The Edgbaston Priory Club: 50% off joining fee
Welcome to Birmingham's sparkling oasis
This is England. Birmingham in fact. And with 50% off the joining fee at The Edgbaston Priory Club until 31 August, it's going to work out significantly better value than that last minute week in Greece you keep thinking about. With at least 50 fitness classes a week, spangly squash courts, world class tennis facilities, an indoor and outdoor pool, and a gym with a helluva view, membership at the club is also going to make you feel a flagon-full of avocado juice better.
If you like tennis, you'll already know about the Aegon Classic Birmingham, which has made its way firmly on to the ladies Wimbledon warm-up route, taking place in early June at The Edgbaston Priory Club each year. What you may be less aware of is the number of beginners, intermediates and solidly social players, who make up a large part of the club and its silly good facilities for the rest of the year.
After a hiatus stretching to nearly a decade, it took but an hour with in-house coach, Claire, to get us to "intermediate level" (her words). And with plenty of weekly opportunities for a knock, or more organised termly courses and tournament opportunities, every ability is actively encouraged and looked after. Choose from the indoor tennis centre, or outdoor grass, clay or hard courts. So pretty much every type of court then.
The club is set in 14 acres of Edgbaston's finest green. And you can ogle approximately 13.5 of those acres from the Fitness Suite which includes the lightest, airiest gym we've spied in the region, which is open until 10pm every week night. The next door studio is where sessions from boxing circuits, to pilates, to spinning get going. There's a generous terrace attached to the studio where classes quickly move outdoors given the right conditions. Check out the current timetable right here.
Now open year round, the 18 metre outdoor pool (pictured top) is maintained at a rather friendly feeling 28℃, with an ever so civilised jacuzzi for a post-work out soak positioned next to it. Gloriously quiet on week night evenings, we reached a level of relaxation fitting of some sort of zen master following a tennis-swim-bubble triple combo.
For those a little less obsessed with being outside, the indoor pool is kept at a toasty 32℃, with easy access to the proper swish changing rooms and plenty of lounging opportunities if there's a chapter of a book you need to devour without disturbance.
A 45 minute lesson with head squash coach, Mike Edwards, will most likely do two things to you. 1. Knacker you out to levels you weren't aware possible and 2. Re-ignite (for those that have played before) or kickstart (for those that haven't) a thunderous passion for squash. Sure the gym is great when you need to exercise and you don't have a partner, but chasing a small ball around a world-class court is (*gets out calculator) a gazillion times more interesting. Plus they have group lessons for up to six people where you will very quickly find an opponent of equal talent (or in our case, lack there of) for a one-on-one.
Membership costs from £82 a month with discounts for under-26. Until August 31, get 50% off the joining fee when you mention I Choose Birmingham. For enquiries, or to arrange a viewing speak to the membership team. We highly recommend a viewing.
'I Choose Birmingham' is a free weekly email about the best things to do in Brum. Subscribe below.