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

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
News
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
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

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager - Bristol

    £31000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the UK, the major project fo...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Executive - Meetings & Events (MICE) - £40,000 OTE

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achieving...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Account Executive - Hotel Reservation Software - £40,000 OTE

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: A rapidly growing Hotel ...

    Recruitment Genius: Tyre Technician / Mechanic

    £15000 - £16800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Tyre Technician / Mechanic is...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game