Freelance writer and journalist based in west London.
Published March 6th 2013
Get perky in the park
Lammas Park in South Ealing has come a long way since it was known as 'Lammas land' and was used by manor tenants in mediaeval times to graze cattle after a harvest. Its twenty-five acres now provide numerous opportunities to get active, whatever your age.
There are no less than twelve tennis courts, seven of which are floodlit. They're part of the Will to Win Lammas Park Ealing Tennis Centre but can be booked by non-members for a per-adult fee of £7.50 an hour. Cheaper rates apply for seniors, students and those under sixteen. There are free, after school sessions for juniors too and if you want to improve your game, you can become a member, enjoy the benefits of regular coaching sessions or take part in tournaments. The centre is open seven days a week, year-round. A central pavilion contains changing facilities, a sports shop, café and outdoor patio which are used for social events.
Netball players of any standard are welcome to drop in on Tuesday nights from 8pm for coaching drills and social match play. You pay £5 per session half an hour beforehand; there's no need to book in advance. If you have a netball team, courts can be reserved for £20 - £28 pounds per hour, depending on whether you want it at a peak or off-peak time of day.
There are two, state-of-the-art, rubber filled, artificial 3G football pitches, which are available for £40 - £55 pounds an hour. You can enter your team in the league or Saturday competitions too. A coaching programme for children is delivered in partnership with Queen's Park Rangers Football Club.
Away from the access to activities that the Will to Win Centre provides, the very successful Ealing Croquet Club also has its home in Lammas Park. Anyone is welcome and there are three lawns to play on. The first session is free; simply turn up on a Thursday evening or a Sunday afternoon. Then you can either join the club or continue playing on a pay-as-you-go basis for £5 per session. Members get keys to the clubhouse, use of all the facilities and entry to any and all of the competitions and social events that are organised. Whilst the game is played mainly in the summer, the club is open year-round.
Of course, getting active doesn't have to mean parting with money. An excellent, smooth path lines the perimeter of Lammas Park, providing a great circuit for runners, joggers and walkers. There are regular markers along the way so you can check your distance easily.
Gym bunnies who want a change can take their workout outside, thanks to the facilities provided in this green space. Gym equipment, including weight machines, has been permanently installed on the grass.
A wide expanse in the centre of the park lends itself perfectly to throwing a Frisbee or ball around or doing a spot of skipping or hula-hooping. It's also the area where the Ealing Half Marathon begins and ends, if you're looking for something to train for. There are two brilliant play areas for children. Those under five can enjoy the equipment, large sandpit and nature reserve, complete with tepee tents, at the Lammas Park Play Centre. Myriad swings, slides, climbing frames and obstacle courses await older ones in the larger of the two playgrounds.