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?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee