Shake it all about

In, out, shake it all about: there’s plenty to do either way here. Get down to Oxford for the Potter-like colleges, the Ashmolean Museum, the covered market and the castle Quarter. Or stay put for the games room, gym, swim spa, dinner parties and big TVs.

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Big days out

The thwack of the balls from next door will call you to the Frilford Heath Golf Club: choose green, red or blue courses according to ability or mood. Out in the sticks, rage buggies, hovercraft, clay-pigeon shooting, quad biking, archery and paintball are all possible at Max Events.

Down the road in cultural Oxford, seat of dim alleyways and cobbled courtyards, the spires and colleges await. Start at the Ashmolean Museum for art and architecture from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art, including the world’s greatest collection of Raphael drawings.

Next, it’s on to the 30 Potter-like university colleges, stepping through the gatehouses into an enigmatic, esoteric world. Then the covered market, the country’s oldest botanical gardens, and evensong in the college chapels. Move on to the trendy Castle Quarter, for buzzing bars and restaurants.

Punt and picnic on the Thames and Cherwell, explore intriguing cafés and quirky shops, and see the architectural gems that huddle around Radcliffe Square: the medieval University Church of St Mary the Virgin, the Bodleian Library and the Radcliffe Camera. Oxford is always uplifting, forever invigorating.

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Big nights in

If you’re not up to a big night out, there’s a decent night in here every night amid the minimalist beauty of the interior and the stately grandeur of the grounds. Gallery House offers a table for 26 that needs its own post code, a kitchen fit for an Italian prince and plenty of space to spread, mix and mingle.

The living room here is palatial and comes with 56-inch TV, plus six more widescreens wherever you need a viewing fix. Settle back on deep leather and fire up Netflix or catch the match. If you’re itching to get online, the fastest-moving thing round here is the fibre-optic broadband.

Work off your excesses on the treadmill, steppers, rowing machine and stationary bike in the in-house gym, or swim against the tide in the superb indoor swim spa. Exertions over, it converts nicely into a hot tub for 11. Break out the fizz and melt into the bubbles.

Let off some steam in the games room with its table football, pool and air hockey. Or you can take your competitive spirit outside to the table-tennis table. But there are no winners and losers here: get together at day’s end for a drink on the terrace as the sun dips deep crimson behind the oaks trees.

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