Down an oddly long and tree lined single lane road on the edge of London lies David Lloyd Sudbury Hill, set next to a golf course this David Lloyd the last time I visited was feeling a bit tired, a little rusty and all together not like a David Lloyd, but I knew that back in 2016 when I finished my last set that they were due a re-furb and now I have been back.
The gym itself is split over 2 floors in an impressive and large unit, with the changing rooms, swimming pools and normal downstairs amenities we are seeing such as café and then the main gym area upstairs. This is another of the David Lloyd's where we find that swimming pool is the centre point of the gym with everything else in a large ring around it. One minor difference here is that the area with everything else on is open over the pool, this gives a nice open feel but the obvious downside is the humidity and the resulting impact on the equipment, I will come back to this.
The gym area circling the pool has a new layout, retaining the free weights section at one end of the rectangle/oval (shorter side) with cardio equipment down one side and a synergy/functional area down the other long side and the cable setup at the other short end this looks really attractive. But sadly once again any change between using a bench press and a press machine results in a minor quest to Narnia to be achieved. There is a small selection of cable equipment down by the free weights/plate machines but not the full selection as it used to be or I have found in other David Lloyds.
The weights section is reasonably supplied with one of everything you would expect, along with this there are 2 squat racks with cages/platforms and one without along with a couple of slightly different lat pulldown/row machines than I have found else where. To one side you also have the full free weights/dumbells with about 4 benches and the dumbells go up to 50kg but are in this gym unlike any other I have yet trained at incremented in2.5kg not 2kg… This is a minor bug bear but threw me right off!
The plate loading machines are what we see in a lot of David Lloyd this one with a decline chest press and a normal selection of pull down, row which are all the newer refurb setup.
The cable machines at the other end of the gym have an ample selection with peck deck, leg extension, row and a few others to boot.
The main challenge this gym has with all of this kit which isn't nearly as bad now as it was is damp and chlorine, with the pool being open the last time I came here I could see the rust puffing out of the bars I used as I re-racked them, the open top to the pool while attractive had left everything covered in rust. This is vastly improved now and everything felt a lot cleaner but I do worry a little for the future…
The cardio equipment is ample here with a normal selection of steppers, cross trainers, treadmills and a few TVs in front of those who don't have screens which has been missing in the last couple of places.
The synergy section here has gone all out with sled, steps, punch bags and looks really fun and was one of the busiest areas with the gym clearly making the most of this.
As ever with David Lloyd the rest of the facilities are ample with a café, wifi which is very good, plenty of rooms for classes here, the pool along with outdoor tennis and indoor squash courts. The changing rooms had been picked up a bit in the refurb and were nice to start so felt really good to get in and I felt clean coming out which didn’t always quite feel the case.
The refurb here was possibly one of the most needed of any David Lloyd I have been to and they have really hit the nail on the head with what needed doing to make this place feel fantastic again.
All up this is a good, solid selection of equipment with only minor annoyance in layout. The main challenge you may find here in summer is the humidity and over time I do worry about the impact this will have on the machines but if the club is committed as I know the staff are to maintaining a great experience I know this will be looked after.
For a David Lloyd at 6am pretty busy! I was impressed at the number of people who were in/out, the large space doesn't make it feel crowded but potentially expect to wait for bits of kit
Could be worth checking in an evening ahead of time given this as if the morning is anything to go by it could be a slow evening.
Free weights area
3 squat racks (2 with deadlift platforms)
1 flat bench, 1 incline, 1 decline
4 free benches
Dumbells up to 50kg
Set of plate machines including
Cable machines including
Cable cross over
Studios (inc spin)
Free weights area
Outdoor tennis courts
As ever David Lloyd can vary by location on where your base is, recently talking to a friend they got a starting rate of
£90 for standard
£70 per person for couples
I have as other reviews had between £60-90 as the range and worth a haggle
Plenty of parking and feels amazingly peaceful for where you are in London here which I always found odd, very out of the way which is nice
Not a bad place to stop off on a journey into London to break it as I often did given that you can drop off the M4 to get here