My life in travel: Tim Henman
'Our safari in South Africa was fantastic'
Saturday 11 January 2014
Tim Henman is a presenter and former professional tennis player. He has been a member and an ambassador for The Hideaways Club since 2008 (thehideawaysclub.com).
First holiday memory?
Portugal. I remember swimming, going to the beach, playing tennis and golf, and being in hot weather with my brothers. My parents normally rented a villa in the Algarve, but they later built a villa at the Vale do Lobo resort in the 1980s, so our family holidays were always there.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
Turnberry golf course on a sunny day. It's a very old, historic course, with incredible views, that's held a lot of great tournaments.
We've been on safari twice – once on our honeymoon and again on our tenth wedding anniversary, to Singita in South Africa, on the edge of the Kruger National Park. It was incredible to see the animals in their own habitat, but the accommodation, food and service made it unlike anything else. It was fantastic.
What have you learnt from your travels?
That, having stayed in hotels for the majority of the time when I was playing tennis, I now prefer to stay in a villa. Everything is taken care of and at the end, you just leave.
Ideal travelling companion?
My family. From about when I was 16 until I was 33, my travel companions were eight tennis rackets and my trainers. So, one of the great aspects of when I stopped playing was that I got to go away instead with my wife and three kids.
Where has seduced you?
Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos islands – the beaches and the water was hard to beat. We only had one child at the time and so life was pretty simple then.
Worst travel experience?
We went to Dubai in February for some winter sun. As we came in to land, my younger daughter was sick on the plane. Then, every 24 hours after that, another person went down with the same stomach bug. In terms of a holiday, it was a bit disappointing.
The Four Seasons in Marrakech. It was virtually empty, the weather was amazing and the food and service was fantastic.
The South West Coast Path. My in-laws have a place in Devon, so we've done quite a bit down there, but it goes virtually the whole way around to Dorset, Cornwall and Somerset too. Even when it's a wet wintry day, there are some great walks, amazing beaches and good pubs.
Best meal abroad?
The Crown Towers in Melbourne has a great sushi restaurant called Koko. There's a teppanyaki grill where Japanese chefs cook in front of you.
Thailand next Christmas. Until this point, two hours on a plane with my youngest daughter was plenty. Now they're older, we're starting to look further afield.
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