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Carly O'Brien
Written by Carly O'Brien 21st May 2015

Five Ways to Put the ‘Great’ in Great Outdoors This Summer

April showers have been few and far between over the last few months as the UK experiences its very own Spanish-esque spring heat wave. If these recent Balearic blue skies are anything to go by, we could be in for a scorching summer – how are you planning on enjoying it?

Here at Michael Graham we care about the outdoors just as much as the indoors, so have chosen a handful of homes with impressive and inspirational garden features that will get you in the mood for summer…

1. As long as the weather stays warm, you can create a summer holiday feeling without even leaving your own back garden. An outdoor pool is a luxurious way to spend time with friends and family while cooling off from the heat, should thermometers rise to tropical temperatures, which, yes, is possible in the UK. In many cases, planning permission is not even necessary.

A word of warning: while having an outdoor pool is hugely attractive, it does need regular maintenance – as our Antipodean cousins (and pool devotees) will attest. Follow these simple steps and you’ll enjoy a water feature that offers the benefits of swimming and a luxury lounging spot for years to come.

Need a little more inspiration? Try Newfield Farm in Newport Pagnell.

2. Need to refuel after swimming? Have a look at Gold Hill Cottage in Hethe, which has plenty of outdoor space including more than three acres of mature gardens, paddocks and outbuildings. At the rear of the property is a paved socialising area featuring a wood-burning oven and oak dining pod – an impressive upgrade on the typical barbecue and garden chairs and an ideal complement to a pool.

3. What better way to honour the traditional British sporting event of Wimbledon this summer than with your very own tennis court? Old Rectory, in Cambridgeshire, features a recently-resurfaced hard tennis court nestled in its 17 acres of land and is another great example of how you can keep active within your own home grounds. All you need to do is add your own strawberries and cream!

4. If you like entertaining at home, you’ve probably thought of entertaining in the garden too. As the weather gets warmer and the nights become longer, why not take inspiration from Hightyme in Buckinghamshire? This 1930s six-bedroom property has a sizeable covered outdoor entertainment area, along with a hot tub and barbecue area with plenty of space for tables and chairs. What better way to spend the balmy summer evenings we’re all looking forward to?

5. If exercise and entertainment doesn’t particularly appeal to you, and you’d much prefer to soak in the summer rays surrounded by nature, peace and quiet, perhaps the garden features of Hill End Farm will satisfy your love of the great outdoors. Surrounded by beautiful woodland views, this home is perfect for any self-confessed nature lover – including formal landscaped gardens, paddocks and stables, and an orchard including a variety of fruit trees. This is, without doubt, six acres of picture-perfect garden heaven.

Have these outdoor home features warmed you up for summer, inspiring you to branch out further with your garden décor? Perhaps you’ve already prepared your outdoors for warmer weather and have suggestions that could inspire others? Whatever the case, we’d love to hear your tales from your very own great outdoors…