5 Events For Sports Tourism In The UK
When traveling to the UK, there are countless attractions and specific destinations to keep you busy. This is a part of the world that’s about as packed with both history and natural beauty as any other, to say nothing of the vibrant culture and beautiful modern cities you can enjoy as well. But among the countless attractions that exist in the UK, some of the most exciting ones for visitors are the sporting events.
The nation is simply overflowing with incredible competitions, from domestic league soccer matches to annual events that bring in international competitors from all over the world. And sometimes, taking in one of these competitions is the most enjoyable way to get a feel for some of the culture and tradition of the UK.
Frankly it’s hard to single out just a few sporting events in the UK worth attending, but you certainly can’t go wrong with one of these five.
Sure the Super Bowl is larger than life, and the World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. But beyond these two occasions, there might not be a more prestigious tournament or contest than Wimbledon. Characterized by the all-white attire of the players and the pristine grass lawns on which the matches are played, Wimbledon is like a holy experience among tennis tournaments, and the action always seems to meet that standard. The only unfortunate thing is that it’s a pretty exclusive event. Telegraph’s guide to attending the tournament has a lot of helpful information on how to get there, where to find tickets, and what you need to know to see the most action. However, the bottom line is it’s expensive and it takes a lot of time to secure ideal seats. The good thing, though? It’s worth it.
British Grand Prix
A lot of Americans are relatively unfamiliar with Formula 1, largely because of the popularity of NASCAR, our favorite alternative. But F1 remains a huge sport in much of the world, and its grand prix events draw great crowds. These are among the rare sporting events that almost seem to constitute holidays, unofficially halting the daily life process of the cities they take over. The British Grand Prix is a little different from many of the European races in that its location at the Silverstone Circuit makes it slightly more isolated than, for example, the more famous Monaco Grand Prix. That does make it a little less exotic, but in some ways it’s also easier to attend and enjoy. And once you’re there, the enthusiasm of the fans and the intensity of the F1 action up close is pretty intoxicating.
Any Premier League Match
There are particular matches to single out, such as the North London Derby and Manchester Derby (which are essentially rivalry matches between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City and Manchester United, respectively). But the truth is any Premier League match is a thrill for someone visiting the UK. Even over the holidays, when some outdoor sports stop, Betfair’s pre-Christmas EPL tip sheet illuminates a number of match-ups that are exciting simply because of their venues and the state of the EPL tables. Leicester City has a chance to widen its league lead; Chelsea will be playing its first match after firing head coach José Mourinho; and West Brom and Bournemouth will play from adjacent places in the standings. And this is just an average week in the Premier League, where every match is an experience.
The Boat Race
Now known as the BNY Mellon Boat Race, this annual competition consists of various rowing contests between the crew teams at Cambridge and Oxford. As noted on TheBoatRaces.org, the races were first held in 1829 and 1927 (for men and women, respectively) and have run almost continuously, with a brief interruption at the height of World War II. That ridiculously long history gives these races more tradition than pretty much any other sporting event in the world. As with the British Grand Prix, there’s also something about the Boat Race that seems to stop time, as people in London let loose to enjoy the spectacle.
The British Open
Also known as The Open Championship, the British Open is the UK’s golf major. As with Wimbledon in tennis, it just seems a little more steeped in tradition than the rest of them. That’s largely because the invention of golf has been traced back to Scotland, and the St. Andrews course where the British Open is often held is representative of that history. Not many sports offer that kind of opportunity—to see the game played by the best players in the world at the very place of its origin. That, plus the sheer quality of the competition, makes it a majestic event to attend.
As said previously, it’s hard to narrow down the UK sporting events to just a few that ought to be targeted. But these five represent the best of the best, and they should all be bucket list events for sports enthusiasts.