Many of us dream of being able to explore far-flung places and the most famous cities of the world. But more and more travelers use their love of sports and healthy living to plan an entire vacation around sporting events.
Like many cities in the US that boast teams in a variety of sports, European cities are also a haven for sports lovers of all varieties. The capital city of England boasts a wide selection of pro sports teams and locations to visit. You will have heard of many of them thanks to the media and online betting sites – but here is our own itinerary for a sports-themed trip to London.
Social Sports Event
We could start our sports tour of London, England just about anywhere thanks to the sheer range of activities available. But we thought we would combine a little social occasion alongside the sport to begin with. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is the rather formal name of the complex better known for the Wimbledon tennis championships.
This annual two-week event takes place in June and July and is the oldest tennis championships in the world. It is the only one of the majors still held on grass and the introduction of retractable roofs on the main courts mean that even the infamous British weather cannot ruin your visit.
Enjoy a New Sport
Our next destination is to watch a sport that may be new to many Americans, but is one of the oldest and supposedly genteel in the world. Cricket has been played at the Oval in south London since 1880 and still hosts a variety of different events – including test matches between England and touring teams.
But if you happen to visit London when there isn’t a game on at the Oval, you will probably still be able to catch some cricket at Lords’, in north London. This grand stadium is often referred to as ‘the home of cricket’ and hosts test matches, as well as newer formats of the game such as The Hundred.
The World’s Game
We couldn’t get too much further into an article about sporting locations in London without mentioning soccer. You just can’t escape the sport here and you can see everyone playing, from children in the park to some of the highest paid players in the world at some of the biggest clubs.
As long as you arrive during the soccer season (roughly August through May) you will be able to watch some kind of soccer. There are seven London clubs in the top tier EPL alone to choose from – although tickets may be hard to come by. Or you could take a visit to the world-famous Wembley Stadium to see the national team play.
Figure 2 Welcome to the home of football
Even if you are a big NBA fan you may not be aware that there is basketball played in Europe. The United Kingdom has not always enjoyed as much success as some of the other countries on the continent, but there is a chance to watch top level hoops in the capital city these days.
The Copper Box Arena in east London was specifically built for the 2012 Olympics and is now the home of the London Lions basketball team. The team plays in the national league but also competes in the EuroCup, the most prestigious competition in Europe. Tickets are very good value and you may even recognize some former NBA players on the court.
Take Your Pick
As with any major city, London has plenty more sports-watching opportunities to enjoy that will make any visit worthwhile. There are famous rowing races, rugby union internationals and track and field meets throughout the year, so take a look at the schedule before you plan your trip.
There are also hundreds of parks and running tracks to make sure that you keep your own fitness levels up while you visit this incredible city. London has something for just about any sports fan – the problem will be being able to fit everything into just one vacation.