Broadgate House’s Garden Guide
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While Wimbledon’s on tennis grips the nation, and many dream of breaking out their racquets and playing a game or two themselves. Not on some rented court, with better players on every side, grudgingly returning balls that go astray. What you want is your own court, in a country-house setting, where you can get together a group of friends and set up a private tennis party, with Pimms on tap.
What you need is a Wolsey Lodge. Several Wolsey Lodges have tennis courts, with enough rooms to accommodate groups of friends or family. Plan yourself a classic country-house tennis break: do it now.
Set on the edge of Dartmoor, Burnville House (pictured, right) offers self-catering options as well as B&B rooms so you can choose how to experience rural life in these beautiful surroundings. The Tennis court is just one of the many leisure facilities, which include a swimming pool and a games room, complete with skittles. Your home here is at the heart of a working organic farm, but it’s well positioned for walks on the moor or visits to Tavistock, the Eden Project or the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
An all-weather tennis court is par for the course at this country house in rural County Wexford: there’s also a croquet lawn for slower – but equally intense – contests. With six guest bedrooms and two self-catering units there’s the capacity to entertain large tennis parties. Meanwhile there’s always the chance to relax in Kilmokea’s spa, with an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, aromatherapy treatments and gym area.
Whether it’s tea and cucumber sandwiches or strawberries and Pimms, Uplands House is the perfect place to make up a tennis four and revel in the country-house experience. Your host is a wonderful cook and the vegetable garden productive so evening meals invariably delight. Set between Banbury and Stratford on Avon, it is reached by a long avenue of lime trees and a warm welcome is assured: it has been awarded a Trip Advisor five-star Certificate of Excellence every year since 2011.
Originally built in 1187 for the abbots of Notley, this is one of the most spectacular of all Wolsey Lodges: its wood-panelled rooms are magnificent. Long Crendon Manor frequently appears on tv’s ‘Midsummer Murders’ thanks to its period appeal, but could also be used to film sporting scenes: it has a tennis court (pictured, left) and croquet lawn and sometimes, in high summer, a swimming pool.
A tennis court is part of this elegant Georgian mansion’s country-house atmosphere, just a few miles from Tenby on the south coast of Wales. Best of all, Elm Grove Country House has enough space to accommodate a tournament, with no less than eleven guest bedrooms, and to complete the Wimbledon theme the tennis court is grass. In between matches relax in the games room, with table tennis and a pool table, or break out the mallets for a croquet competition.
Once a hunting lodge owned by Henry VIII and home to Catherine Parr, the Old Rectory was rebuilt in 1704 after a fire – and rebuilt in style. The three acres of garden include a tennis court, ha-ha, and plenty of lawns to set up the croquet hoops. Blandford Forum is close by, as are all Dorset’s many attractions.