The United Kingdom is a tourist hot spot, with millions of visitors coming to the island every year. There’s lots to see in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, especially if you are a lover of history and the arts. The UK is a cultural treat for the mind, body and soul. Enjoy a city break in London and soak up one of the most multi-cultural places on the planet. After a bit more of a rest and relaxation getaway? Edinburgh, with its castle, dungeons and old town, are for you. Walk down the narrow cobbled roads and the closes to get a feel for the Scottish capital beyond the shortbread, whisky and tartan.
If you have a passion for sports, then the UK is worth visiting. Professional sport is part of the culture, with interest split between football, horse racing, greyhounds, tennis, boxing and golf. There’s also a healthy interest in darts, MMA and cricket. You’ll discover a kingdom of like-minded people just waiting to show you around if you love sports. Remember, gambling on sports is legal in the UK if you are over the age of 18. You can place bets at the best sportsbooks on your smartphone or at a land-based betting office. That’s a luxury not enjoyed by too many sports fans outside of Great Britain.
With so much interest in sport, how do you organise your trip to ensure you are seeing the best the UK has to offer? That’s where we come in. Our team of travel writers and sports enthusiasts have picked out their five favourite sports venues in the UK. To make it easier to work through, we have chosen just one venue for each major sport. This will help you spread your interest across multiple sports and get the most from your trip.
Wembley – Football
Wembley Stadium in London is the home of English football. At this impressive stadium that hosts over 90,000 spectators you’ll see the England national team play their home matches, the final of the EFL Cup and FA Cup, Championship playoffs and other major finals. In addition to football matches, there’s boxing, NFL and other huge fixtures.
Aintree – Horse Racing
You’ll find Aintree racecourse near Liverpool on Merseyside and it’s the home of the world-famous Grand National. This is one of the most famous thoroughbred horse races, watched by thousands at the venue and millions worldwide. Aintree racecourse also hosts several exciting jumps races throughout the year so there’s always something worth a watch, even if you miss the Grand National.
York Hall – Boxing
Leave the London underground at Bethnal Green and you will be a five-minute walk from York Hall. This venue isn’t anywhere near as impressive as the two listed above in terms of looks but when you step through those doors, pass the turnstiles and enter the arena you’ll realise what all the fuss is about. There’s not a bad seat in the house thanks to the layout of the old hall and the presence of a balcony giving you a bird’seye view of the boxing ring. Any UK fighter worth mentioning has fought at the York Hall over the years.
Wimbledon – Tennis
This is home to, arguably, the greatest tennis Grand Slam of them all. Wimbledon hosts other tennis competitions but the Grand Slam that takes the host venue’s name is something special. If you can bag a ticket for centre court on finals day at Wembley you will witness one of the finest sporting events on the planet. You’ll be surrounded by royalty as well as famous faces from the world of sport, music and movies. Strawberries and cream with some prosecco is a great accompaniment to a day of tennis.
Lords – Cricket
Lords cricket ground hosts the home matches of the England national team with all forms of cricket played at this venue, including Twenty20, One Day Internationals and Test Match. The Ashes at Lords is the pinnacle for any follower of cricket. The sport may not be as well followed in the UK as football or tennis but a day sitting in the sun drinking beer and eating snacks while watching Test cricket appeals to thousands every year.