Britain has always been a nation of sport lovers, and the excitement doesn't end once the summer weather retreats. Whether you're a fan of racing, golf, rugby or just looking forward to the new season of the Football League, you'll find plenty of sporting events to keep you entertained and active throughout the autumn and well into the winter.
Summer may host many of the year's most talked-about sporting events, such as Wimbledon and the World Cup, but you don't have to look too far for comparable happenings taking place from October to the early months of the year.
The Ryder Cup is one major example, the perfect pick-me-up for golf fans after the British Open that pits Europe against the United States in some of the finest golfing locations in the world. The 2010 Ryder Cup took place at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport and helped to establish Wales as a nation just as serious about sport as the rest of the UK.
Tennis lovers keen for more after Wimbledon can also find their perfect winter fix in the form of the ATP World Tour Finals, taking place in London in November. This landmark event of the tennis calendar is the culmination of a year of amassing points, with eight tennis stars who competed in the Grand Slam, ATP World Tour and Davis Cup tournaments battling it out to be crowned the world's top player.
However, if you're less drawn to the putting greens and tennis fields and more interested in contact sports, the Women's Rugby World Cup is traditionally a strong way to kick-start the autumn season. England hosted the 2010 championship and ultimately came runner-up in the fierce contest, with New Zealand's team coming out on top by 13-10 in a year that saw record attendance figures as women's rugby becomes more recognised as a major international sporting league.
The end of the year doesn't always mean the end of the sporting calendar, of course, with competitions such as the Football League kicking off in the autumn and giving football fans something to look forward to throughout the harsh winter. The 2010-11 season of the world's longest-running football competition is already well underway, and it remains to be seen whether Newcastle will manage to keep their place at the top of the roster.
Whether you're a fan of scrums, birdies or goals, you should be able to find cheap train tickets to locations around the UK to see these prestigious sporting events in person - giving you an excuse to stay active yourself in the unforgiving winter season.