A LEVEL-BY-LEVEL SAMPLE OF PLACES TO WORK OUT

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

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