Venues to Visit in 2023
The United Kingdom has an ancient and often successful relationship with professional sports. It is home to the world’s biggest events, including the Cheltenham Festival and Grand National, the English Premier League, and Rugby Championships: top-level professional boxing and the most celebrated golfers in history. There’s something for everyone on this sports-mad island. There’s something for you, too.
Sport is part of the culture in the UK, just like it is across much of Europe. But England and its neighbors have given the world some of the most popular sports in history. The leading sports clubs and athletes are helping drag English sports into the 21st century. The nations are also at the forefront of the esports drive, bringing an exciting new way to play and interact with sports to the world.
Scotland gave the world golf while England created and spread the word about Association Football. That’s why English soccer fans sing “Football’s Coming Home” during the FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately for the millions of followers, England has won the trophy just once, claiming glory in 1966. The UK is also at the forefront of gambling, helping boost the industry from Malta to the top apps offering sports betting in Texas.
The area’s history is in stone, with the UK being a power player in sports and gambling. The future is bright too, with the Premier League more competitive than ever, Englishman Tyson Fury the current world heavyweight boxing champion. Plenty is happening in British sports, and we advise visiting at least one major event this year.
Sports Tourist Trade
Tourism accounts for a large portion of the UK income, with the UK attracting millions of visitors from the United States, Canada, Australia, China, and Europe annually. Many visitors love stopping by a famous soccer stadium like Wembley to take pictures and marvel at the architecture. Those lucky enough to visit on game day may even snag a ticket to the game.
We’re seeing a new trend emerge with tourists. Instead of visiting a stadium or racecourse en route to the next stop in their tour of the UK, thousands of sports fans are jetting into London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, or Belfast to soak up as much sport as possible. They want to see Premier League soccer, Wimbledon tennis, The Open Championship golf, and other highlights from the sports schedule.
Fancy giving it a go? Visiting the UK to witness people’s love for professional sports is exciting. But there’s much to see and do. Seven days to a fortnight might not be long enough. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Keep reading as we list some of the best sports venues and events to see when next in the United Kingdom.
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FA Cup Final (soccer)
The FA Cup is an annual event played at Wembley Stadium, London, to decide the winner of the nation’s favorite knockout competition; the FA Cup. Fans from across Britain descend on the national stadium every spring. With the final played to a conclusion with extra time and penalties available, you’ll see a champion crowned on the day.
Cheltenham Festival (horse racing)
One of the world’s biggest and best-loved horse racing meetings, the Cheltenham Festival is one of the jewels of UK racing. Staged at Prestbury Park in the English countryside, the top runners and riders from the UK and Ireland meet on the turf to decide the winner of some historic races covering generations.
The Open Championship (golf)
Sticking to the great outdoors and the UK’s green and pleasant land, we highlight The Open Championship. One of the golf Majors, the event moves annually, taking in some of the land’s oldest and best courses.
But if you want the whole UK golf experience, try to time your visit when The Open Championship is in Scotland. Gleneagles, Augusta, and Loch Lomond are some top courses.
The Six Nations (rugby)
Known as the unofficial European Cup of international rugby union, this competition must be seen to be believed. It sees England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, and Italy meet once each in a round-robin format.
The nation with the most points after five games is crowned champion. If you want an unbeatable rugby union experience, we advise Cardiff to see Wales play before their adoring fans.
UK Championship (snooker)
If you enjoy cue sports, the UK Snooker Championship appeals. One leg of the sport’s Triple Crown, it’s staged at the Barbican Centre, York, every fall. A great way to see a unique part of England while catching the top players in action, including the tournament’s most successful name, England’s Ronne O’Sullivan.
York Hall (boxing)
The York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, doesn’t look much from the outside, but if you’re fascinated by boxing and combat sports, this is another must-see. The unassuming building blends into the backdrop of East London, but when walking through the enormous doors, you’ll instantly realize what all the fuss is about.
All the top names from English boxing have appeared here, from Ricky Hatton to Frank Bruno. It was voted in the top-five places to watch boxing live.
European Championships (soccer)
The home nations from the UK target playing at the European Championships every four years. The final of the competition was staged at Wembley, London, in 2020, so it could be a while before it returns.
You’ll see the teams working through qualifying in London, Glasgow, Belfast, and Cardiff. Plan to watch one nation in action or all four.
Grand National (horse racing)
The cream of the crop in English horse racing is the Grand National. The thoroughbred race over a grueling distance with several intimidating jumps between the starting line and a champion is special.
Watching on TV is excellent, but nothing compares to seeing it for yourself, in person and alongside the locals. Getting a ticket is more challenging than turning up on the day. You must plan your visit perfectly, securing official tickets and accommodation during the event.