Situated deep in the heart of Epping Forest, The Connaught Club facilities provide an oasis of tranquillity in an increasingly frantic world. The Club was originally founded as a tennis and croquet club in 1885 as part of the facilities of the Royal Forest Hotel. Green bowling was added in 1910 and four squash courts were constructed in 1970. From humble beginnings, membership has obviously grown and at its peak in the 1990’s, reached over 600 members. The Club has survived two World Wars and dramatically improved its facilities to such an extent where the Club is now vibrant and active throughout the year whether your choice is tennis, bowls or squash and for those wishing to work out on a physical basis, there is also a gymnasium available.
Tucked into the south west corner of the Club and unseen by the casual passer-by, green bowls has been enjoyed at Connaught since the Edwardian era and over the years has produced players up to county and national standard. The green has also provided a haven where bowlers of all standards have been able to improve their skills and enjoy a friendly, social atmosphere.
The magnificent bowling surface is of a very high standard and the ancillary facilities, including the friendly Club bar, provide a relaxing atmosphere where a variety of food, refreshment and company can be enjoyed.
Connaught Bowls has vacancies for new members of all ages and standards. Why not give it a try? Beginners are always welcome and free advice and instruction is always available if required.
Since its inception in 1970, Connaught Squash has been the home of many fine world class players including former World Number 1, Peter Nicol who used Connaught as his training base under Coach Neil Harvey. The Club now has refurbished facilities including two glass-back courts and seating for 100 spectators for exhibition matches. Over the years, the coaching team has always been strong and the programme has produced several national junior champions in the past in addition to attracting many would-be champions of the future. Regular matches are played and for the more competitive, “ladders” are organised during the winter.
Connaught Tennis has a rich past and a reputation for excellence throughout British tennis. The Club is fortunate to be able to offer indoor facilities throughout the year on four courts in addition to seven outdoor courts in the summer. Many fine players have graced the Club’s courts including Wimbledon Champions Doris Hart, Jaroslav Drobny, Lew Hoad, Rod Laver and Virginia Wade who regularly entered the Open Tournament staged by the Club in the year preceding 1972. Many County players have been developed at the Club and the Junior Development programmes run by the coaches are always popular. For the regular social tennis player, there are internal activities organised and the indoor courts offer the opportunity to play all year round.
The Club has come a long way since 1885 and has continually added to and improved its facilities apart from the demise of croquet in 1939! The Club prides itself on providing facilities for those of all ages and abilities. The aim of the Club is to provide a friendly atmosphere in which you can relax and enjoy the activity of your choice. We are a family Club in idyllic surroundings and if nothing else, just pop in and make new friends.