Britain’s not always renowned for being a hot and sunny destination, but if the summer of 2014 proves to be anything like last summer, then you’ll get a fair few days of sunshine on a trip to the UK unless you’re really unlucky.
And if you want to see the British summer in all its glory, it’s not all about spending time on the beautiful beaches that you’ll find in Devon and Cornwall, or you can make the most of www.Tyre-Shopper.co.uk and drive east the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales. There are different sports events that take place throughout the summer that really show off a little bit of British culture; two of the best examples being the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships and Royal Ascot.
Wimbledon is the world’s oldest tennis tournament and is very much a big part of any major tennis player’s year. The tournament has been held at Wimbledon’s All England Club in south-west London since 1877. Wimbledon is one of four international Grand Slams – the others being the Australian Open, Roland Garros (the French Open) and the US Open. Wimbledon stands out not only as the oldest tournament, but also the only one of the four to be played on grass.
Britain goes crazy for tennis during the two weeks of the Wimbledon Championships; usually getting overly excited at British prospects and then watching them crash out in the first few days. However, last year saw the first British Gentlemen’s Single Championship victory at Wimbledon in 77 years, when Scot Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in three sets. This year, Murray is second favourite to win with odds of 2/1 at the time of writing. Djokovic, meanwhile, is tipped as favourite, while Roger Federer, seven-times Wimbledon champion is looking to regain the title and is currently fourth favourite behind Spaniard Rafa Nadal.
Of course, tickets to the big matches towards the end of the tournament are hard to come by and go for thousands at a time. However, if you’re in town while Wimbledon is taking place, you can always get tickets at the gates to go into the ground and watch on the big screen from Murray Mound, formerly known as Henman Hill, when Tim Henman was the great British hope. There, you’ll be able to soak up the atmosphere, drinking over-priced Pimm’s and lemonade and eating strawberries and cream. Although it’s rare to have a Wimbledon Championships without at least some rain, there are always some gloriously sunny days there too, so don’t forget to take a straw boater, sunglasses and sun cream.
If you’re not into tennis, then another big event in the British summer sports calendar is Royal Ascot, drive get the Pims and lemonade stocked up for June and make sure you use www.national.co.uk in case you run into any car troubles. If you don’t mind sharing – check out www.RideShareApps.com for a cheaper and fun way to meet new people on your travels.
This year it’s from 17-21 June, culminating with The Diamond Jubilee Stakes, one of the world’s most important sprint races. Before that though, there’s the style and elegance that always surrounds Ladies’ Day – officially known as Gold Cup Day – on Thursday. This is the day that the world’s fashion media waits for, and there’s always a great display of elaborate hats on Ladies’ Day. The highlight race of the day, meanwhile, is the Group 1 Gold Cup, which is a long distance race over two miles and four furlongs.
How about a trip that takes in both Wimbledon and Royal Ascot – could it be any more British?