Purchasing a property – your home – is a complex task. Beyond falling in love with the property, the head must remain firmly screwed on to factor in proximity to schools, transport links, ample storage, parking, and all your personal preferences for contented living. Apart from the bricks and mortar this decision is definitely always influenced by local amenities and surprisingly, often one of these factors is the opportunity of watching high quality sport without having to drive miles.
The Surrey/Berkshire borders are probably the best location in the whole of the UK for the variety of professional sport available within less than 30 miles. Surrey estate agent, James Wyatt, of Barton Wyatt in Virginia Water is a true sports voyeur and talks us through the hottest sporting locations in their vicinity:
“We are blessed with a fabulous variety of ‘top name’ sporting venues on our doorstep. There is barely a month in the year where you cannot be wowed by golf or tennis, not to mention our equine friends.
“Of course having so many world class venues does mean that we get to rub shoulders with many famous sports stars in Virginia Water and it is not unusual to turn the corner in Waitrose to bump in to any number of World famous golfers. We have sold and rented houses to many well-known sports personalities. Wentworth obviously attracts plenty of golfers but we have had a few pop stars, entertainers and actors also.”
James’ love of sport has helped the success of this highly acclaimed Estate Agency: “The old adage
Wentworth Golf Course, photographer David Cannon
of doing business on the golf course may not pull the same punch as in previous decades but the networking that comes from being seen and involved in sport locally has great benefits in my business.”
So let’s look at the top 10 sporting venues within a 30 miles radius of Barton Wyatt. Watch out for the next big event which is the Oxbridge Boat race on the 26th March!
1.5 Miles – Wentworth Golf Course – Undoubtedly the premier golf course in England. Annually this course attracts the biggest names in golf to the beautifully manicured greens. May 26th is the start of the European Tour BWW PGA championship and attracts huge crowds to the area. As a member you are entitled to special priviledges. www.wentworthclub.com
3.5 Miles – Guards Polo at Smiths Lawn – A treat to watch even if you are not a keen ‘horsey’ person. Watching polo can be an extremely up market affair in a champagne tent dressed in your finery or equally you would feel at home turning up with a picnic rug and the children. It is not uncommon to spot the odd Royal at Guards (Prince Philip is the Club’s President), needless to say playing polo is a game for the rich and does attract a very chic crowd. The big annual event is Cartier International Day, this year on 24th July, when two of the best team in the World play for the Coronation Cup. www.guardspoloclub.com
4 Miles – Sunningdale Golf – Often overlooked in the area which is unwise, as many describe this course as more superior than Wentworth. Used as one of the courses for the InternationalFinal Qualifying rounds for Europe. There is also the Sunningdale Foursome which is a unique competition open to professional and amateur players. These events tend to attract smaller crowds than Wentworth which has the benefit of getting closer to the action and the players. www.sunningdale-golfclub.co.uk
5.5 Miles – Royal Ascot – (14th – 18th June) A week of pure glamour, lovely hats and champagne tents. The highlight of the racing season for many and if you are a ticket holder for the royal enclosure it is commonplace that city boys will attend every day to try their luck on the GiGi’s. Or – In the words of the score for My Fair Lady – ‘Every duke and earl and peer is here; Everyone who should be here is here. What a smashing, positively dashing: Spectacle: the Ascot opening day’. www.ascot.co.uk
16 Miles – Oxford / Cambridge Boat Race (26thwww.theboatrace.org March) Thousands of people watch this on the television but it is such an exciting event to witness live. An easy direct train from Virginia Water to Barnes and then a lovely stroll up the Thames should make a fantastic day out.
17 Miles – Twickenham – (Various dates) World renowned Twickers – home to English rugby and the place to be seen in your Barbour jacket and school tie. Just 21 minutes on a direct train from Virginia Water will beat the traffic. But many choose to take the Landy for a picnic in the car park – an event on its own not to be missed. www.rfu.com
22 miles – Wimbledon – (20th June – 3rd July) Without a doubt the best known tennis location in the world; attracting the crème de la crème of international tennis stars. Let the train take the strain and you will be there in just over half an hour. Dozens of people queue – often overnight – to buy tickets for this event, ready for the classic strawberries and cream. If you have never been then it really is worth the effort – one of the most British events on the circuit!www.wimbledon.org
22 miles – Henley Regatta – (29th June – 3rd July) One cannot forget the premier rowing event in the world. If you are fortunate enough to have a ticket into the Leander tent then beware what you wear – ladies with their knees showing will not be welcome. Pimms is the preferred drink at Henley. www.hrr.co.uk
23 Miles – Chelsea and Fulham Football Clubgrounds – No sporting list would be complete without a football venue. Chelsea and Fulham both speak for themselves – world class football teams with plenty of excitement on and off the pitch. www.chelseafc.co.ukwww.fulham.com
25 Miles – London Marathon – (April 17). If you are running then the distance is a little further as the Marathon starts by Excel and finishes at Buckingham Palace. As a spectator this event can be incredibly moving to watch. The feeling of comradery that the runners have with total strangers on the course and the strength they take from the cheering crowds is something to be seen and thoroughly enjoyed. www.virginlondonmarathon.com
Hopefully this epic list of sporting events has wetted your appetite for things to come this year – and that is without touching on the excitement that 2012 will bring with the Olympics.
So when asked which was James Wyatt’s favourite he responded: “I couldn’t possibly choose – each of these sports are so unique to watch it would be unfair to declare one better than another – but for ease of getting home afterwards I suppose the PGA Golf at Wentworth does come up trumps!”