We’ve had a busy couple of months, H started school, we went on holiday to Corfu, and we also had a 14 days for £14 trial at David Lloyd gym in Gloucester. I didn’t actually get to try it for the whole time as we were tied up with other things and then I was ill with food poisoning. However, after 8 days of being ‘members’ I really was left thinking I wish we’d been able to use all 14 days. It actually it really is a fantastic place for families. There are kids clubs, kids summer camps, a mini soft play, and as we’ve swam so much the girls’ swimming has come on leaps and bounds.
Our David Lloyd Trial
I mentioned above I had food poisoning after our 2nd date night this year, well that was actually the first day we had been going to use our trial. Luckily for me while I slept on the sofa, hubby took the girls off to swim and explore our closest club, David Lloyd in Gloucester.
He came home raving about it. How nice the facilities were, how quiet the pool was and how it was just a nice experience all round. We’ve been pottering around the local council run pools and never find them relaxing. They’re stressful and noisy and so so busy. Even on a Sunday morning, he said it was a completely different experience.
So, on Tuesday it was my turn to brave my first time taking both girls swimming on my own and I must say it was a breeze. The changing rooms appeared clean and spacious. No changing on top of other people. No, sorry you need in there, sorry we’re in the way, sorry we’re just waiting for a changing room. There’s even a playpen with TV showing cbeebies. Countless hairdryers and mirrors. Umpteen showers.
The indoor pool is 25 m and there is also a 20 m outdoor pool which we used as well (sometimes its adult only, other times it’s family time). We loved that there is a huge box with pool woggles, floats and back floats. We actually bought B a Zoggs backfloat to use one holiday as she loved it after trying one here.
Having now been swimming there a few times, it’s been a similar experience every time. Quiet and just a relaxing fun experience. The girls swimming has come on leaps and bounds as they had space to swim and we’ve been so much in a short space of time.
As well as the two pools there is a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room – both of which look newly renovated.
I had enquired about the girls trying swimming lessons but we didn’t ever hear back so that didn’t happen, however I’ve a few friends who have kids who swim there and they think it’s really good.
The bar/resturant/food and soft play
The food was lovely, sometimes it felt a bit slow coming out, but there is a tiny soft play for the kids and also a nook with iPads and a TV, again showing cbeebies. It was a lovely place to sit and wait for daddy to meet us after work for a swim.
The coffees were good too!
As you can see the soft play is tiny but does the job!
I understand from the mighty Google that some other David Lloyds have bigger soft plays.
DL Kids club and crèche
The DL kids club covers all ages and they try to run the clubs at the same time as popular classes so parents can take part easily. I didn’t manage to try this though as I’d have had to pay for both girls to go in the crèche as the age 3-4 clubs don’t run at the same time as the crèche.
The crèche only runs in the morning and during the week the kids clubs are ‘after school’ time, even for 3 and 4 year old’s clubs which seems a bit weird.
– DL crèche is for kids 0-5 and cost £5 an hour.
– DL Make, Discover and Play classes are for age 3-4.
And then there are classes for kids age 5+. I even heard they do movie nights for older kids!
H tried DL Make where she made a dinosaur, drew a dinosaur and had dinosaur stories. She also tried a tennis taster which she absolutely loved. Tennis lessons do cost extra though if you become a member.
We didn’t try the crèche in the end, but did mean to. However the lady we spoke to said the do painting and gave various toys to play with. There was also a soft play blocks area. It looked great fun, and B actually cried and cried as we left H for her club as she wanted to go and play too. She’d have absolutely loved it.
To be honest as B is two and H starting school soon, I think it would be fantastic for us as I could leave B in the crèche for an hour or two while I have a bit of me time during the week. She’s not in nursery or playschool yet so I don’t get a moment to myself, so that would be amazing!
I didn’t get to trying the gym as I didn’t manage to coordinate H’s clubs with crèche, however hubby did quite a few and really enjoyed them. He also used the gym quite a few couple of times before work and again really enjoyed it.
I would have liked to try the yoga and Pilates classes, however they seem to book up quickly. Classes can be booked 8 days in advance so by the time we realised this and twigged it the times I could have tried were fully booked.
With David Lloyd gym membership you can also use any other David Lloyd gym which would be great on holiday and also for instance when we stay with my parents. I guess we’d need the top membership though as that’s the only one that gives you free guest passes each month. A shame really as we’d only use it about 3-4 times a year, but it would be lovely to take them along too.
Trying other David Lloyd gyms would also be great as I believe some have proper spas, bigger soft plays and outdoor play areas which I didn’t see at the David Lloyd in Gloucester. It would also be interesting to see how he kids clubs compare and creche.
We really enjoyed our trial and it would have been brilliant if we could have used it for the full 14 days, or even longer to really try out everything and get the benefit of being able to try yoga and Pilates.
Our thoughts after our trial
I think David Lloyd is great for families if you can coordinate the classes, kids clubs and crèche. It is expensive to join though and not many discounts that I can see. However initiatives like GymFlex where you pay your gym membership before tax and also corporate discounts may help.
I think the advantage of membership would be that you always have that place to go when the weather is rubbish or the kids are just winding each other up. After 5 weeks of summer holidays that really stands out as a massive plus point to me, and we’ve really taken advantage of our trial swimming as much as we can. I’ve written countless times before about our love of swimming and I must say this is the most relaxing swimming we’ve ever had with kids!
I really don’t think we got the full benefit of the membership during our trial, but I can definitely see the advantages.