10 strangest places to play table tennis
You don’t have to be in a community centre to play table tennis. We’ve tracked down 10 free tables in exciting locations around the UK.
1. In a bandstand
Take your bats down to the seafront and play in Brighton’s famous, and recently restored, bandstand.
2. Outside an art gallery
You’ll find a table at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, a gallery and project space that opened in 2007. Enjoy views across the town and the North Yorkshire Moors while you play.
3. At the bar
Bars specialising in table tennis can be found all over the UK. In London, try Bounce. In Manchester, visit Twenty Twenty Two in the Northern Quarter. On the Welsh coast, head to Wiff Waff Bar in Aberystwyth. In Belfast, try Cuckoo – a student bar with table tennis. And across Scotland, The Ballroom sports bars promise ping pong, pizza and a pint.
4. Between two other people
Forget doubles, you can now play table tennis in teams of three, thanks to a new table design. The T3 table is circular and divided into six segments so each player knows when to pounce on the ball. You can play T3 for free at Hampstead Heath in London.
5. Down the market
Chelmsford’s 800-year-old market hosts a table-tennis table. Who knows, you may even find a bat and ball for sale at one of the market’s bric-a-brac stalls…
6. At the Olympics
Well, almost… There’s a table at Three Mills Green in East London, not far from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Play table tennis next to the Grade 1 listed House Mill – the largest existing tidal mill in the world.
7. By a lake
Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes is a great spot for water sports, birdwatching and picnics. It’s also the perfect setting for a game of table tennis.
8. At the library
Between chapters, you can play a bit of table tennis outside Leeds’ lovely Central Library. Not far from Hyde Park, it’s a great spot for a game.
9. At a festival
Bristol-based Kings of Ping put on regular table tennis parties – or ‘bling pong’, as they like to call it. Find them at bars in Bristol and at summer festivals, most notably Shambala. Players are encouraged to wear fancy dress.
10. In the moat
Built by William the Conqueror in 1067, Nottingham Castle has a long and bloody history. You’ll find a Ping! table outside the castle; hopefully your table tennis match won’t get as grisly.