A Sporting Maze

By David Holmes.

The Manor House Hotel at Okehampton in Devon bills itself as the only sport, craft and spa hotel in the UK. It’s a bold claim but one that earns substance as you become familiar with the concept.

First-time visitors resemble quizzical tourists as armed with a printed colour-coded guide to what’s where, they take tentative steps towards exploring the indoor and outdoor maze of venues.

Ready for action. Three of the 11 tennis courts at the Manor Hotel.

Ready for action. Three of the 11 tennis courts at the Manor Hotel.

This October, a few members of Fishbourne Tennis Club joined like-minded sporting enthusiasts and their partners for what has been an annual outing for local clubs for several years.

Members of Bognor Regis Tennis Club were there in force along with a group of local badminton players. And with six indoor and five outdoor tennis courts plus four badminton courts in one of the sports halls there was no shortage of opportunities for playing and coaching.

Plus the opportunity three times a day to get together in a reserved dining area for more than ample quantities of good, honest meals.

So plenty of sporting opportunities but the strength of the Manor House concept was the impressive range of activities for partners who, for reasons known only to themselves, may not share our passion for tennis or badminton!

Anyone wanting to throw a pot, paint on porcelain, make a candle or try their hand at archery, embroidery, air rifles or straightforward swimming could follow the map to their leisure activity of choice.

And if the choice about what to do becomes too taxing and the fixed meal times too regimented then there’s always a programme of guided walks on Dartmoor which is on the doorstep.

This year’s trainer camp (no boots allowed) is hardly over but, such is the demand for places on this annual sport and activity outing, the local organiser has already announced dates for the 2014 event as well as details of accommodation and costs.

The dates are Sunday 28th September to 3rd October. For more details contact Janet Leonard who did such a good job this year pulling all the bookings together for the West Sussex group. Her email address is janetleonard@hotmail.co.uk

We have a couple of brochures about the Manor House Hotel in the clubhouse or view their website at www.manorhousehotel.co.uk