If you're traveling to or simply around the UK and you're a fan of world-class sport then you're in luck. Despite being a fraction of the size of the place many consider to be the home of sport, the US, the UK has a wealth of top quality athletes and action taking place throughout the year.
From centuries old pastimes enjoyed by the country's nobility to the modern marvels, the UK sporting scene is constantly buzzing. However, just as you need to plan any trip, putting together a schedule is imperative if you want to get the most out of what the country has to offer. Could you take in every major sporting event on the same trip? Possibly, but it would have to be a long trip.
April Kicks Off a Spring of Sport in the UK
With this in mind, we've picked April as our month of choice. When spring is in the air and the thoughts of Easter are still looming large, there are plenty of elite-level sporting events to enjoy across the UK and they all start on April 2 with the annual University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge. Essentially an Olympic-level rowing event (because many of the rowers also compete at international level), the Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race is now a global spectacle.
In 2017, it will be the 158th time the two teams have lined up on London's Thames for the 4 miles, 374 yards race. Over the last few years it's been Oxford with the advantage, but since the race was first rowed back in 1829, the Cambridge men won 82 times compared to their rival's 79 wins. In fact, it's much the same story with the women. Heading into the 2017 event on April 2, Cambridge have 41 victories to Oxford's 20 since 1927.
The Eyes of the World Look to Aintree
Once the teams from the world's top universities have laid it all on the line on the Thames, it's over to Aintree racecourse for the Grand National. Another event that attracts interest from around the world, the Grand National is arguably the most popular race in the world simply because it attracts seasoned bettors and casuals alike. In fact, according to the infographic above, when this race is run on April 8, 2017, it will be shown in 84 countries to a viewership of more than 500 million people.
If you're lucky enough to be in the UK and have a ticket for the event, you'll be able to see some of the best jump jockeys in the world competing over a 4 mile, 514 yards course. With upwards of 30 horses in the race, betting odds are also a tasty proposition when the Grand National kicks off. However, even if you don't have a flutter, the race is still one of the most impressive spectacles in sport.
Cue Masters Offer the Perfect End to your Trip
To round off your journey through April's sporting highlights, the Snooker World Championship is a must. Taking place inside the now famous Crucible Theatre in Sheffield between April 15 and May 1, this tournament is the pinnacle of the snooker world. Featuring the finest potters from around the world, this event really is an example of human precision and accuracy at its finest.
Despite the game's seemingly mundane pace and lack of energy, the skills possessed by an elite-level snooker player are beyond the comprehension of anyone that's never picked up a cue. Although a trip to the World Snooker Championship might not be an adrenaline filled end to your trip, it will give you something to marvel at. Indeed, after the excitement of the boat race and the Grand National, this should serve as the perfect way to decompress before you head home.