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There are many cities throughout the world that are well known for their sports culture, but few are as appealing as London. The English capital has become a popular destination for sports enthusiasts on UK and Scotland tours, and it's not because the city just hosted the Summer Olympics.
The growing popularity of sports-related tourism was highlighted by recent statistics from VisitBritain, which found that approximately 900,000 soccer fans - including 61,000 visitors from the United States - visited the United Kingdom in the last year alone. It's easy to understand why, in addition to hosting the 2012 Olympics, London's Wembley Stadium has been home to a large number of premier events recently.
Most notably, Wembley, which seats about 90,000 people, was home to the 2011 Champions League Final, and is expected to host the much-anticipated match in 2013 as well. Wembley has not been limited to soccer either, and has been welcoming American Football fans for an annual game since 2007.
Of course, Wembley Stadium is not the only sports attraction London and the surrounding cities have to offer. The legendary Old Trafford soccer stadium, which dates back to 1910, is among the most popular destinations, as is Stamford Bridge stadium, which is more than 135 years old.
UK and Scotland tours will certainly attract golf enthusiasts, as well. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, for example, combines both athletic achievement and history in a way few other sports venues can.
St. Andrews opened in the 1750s, and has welcomed some of the best golfers in the world year after year. In fact, it has been the most frequent host of The British Open. The tournament has been played at St. Andrews 28 times since 1873, and is scheduled to host it again in 2015.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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