Top Sporting Destinations (2014)
We’ve picked out a few of the world’s top sporting destinations you may want to consider here, in chronological order. Unfortunately, you can’t see them all in the flesh, though, as a few overlap – so take your pick from this fine selection:
Aintree Grand National, April
There’s no race on earth quite like the Grand National. Held at Aintree racecourse near Liverpool each April, This is the most famous race over jumps in the world and the stakes just keep going up. Major UK bookmaker bet365 last year reported bigger than ever amounts being staked on the race. It’s the one race where pretty much all the British public has a flutter so the amounts are counted in the hundreds of millions of pounds. This year’s race will be held on Saturday 5th April; don’t miss it whether on TV or, better yet, in person.
The Masters Tournament, April
This year’s Masters Golf tournament will be held from April 7th to 13th at Augusta, Georgia, as always. This is the first of the season’s four golf majors, but the Masters is really the one they all want to win the most. It’s a picture postcard setting in America’s Deep South – and is the biggest and best-known stage in golf.
Kentucky Derby, May
The annual two-kilometre horse sprint has been held each year since 1875 on the first Saturday each May. This is the race that really defines US racing more than any other and it’s in the stunningly beautiful racecourse of Churchill Downs, in south Louisville, Kentucky. The race and the course both hark back to the old-world glamour of the Deep South in a way that no other venue does.
Monaco Grand Prix, May
If you had to pick out one venue that truly epitomises the old sprit of Formula One in Europe then it would surely be Monte Carlo. This is generally thought to be the single most prestigious car race on the planet. The Monaco Grand Prix winds its way through the small streets of the ultra-glamorous Monaco principality every May. This year, Formula One’s most glamorous event will be held on Sunday 11th May.
The World Cup, June-July
Amongst all the other great sporting events going on around the world this year – there’s the Daddy of them all; the World Cup 2014 begins on Thursday, June 12th and ends on Sunday, July 13th with the final at the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
This is the sporting event of the year, hosted for the first time since 1950 in a country that has enjoyed more international success than any other – where football is second only to religion. It needs no introduction – be there if you possibly can!
This year’s Wimbledon tennis championship may be rather overshadowed by the World Cup – but it’s still the greatest tennis event of the calendar – and certainly the most historic of the four majors. Held each June and July since 1887, it’s a wonderful spectacle when the sun is shining – strawberries and cream, the Royal Family and great tennis; not to be missed.
This year’s Wimbledon begins on Monday, June 23rd, with the men’s final on Sunday, July 6th.
Tour de France, July
An event like no other and possibly the single greatest race on earth this year’s Tour de France takes place from Saturday July 5th to Sunday July 27th. It will be the 101st Tour de France – a 3,600km journey all across France finishing along the Champs-Elysees. A wonderful event in beautiful country.
These are just a few to choose from – but with any one of them, you surely won’t be disappointed if you can be there.