The very best tennis clubs in Berkshire
Pimms and strawberries at the ready to cheer on Cameron Norrie at Wimbledon today. Then nurture your own tennis star at these local next-level tennis centres. More balls please…
Cameron Norrie is the last British hope in Wimbledon’s theatre of dreams. Watch is Semi Final today, when he takes on the mighty Novak Djokovic on Centre Court at 1.30pm. If Team GB has inspired your kids to pick up a racquet, these are the best clubs in the area for starting off youngsters right through to nurturing teen talent. Clear the mantlepiece… the trophies will soon be pouring in.
Good for talent spotting: Bisham Abbey, Berks
Bisham, on the Berkshire side of the river near Marlow, is one of Sport England’s National Sports Centres, which means your youngster will be brushing shoulders not just with the next Emma Raducanu, but the hopeful Johnny Wilkinsons, Marcus Rashfords and Maddie Hinch’s (that’s rugby, football and hockey for the unsporty amongst you). In fact there are 20 sports organisations based there with all the associated gyms, physios, nutritionists and kit you’d expect.
The tennis courts include four American clay courts, four floodlit acrylic courts and four indoor hard courts. The junior academy is invitational but there are kids holiday courses available for anyone to book alongside private adult and kid coaching.
Good for getting competition miles on the clock: Windsor
Always dreamed of joining the pro tour? Clock up those competition miles without leaving Royal County. Windsor Lawn Tennis Club has a staggering 700 members (juniors, adults, social and competitive players) with 3 indoor acrylic courts and 8 outdoor courts (4 artificial clay, 3 poraflex and 1 tarmac) to play on. The genius bit? They host the Windsor Grand Slam Series to mirror the pro circuit, consisting of four one-day, singles tournaments for competitive club players.
The tournaments are played on different tennis court surfaces in parallel to the Grand Slams of Tennis. The ‘Australian Open’ is played in January on the indoor acrylic courts. The ‘French Open’ is played in June on the outdoor artificial clay courts. ‘Wimbledon’ is played in July on the grass courts at Windsor Home Park. And finally, the ‘US Open’ are played in September on the outdoor, poraflex courts at WLTC. All courts are flood lit with LED lights and we have a fully licensed bar, café, terrace area, pro shop and onsite physiotherapy. Champagne and strawberries on tap… we’re in.
Best for kids: Bradfield Tennis Centre
Winter isn’t the greatest time to get little ones started with a combo of slippery courts, wind and cold fingers. So why not ease them in with some indoor play. Opened by tennis legend Tim Henman, Bradield Tennis Centre has three indoor courts and six outdoor clay courts, offering coaching age five.
There are various courses by age/skill that work around school and holidays, and they offer tennis camps too. There’s a superb team of coaches here who have developed an impressive kids coaching programme that will develop a love of tennis and hopefully a few nice shots.
Good for getting the whole family started: Braywick
This Berks club is brand spanking new, having opened last summer. Its gym, pool, café, nursery (!) and meeting rooms are all available to members and non-members and there are six tennis courts on site.
The Paul Delgado tennis academy is geared to both adults and children with beginner through to performance training and holiday camps. Starting age is four, up to 11+, after which promising players move onto performance training.
Best for keeping everyone happy: David Lloyd Royal Berkshire
The snazzy health club on the edge of Bracknell has invested in its tennis and boasts 12 indoor, 5 outdoor courts and 3 super-cool PlaySight Smart courts that uses cutting edge tech to transform practices and matches into fully interactive events, recording serve speeds, calling the line and tracks technique. How fancy is that? It also has free 4-week beginner and refresher courses so you can try a taster without committing. Competition wise there’s box leagues, ladders, tournaments, LTA events and team tennis.
The centre also has a spa, pool, gym, crêche, fitness classes, café and kids club (praise be!) so the non-tennis playing members of the family are more than catered for.
Good for having a go: Caversham Park
Caversham Park Tennis Club is a friendly, community run tennis club. Boasting six floodlit porous macadam courts and a spacious clubhouse, it has all the inclusive vibes you need to simply have a go.
Coaching is available juniors and adults courtesy of Gary Drake Tennis. They’ll teach kids as young as 3 to 18 in the Junior Programme and Tennis Xpress is a great way for grown up newbies to the sport to learn how to serve, rally and score in lightening speed.
Good for Wimbledon vibes: Windsor Home Park
The only grass courts in Windsor can be found at Windsor Home Park Lawn Tennis Club (not a mole hill or dandelion to be had!). So if you’re after a Wimbledon vibe, this is the place to be. You can even pretend that you have a royal audience, as this stunning club play in the Queen’s back garden at Windsor Castle (it’s actually an area gifted to the Windsor resident by Queen Victoria).
The club has six grass courts available to members of all ages and abilities between April and September. It offers a coaching programme and introduced Open American tournaments, Cardio tennis and set up one of the courts as 4 mini-red courts for both junior and touch tennis. A few years a go the council wanted to turn into a car park, so all power to the club for boosting its numbers and offering.