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Last updated : Nov 2009
England Sports
England Sports - TravelPuppy.com
Boating

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.

Cricket

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.

Cycling

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 cycling destination.

Football

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.

Golf

Is played throughout the country.

Horse racing

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 country.

Rowing

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

Rugby is divided between union and league (amateur and professional), and is also popular.

Tennis

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 the finals.

Walking

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

Other sports include surfing, popular in Cornwall; fishing (a permit is needed and available from post offices); horseriding and climbing.
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