Britain’s best footballing cities
Britain is a nation of football fanatics. As the birthplace of modern football, having played ‘the beautiful game’ since the mid-19th century, stadiums can be found across the country, hosting everything from the Premier League down to non-league matches. If you’re keen to immerse yourself in a game, or enjoy a slice of Britain’s footballing heritage during a future visit, here are some of the highlights in store…
Top five football experiences in Britain
Feel the tension in the players’ tunnel and experience the dressing rooms where legends prepare to do battle on the pitch. Most Premier League and Scottish Premiership clubs provide guided tours, while some also have museums. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium even offers a nerve-jangling 90-minute tour of the roof, via a glass walkway 46.8 metres above the pitch.
For the ultimate in crowd noise, on-pitch rivalries and ‘bragging rights’ for the victor, catch a match between two local teams, known as ‘Derby’ games. Arsenal play Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby, Manchester United play Manchester City in the Manchester Derby, and Liverpool play Everton in the Merseyside Derby twice (home and away) each season.
National Football Museum
The National Football Museum in Manchester has over 2,500 items on display, alongside a programme of temporary exhibitions linking football with topics as diverse as fashion, art and the First World War. A Hall of Fame is dedicated to players and managers who have won trophies, broken records and left their mark on the game.
Scottish Football Museum
Based within Hampden Park in Glasgow, the Scottish Football Museum traces the history of Scottish football from the 19th century right up until today. Visitors enter through a turnstile from the old ground before being able to explore thousands of items and watch film footage highlighting memorable games and great Scottish players.
Meet a football legend
Premium match-day hospitality packages often feature the chance to meet a retired footballing legend during a pre-match drinks reception and four-course meal. You could even find yourself discussing the game with them at half-time. A majority of stadiums have Legends Lounges where this VIP hospitality unfolds.
Witness top-flight action and lower-league rivalries
There’s more than 40,000 registered football clubs in England alone, but all across Britain you’ll find ties to football. The English Premier League teams regularly attract star players from around the globe, cheered on by legions of dedicated fans. The popularity of the Women’s Super League (WSL) is quickly growing too, with further growth expected after England’s national team won the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 tournament.
In addition to the various Premier League club stadiums across Britain, the national stadiums also host larger sporting events. The iconic Wembley Stadium, complete with its 133 metre arch, reopened in 2007 and can hold up to 90,000 fans, making it Britain’s largest sporting venue.
Glasgow’s Hampden Park is another stadium with a rich history of hosting top quality international sport. Known as the home of Scottish football, it was the world’s biggest stadium when it opened in 1903.
Where to mingle with fans and experience match-day euphoria
Everton and Liverpool play their home matches less than a mile from each other across Stanley Park. With Liverpool at Anfield and Everton at Goodison Park, it only adds to a fizzing city atmosphere.
Home to seven Premier League teams plus the iconic Wembley Stadium, London is the place to watch England, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Brentford or newly-promoted Fulham.
Hampden Park is Scotland’s national football stadium and home ground to lower league team, Queen’s Park. Glasgow’s ‘Old Firm’ clubs, Celtic and Rangers are by far the most successful in Scotland with rivalry between the teams embedded in Scottish culture.