London’s fitness scene has exploded in recent years, with a record number of people in the capital taking up dedicated health and wellness regimes. According to a report by CIL consultants, the UK fitness market is worth around £5 billion and has grown 20 per cent over the last five years, led by a growing number of high-spec gyms and boutique studio offerings in the capital.
Proving that gruelling workouts can be done even in the most luxurious of settings – alongside exclusive services akin to those found in five-star hotels – London’s best luxury gyms offer some of the most exclusive fitness experiences in the world.
Third Space, City
Best for: Total-body transformations
Arguably London’s best luxury gym chain, Third Space’s newest space, in the heart of the City, embodies its signature mix of innovative workout facilities in sumptuous surrounds. This 27,000-square-foot club touts an impressive free weights section, leading Technogym equipment, combat studios and a hypoxic chamber, which lets you train in deoxygenated air to mimic the fitness benefits of working out at altitude. Our favourite bit? The quartz lamps, which help you escape the London smog by destroying 99.9 per cent of biological contaminants in the air.
Membership: From £100/month for weekend-only access, £195/month with full membership across all clubs; thirdspace.london
Third Space City, 40 Mark Ln, Billingsgate, London EC3R 7AT
Best for: Flexibility
If you’re looking for a luxury gym experience in London without the monthly commitment, then Third Space’s class-based concept, Another Space, offers more flexibility. Literally, in the case of its pay-as-you-go yoga classes, which are run by some of London’s leading yogis in light, dappled, wood-panelled spaces in Covent Garden and Bank. Those looking for a more intense workout are covered, too, as Another Space offers both boxing-based HIIT (think punch bag drills interspersed with tough bodyweight moves) and a cycle studio.
Classes: £23 per class; monthly packages start at £110; anotherspace.london
Another Space Covent Garden, 4-10 Tower St, London WC2H 9NP
Gymbox, Covent Garden
Best for: Soundtracking your workout
Gymbox does things a little differently. Its longtime architect, Patrick McKinney, spent most of his career designing nightclubs and the brand’s London gyms feel as much like a place to party as a place to work out, with live DJs, club-style lighting rigs (the Cannon Street gym even has smoke machines) and lots of exposed concrete. They’re not just about looks, though. Gymbox’s Covent Garden gym has more than a hundred different classes on offer, from dancehall to power lifting, as well as an enormous range of equipment and machinery, so you’re covered whether you’re looking to build muscle, lose weight or anything in between. As the name suggests, it’s also home to unrivalled combat facilities, and offers the likes of boxing, MMA and Krav Maga classes taught by professional fighters.
Membership: fees are undisclosed, contact the gym you’re interested in for pricing options; gymbox.com
Gymbox Covent Garden, 42-49 St Martin’s Ln, Charing Cross, London WC2N 4EJ
Best for: Boxing
As you’d expect from a gym launched by heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, BXR offers innumerable ways to punch, kick and fight your way to fitness, whether you’re a hardened sparrer or have never thrown a fist before. Yes, there’s an Olympic-sized boxing ring right at the centre, but even pacifists are catered for: BXR boasts more than 12,000 sq ft of space (not bad, for a central London gym) housing everything from climbing ropes to sledge tracks and tractor tyres. Unlike traditional boxing gyms, you’ll find neither spit nor sawdust anywhere – BXR is unashamedly luxe, and post-workout you can soothe your aching muscles in the steam room, sauna or ice basin, then refuel in the club lounge.
Membership: £1,500 per year; bxrlondon.com
BXR, 24 Paddington St, Marylebone, London W1U 5QY
The Arts Club, Lanserhof
Best for: High-tech wellness
Dubbed London’s first “medical gym”, the The Arts Club, Lanserhof fuses elite Mayfair private members’ club aesthetics with Alpine health resort wellness tech. Set in the former Dover Street Market building, the gym boasts pioneering health and fitness equipment with an emphasis on sports science. It’s perhaps best known for its bespoke wellness plans; your induction package claims to be “the world’s most comprehensive”, and includes an MRI body composition analysis, spine and movement imbalance examination, cardiovascular screening and 3D body scanning. So you can train like the athlete you’ve always wanted to be.
Membership: £6,500/year with £1,500 joining fee; lanserhof.com
Lanserhof at the Arts Club, 17-18 Dover St, Mayfair, London W1S 4LT
Best for: Space
Size matters, especially in London. That’s why US luxury gym chain Equinox has made space a priority at its new Bishopsgate club, the its third – and largest – site in London. The open-plan gym spans a massive 32,000 square feet across five floors, where you’ll not only find luxury and cutting-edge gym apparatus, but also a spa, pilates and hot yoga studios, a marble-clad lounge area and swish changing rooms, laden with complimentary Kiehl’s products.
