The UK is one of the best places in the world to experience top class soccer. The sport, which is often known as football in Britain, was invented in the UK and it is still the number one spectator sport in the country. There are about 100 professional teams in the country, as well as many more semi-professional and amateur sides, so it should always be easy to find a place to watch football close to where you are living or staying. The hooliganism problems of 20-30 years ago have reduced a lot, so it is also now a pretty safe thing to do.
Deciding Where to Watch
Unsurprisingly, many people hope to watch the famous, successful teams like Manchester United or Chelsea. There are many stories of how fans have been so desperate to see their teams perform that they have cancelled a party, even their own wedding! There are two problems, though.
First, tickets for these games are very expensive, often running to more than 60 pounds. The other drawback is that top games are often sold out long before they actually happen, and unless you are a club member it can be almost impossible to find a ticket.
The “Home Nations”
Where soccer is concerned, the UK is split into the “Home Nations” – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Each of these nations has its own Football Association, which regulates both professional and amateur soccer. The biggest, richest, and most exciting league is the English Premier League. This is where you will find world class players and huge, comfortable stadiums. The Scottish Premiership is at a slightly lower level, but clubs like Celtic are still among the most famous in Europe. Wales and Northern Ireland do not have fully professional leagues.
Getting Around in the UK
Although it is possible to see soccer by using public transportation, this is not the most convenient option. Many of the most important games are played in the late evening or on Sundays, when there are fewer buses or trains operating. For this reason, it is a good idea to have access to a car – and to drive in the UK, you will need to be fully licensed. Making a driving test booking is therefore a very good idea. This can be done quickly and easily; look on the Internet for a center near you. Then, when you have your own transport, you can enjoy the UK soccer experience even more.
Handy Tips and tricks
If you want to watch the top English Premier League sides, but can’t get a ticket to Manchester United’s or Chelsea’s home games, try going to a cup match. These games, especially in the League Cup, often have smaller attendances than league games, so you have a good chance of getting a seat. They are also frequently cheaper. If you’ve planned your driving test booking really well, maybe you can even go straight from doing that to see your favorite team play. That would give you the ultimate UK soccer experience.
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