Wimbledon is behind us and the great summer holiday stretches ahead. It's time to play! Inspired by outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup, we celebrate the joys of informal tennis holidays where all you need is your racket and - perhaps - a tent!
Taking your racket on holiday is a must for Local League players (see our story, right, about how to make the best of your tennis trips) but you don't need to be staying in a posh hotel with its own courts or to be on a specialist tennis break to benefit.
We have our own fond memories of an impromptu weekend with friends to a caravan site in Porthmadog on the beautiful Welsh coast. The camp was the summer haunt from childhood for our friend Phillipa and full of the happiest memories of staying in her grandparents' caravan. In passing Phil mentioned the site even had its own tennis court. Red rag to a bull, the challenge was on. We came armed with our rackets and left with a couple of laughter-filled victories under our belts.
For sports' lovers keen to combine their passion for tennis with a summer holiday, a camping or a glamping break is a brilliant option. Pitchup.com (www.pitchup.com), which offers a full online booking service has been rounding up the possibilities. The site has almost 400 campsites and glampsites across the UK, Europe and rest of the world where tennis courts are available for guests: click here for full list. Searches for sites with tennis courts on site or with tennis courts nearby were up 17% year on year (May 2019 vs May 2018) so it is clearly a growing trend.
Here's Pitchup's selection but do let us know if you have favourites of your own. We would love to hear your stories.
Stay and play
Silligrove Farm Yurts – Kidderminster, Worcestershire (England)
Luxury glamping on 130 acres of farmland near the ancient Wyre Forest, Silligrove Farm Yurts is the perfect match for your summer holiday. A grass tennis court near the entrance to the 15th-century farmstead site is available for players of all levels, with an array of bridle paths in the vicinity for long walks to improve your stamina. Yurts are equipped with kitchen, stoves, barbecues, sun loungers and more, with shared bathroom facilities available. Four-person yurts start from £65 per night; minimum stay may be required. Six-person yurts also available.
Wairds Park – Montrose, Angus (Scotland)
In holiday terms, Scotland is usually better known for its golfing prowess than tennis, but Andy Murray is helping to change all that and there are more amd more opportunities to play. Wairds Park allows families the opportunity to experience both – and more – making this a perfect destination for sporting families. Brush up on your serve on the two floodlit hard courts, practice your golf short game on the 18-hole putting course or give lawn bowls a go on the immaculate green. Non-electric grass tent or trailer tent pitches start from £20 per night (for up to four people), with electric sites for tents, trailer tents and touring caravans from £22 per night.
Just Us Retreats – Crediton, Devon (England)
Practice your backhand in quiet surroundings with a stay at Just Us Retreats. Less than half an hour’s drive from Exeter and under an hour to southern beaches, the units offer a cosy rendezvous in the middle of Devon. The asphalt-surfaced tennis court (with rackets and balls available) is set in a meadow so you’ll be able to fine-tune your tennis moves in peace and quiet. A Devonshire cream tea awaits on arrival, while units (see main picture above) include open-air kitchens to cook up your evening feast. Bell tents and the Bathsheba Shepherd’s Hut start from £100 per night (minimum two night stay required) for stays during June and July.
Camping Baia Paradiso – Badesi, Sardinia (Italy)
Three-kilometres from the Italian village of Badesi, with direct access to the Li Junchi beach, this camp site's facilities include bar and restaurant, swimming pools, tennis court, football pitch and activities programme in the kids’ club. Camp sites and cabins are available starting from the Blu electric sand tent pitches (prices from £12.45 per night for two adults) to the Villetta 1-bedroom apartment prices from £53.30 per night (for two adults).
Camping Los Escullos – Nijar, Andalusia (Spain)
Wimbledon escaped the rain this year, but you never know what a British summer will bring. Holidaymakers at this Spanish site will no doubt be enjoying one of the 328 days of sunshine the park receives! The driest region in Europe, the campsite features a tennis court and football pitch (mixed use), with basketball, volleyball and swimming also on site. Electric optional gravel pitches suitable for campervans, caravans and tents start from £26.70 per night; 2-bedroom chalets for up to five people start from £46.10 per night.
Need to get match-ready before you go? Check out our list of leagues here localtennisleagues.com/leagues