Every year, the tense tiebreaks and luscious lawns of Wimbledon inspire many of us to turn off the telly, reach for a racquet and indulge in some very rusty but much-needed exercise.
Bath has a wealth of high quality public sports facilities just waiting to be raided by those of us in the grip of Murray-mania, which is why we have decided to share with you five of our favourite Public Sporting Facilities in the city.
Anyone can turn up to Tennis in the Park, who offer a membership-free pay and play system. A total of seven courts are hidden away in a sheltered corner of The Royal Victoria Park, four of which are indoors and floodlit during the winter.
Set in such tranquil surroundings, however, grunters of the Sharapova variety may wish to tone down their performance.
This brand new 1.5km (that’s 0.93 miles to you and me) cycle track was built by B&NES council with the help of a £600,000 grant from British Cycling and is one of only 17 such closed road cycling circuits in England. The track received a grand opening from the UK’s King of the Pedals, Sir Chris Hoy, and is designed to encourage more people in the area to take up the sport.
Open family sessions run several times a week from as little as £1 per participant, and inhabitants of penthouse apartments with no storage space can always borrow a bicycle from the track.
This round-up would not be complete without mention of the University of Bath’s impressive sporting facilities, many of which can be booked for public use. The Training Village has played host to a variety of international sports stars and teams, and if you’ve ever idly wondered whether bobsleigh could be your calling then look no further.
A state of the art gym is available to members, and virtually every other sport is catered for – from badminton to volleyball. This is truly the place to discover your area of expertise in time for Rio 2016!
Fans of a Reside5 (let’s call you Reside5ers) will recognise Bath Approach Golf Course from our Viewpoints of Bath blog a couple of months ago. Not only can anyone walk in off the street and enjoy a reasonably priced round of golf, but the panoramas over Bath are not to be missed.
Club hire is included in the admission price, so don’t worry if you’re a 5 iron short of a full set – there’s something here for everyone.
If you find that golf is rather too much of an adrenaline rush, you may wish to consider the wonderfully social and gentile game of pétanque. Bath has several pétanque pistes, most notably in Queen Square and Alexandra and Alice Parks, all of which can be booked through the council or used for free if you happen upon an empty one.
The Bath pétanque scene is a busy one, with popular Tuesday and Thursday leagues always on the look-out for new teams and players, and several other competitions running throughout the summer. In fact, visitors to Queen Square on a Thursday evening will often be able to spot the low-flying Reside pétanque team in action.
We hope we’ve given you 5 good reasons turn off the telly and explore some of what Bath has to offer, but before you dig out your tennis whites why not tweet us to let us know what sport you’ll be playing today.