Lloyd Clubs can help you out.
David Lloyd Clubs were started in the 1980’s by British professional tennis player, David Lloyd, who saw the potential for an indoor tennis and health complex in the UK. This astute business plan snowballed into the creation of over 80 similar clubs in the UK. All these clubs provide high quality leisure facilities for all ages and abilities.
As many of you know I am a member of David Lloyd Club in Harrogate. I have written numerous posts about this fabulous club including this one about my fitness journey. As a regular tennis player, I am keen to write about the amazing facilities that the Harrogate Club offers. The indoor and outdoor courts are honestly the best I have played on in my forty year tennis career.
Whether you are an experienced player or a complete beginner, there is everything here that you need. This includes top quality tennis courts, highly qualified coaches and a great social group of other like minded players. You can have one to one coaching or join one of the many classes that are on offer every day of the week.
The tennis classes on offer are for everyone, regardless of ability or age. Are you retired and yearning to find a sport that keeps you fit and one where you can meet new people ? Then there are classes at Harrogate which are just perfect for you. The ethos behind the Club is not just to offer tennis, but to create a community and a feeling of belonging to a group. The classes are set up for all abilities so don’t worry that your tennis skills are a little rusty. The coaches and class members are so welcoming that you really will feel part of the group in no time at all. These classes extend to the younger end of society and children are well catered for at David Lloyd Clubs.
So what are the tennis facilities like at the David Lloyd Club in Harrogate ? Well, as a regular user of the courts, I am well placed to offer you an honest opinion. I hope that I can convey this here and with the photos I have taken.
The indoor and outdoor courts at the David Lloyd Club in Harrogate have all recently been refurbished and so, they are in tip top condition. There are three outdoor acrylic courts, and four indoor courts, two acrylic and two carpet.
OUTDOOR COURTS AT DAVID LLOYD
Of course, we do have SOME good weather here in the UK. In fact the last few weeks have been wall to wall sunshine ( apart from today ! ). The outdoor courts at Harrogate have only just been refurbished and they are truly amazing. They are a joy to play on and I am sure my tennis always improves when I play on top quality courts. The set up and location of the outdoor courts is so well thought out. The members café / bar spills out onto the terrace which overlooks the outdoor tennis courts. With sun loungers and outdoor eating areas this almost feels Mediterranean in style. I have spent many happy hours here recently, watching the tennis while enjoying a long, cool drink.
INDOOR COURTS AT DAVID LLOYD
So, fast forward to the autumn / winter months when most of us are huddled round a fire, dreaming of sunshine or perhaps a last minute holiday to Spain. This is when most tennis players start to feel the long drawn out winter and staring at the tennis racquet abandoned in the corner of the room. Well, my tennis playing friends, worry no more. This is when the David Lloyd Club can extend your tennis season throughout the year, without you having to forego your weekly game.
I play regularly on the indoor courts at the Club in Harrogate, which are well maintained, clean, spacious with a smooth, even surface. The courts have good height which is important when playing indoors. I have played on indoor courts before, where the low ceiling height often interfered in active play. There are two different surfaces in the indoor centre. The courts are carpet and acrylic which are both even, smooth surfaces to play on.
So, now to the booking system ? Is it easy to book and are courts readily available ? The David Lloyd Club has an excellent booking system for Club members which is so easy to use and gives you immediate access to availability. This is through the use of an App on your phone. Of course you can use the traditional method and just call the club to book. I have never had a problem getting the court and time of my choice, but it is worth trying to book well in advance, especially during popular periods.
So, in conclusion what are my thoughts of the tennis facilities at the David Lloyd Club in Harrogate ? If you love your tennis all year round, then this is the place for you. Now you don’t have to worry about the weather anymore. You can play outdoors in the sunshine, and indoors when the great British weather defeats us. The facilities here are amazing and I honestly think any tennis player of any age or ability would also love them.
If you would like to know more about the facilities from a members point of view then please drop me a message for a chat. Alternatively please ring the club in Harrogate who will be only too happy to show you round. You can then see for yourself the fabulous facilities at the David Lloyd Club.
Until next time dear friends
** This post was written in collaboration with David Lloyd Club Harrogate, but all words and opinions are my own. **