We all know how fanatic Brits are about their football, but this is fortunately not the only type of sports they go wild about. With over 50 major sporting events happening throughout the year here are the top 5 sporting events you should get excited about if you’re visiting London anytime soon.
One of the largest sporting events in Europe, and considered the most prestigious by many a tennis fan across the globe, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world. Keeping to traditions, the Wimbledon Championships are the only Grand Slam tournaments still played on grass, the games’ original surface since 1877 when it was held for the first time at the then ‘All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club Ground’.
Other Wimbledon traditions such as a strict dress code for competitors, the eating of strawberries and cream by the spectators, and Royal patronage are still being retained to this day. In recent years Wimbledon’s Centre Court was fitted with a retractable roof due to the lovely British summer rain interfering with playing times in the past, so don’t fret if you forget your umbrella at your Hotel.
The London Marathon
If you plan on visiting in spring (late April), you should definitely not miss the London Marathon. Still holding the world record for the largest charity event seeing participants raise 4.6 million in 2009, the marathon attracts professional and amateur runners from all around the globe, so if you’re feeling up for a challenge don’t hesitate to sign up and join the 30,000 plus participants, or well simply go as a punter and join in the fun.
Six Nations Rugby
Another sports tournament steeped in history, the Six Nations championship is the oldest rugby championship in the world, dating back to 1882. England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy fight for the trophy on each others’ turf from February through to April, hence the games that take place in Twickenham Stadium in London, are considered as one of the most important sporting events of the year, so make sure to book your tickets and hotel as early as possible.
Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
Starting out as a challenge between two students from the respective Universities in 1829, this annual rowing race between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club usually takes place on the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April on the river Thames.
An excess of a quarter of a million people watch the 4.2 mile race from the banks of the river between Putney and Mortlake each year with an additional 15 million people watching on the TV.
25 or so odd miles west of London lies the small town of Ascot, a small upscale town that hosts the most prestigious races for thoroughbred horses throughout the year. Get your top hats and best attire ready, the Queen and the rest of the Royal family are probably going to be there.