16th July 2019

The appeal of the tennis court.

Having just seen the longest men’s final in Wimbledon history, tennis is always popular with buyers of country houses who nearly always want a court or at least room to create one. 

They are much more popular than swimming pools, which given our climate is understandable. The appeal of the tennis court is universal –American, European and particularly British buyers all covet one, while those who hail from hotter climes really don’t get the British obsession with the swimming pool.

While pools have their downsides, few would disagree that they are much more attractive than a tennis court so if you installing the latter, keep it well hidden and sited where it isn’t detrimental to the environment of the house. Tucked away behind the hedge or round the corner is ideal, so it is not seen but heard. Keep it green and traditional – leave the garish blue astro to the local hockey club. Careful landscaping will ensure it doesn’t obstruct your view. However, it can’t be too far away as you may need planning permission and the tennis court needs to be squeezed within domestic curtilage. You can’t site it in the middle of a field, for example.

Tennis courts are invariably hard or made of astroturf or artificial grass. Very rarely do you see a grass court as they are too high-maintenance and specialist. An acrylic painted porous Macadam tennis court, including fence, will cost between £30,000 and £37,000 plus VAT, whereas if you opt for astroturf or sand-filled artificial grass, the price rises to around £50,000. Once you’ve covered the initial cost, there is maintenance to consider but mainly this is just keeping it clean and sweeping off moss.

Sometimes one is not enough – I viewed a beautiful Georgian country house where the owners have situated a pair of tennis courts side-by-side, ideal for entertaining and tennis parties.

Tennis is a very accessible sport, even if you aren’t particularly good at it. It is sociable, as you need another player for a game, and if you have children, tennis courts are multi-functional. Many parents have taught their children to ride a bike on a tennis court, while if you have a budding hockey player, it’s the perfect surface for honing their skills. One friend’s sons have taken over his tennis court with cricket nets, much to his disgust.

If all else fails, a tennis court is the perfect size for putting a marquee on to seat 150 people. When you need to host your child’s 21st birthday party or wedding, it could come in very useful indeed.