A traveler’s guide to sports in Britain

Wimbledon, photo by Richard Law

The UK is the homeland of some of the best football players the world has known, and the likes of Devid Beckham or team like Manchester United are household names in Europe and many other parts of the world. But football is not the be all and end all of British sports, nor it is the most British of them all. If football is not your cup of tea but you are still interested in what British sports fans cheer for most of the time, then you might want to check out what other types of activities the people of the people of the UK do for fun, you might want to check out this traveler’s guide to sports in Britain. Join in the fun if you like them!

Cricket

Cricket is credited as the national sport of the UK, and it is played in all the countries of the kingdom. Although the English claim to have invented it, England has no national cricket team of its own, joining up with the Welsh instead. The teams usually tour in winter, but in summer you can attend the test matches or the matches with foreign teams. For those who are unfamiliar with cricket, and short intro to the rules of the games in mandatory. Cricket is played with bat sand a ball by two teams of 11 people each. One of the teams bats, while the other tries to field and bowl. Cricket is quite popular in England and Wales but not so much in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but whichever is your destination you can most likely find at least a country club where cricket is being played.

Horseracing

photo by Jeff Kubina

Horseracing occupies a special place in British sports, and Charles II, king of England in the 17th century, is quoted saying that it is the sport of kings. There are sixty race courses in the UK, and millions of people attend the races every year, including those of noble families (watching the hats of the nobles is just as popular as the races themselves on many occasions). The most famous race takes place in Newmarket, which has the largest cluster of training yards in the country. There are two types of racing: the National Hunt, which involves jumping over obstacles, and flat racing, which is seen as more glamorous and exciting.

Tennis

Although not a national sport, tennis is immensely popular in the UK, and one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world, the Wimbledon grand slam, is held in London. Tennis has originated in England, so it’s no surprise that the British host the oldest and best tennis tournament in the world. Tennis tournaments in Britain are not hard to come by, and even if you ar enot a true fan of the sport, attending a match or two in the sport’s homeland is worth it.

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