With the ICC Cricket World Cup already underway, Team India's first match is on June 5, 2019. Virat Kohli & Co. will take on South Africa in their opener in Southampton. While Team India will hope to become the world champions for the third time (and after an eight-year wait), you, following the team around England, have a lot to see and do.
There isn't anything like cricket which gets an Indian fan off their seats. The national team starts their campaign at Southampton against South Africa before travelling to London, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Leeds. The highlight fixture will be held at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester as India take on Pakistan in a match promising to deliver innumerable moments of ups and downs.
Though you might have entered the English shores for the love of cricket, take time to explore the heartlands of England when you aren't attending matches. Here is a guide of things you can do in the 6 cities:
The Buckingham Palace in London tops many wish-lists and along with Westminster Abbey, the site of monarch coronation, are the most prized assets of the century long tradition of the British Monarchy. The Tower of London boasting of the Crown Jewels also makes up for a tantalising proposition. Nestled away in Islington, the Camden Passage is a treasure trove of independent boutiques, adorable cafes, and antique shops. From the exceptional bric-a-brac to one-off war memorabilia, find the hidden gems of London at the Camden Passage. If you happen to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes, then 221B Baker Street probably strikes a bell. Take your time off from cricket to visit the home of this fictional detective. The Sherlock Holmes Museum, a privately run museum, lies not too far away between 237 and 241 Baker Street. Explore Holmes' drawing rooms and other exhibit items from the several different adaptations of the fictional detective.
A footballing giant dominates this historic town hence, it makes sense that you take time to visit the bastions of Manchester United in their home stadium, Old Trafford (Read more about football stadiums around Europer here). This 75,000 capacity stronghold is a breathtaking sight for any sports fanatic. Manchester isn't just your average city - it's a hub of culture, knowledge and art. If you are into the latter, we recommend observing the street art of this glorious British city. The Northern Quarter happens to be the hipster haven of the city with some sublime pieces of large scale murals dominating its landscape. You can also find yourself among books on your short trip to Chetham's Library, which happens to be the oldest library dating back to 1421. The manuscript diaries, letters and deeds, paintings, and glass lantern slides trace their origins to the 17th century.
Mainly recognised from the legends of Robin Hood, Nottingham is the next city where the Indian team will play its matches. Your trip here should involve you taking a short trip to the once Middle Age royal fortress, the Nottingham Castle. Tucked around the corner is Nottingham's hero, Robin Hood's statue so, click away with this outlaw who took from the rich and gave to the poor. The 13th century ruin of Annesley Hall should be a definite next on your trip to this British town. Located on the edge of Sherwood Forest and one of the England's prime haunted destinations, prepare for the chills and creeps on your visit here Nothing sparks classy and vintage like the Rufford Abbey in Nottingham. A spectacular example of Cristercian architecture lies below this 17th century manor surviving the many developments that the mansion went through the years.
The second-most populous city after London, Birmingham is home to loads of weird and whacky stuff. Start by going on a Peaky Blinders tour roaming the suburbs of this hustling British town with a 1880s themed dinner reminiscent of the time from the show. Register for this stupendous tour here. Carrying onto our next stop on our list of creepy in England is the Curzon Street Station. This abandoned railway station tops the list of the innumerable abandoned buildings in Birmingham. Initially used as a station in the 1840s, the platform and tracks were destroyed leaving only neoclassical styled building erect. As your travel to this enigmatic town, you'll most likely come across the traffic roundabout known as the Spitfire Island. That does catch your attention, doesn't it? Well, watch out for the massive abstract artwork called the Sentinel depicting three and a half supermarine spitfire. Its scintillating design is a mind-blowing tribute to one of the nation's best WWII era shadow factories.
The last of Team India's destination, Leeds is a happening British metropolitan. Start by observing this city from among the clouds either during sunrise or sunset. The breathtaking view of Leeds and its neighbouring countryside will be an experience by unrivaled by only India winning the World Cup. Sandal Castle often goes unrecognised amongst the many manors that enamour the British Isle. While a lot of its structure was robbed by its later builders, the underlying earthworks and motte (an artificial hill used as a fort) are one-of-a-kind. The earthwork underneath the castle was revealed once it was reduced to mere fragments after all the stealing.
This major port of city of England will host India's opening match of the World Cup campaign. Other than indulging in a game of cricket, one can walk along the half-a-mile long stretch of the Southampton Walls. Built after a terrorising pirate attack, the magnificent walls once protected the city from its potential invaders. The walls date back to the 14th century and are a fitting tribute to importance of the port city. You can also take observe or take a ride on the Hythe Pier Railway, the longest operational public pier railway which shuffles tourists and locals across an estuary.
Getting There: If you are an Indian passport holder, you'll most definetly require a visa to visit the British Isle. Find out the process of applying for a visa here. There are several airlines that run a direct flight from New Delhi to London: British Airwyas, Air India, and Virgin Atlantic to name a few.
Team India's Schedule:
Match 1: Wednesday, June 5 - India vs South Africa, Southampton
Match 2: Sunday, June 9 - India vs Australia, London
Match 3: Thursday, June 13 - India vs New Zealand, Nottingham
Match 4: Sunday, June 16 - India vs Pakistan, Manchester
Match 5: Saturday, June 22 - India vs Afghanistan, Southampton
Match 6: Thursday, June 27 - India vs West Indies, Manchester
Match 7: Sunday, June 30 - India vs England, Birmingham
Match 8: Tuesday, July 2 - India vs Bangladesh, Birmingham
Match 9: Saturday, July 6 - India vs Sri Lanka, Leeds
For more reading pleasure, check out our guide to the Mecca of Cricket, the Lord's Cricket Ground.