A million miles away from the hustle and bustle of Oxford Circus, the peace and quiet of leafy Dulwich is a great place to enjoy a quintessentially English pastime: croquet.
The club is part of Dulwich Sports Club, a members owned association with over 127 years of history which offers facilities for a wide range of activities.
Often likened to outdoor snooker croquet is easy to pick up. Players must hit coloured balls through a series of wire hoops set on a flat grass lawn with a wooden mallet. First one round the course wins. It’s not the most energetic of sports – in fact, physically, you’ll hardly notice you’re playing – but this leaves players free to chatter and enjoy a refreshing glass of Pimms (the sport’s unofficial drink) as they stroll about the croquet lawn.
As in cricket, that other archetypal English sport, it is customary for competitors to dress in white. Mallets are usually wooden but, in an attempt to move with the times, models with space-age carbon fibre shafts have been spotted in recent years.
Although traditionally a sport associated with the upper classes, croquet is actually a haven of egalitarianism: a neat handicap system allows beginners to take on the experts with a good shot at winning, and, what’s more, women and men participate together on an even playing field.
Often viewed as an old-fashioned relic, croquet is actually a pleasantly lazy way to spend a summer afternoon, as well as giving you a good excuse to explore the outer environs of the capital.
Nearby attractions: Dulwich Picture Gallery, Dulwich Village
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