Take three... Ridiculously luxurious Olympic-inspired holidays

Take three... Luxurious Olympic-inspired holidaysLa Source Grenada


Inspired by London 2012 Olympics? Then take a well-earned holiday and practice your sporting prowess in style. We've picked three absolutely luxurious holidays where you can learn an Olympic sport and get pampered rotten at the same time. Here's how to get perfect match of sport with sun, sea, sand... with a little sweat thrown in.

Pick up some equestrian skills at Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, Dubai.

If the nail-biting triumph of a gold medal for Team GB in showjumping has got you itching to jump into saddle and learn to ride, gallop off to the The Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa, which offers Dubai its own air-conditioned stables (yes, really).

You can book tuition in a fully equipped equestrian environment perfect for beginners or for those who haven't been riding for a while. Prices with Dial-a-Flight for selected dates in November and December start from £1,179 per person for five nights bed and breakfast with flights from London.

Learn archery, fencing and beach volleyball At La Source, Grenada.


The all-inclusive retreat of La Source is set on a glorious beachfront with tropical gardens. The hotel says it is dedicated to promoting a healthy mind and body, so the idea is to make sport an integral part of your holiday - and there are more activities than you can shake a javelin at.

Daily beach volleyball classes with equipment and professional instruction are offered, or you can request private lessons. Try a morning tutorial in archery or fencing, or some of the wide range of watersports including kayaking and hobie sailing (pictured). Prices for selected dates in November and December start from £1,899 per person for seven nights all-inclusive with flights from London.

Learn to sail At The Bitter End Yacht Club, British Virgin Islands

Want to be the next Ben Ainslie? Swap the chilly Solent for the Bitter End Yacht Club, the Caribbean's premiere luxury water sports resort for couples and families.

A US Sailing Association accredited sailing school offers certified instructors from all over the world to help guests learn to sail, fine-tune their skills or obtain keelboat certification. Sailing instruction is available for all ages and levels, using the club's professionally maintained boats and course materials.

Set on the island of Virgin Gorda, you'll be able to relax on a mile of shorefront on the protected waters of the North Sound. Prices for selected dates in November and December start from £2,199 per person for seven nights full-board with flights from London and boat transfers with Dial-a- Flight.

All a bit OTT for you? If you'd rather do your Olympic practice closer to home, check out our favourite activity breaks in the UK, from diving to archery to clay pigeon shooting:

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Take three... Ridiculously luxurious Olympic-inspired holidays

Where better to try your hand at archery than in the heart of 1066 country? Self catering holiday village, Crowhurst Park in East Sussex has teamed up with an archery company to offer both Field Archery (in which archers move from target to target through wooded terrain, shooting 3D foam prey, including bears, deer and er, giant mosquitoes) and Target Archery (one of the Olympic sports).

Weekend breaks in a small lodge from £99, www.crowhurstpark.co.uk

You could try your hand at kayaking the man made rapids at the brand new Lee Valley White Water Centre (where the Olympic kayaking events are being held), but for a chance to paddle alongside porpoises, seals and even whales, head up to the Outer Hebrides for five days kayaking and camping among uninhabited islands and skerries.

Five day sea kayaking trip costs £725. NB, not for beginners. //www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/2243/sea-kayaking-holiday-in-scotland.

While the Olympic cyclists whizz round and round the London velodrome, enjoy a rather more scenic view from your saddle on a Welsh biking holiday. The seven day 'Snowdonia Beano', cycling around Snowdonia National Park and the Lleyn Peninsula in July costs from £640 per person, which includes accommodation and yummy vegetarian meals. For more details on this and other cycling holidays, visit www.bicycle-beano.co.uk.

Stage your own mini Olympics at Siblyback Lake Campsite, on the edge of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, which offers three Olympic watersports - kayaking, sailing and canoeing. Instructors are on hand to help train your junior athletes - perhaps for the 2020 Games?

Pitches from £11 per night. www.pitchup.com

Make like a minor royal and buff up your riding skills at Lucknam Park's outstanding equestrian centre, which includes 500 acres of parkland, an all weather arena, cross country course and riding clinics with equestrian experts Stephen Hadley and Richard Waygood. Non-riders can make the most of the hotel's Michelin-starred food and lush spa.

Rooms from £330 per night. www.lucknampark.com

Spend a day clay pigeon shooting in scenic fields, gullies and among the trees with local farmer Jonty and his sons on a farm on the outskirts of the Lake District. Then retire to the cozy Plough Inn opposite for a soak in the freestanding bath, followed by local ale and lamb for dinner. Clay pigeon shooting available on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from £135 per room per night (beginners package from £150), www.theploughatlupton.co.uk 

What with Wimbledon and the Olympics, its easy to get carried away by Pimms-fuelled fantasies about tennis whites and volleying. Indulge the dream at the Four Seasons' grand Georgian pile in Hampshire, which has two outdoor, all-weather, floodlit tennis courts and tennis pros on hand to polish up your backhand. Doubles from £258, www.four seasons.com/Hampshire

Find out for yourself why beach volleyball is the most popular Olympic spectator sport (nothing to do with the barely there bikinis the ladies play in, obv) on Brighton's answer to Copacabana, Yellowave Beach Sports Venue. (www.yellowave.co.uk). After a hard day on the beach, retire to the supremely classy surroundings of the Kemp Townhouse boutique b&b. Doubles from £95, www.kemptownhousebrighton.com

Crawling up and down an Olympic size swimming pool's all very well, but there's nothing like swimming in the wild to make you feel truly alive. Based at the snazzy Scarlet hotel, guests can enjoy a wild swimming tour of Cornwall's water, with professional instructors equipped with towels, rescue boards - and hot toddies! A 2-night package costs from £515 per person, including a private Wild Sea Swimming Lesson, with instructor and all equipment (including heated wetsuits!) and a ‘Short Journey’ in the Ayurvedic Spa. www.scarlethotel.co.uk

Learn to tell a flying jib from a gaff topsail on board the beautiful traditional wooden pilot cutter, Eve of St Mawes.  A 6 day hands-on, island hopping voyage in the Isles of Scilly, departing from St Mawes, Cornwall, costs £720 per person. For details of this and other voyages, visit www.classic-sailing.co.uk.

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