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They say the grass is greener on the other side, but this is a not statement that can be expressed truthfully if you live in South London, in particular the Lambeth area, which has acres and acres of grassy pitches. So they may not be luscious emerald fields of freshly fertilised lawn, but if they were they would probably bear rude little signs instructing people to “Keep off the grass”. Nonetheless, full of rugged character, there is no better surface than the home turf of grass which provides the most natural ball response and reminds us of playing in our youth. There’s nothing like playing midfield in midpark, surrounded by greenery and the fresh smell of muck, with not a sports drink advertisement in sight. If there’s so much as a sniff of dry weather, take it as a green light and go get back to your roots. You’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t.
Clapham Common has 8 full sized pitches to choose from nestled amidst its vast open space. They are available on a pay and play basis. There are changing facilities and nearby pay and display parking available. Contact email@example.com or 0207 223 9837 for bookings.
Brockwell Park has 3 full sized grass pitches run by the GLL and hired out by pay and play arrangement. The park itself is raised on Herne Hill, with heightened views of the city. There are changing rooms available and parking on nearby streets. For bookings email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0845 130 8998.
Dulwich Sports Grounds has grass facilities available for five, seven and eleven-a-side play. The 5 large, 2 junior and 2 mini pitches are extremely well maintained with good goals and level grass. There are changing rooms available on site. The pitches are open 8am til 8pm each day and cost £52 per hour. Phone Gary Cornforth on 0207 737 7283 for booking enquiries.
Edward Alleyn Club, based in Southwark, is a 10 to 15 minute walk from Herne Hill Station and has 2 full sized pitches available. There are changing facilities and free parking. Bookings are through the manager Rob Tyley at email@example.com or 020 7274 4864.
Ruskin Park in Camberwell is a GLL run site with 2 full sized pitches. One of the pitches is in pristine condition, whilst the other one is less well kempt but more than satisfactory for casual play. Bookings are through firstname.lastname@example.org or 0845 130 8998.
Belair Park contains three eleven-a-side pitches and a grass mini pitch. The full sized pitches cost £84 or £64 with concession. Managed by Southwark Council, you can book via email@example.com.
Tooting Bec Athletics Track has 1 seven-a-side football pitch which is floodlit, an unusual perk for a grass pitch. It is situated in the centre of the running track so is at the heart of the centre’s action and costs £52 per hour. The facilities are in high demand and bookings can be hard to come by. Call 0208 8717 171 for enquiries.