Marianna Hunt

Sporty staycations to book now

  • From Spectator Life
Holiday with Sir Chris Hoy (LeBlanq)

The long-delayed 2020 Olympic Games finally kicked off on July 23 in Tokyo. Events are being held without spectators after a spike in coronavirus cases locally. Even so, the breathtaking feats of athletic prowess will be enough to inspire many people to get off their sofas and into the great outdoors. Here are the best UK holiday spots to try out Olympic sports, from mountain biking to sailing.


Coworth Park, Ascot

With dressage, eventing and jumping, equestrian disciplines require both skill and style. One of the best places in Britain to learn the basics of horsemanship is Coworth Park: a country estate and five-star hotel on the edge of Ascot.

Explore the estate’s 240 acres acres on horseback including wildflower meadows and a polo pitch. Coworth’s stables offer guided hacks (from £60) or lessons covering the basics of riding, jumping or dressage (also from £60). More experienced riders might want to try the polo academy.

There’s also a tennis court where you can practise your Federer serve, a pool, and a spa for post-ride massages.

Rooms start from £775 per night, alternatively you could rent a cottage locally and come to Coworth for a day’s ride.


Norris Castle, Isle of Wight, Image: iStock

Although at the London Olympics sailing events took place in Weymouth, the true home of the sport in Britain is Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

This seaport town looks out over the Solent towards the mainland and is home to the oldest and biggest sailing regatta in the world, Cowes Week. This year it begins on the last day of July.

Tackt Isle Adventures does dinghy sailing sessions for both beginners and those looking for a refresher. A two-hour session costs from £45 per boat.

The firm also offers canoe hire – another Olympic discipline – so visitors can explore the hidden coves and harbours of the island.

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