REASONS TO VISIT GREAT BRITAIN: BEST SPORTING EVENTS OF 2020

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Britain is synonymous with top-class sporting events and there are a plethora of enticing competitions and tournaments taking place once again in 2020.

Football, horse racing and boxing fans visiting the UK can reach some of the country’s prime sporting destinations from the Isle of Wight, with over 200 ferry crossings taking place each day. With some of the country’s major airports also within easy reach, it’s easier than ever before to simply hop across the Solent and stop off at some of southern England’s most iconic venues. We take a look at some this year’s major sporting events which are set to take place within commutable distance of the Isle of Wight.

Sandown Racecourse – Eclipse Stakes

Sandown racecourse is one of horse racing’s most iconic venues. The Surrey track is fairly handily located for visitors and with an approximate journey time of under three hours from the Isle of Wight, it is guaranteed to provide a memorable day out for all of the family. There are a number of top-class race days staged at the course with highlights including the Celebration Chase and the Tingle Creek. These continue to prove popular with racegoers and demand for tickets is always high. However, July’s Eclipse Stakes remains one of the standout events on the calendar and will almost certainly offer visitors a chance to witness some of Europe’s finest thoroughbreds go head-to-head in glorious surroundings. Staged in the height of British summertime, the weather is generally very favourable for the Eclipse and racecourse guests can also enjoy live music once the action on the turf has concluded. Jess Glynne, Madness and Pete Tong were just some of the high profile names who have performed show-stopping sets at Sandown in the last twelve months.

Wembley Stadium – Euro 2020

The Euros get underway in mid-June. It’s undoubtedly one of best sport events in 2020 and keen bettors will be pricking their ears for the latest news and updates in order to make top betting choices. The competition will see some of Europe’s most iconic players take to the field and visitors to the UK will be delighted to learn that a number of key games are set to take place at Wembley Stadium in West London. The national venue is around a three-hour journey from the Isle of Wight and with the Three Lions set to play all three of their Group D matches here, there should be plenty of opportunities to catch the pre-tournament favourites in action. Wembley has also been chosen to stage a round of 16 contest, both semi-final matches and the final, which is scheduled to take place on July 12th. With a maximum capacity of 90,000, an electric atmosphere is almost guaranteed, especially if the Three Lions are able to make it through to the final four. England haven’t reached the semi-finals of the competition since 1996, however, there’s plenty of optimism amongst fans this time around.

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Brentwood Centre, London – WBO European Boxing

The Brentwood Centre is a three-and-a-hour drive from the Isle of Wight and the venue is set to host some high-quality boxing during the first half of the year. It is one of many bouts taking place at this spacious events hall throughout 2020, as it continues to establish itself as one of the go-to destinations for fans of the sport. The unbeaten Danny Dignum will take on Belfast’s Alfredo Meli at the beginning of March for the WBO European middleweight title. Described as a ‘real 50/50 bout’, this fight may not be the one of the most high-profile events on the boxing calendar, however, it looks set to be another superb evening of entertainment. Sports fans will also be able to enjoy the well-stocked undercard before the in-form pair take to the ring at the end of the evening. Both players are hoping to continue climbing the WBO rankings and this bout appears to provide the ideal opportunity to claim a notable victory and further enhance their reputations. Sky Sports have picked up the rights to broadcast the bout at the beginning of March, however, very little can compare to witnessing all of the drama unfold at this superb venue.

Ascot Racecourse – Royal Ascot

Ascot hosts some of the country’s most notable race days and the Berkshire venue is handily located for visitors to the Isle of Wight. The iconic track enjoys worldwide notoriety for its 5-day summer extravaganza, which attracts a number of high-profile attendees including Queen Elizabeth II. Although the vast majority of entrants are based in Europe, Royal Ascot also has a number of overseas competitors shipped over from the USA, Japan and Australia. It is a major event on both the sporting and social calendars and all visitors must adhere to a strict dress code which includes top hats and fascinators. Combining sartorial elegance with top-class turf action, Royal Ascot is a must-visit for all sports fans and some of the countries savviest trainers are already making their preparations ahead of June 2020. Notable races include the King’s Stand Stakes, Prince of Wales Stakes and the Commonwealth Cup.

Spurs vs Leicester – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

This state-of-the-art North London venue has been staging Premier League games throughout the course of the season, however, the final game of the campaign could be an occasion to remember. With the Lilywhites and the Foxes both desperate to secure European football next year, this could be a fascinating end-of-season battle between two of the top flight’s most watchable sides. The southern ‘home end’ regularly provides a wall of noise which reverberates around this bowl-shaped venue. It has a superb aura, and unlike other recently constructed stadia in the capital, it has been specifically engineered to create an unforgettable and unrivalled atmosphere. This multi-purpose arena is undoubtedly worth a visit and boasts the world’s first dividing, retractable football pitch. Match-goers can also pre-book tickets to one of the daily stadium tours before taking in the top flight action just hours later. With its own dedicated train station, the newest ground in the Premier League is easily accessible and it is a must-visit for all sports fans visiting the UK this summer.

There’s no excuse not to take advantage of all the sporting action happening, with ferry crossings and access points in such close quarters with our island. What are you waiting for?

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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