UK sport tourism: The venues that matter


By Thomas Clarke

When anyone talks about sport, they think about visiting the Nou Camp. When anyone talks about tourism, they think about jetting off on a city break.

Truth is the two can be intertwined. Sports tourism is a huge industry, particularly in the UK, and you only have to cast your eye over reports such as this one to see the full picture.

Following on from the above, today we are going to take a look at the UK market in detail. Let’s now look at some of the best sporting attractions in the country – that don’t require you to attend a live fixture.

The Belfry

Let’s start with one of the most well-known golf courses in the UK. The Belfry has played host to arguably the most popular golfing competition in the world; the Ryder Cup. As we all know, this occurs once every two years and pits all of the top players from the US against Europe. Suffice to say, it attracts plenty of attention and there is a lot of national pride at stake on every occasion.

The Belfry has actually played host to the event on no fewer than four occasions. In 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002 it has been used, with Europe prevailing three times.

While it is still a championship golf course, nowadays its doors are well and truly open to tourism. It has an immense hotel, spa and of course golfing facilities– and this opens it up to a wealth of visitors, from both the UK and abroad.


In terms of tennis, even the professionals would argue that nothing quite beats Wimbledon. While there might be four grand slams in total, it’s Wimbledon which always grabs the attention with this grass tournament seen as the pinnacle of the tennis calendar.

Of course, the tournament itself only lasts for two weeks of the year. In the remaining time, it’s also a venue which attracts hordes of tourists. Wimbledon has its own museum, which hosts everything you would expect including the trophies and even historical rackets.

However, the museum isn’t everything. Visitors can see the media center, the BBC studio, player’s entrance, interview room and of course Centre Court. All of this means that it’s always hot in demand, which is hardly surprising when you see just how difficult tickets for the tournament itself are to come by.

chelsea fc stamford bridge

Stamford Bridge

In truth, we could have placed a whole host of football stadiums in this next section. The beauty about Stamford Bridge is of course that it is ideally located in London – whilst it also has a recent Premier League trophy in its cabinet.

Like most stadiums in the top flight of English football, there’s plenty more than the pitch to talk about here. As part of the tour, you will be taken around the board room, corporate boxes and all of the “behind the scenes” rooms that nobody really thinks about away from the on-the-field antics.

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