Municipal gyms

Swiss Cottage Sports Centre Winchester Road, London NW3 3HA

Owned by Camden Borough Council. Holmes Place took over management in January 1996.

Fees: Pay as you play, approx pounds 3.40. One-monthly card (entitles holder to use of four other centres in Camden) pounds 30, three-monthly pounds 85, 12-monthly pounds 325. Includes induction.

Facilities: Refurbished gym and changing rooms since January. Gym has 55 pieces of equipment. Card allows unlimited use of all facilities including pool.

Clientele: No under-18s, but otherwise all age ranges, including an increasing number of seniors.

Telephone: 0171-413 6490

Meadowbank Sports Centre 141 London Road, Edinburgh

Owned and run by City of Edinburgh District Council. New equipment installed in April 1994.

Fees: Pay-as-you-play fee of pounds 2-pounds 4, including concessions. Monthly user card pounds 30-pounds 50, three-monthly user card pounds 70-pounds 115. Includes induction and access to all facilities.

Facilities: More than 70 pieces of equipment, both cardiovascular and resistance. User card allows access to four other Pulse centres across the city. Fully staffed with supervised fitness sessions.

Clientele: Both sexes and all age ranges - there are supervised classes for children.

Telephone: 0131-661 5351

Gloucester Health and Fitness Club Eastgate Street, Gloucester GL1 1DT

Owned and run by Gloucester City Council. Seven years old with equipment renewed regularly.

Fees: From pounds 29.80 a month bronze to pounds 38.10 a month gold membership, which allows access to all the facilities and classes free of charge. Includes induction.

Facilities: Three gyms, including body shop (free weights), sauna, Turkish baths, keep fit and circuit training classes.

Clientele: No under-17s, but otherwise broad age range of both sexes.

Telephone: 01452 307070

High-street clubs

The Y Club Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4JR

Owned and run by YMCA, but open to all. Six years old, equipment renewed two years ago.

Fees: One-off joining fee of pounds 80, then pounds 32.50 a month, pounds 125 for three months (including joining fee), pounds 320 for 12 months. Includes three fitness assessments, induction and personal programme. Concessions and family membership available.

Facilities: More than 30 pieces of equipment, indoor running track, sauna, sunbed and 18m pool. Keep fit, conditioning and other classes available.

Clientele: Everyone from eight-years-old to 85. Youngsters catered for with special classes.

Telephone: 0161-839 2567

Powerzone Health Club 68-70 Putney High Street, London SW15 1SF

Opened July 1996.

Fees: One-off joining fee of pounds 50, then pounds 38 a month, pounds 215 for six months, pounds 380 for 12 months. Includes free induction, fitness test and programme and periodic reassessment.

Facilities: 7,000sqft open-plan gym with modern equipment, sauna and sunbeds. Always fully staffed.

Clientele: Currently late 20s to early 40s, men and women.

Telephone: 0181-246 6700

David Lloyd Club Ipswich Road, Roath, Cardiff

Tennis centre with health and fitness section, which has a non-racket option. Opened October 1995.

Fees: One-off joining fee of pounds 125 and then pounds 34 a month, includes induction, personal programme and eight-week update.

Facilities: 12,000sqft gym with more than 150 pieces of equipment, 25m indoor pool, 20m outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, hair and beauty centre. Fitness and dance classes available.

Clientele: Broad age range, including families and children.

Telephone: 01222 460046

De luxe sanctuaries

The Harbour Club Watermeadow Lane, Chelsea, London SW6 2RR

Opened three years ago, but the gym has just been renovated.

Fees: Full membership, for which there is a waiting list of up to six months, is pounds 2,600.

Facilities: Tennis courts and real tennis court, two dance studios, indoor 25m pool and baby pool, gym with more than 50 machines, sauna and steam rooms, restaurant and conference facilities.

Clientele: The trendy place to get fit, or at least be seen to get fit, if you do not mind the paparazzi trying to get snaps of Princess Diana's cellulite.

Telephone: 0171-377 7700

Henlow Grange Health Farm Henlow, Bedfordshire ST16 6DB

Former private house turned into health farm in late 1960s.

Fees: Top-of-the-range membership is pounds 1,100 a year, on top of a joining fee of pounds 300.

Facilities: Indoor 25m pool, outdoor tennis courts, gym and personal fitness advisers, saunas, steam baths, sunbeds, dance and aerobic classes and multifarious beauty treatments.

Clientele: Well used by the famous, including actors and sports stars, and, a combination of the two, Frank Bruno, who had a training camp here before one of his world-title fights.

Telephone: 01462 811111

Western Baths Club Cranworth Street, Glasgow

Founded in 1876 and the second oldest swimming club in the world still in their own premises. Housed in listed building.

Fees: pounds 170 joining fee, plus pounds 300 a year. There is an 18-month waiting list.

Facilities: Unusual length 30-yard indoor pool in magnificent hall, Turkish and Russian baths, sauna, sports hall with space for badminton and football, gym, exercise and dance classes

Clientele: Despite long waiting list, does not consider itself an exclusive club and has members from all sections of society.

Telephone: 0141-339 1127