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The Five Best Times to go to England to Watch Soccer
Do you dream of traveling to England to watch Premier League or other soccer games? Among the many questions, like how does the schedule work and how to get tickets, one good place to start is this: What’s the best time for watching soccer in England?
Of course, your schedule may be dictated by things like work, school, and so on. But if you are flexible about when to go, and the point of your trip is to see as much football as you can, then when should you go?
Planning the Perfect English Soccer Trip
The first thing you’ll want is lots of games to see, right? There are games almost every weekend from early August til May, but within that, there are some weekends to definitely avoid: International breaks, when all the top leagues in England and Europe take a break. Here’s the list of all the upcoming international breaks in English and European soccer. So for the 2023-24 season, don’t plan to visit the weekends of September 9, October 14, November 18, or March 23.
Other factors include weather — generally crappy in England from November through February — as well as who is playing and what else is going on in the country. August is great for weather, but prices are higher and crowds are greater, plus there aren’t as many games. The “festive season” is packed with games, but it’s cold, and travel can be a hassle. March and April align with spring break, but you have Europe and the FA Cup to contend with.
By the way, we love helping people plan their soccer trips through our very affordable consulting and guiding services.
Five Best Times to See English Soccer, 2023-24 Season
Considering you want lots of games, decent weather, fewer tourists, and more schedule predictability, we think these are the best times to head for England to watch soccer.
Download our calendar, above, to follow along and see when all the competitions are happening.
September 15 to 25, 2023: You’ll have full league schedules each weekend, plus “European nights” on September 19, 20 and 21. Extend it another day or two, and you’ll have Carabao Cup fixtures September 26 and 27.
September 29 to October 8, 2023: Same as above, with league and European games, but this time, during the week, there are also Football League games, which wil be cheaper than those European games.
November 25 to December 5: It’s getting a little cold, but this stretch includes two weekends of league games, one midweek with Europe and Football League, and another midweek with Premier League games. Bonus entry here is the Second Round of the FA Cup, when Football League teams will be playing non-league teams.
March 1-10, 2024: Another stretch with league and European games — this time the Round of 16 in Europe — plus there’s the quarterfinals of the Women’s FA Cup and the FA Trophy. Just before this, by the way, the last midweek of February has the FA Cup Fifth Round, which is the round of 16.
Note that the following weekend would also be good, but March 16-17 is the FA Cup Quarterfinals, which will blow up the league schedule on pretty short notice, so if you care about which specific games you see, avoid that weekend. Same thing with the weekend of April 20-21, which is FA Cup Semifinals at Wembley — but we have FA Cup tickets, so there’s that.
March 29 to April 12: Around Easter Weekend there are two rounds of Football League and one round of Premier League, followed by midweek Premier League; that’s all in six days! Then, there’s another full weekend of league games along with the semifinals of the FA Trophy. And if you can extend another week you’ll get European quarterfinals and another league weekend that also includes the semifinals of the Women’s FA Cup.
Other Good Times to Go to England for Soccer
There are three obvious choices we didn’t list here: August, the Festive Season, and May.
Why? Nothing wrong with any of them, really. August has great weather but no midweek games, plus it’s peak tourist season. May also has good weather, plus all the Football League playoff and promotion finals and the finals of the FA Cup and European competitions. But those tickets can get quite expensive, and it still isn’t that many games to choose from.
The holiday season is great, but the weather is terrible, crowds are intense again, tickets are a little harder to get because all the British kids are out of school as well, and the transit system is often shut down for holidays or engineering works. Despite all that, it’s a fun and traditional time to be there — just not as great, we think, as the above times.
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