The Most Popular Sports in the UK –
The Website for People Who Love Britain – Anglophiles
The UK is known for a host of sports, which means it’s also a country of sporting fans. Some of the most famous games have hailed from our small island, and we also have some of the most passionate fans in the world. The UK also has numerous achievements under its belt, and top talent has graced the international stage too.
Like many countries, the UK has its favourites, both in local and national leagues. So take a look at some of the top sports that UK fans love and see where your preferences sit.
Of course, football is at the top of the list. Not only is it the most popular sport in the UK, but it is also the most popular sport in the world (also known as soccer in other countries). It has a few main leagues that people across the globe follow, including the Premier League, which consists of teams such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool among many others.
There are also several international competitions that draw the crowds, including the European Championships and The World Cup. Football is also one of the most popular sports to bet on, and there are a number of free betting opportunities to place a wager on your favourite matches.
Cricket is mainly played in the summer and makes for a great day out. This sport has connections that date back to the early 1800s and it’s still a popular sporting fixture for many people. It also has the oldest clubs in the sport with Sussex and Northamptonshire being some of the oldest in the country. The UK has some of the best homegrown talents who compete in epic fixtures across the globe. Plus, there are long-standing rivals with other big cricket-playing countries such as India and Australia.
Rugby is also one of the UK’s top sports and draws people from across the country to support local and national teams. The skill and endurance of players are praised among supporters, and this has also made it a top sport in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand. The UK has both the Rugby League and the Rugby Union, and both are popular levels that bring people together. Each country in the UK has its own team and several of them fare well in the famous Six Nations and World Cup challenges.
Tennis is one of the biggest pulls for sports fans, and it’s not hard to see why. Wimbledon is without a doubt one of the most famous tennis tournaments in the world, with huge names gracing centre court every year. Plus, the UK has plenty of talent on home soil with personalities, such as Tim Henman and Andy Murray, providing fantastic competition to international contenders.
Badminton isn’t often one of the sports you think about when it comes to top lists of competitions. Still, in the UK, it is undoubtedly a contender. The sport was established in the late 1800s and has built up a world following. It is played by millions of people and is a top choice to learn in schools around the country. England also bags medals in international competitions and has competed well on world stages such as the Olympics.
Taking to the water is another pastime favoured by the UK. Both individual swimmers and teams have competed at various competitions, and it remains one of the favourites at The Olympics. England has a host of talent in the pool with world-renowned Mark Foster taking the limelight. This water sport also has offshoots such as diving, which is another popular event to watch. Medal winners such as Tom Daley have given the spotlight to this sport and encouraged a host of young people to take up diving and swimming since his championship debut.
Another sport the UK is great at is athletics. England has the most number of athletes than any other country, and we have a great deal of homegrown talent that compete at local, national and international levels. The UK always brings home medals in different championships and we cover a world of athletic events with sprinting, relay races and marathons proving some of the most successful. Some of the top names to come from the UK include Rebecca Adlington and Keri-Anne Payne.
We all know the famous Oxford and Cambridge showdown every year, and this event draws people from across the country every time. Not only do the rowing teams have fans, but the UK has lots of other groups that compete against national and international competitors. Rowing is a huge sport for the UK in the Olympics, and we’ve brought home medals on many occasions. Famous names in the sport include Geoffrey Taylor and Douglas Kirkland. Plus, there are well-known teams such as the Thames Rowing Club and Bedford Rowing Club, which are national treasures.
This sport has foundations in school PE classes and has now become one of the top games in the country. The Netball Super League was founded in 1999 and has seen some of the best names in the sport come through its ranks. The league was founded in the UK and now also takes players from other countries to compete in national teams. This sport is also shown on the big screen and often features on favourite channels such as Sky Sports, so you don’t have to miss the action. The England Netball team were also crowned champions against Australia in the Commonwealth Games and have moved up to second place in the Netball world rankings.
Last, but not least, is ice hockey. This sport has risen in the ranks since its popularity came over from Canada and the US. The UK has its own tournaments and has had a number of famous players such as Owen Nolan and Tony Hand in the rankings. The UK also plays on the international stage against some of the biggest ice hockey contenders, including America.
Filed Under: News Features

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile with an obsession for Britain that borders on psychosis. Anglotopia is his passionate side-gig and he’s always dreaming of his next trip to England, wishing he lived there – specifically Dorset.
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