The UK is known for its avid history of sporting prowess. Many teams have gone down in history as some of the best in its related sport and many of the most popular sports in the world have stemmed from the country. If you’re visiting the city of London and staying at the Park Grand Central Paddington London Hotel, then you might want to spend a day in the stands for some of the most legendary teams out there or equally learn a little about the history surrounding British sports. There is no better place to do this than London, where sport has fast become a way for communities to come together and complete strangers to find a way to bond. Very few other subjects give people a chance to bond and connect as much as sports do, and if you want to connect with British culture then check out some of these quintessentially British sports and stadiums.
Football has a history spanning back to ancient history and has been recorded as being played in the UK as far back as the 13th century. The sport in which two opposing teams kick a football into goals on differing sides of the pitch has been widely regarded as one of the most popular sports in the world. The UK’s premier league is also known for having some of the most internationally renowned players in the world and brings in billions of pounds into the British economy. The modern idea of football however, is linked to the codes created at British Public schools where the organised team sport found its current formality as early as the 16th century. A Latin text book from 1519 accredited to one William Herman has a reference to the sport being played at the school Eton, with a “ball full of wind.”
Originating in the UK in the first half of the 19th century, Rugby or Rugby Union as the most common form of the sport is known, is a sport in which players throw and catch an egg shaped ball, scoring by touching the ball on the opposing side of the pitch or scoring a “try.” Conversions can also be won by kicking the ball over the posts. The sport finds its origins at Rugby School in the town of Rugby in 1823. Here during a game of football, a man named William Webb Ellis was reported to have picked up the football and run with it. This myth, whether true or not has led to the name of the town being lent to the sport, which the first players begun to formulate the rules for.
Tennis is a sport which is thought to have originated in Birmingham, England between 1859 and 1865. It is a sport played by teams of one or two people and uses tennis rackets to hit a ball over a net in the middle. Points are scored on the failure of the opposition to hit the ball back over the net or in a foul being committed, the ball being hit outside of the lines. The sport is thought to have been created by Augurio Perera and Harry Gem, who combined elements of two other games, basque ball and racquets to create the modern version of the sport as we know it today. The first tennis club was formed in Leamington Spa in 1872.
Cricket is a British sport played with a team of “batters” and “fielders” between two wickets. It uses a throw to the team batting and the hitting of a hard and small ball with a bat to form a point system, points being given to the batting team in regards to how many times they can run between the two wickets. If the ball is caught by a member of the fielding team or the wicket is hit with the ball by the thrower, then the batter is out. The sport is rumoured to have originated from a children’s game in the 1500’s and was played in schools across the English counties and subsequently begun to grow into formalised amateur and professional teams throughout that century.
Wembley stadium is one of the most popular sporting venues in the country. The variety of sports played here means that there will often be something for everyone. With many London Hotel Special offers, many visitors to the city come specifically for sporting events, many of the major ones taking place at Wembley. Whether you’re a fan of American Football, Rugby or world class football, you’ll more than likely find an event at Wembley which will take your fancy.
Wimbledon is home to the prestigious Wimbledon Tennis tournament which is aired on television around the world and also attracts many of the top current tennis players in the world. Made up of 53 separate courts, the Wimbledon courts consist of American clay courts, grass courts, practice courts and indoor courts and the major centre courts hold thousands of seats for spectators. For guests making the most of Hotel Deals near Hyde Park London who happen to be near London during the Wimbledon season in the summer month of July (5-18th) then get down to Wimbledon to try the iconic strawberries and cream which is served at the event.
Lords Cricket Ground
Located in St John’s Wood in North West London, Lord’s cricket ground is one of the best known cricket grounds in the world and is home to Middlesex cricket club as well as being often referred to as the “home of cricket” due to the many international matches played there. For those interested in the history of the sport, the ground is home to the world’s oldest sporting museum.
With twelve football teams playing in London, seven of which are in the premiere league, it’s no wonder there are so many great stadiums to visit. Whether it’s Finsbury Park’s Arsenal Stadium or West Ham’s down in East London, there are plenty of historic stadiums to check out in the city of London.