By John Grainger, Property editor
What street you grow up on can have a marked effect on your life.
Most great explorers came from the coast, most mountaineers from the uplands, and most bankers from the cities.
When it comes to sport, different disciplines have their own diverse demands. Yachting and horse-riding have financial/geographical barriers to entry, while at the other end of the scale, boxers often fight their way out of hard-scrabble inner-city neighbourhoods.
And some, like tennis, rely on facilities. After all, who knows how different the world tennis rankings would look today if Novak Djokovic hadn’t grown up near top-class facilities in Belgrade? Or if Andy Murray had been raised a few miles away, in a more rural spot, far from the nearest tennis court?
Could it just be that the nearer you live to sports facilities, the greater your chances of a) using them, and b) getting good at your chosen sport?
The following four properties are all within easy walking distance of tennis courts and are all currently for sale. Buy one and follow your offspring’s progress to a string of Grand Slam victories.
Number 7 Church Avenue (middle pic) is a semi-detached bungalow in Dacre Banks, in Nidderdale. Thanks to a loft conversion, it now has four bedrooms over two floors.
One of its best features is its garden – a paved area opening to a good-sized level, well-maintained lawn – which overlooks Dacre Banks Cricket Club’s ground, where there are three tarmac courts listed on the Tennis For Free website. In other words, you should be able to walk on and play free of charge.
In Ripon, 16 King’s Mead (main pic, above) is a detached four-bedroom house towards the head of a cul-de-sac on the north-west edge of the city. It has west-facing gardens, a large driveway and detached double garage.
Importantly, for budding sports stars at least, it is also just down the road from Ripon Tennis Centre, whose facilities include indoor carpet, American clay and all-weather floodlit tennis courts.
Number 5 Church Street (top pic) is a double-fronted period cottage in the heart of Wetherby.
It has three good-sized bedrooms, a wealth of period features (beams, etc), and an enclosed “secret courtyard”.
Being so central, it has easy access to the historic Market Place, Shambles and shops, as well as the river and Wetherby Castlegarth Tennis Club, whichhas five all-weather floodlit courts and a range of coaching programmes.
Finally, 9 Valley Road (left) is an extended, stone-built, mid-terrace townhouse near the centre of Harrogate.
It has four double bedrooms and despite having been modernised, retains some of its best period features, such as sash windows, high ceilings and original fireplaces.
One of its best features, though, is its location, since it occupies that prime piece of land between Cold Bath Road and the Valley Gardens, where, of course, there are four excellent pay-and-play tennis courts.