England is lined with canals and rivers, and there are a number
of lakes and other waterways. Because canals connect urban centres,
hiring a canal boat is a great way of visiting towns while still
enjoying the countryside. Many tour operators specialise in hiring
out boats; for a list of these, contact the English Tourism Council.
Yachts and cabin cruisers can also be hired, and facilities can
be found in popular sailing areas such as the Norfolk Broads.
Incomprehensible though it may seem to those unfamiliar with the
rules, is a very popular sport in England. The most famous ground
is Lords in northern London.
There are many designated cycling routes and some of these pass
through towns and villages and some through wilder regions. All
are signposted and maintained, and bicycles can be hired all over.
A list of cycling routes is available from the Tourism Council.
East Anglia, its flat terrain with picturesque villages and a good
Football is enthusiastically followed by all and, increasingly,
by both men and women. Teams such as Liverpool
and Manchester United are known all over the world.
Is played throughout the country.
The main horse races attract huge followings and include Aintree,
Ascot (famous for the extravagant hats worn on
Ladies' Day) and the Grand National (the nation's
premier event, with bets worth millions of pounds). Many English
people are passionate about racing, and there are courses all over
The year's most famous and prestigious event is the Henley
Regatta, held at Henley-on-Thames in late June. Boaters
and blazers are worn by the men, while many women wear dresses and
hats. Rowing eights from all over the world compete. The Oxford
vs Cambridge Boat Race takes place every February. Eights
from England's two oldest universities race along the Thames in
London from Putney to Mortlake.
Rugby is divided between union and league (amateur and professional),
and is also popular.
The world-famous tournament, Wimbledon, takes place in London
in late June and early July. Tickets must be bought well in advance
if good seats are required, while a ballot is held for tickets for
Although England has a high population density, it has some beautiful
countryside which is ideal for walkers.
The highest ground is in the north and west of the country, while
the east and south tend to be flatter. South of the Scottish border
is the Northumberland National Park, featuring moorland and beaches.
The Pennines ('the backbone of England') stretch for 429km or 268
miles from Kirk Yetholm just over the Scottish border to Edale in
Derbyshire, separating Yorkshire in the east from its rival, Lancashire,
and Cumbria in the west. A long-distance footpath, the Pennine Way,
runs through this range. Relatively demanding, owing to the ascents
and descents, it is nevertheless popular. In the northwest, just
below Carlisle, is the spectacular Lake District, with England's
highest peak Scafell Pike (978m or 3207ft), while Yorkshire has
two national parks, the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales.
The Peak District National Park is to the south of the Pennines.
Gentler hills and farmland can be found in the 'home counties',
the area in the south of England to the west of London. The 'west
country' (Cornwall, Devon and Somerset) features higher land, moorland,
cliffs and a rocky shoreline. The South West Coast Path (978km or
613 miles) runs from the coast from Minehead in Somerset to South
Haven Point near Poole in Dorset.
Other sports include surfing, popular in Cornwall; fishing (a permit
is needed and available from post offices); horseriding and climbing.