Whether you’re traveling to England for the first time or the fiftieth, it continues to be the perfect destination for the avid soccer fan. There are few other places that have their culture so deeply intertwined with the sport.
There are many theories on how the sport was invented, there are even claims that it was played more than 2000 years ago. One popular English legend claims that in Kingston-on-Thames and Chester, the game was played for the first time with the severed head of a vanquished Danish prince. The UK – England in particular, is considered the birthplace of modern soccer and though we may never know the actual origin of the sport, we do know that England was the first country to establish regulations. The Football Association, more commonly known as the FA, was founded in 1863 and set the norms for match duration and rules. The English Football League was founded just 25 years later in 1888.
Being home to the oldest football association in the world has allowed for teams to pop up virtually everywhere – there are over 40,000 registered clubs! It is no wonder that wherever you go in England, no matter how big or small, you will always find a club with its faithful and fanatic supporters.
The English Premier League and its’ London teams
The English Premier League, known for short as the EPL, is the premier soccer league in England and one of the most watched leagues in the world. The league hosts 20 teams, 19 English and 1 Welsh. The EPL is considered one of the toughest leagues in the world and some say home to the best players in the world.
Though most big cities have a team or two, no English city compares to London – boasting an impressive six clubs in the first division. Current powerhouses include Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham and most likely one of your soccer idols – Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Alexis Sanchez, or Mesut Ozil. And let’s not forget the stadiums! Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium is arguably the best stadium in all of the Premier League. Built just over ten years ago it, it is modern, immaculate and has super comfortable seating. There’s also Chelsea’s historic Stamford Bridge which was built in 1905. Though an old stadium, it doesn’t quite feel that way with great views of the pitch from nearly every seat.
Soccer like you’ve never experienced before
Soccer culture runs deep in England and it’s not just about supporting the big clubs in the first division. Seemingly every little town or neighborhood has its own team. Whether in the Premier League or in lower leagues, fans will support their local team through and through. One of eSoccer’s own, Nacho Sanchez says, “I love travelling to England and bringing teams to professional matches. The way English fans live soccer is like something I’ve never seen anywhere else, and I’m from Spain!”.
Every club has its own chants and songs, and regardless of the importance of the match, fans are always singing and cheering. Depending on which club you visit, you can expect a variety of atmospheres, especially on London Derby days. At Chelsea, Tottenham, and West Ham be ready for the noise, while at Crystal Palace you are guaranteed a good time and perhaps will get caught up in the singing and drumming of their “ultras.”
Mix soccer with the beauty of bustling cities and lush English countryside
There is so much to do in London, it is truly a dynamic city with a little bit of something for everyone. You can visit historic palaces and beautiful parks, check out art galleries, and eat your way through some delicious international food and typical English cuisine. If you want to explore the boroughs of London, try Richmond Upon Thames, probably London’s most attractive borough. Richmond Upon Thames lies on both sides of the River Thames and has Royal parks and lots of open spaces. It is well known as the retreat from the city for the royal and famous. But England is so much more than London, it is also home to gorgeous landscape, littered with enchanting little towns.
For the more off the beaten path type of traveller, you can take a day trip to Arundel in West Sussex from London. It is quaint market town located just 49 miles from London and is the definition of picturesque with its own castle and cathedral set in the lush English countryside.
If you want to venture a little ways further and take a step back in history, try heading towards Bristol to the world heritage site of Bath. Known as Bath for its Roman baths that were constructed in 60 AD, the town is seeping with history dating back millenia. In the late 19th century, author Jane Austen resided in Bath and two of her novels are set in the picturesque city.
Our programs in England are based around providing the most unique and authentic soccer experience with a dash of culture and excitement.
If you’re interested in traveling to England with your team, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.