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7 famous sporting events to attend

1. The Olympic Games

Arguably the grandest of all sporting events, the Games have been held every four years (with a few notable exceptions) since 1896. Next scheduled for Tokyo in 2020, there will be a record 33 sports and 324 events. So whether you’re a die-hard fan of a particular discipline or you prefer to browse the sporting buffet, you’ll be in sports heaven. Be sure to include some time in your itinerary to discover what else Japan has to offer.

2. US Masters Tournament/British Open (Golf)

The Masters is the first of the four US Major golf tournaments to be held each year, and the only one to be held in the same location every year, namely Augusta National Golf Club in Florida. Even if you’re not a mad-keen golf fan, you’llbe wowed by the spectacularly pretty course. However, given the difficulty in actually getting your hands on a ticket to so much as a practice round, you might be better to try for the British Open, which is held at one of nine different links course in the UK each year. In 2017, the Open will be played at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, near the scenic seaside town of Southport. Given its proximity to Liverpool, you could even team it up with a visit to Anfield to see Liverpool FC in action.

3. The Championships, Wimbledon (Tennis)

This is the oldest and arguably the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. It takes place over two weeks in late June and early July, and is the only tennis Major still to be played on outdoor grass courts. Wimbledon is more than just a tennis tournament: it’s a cultural phenomenon. Smart attire is de rigueur at Wimbledon, as is the consumption of strawberries and cream and glasses of Pimms, so get your Sunday finest on and get ready to play “spot-the-celebrity” on and off the court.

4. Monaco Grand Prix (Motor Racing)

Whether it’s the glamorous Cote d’Azur location, the long history of the event which was first held in 1929, or the sheer difficulty of the tight turns and rapid changes in elevation, this race is one of the most esteemed in the motor racing world. Because of its layout, there are plenty of vantage points around the course, especially near the harbour which is filled with the watercraft of the rich and famous. If you find yourself craving a little peace and quiet, hop on a local train to pretty Menton, just 20 minutes along the coast.

5. Royal Ascot (Horse Racing)

Located just six miles from Windsor Castle, Royal Ascot has long enjoyed a close association with the British Royal Family, making it a major event in the English social calendar. Over 300,000 people attend the racing carnival over the week each year and it’s another excuse to dress up, particularly if you manage to acquire tickets to the Royal Enclosure. Even if you’re not much of a gambler, you may like to join the fun and bet on the colour of the Queen’s hat on Ladies Day.

6. Hawaiian Triple Crown (Surfing)

Join the crowds leaving Waikiki behind and head for Oahu’s North Shore to watch the world’s best surfers take on the 50-foot+ winter swells that roll in from the North Pacific each year. The Triple Crown is actually comprised of three separate events, each for men and women, each one being held at a different, but equally legendary North Shore surf spot. For surfers it’s a chance to battle against not just the massive waves but also the best surfers in the world; for spectators, it’s a chance to sit in the sun on a beautiful Hawaiian beach and be thrilled by the bravado and skill of the surfers.