With the World Cup kicking off today, football fever will be everywhere for the next month. At work, on the TV at home, in pubs and bars and public spaces: football will be played, watched and talked about everywhere you go for the next few weeks.
And if you’re not a fan of the beautiful game, that’s pretty tiresome. We’ve put together four fool-proof ways to avoid World Cup mania when everyone else is going crazy for it.
As dedicated havens of relaxation, spas make the perfect retreat to hide from football fever. You won’t find any TVs screening the games or radios running commentary. And if you happen to stumble upon fellow spa-goers swapping views on the tournament, find yourself another spot to hunker down in. Thermal facilities like saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs make for great places to relax in silence, other than jump in the pool for a swim. To really be sure you’ll avoid football chat, book in for a massage or facial; in the treatment room, the only thing you’ll have to listen to is the soothing music helping to set the tranquil atmosphere.
Avoiding football when it’s all anyone is talking about can be a hard feat, so treat yourself to a mini-break in one of the more remote corners of British countryside. With so many national parks up and down the country, there is plenty of wilderness to explore: channeling Elizabeth Bennet exploring the Peak District, meandering along the Jurassic Coast or scaling Scafell Pike in the Lake District. But for the most remote corners of the UK, head to the Highlands.
Walkhighlands.co.uk has a all the information you’ll need on walks, routes, and equipment for wandering the isolated corners of Scotland. There’s also information on campsites or B&Bs in remote villages, but if you don’t want to go completely off-the-beaten track, check out the spa hotels on offer in Scotland.
You may not be able to control what’s on the TV, but you can control what you choose to watch. And while the normal TV schedules will be filled with matches, highlights and analysis, if you hop over to Netflix you can select whatever your heart desires without even a hint of football.
For unapologetic, heart-warming loveliness, Queer Eye is back for its second season on 15 June. There’s also new seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Glow, a comedy-drama about female professional wrestlers set in the 80s. All blissful escapism.
You’re far less likely to accidentally stumble across a showing of the big match if you’re outdoors and well away from screens. And if you’re focussing on another activity, so much the better. Explore the countryside and burn off some calories while you’re at it with a full-day bike ride (check out the Sustrans map for routes and cycle paths near you).
Alternatively, try your hand at a new water-sport. Stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking are great activities for a group or whole family to do together, plus you can have a go on rivers, canals and lakes if the coast is too much of trek. Alternatively if you are near the beach and wanted to try out something more high-octane, book yourself in for a lesson in surfing, windsurfing or wakeboarding.