I’ve lived in London for almost 10 years and I love living in London. It is dynamic, cosmopolitan and I truly believe there is something for everyone. As a property agent I know that buying into a city is not just about the housing, it’s about the community and what that location has to offer. So, in today’s article, I get to share a bit of my love of tennis which I’ve been playing since I was a kid.
Like many things in London, there is a vast range of options so in today’s article, I am going to focus on the most exclusive tennis clubs the city has to offer.
Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis Club, SW19
So, of course, we must start our list with the most prestigious tennis club in all the world – the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club also called The All England Club. While it is famous for hosting the Wimbledon tennis championships every year, what is lesser known is that it is a fully functioning private members’ club that was first established in 1868.
Today the club has 18 tournament grass courts as well as a state-of-the-art gym. The grass on the courts have been cut to 8mm since 1995. The largest court is Centre Court which seats 15,000 guests and has had a retractable roof since 2009. The club has a total of 565 members with 375 being full-time members, 100 temporary playing members, and a number of honorary members. Membership is surprisingly cheap at about £38 per month, so it’s not about the cost but about the prestige. With a waiting list of over 1,000 names, membership really only becomes available when someone dies. Club privileges include a dedicated seat on Centre Court in the members’ enclosure during the Wimbledon championships so you’ll have some of the best seats in the house to see your favorite tennis players.
Notable members include The Duchess of Cambridge, Tim Henman, and Cliff Richard
Queens Club – Hammersmith, W14 9EQ
If you can’t get into Wimbledon, you may have a slightly better chance at Queens Club. This prestigious club is one of the oldest in the world, first established in 1886 and named after Queen Victoria, its first patron. It hosts the premier men’s tournament – the Queens Club Championships, which was first played at the location in 1890. It is the final leadup tournament prior to the Championships at Wimbledon. The club has 28 outdoor courts and 8 indoor. Membership is by application, which must be supported by 2 existing members. Membership costs approximately £2,000 per year.
Notable members include Andy Murray, Boris Becker, Feliciano López
The Hurlingham Club – Fulham, SW6
Next up is The Hurlingham Club where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are known to be regulars. Talk about prestige – Roman Abramovich the famous owner of Chelsea Football Club reportedly tried to buy the club for £1billion and pay off each existing member with £1M, but was rebuffed. Hurlingham Club is also steeped in history with its founding dating back to1869. This exclusive club has a grand Georgian clubhouse and sits on 42 acres along the Thames River. It is quintessentially English and promotes an elegant and classic ambiance. In addition to the 40 tennis courts both grass and indoor, the grounds include manicured gardens, 4 indoor squash courts, a fitness centre, outdoor pools, an indoor pool, and a luxurious spa.
There are 13,000 members and over 30 year waiting list. In fact, currently, the club’s membership is closed, though just for information a new member would have to be proposed by an existing member and then seconded. Guests must adhere to the strict dress code which includes tennis whites for those looking to play.
Holland Park Lawn Tennis Club – Central London, W14
Coming into central London, I’d like to feature Holland Park Lawn Tennis Club. Set on a quiet hilltop, the secluded grounds provide a discreet getaway for the rich and famous of nearby Holland Park and Notting Hill. There are only 8 courts, 5 being all weather and 3 being grass courts, but the club has great hours: 7 days a week from 9am until 11pm so many use it as a second home. The joining fee is £1,150 and the annual membership is around £500 but there is a 2-year waiting list.
Harbour Club Chealsea – Fulham, SW6
Harbour Club Chelsea located in Fulham is really a full-service fitness centre but I thought I would mention it on this list because it is affordable luxury. The club has 12 world-class tennis courts along with a 2 level state-of-the-art gym, 6 fitness studios, 3 swimming pools, and a sumptuous spa. The club lounge offers a restaurant and bar, and plenty of family-friendly space to relax. Membership is open to the public and you can enquire to get more details from the website.
So I hope this list has given you a sense of some of the most exclusive and high-end tennis clubs of London. What did you think? If you had a favourite, make sure to let me know in the comments section.