For many of our clients one of the key factors driving their move to the country is the desire for their children to have more outside space, both at home and at school.
Surrey, West Sussex and North Hampshire offer a wide selection of independent schools with incredible outdoor space and outstanding facilities which they take full advantage of to encourage a lifelong love of and participation in sport.
As well as sporting success, however, it’s the ‘have a go’ ethos and a strong culture of inclusivity that means pupils of all sporting abilities and interests have an opportunity to take part in and – most importantly – enjoy their chosen sports, and gain from the physical and social benefits that come with it.
So, without further ado, here’s the lowdown of countryside schools in our area that we think really tick the boxes when it comes to outdoor space, sports facilities and sporting inclusivity.
Aldro, Shackleford is well known for its excellent sporting facilities set within 35 acres of beautiful grounds in the heart of the idyllic village of Shackleford. The school epitomises ‘have a go’ culture and offers a wide range of sporting opportunities beyond the core sports of football, netball, cricket and hockey, including shooting and rowing. Its annual regatta on the school’s lake is a highlight in the summer term. The huge popularity of its pre-season training programmes is a testament to the pupils’ love of sport.
Address: Lombard St, Shackleford, Godalming GU8 6AS | www.aldro.org
Charterhouse, Godalming has excellent facilities within its 250-acre campus including 17 grass sports pitches, three full-sized Astroturf pitches, an athletics stadium, a sports centre, 24 tennis courts and a 9-hole golf course. For those aiming high and working towards playing professional sport, there is the Charterhouse Athlete Programme which offers tailored training and support.
Address: Hurtmore Rd, Godalming GU7 2DX | www.charterhouse.org.uk
Cranleigh School, Cranleigh sits in 280-acres which are home to three full-size all-weather sports pitches, a 25-metre, four lane swimming pool, sports hall with extensive facilities including eight badminton courts, two tennis courts, cricket squares and pavilion, a number of hard outdoor tennis courts and netball courts, a Fives court plus the bonus of a 9-hole golf course and putting green. With an ethos built around pupils developing a lifelong love of sport, Cranleigh has a deservedly strong sporting reputation.
Address: Horseshoe Ln, Cranleigh GU6 8QQ | www.cranleigh.org
Edgeborough, Frensham offers a broad range of sporting facilities including astroturf pitches, outdoor heated swimming pool, climbing wall and indoor and outdoor cricket nets. Set deep in the Surrey countryside Edgeborough has 50 acres in which pupils take part in core sports including rugby, cricket and netball, alongside judo, climbing and Sport plays a key role in daily life at Edgeborough and participation at all levels is encouraged.
Address: 84 Frensham Rd, Lower Bourne, Frensham, Farnham GU10 3AH | www.edgeborough.co.uk
Highfield & Brookham, Liphook has a strong reputation for sport and makes full use of its excellent facilities including 15 grass pitches, a floodlit astro pitch, four tennis and netball courts, a nine-hole golf course, squash court and cross-country course set in 175 acres. Participation is encouraged from a young age and matches are an integral part of the school week. It’s got a particularly good track record for sporting scholarships, with many pupils going on to be awarded these to top senior schools. Outside adventures go beyond sport. There is everything your child could wish for. From an outdoor cinema to mountain bike tracks, camp fires to sandpits and forest school to the adventure playground, the possibilities for discovery are endless.
Address: Highfield Ln, Liphook GU30 7LQ | www.highfieldandbrookham.co.uk
Lord Wandsworth College, Long Sutton is set in an incredible 1,200 acres of rolling Hampshire countryside. The grounds are home to five county level cricket pitches, ten grass nets, a dedicated space for girls’ cricket and eleven artificial nets. It also has six floodlit rugby pitches, football pitches, astro pitches and a dedicated netball and tennis centre. Pupils are actively encouraged to ‘have a go’ and it has a strong focus on team sports. Matches are played every Wednesday and Saturday and, whatever their level, all pupils get to take part. Famous alumni include Jonny Wilkinson and Ugo Monye.
Address: Long Sutton, Hook RG29 1TA | www.lordwandsworth.org
Seaford College, Petworth is renowned for its beautiful, parkland setting in the midst of the South Downs. Amongst its 450 acres of grounds are seven rugby pitches, five outdoor netball courts, two indoor netball courts, six tennis courts, an athletics track, five cricket pitches, a hockey astro pitch, and a golf course. In addition, there’s a 20m long swimming pool, and a state-of-the art sports centre complete with gym, conditioning suite, spin room, climbing wall and dance studio. From the prep school through to sixth form, participation is actively encouraged at all levels, and everybody gets to experience being part of a team. Sporting talent is positively nurtured, and many pupils go on to play at a national or international level.
Address: The Drive, Petworth GU28 0NB | www.seaford.org