A Snapshot Of The UK’s Most Popular Sports


The national sport of the UK is cricket, but there are several other sports that are particularly popular in our country. Growing up in Italy, I was very familiar with football, but I didn’t know about a lot about other games such as rugby or cricket. If you want to know more about this topic, here’s a snapshot of the UK’s most popular sports.

Roger Federer playing in Centre Court, Wimbledon Tennis Championship, London, UK

In the UK there are many different types of sports played and enjoyed by everyone from children to adults. Traditionally, they are mostly played and watched by men, but things are definitely changing in 2021. Did you know that 59% of the UK population have an active interest in women’s sports? Whether it’s cricket or football, tennis or rugby, there is something to love about each these sports!

A woman playing golf


In this blog post, I hope to give you a snapshot of what some of the most popular sports are and how they became so popular. If you happen to be on the lookout for a new hobby (and what better than sports to have fun, make new friends and keep fit?), then take the information below and make an informed decision. It is always best to do your own research before starting something new that you may not even enjoy.

If you aren’t into playing team sports, then consider becoming a spectator instead. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have some fantastic sports teams for which you can show your support.

1. Soccer

Soccer is a sport that involves two teams kicking a ball around on a field until one scores more goals than the other team. It might sound simple, but it is really enjoyable and a great form of exercise for adults and children! Often referred to as “football” (a term also used outside England), football is the most popular sport globally and is followed by millions of people all over the world. In the United Kingdom, there are many football stadiums that you can visit to watch a game, and you might even have the chance to view the locker rooms where some of the world’s best players spend most of their time.

Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain

Photo by Tim Roosjen

2. Rugby

Rugby is a bit like football. It’s great fun to watch or play, as just two teams consisting of 15 players each try to get an oval shaped ball across goalposts at opposite ends of a field. A rugby player needs speed and strength – not only do they have to run fast, but they also tackle other players who will be attacking them fiercely to bring them to the ground and stop the play of the ball! The UK is home to numerous rugby stadiums, and I would definitely suggest buying tickets to watch a professional rugby match to experience the passion that goes into this sport.

Rugby match

Photo by Hanson Lu

3. Cricket

Cricket has been played in Britain since at least the 16th century! It is a trendy sport, and many people play it in their free time as it is a great way to work on your hand-eye coordination and teach children the values of true sportsmanship. The teams consist of 11 players with two batsmen trying to score runs off balls bowled by one player from either team. The bowlers will try as hard as they can to knock down the wickets behind the batsmen. Cricket is very much a partnership game, and it’s essential for both batsmen and the team to be on top of their game at all times! A Sunday afternoon game of cricket is a great way to spend time with friends and family and can be a very social game too.

Lord's Cricket Ground in London, UK

4. Tennis

Tennis is a sport that can be enjoyed by everyone. It is played with two or four people on a rectangular court divided into halves. The game’s object is to hit the ball over a net and have it land inside one of the squares to score points against an opponent. In England there is a very popular tennis tournament called Wimbledon, that is watched by people all over the world! Many people travel to England just to be a part of the supportive crowds at Wimbledon. If this is something you would want to consider, then I would suggest buying your ticket long ahead of time from a secure online platform such as Green and Purple.

The Championships, Wimbledon 2017 in London, UK

I had the chance to attend this event twice and I absolutely loved it. You can read more about my day at the Wimbledon Championship 2012.

5. Golf

If you want something a bit more relaxing but still want to enjoy being active outdoors, why not try golf? Often referred to as “the gentleman’s game“, this activity involves hitting a small ball with a club to get it into a series of holes in the ground. A round of golf consists of 18 holes and a limited amount of shots that can be made. The players must take the ball from where it first lands and then continue hitting it until they can get it into the hole on the green. The UK is also home to some of the most beautiful golf courses. Golf is also a trendy sport for spectators. Many people enjoy spending the whole day alongside the fairways watching golfers try to achieve the best possible score. This is one sport that doesn’t always come naturally, but with some practice, you will definitely be able to enjoy a round of golf at one of these breathtakingly beautiful courses.

A golf course in Colorado Springs, US

Photo by Allan Nygren

I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the most popular sports in the UK and perhaps I will see you at a future match or championship!

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.

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