There are a number of clubs of all sizes across the country so it is likely that you will find one within a few miles of you. Initially you will want to consider a few which are the most convenient for where you live or work.
Ideally, you will want a club which is affiliated with the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) which will provide the assurance that the club is well run, with both safeguarding and insurance in place. To find LTA affiliated clubs near you, simply visit the “find a tennis court” section on LTA’s website, put in your postcode and you will be given a list of your closest tennis clubs.
From there you will be able to see what each club offers, how many courts they have, what playing surface(s) they have and if coaching is available. You may also want to check how much it costs to become a member as it can vary substantially from one club to another. There are often family memberships which offer great value for money, In some clubs, such as at Bubwith, there can be free membership options for young children and their parents/guardians.
In terms of playing surface, there is no reason to worry too much when you are beginning. There are three main surfaces used in the UK: hard courts, astroturf/artificial grass and grass. All have their pros and cons. With grass, ensure that the courts are well maintained. Some grass courts can give an uneven bounce which may be problematic when learning.
If you are hoping to play tennis throughout the year, you will need a club with indoor courts or with floodlights on outdoor courts. The other thing to consider is court availability – there may be a lot of courts, but if there is also a lot of members, will there usually be a court available at the times you want to play?
Most clubs will be happy to show you around before you join, so don’t be scared to ask.