Membership: From £215/month; equinox.com
Equinox Bishopsgate, 8 Clerks Pl, London EC3A 8AQ
ESPA Life at Corinthia Hotel
Best for: Pampering
ESPA Life’s permanent installation at the Corinthia is a more a spa with a gym attached than the other way around. A very well-equipped gym, mind: think cutting-edge Technogym machines and some of the capital’s best personal trainers. But it’s after your workout that things get really luxurious. Members can repair their aching bodies in the thermal suite, which features a steel-lined pool, spacious sauna and steam rooms and heated loungers. Best of all, it never feels too crowded: membership numbers are capped to ensure the entire space feels like a private escape.
ESPA Life at Corinthia Hotel, Whitehall Pl, Westminster, London SW1A 2BD
Best for: Fight skills
Founded by former middleweight world champion Darren Barker and Repton Boxing Club and England team captain Ryan Pickard, 12X3 offers high-end facilities and the opportunity to work one-on-one with professional-level boxers. As well as sparring and fight prep, you can also test yourself with pro boxer-inspired circuit workouts, which will hone your punching technique while challenging your stamina.
Sessions: from £25; membership: from £69/month; 12x3gym.co.uk
12×3 Aldgate, 76 Alie St, Aldgate, Whitechapel, London E1 8PZ
Best for: Personal touches
This plush members club is all about training smarter, not just harder, by delivering an all-round and personal approach to fitness. Aside from its gym, fitness studios, on-site restaurant and spa, it houses clinics offering physiotherapy and aesthetic medicine. Here, members will undergo a detailed health analysis, including everything from body composition tests to DNA analysis. Once you’re finished with all that, you can enjoy changing rooms stocked with luxury toiletries, dressing gowns, slippers and complementary fragrance.
Membership: £575/month plus £2,000 joining fee; kxlife.co.uk
KX, 151 Draycott Ave, Chelsea, London SW3 3AL
Best for: Exclusivity
The Clock in Marylebone is so exclusive you’ve got to be in-the-know to be aware it exists. You won’t find a name on the door, but once past the threshold, you’ll be met with an elegant, wood-panelled space, complete with chandelier, fireplace, and even a grand piano. The centrepiece is what gives the gym its name: The Timepiece. This one-of-a-kind piece of training kit is designed to work every muscle in less time, without over-exerting you. Think of it as group training, without the group: only four people (overseen by a PT) will ever be working out at once.
Membership: £600/month, or £595 for the 12-day programme; theclock.com
The Clock Marylebone, 42 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London W1G 8YF
Best for: Style
This chain of boutique gyms was co-founded by property developer Ed Stanbury and fashion photographer Max Oppenheim, and its minimal and industrial-looking fitness studios can feel like sweaty fashion shoots. Blok Shoreditch is its latest and most stylish opening, not all about form: with some of London’s best trainers to lead you through classes in everything from boxing to ballet, there’s plenty of function here, too. If you upgrade your membership to its Black Card, you’ll even get exclusives offers and discounts from brands like Browns, Malin + Goetz and Bistrotheque.
Membership: £17 for a single class; £215 for unlimited classes over 30 days; bloklondon.com
BLOK Shoreditch, 2 Hearn St, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3BR
South Kensington Club
Best for: Celebrity spotting
Set in an extravagant Georgian townhouse, this private members’ club’s combination of location, facilities and discretion has made it one of London’s best luxury gyms for celeb-spotting. David Beckham, Prince Harry, Liv Tyler and Maria Sharapova have all stopped by, perhaps for a workout in the top-floor fitness studio or a visit to the lavish bathhouse below, which features plunge pools, Turkish hammams and London’s only saltwater Watsu pool.
Membership: From £365/month, plus a £1,000 joining fee. Under-30s rate from £228/month with £500 joining fee; southkensingtonclub.com
South Kensington Club, 42 Harrington Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 3ND
Best for: Rowing
Rowing is one of the toughest full-body workouts, and it’s made even tougher at Metabolic’s glossy, 370 square metre gym. Its Meta-Row class is a brutal workout – think high-intensity cardio on the rowing machine, paired with full-body weighted workouts on the gym floor – which promises to burn hundreds of calories per session. If you ever get bored of rowing, the gym also provides calisthenics and personal training.
Sessions: from £20; membership: £125/month; metaboliclondon.com
Metabolic London, Greater London House, Hampstead Rd, London NW1 7QX
Best for: Functional training
Now claiming to be the world’s fastest-growing fitness network, F45 fuses HIIT, circuits and functional training, offering a choice of 36 different 45-minute workouts. Our favourites include its Foxtrot class, which puts participants through a tough, military resistance system via 12 circuit stations, and Moon Hopper, which cycles through 18 different mind- and body-testing workouts.
Sessions: from £25; membership: from £187; f45training.co.uk
F45 has studios through London