The Independent Parent: 'Where are the best residential tennis camps?'


Q. My 12-year-old son is showing great enthusiasm for tennis and I'm thinking of sending him on an unaccompanied residential tennis holiday during the school holidays, ideally somewhere in the UK.

Q. My 12-year-old son is showing great enthusiasm for tennis and I'm thinking of sending him on an unaccompanied residential tennis holiday during the school holidays, ideally somewhere in the UK. Please can you offer some suggestions - I don't want it to be too intense, so it would be good if there were other activities for him to get involved with as well.
L Lowe, via e-mail

A. As you do not want the tennis to be too intensive, a "Tennis and Multi-Sport" week with Exsportise (01444 444777; www.exsportise.co.uk) might be a good option. Exsportise has been running sports camps for unaccompanied children (aged nine-16) since 1988, and offers a choice of four venues in the UK. All of the holidays are based in boarding schools: Seaford College in West Sussex near the South Downs, Clayesmore School in Blandford Forum in Dorset, Fettes College in Edinburgh and Sevenoaks School in Kent.

Your son can play tennis for three hours each morning (Sunday-Friday), and in the afternoons choose from a selection of other sports including cricket, rugby, football, basketball and swimming. Lessons are taught by Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and United States Professional Tennis Registry (USPTR)-qualified coaches, and have a staff-to-student ratio of one to six. All coaches have experience teaching children.

The week's coaching covers all aspects of the game and finishes with a tournament on the Friday. The afternoons are more relaxed and flexible - your son can just sign up at lunchtime for what activities he fancies doing that day.

Accommodation is provided in the school houses - boys and girls sleep separately and have a choice of single and double rooms or small dormitories. There is one member of staff for every child. The course offers plenty of time for fun with a selection of evening entertainment including a weekly disco, barbecue, and race night. Escorted transport to any of the centres in England (but not Scotland) can also be arranged from a pick-up point in central London for £20 each way.

This year, camps take place between 4 July and 27 August and cost £435 for six nights. This includes full-board accommodation plus all activities and tuition. If your son is showing enthusiasm for tennis, it may also be worth buying him a membership to the LTA (020-7381 7037; www.lta.org.uk). This costs £20 per year for under-18s and will qualify him for a 15 per cent discount on Exsportise holidays. He will also receive monthly copies of Ace and British Tennis magazines, as well as a player rating which will enable him to enter tournaments and qualify for other travel offers.

Alternatively Windmill Hill Tennis and Golf Academy (08700 339997; www.windmillhill.co.uk), deep in the East Sussex countryside, has been running highly regarded tennis holidays for unaccompanied children around your son's age for the past 27 years. This year, its junior summer camps for 10- to 16-year-olds will take place from 26 June to 4 September. Your son would do three sessions of tennis each day (Monday-Sunday), which translates as three to four hours' play per day. There are plenty of other activities to help him unwind off the court, including an outdoor swimming-pool, a film night, a childrens' disco, volleyball, table tennis, a pool table and football matches. Children have their meals and can watch TV in the main Grade-II listed Georgian house. Accommodation is offered in single-sex houses (a cottage and a bungalow) in the surrounding grounds. Each house sleeps a maximum of 10 or 12 children, and a staff member stays overnight.

As far as tennis facilities go, there are four indoor courts, two outdoor hard courts, four outdoor synthetic courts and eight grass courts, so your son will be able to gain experience of playing on an array of different surfaces. Each coach handles a maximum of eight children, and the training programme includes video analysis as well as a tournament at the end of the week.

Escorted transport can be arranged from nearly anywhere in the country but costs extra.

A seven-night stay costs £550 per child on a full-board basis including all tuition and activities.

Finally, Jonathan Markson (020-7603 2422; www.marksontennis.com) has run tennis holidays in the UK and abroad for 25 years. Although its camps based in Oxford may be too intensive for your son's needs (up to 30 hours of tuition per week), it is also running a new camp this year between 16 and 30 July, which is designed for 11- to 16-year-olds.

The camps are held at Giggleswick School in the Yorkshire Dales and will provide three hours of tennis in the mornings (Sunday to Thursday), with a maximum of five or six players per coach. Again, in the afternoon there is a choice of other sports including cricket, hockey, swimming, rugby and footballin the afternoons. As is the case with the other holidays, Friday is reserved for an end of week tennis tournament.

Girls and boys are accommodated separately in single, twin or triple rooms. The price is £560 for seven nights' full-board accommodation, including all tuition and activities.

Send your family travel questions to The Independent Parent, Travel Desk, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS or e-mail crusoe@independent.co.uk

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?