Top 7 football experiences in Britain

Monday 14 August 2017

Football, or soccer for our friends over in the USA and Canada, has developed over the centuries from many influences over the world. However, the sport as we know it today evolved in Britain, which is why we're proudly known as 'the home of football'. From stadium tours that let you walk in the footsteps of some of the sporting greats, to exciting championships and enjoying the electric atmosphere of a live game, there really is no better place to be if you're a footie fanatic or soccer supporter.  We've rounded up just some of the football experiences you can have here in Britain.  

West Ham Football Club Fans cheering at a Premier League game. from Getty Images.

Pay a visit to Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London

Wembley Football Stadium, London. Image credit to Diana Jarvis, Visit England
Wembley Football Stadium in London. Image credit to Diana Jarvis, Visit England

If you want to relive the triumphs and tragedies of English international soccer, visit Wembley Stadium, one of the world’s most celebrated sports stadiums. Book a tour to see the England changing room, raise a replica FA Cup, feel the tension in the players’ tunnel and experience the dressing rooms where legends prepare to do battle on football’s most famous field.

Walk in the footsteps of the greats on a stadium tour, Britain-wide

Father and son look out onto the pitch of St James's Park, home of Newcastle United Football Club, whilst on a stadium tour, Newcastle upon Tyne.
Tthe pitch of St James's Park, home of Newcastle United Football Club. 

Manchester United, Liverpool, Celtic, Chelsea, Newcastle United: take your pick from their fascinating stadium tours and museums. Feel the atmosphere as you walk down the player's tunnel at Arsenal Stadium, tour the players’ dressing room at Chelsea FC or discover Manchester United's fascinating history.

Soak up the atmosphere of a live game, Britain-wide

Emirates Stadium on North London Derby Day -c. Flickr Michael Briggs. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikespurs/
Emirates Stadium on North London Derby Day. Image credited to Flickr's Michael Briggs.

Of course, the most thrilling way to experience football in the UK is to actually see a game. Premier League and Scottish Premier League tickets are always in high demand; they sell out quickly so it's best to book early to guarantee a seat. 

Scottish Football Museum, Glasgow

Set in the spectacular surrounds of Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park, in Glasgow, Scotland’s soccer shrine is packed full of rare items relating to football north of the border. See the world’s oldest match ticket from the first official international match, played in Glasgow in 1872, and hundreds of other items from the permanent collection plus regularly changing special exhibits.

Brush up on your footballing knowledge at the National Football Museum, Manchester

The National Football Museum. A father and son visiting the museum. Kicking a football and aiming at a goal. Credit VisitBritain, Andrew Pickett
The National Football Museum. Credit VisitBritain, Andrew Pickett

Manchester’s  National Football Museum is a must-see attraction for fans of the ‘beautiful game’. Housed in the striking Urbis building in the city centre it houses an interactive football/soccer experience, along with fascinating memorabilia including the 1966 World Cup Final ball and Diego Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt.

Battle it out on the pitch of a Premier League Club, Britain-wide

Live out your fantasy and play a match on the hallowed turf of your favourite team’s ground. Play on the Pitch organises packages, which include a proper 11-a-side match on the very ground where your favourite footballing heroes have played. Get ready in the home and away changing rooms, have a pre-game pep talk and line up in the player's tunnel before taking on your opponents on the pitch, all of which is hosted at clubs around the UK including Everton, Millwall, and Chelsea. These special events happen each summer during the off season. There are only a few dates per year so book early to get a spot. 

Throw in the towel and play football in the river, Cotswolds, England

Two teams lined up in the shallow waters of the River Windrush for the annual 6 a side competition, a football match.

If you’re looking for something a little less serious, try the Football in the River event, held each August bank holiday in Bourton-on-the-Water, in which locals play football knee-deep in the River Windrush.  The usually quiet banks of the river become awash with spectators keen to watch the action involved as players brave the chilly water. If you're keen to come along and watch, don't stand at the front if you want to stay dry! 

Stay at a dedicated football hotel, Manchester 

What's better than watching a live football game? Watching a live game then heading to a dedicated football hotel afterwards of course. Hotel Football, in Manchester, is located opposite Old Trafford Stadium and has bedrooms that come with a 40-inch smart TV (including all Sky Sports and BT Sports channels) and a complimentary snack bar filled with retro treats as standard. Guests can dine at Cafe Football enjoy views of Old Trafford from the hotel and purchase tickets to the National Football Museum. 

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