1. LORD'S, LONDON
It may not have the intimidatory size of the MCG, but Lord's is known as the Home of Cricket for a good reason. Part of this is due to the idiosyncrasies, such as the sloping pitch and the honours board that all cricketers want to get their name engraved upon. The latter can be seen on the daily tours of the ground, which also venture into the players' dressing rooms and the Long Room – a members'-only haunt that batsmen pass through on their way to the pitch.
The tour finishes off in the MCC Museum, which delves into cricket history, but – more importantly – has the much sought-after Ashes urn on display. See lords.org
2. TWICKENHAM, LONDON
Twickenham isn't quite to rugby union what Lord's is to cricket – and it's arguable that the Principality Stadium in Cardiff is the real heart of British rugby. But it gives it a good go as home to the World Rugby Museum. This traces the history of the game, from William Webb Ellis picking up the ball on the school playing field to All Black dominance, and houses thousands of items of memorabilia. These include the Calcutta Cup – the sport's oldest trophy – and the world's oldest international rugby jersey. A 2017 revamp brought the museum kicking and screaming into the contemporary era. See worldrugbymuseum.com
3. OLD TRAFFORD, MANCHESTER
The rebuilt Wembley Stadium is where the England national team plays, but Manchester United – England's most successful club side, with a global fanbase of millions, call 74,994 person capacity Old Trafford home. It's also where the rugby league Super League final is held.
For United supporters, obviously the stadium tour and gushingly hagiographic museum is going to have plenty of appeal. For everyone else, the tour's strength is that it shines a light on how all the elements of a big stadium – catering, policing, media and more – are pulled together on match days. See manutd.com
4. THE CRUCIBLE THEATRE, SHEFFIELD
Sheffield should be on any football pilgrim's trail – the Sandygate Road ground of Hallam FC is the world's oldest football ground, and Sheffield FC the world's oldest team. But the city is best known for the green baize.
Snooker's high temple is unusual among sporting venues in that, aside from when the World Snooker Championships come to town every April, it is used for something completely different. For most of the year, the Crucible is a theatre – and one renowned for its intimacy. The audience is seated on three sides, with no seat more than 20 metres away from the performers. See sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
5. WIMBLEDON, LONDON
Roger Federer after his win against Adrian Mannarino on day seven of Wimbledon in 2018. Photo: AAP
Home to one of the four tennis grand slam tournaments, Wimbledon is the epicentre of Pimms, bunting and strawberries-with-cream Englishness. Tours head into the media centre and the interview room as well as on to the fabled Centre Court. There are also lots of interesting behind-the-scenes snippets, such as information on how the grass is kept in tip-top condition.
The on-site museum has plenty of clothing and equipment donated by the tennis greats, as well as the trophies handed out to the champions every year, although the quirkier sections – such as the one on changing tennis fashions – end up being more interesting. See Wimbledon.com
6. ST ANDREWS LINKS, SCOTLAND
The self-styled home of golf is purported to be where the game was first played at least 600 years ago, and while there are seven courses at St Andrews to choose from, it's the Old Course where the legends have been created. The good news is that playing the Old Course is not a membership-only thing. The bad news is that you need very, very advanced booking or to get lucky in a ballot. The alternative is to take one of the walking tours with a golf-mad expert guide. This visits the 1st, 17th and 18th holes of the Old Course, and gives you a scorecard to take away as a souvenir. See standrews.com
David Whitley was a guest of Visit Manchester.