"If you like your sport fast and furious, you might want to sample some ice hockey. Sheffield boasts a team that only just comes behind the city's two football teams in the popularity stakes."

So where to begin? How about with some rugby - specifically, the Guinness Premiership fixture on 2 January between  Leeds Carnegie and Bath at historic Headingley. Carnegie, newly promoted back to the top flight of English club rugby, have enjoyed some shock successes over their illustrious opponents in the past, most notably winning the 2005 Powergen Cup, which has been the Yorkshire club's finest hour to date.

If you like your sport fast and furious, you might want to sample some ice hockey. Sheffield boasts a team that only just comes behind the city's two football teams in the popularity stakes. The Sheffield Steelers were formed in 1991 and are now the most successful ice hockey team in Great Britain; home matches at the Sheffield Arena are not to be missed, especially the derby against Nottingham, where the action is thrilling and the atmosphere electric. The Sheffield Steelers play the Nottingham Panthers on Sunday 27 December.

Staying in South Yorkshire, one of the leading lights of women's football, Doncaster Rovers Belles, can be found at the impressive Keepmoat Stadium. On Wednesday 18 November the Belles, runners-up in last season's Cup Final, entertain a Sunderland side expected to do well this season.

A visit to Huddersfield, the birthplace of rugby league, will enable you to take in the international fixture between England and New Zealand in the Gillette Four Nations Cup, kick off at 6pm at the Galpharm Stadium on 7 November. This clash could well decide who goes on to face final certainties Australia, with the prospect of more glory on the cards for England - but only if they get past the Kiwis first...

The  Manchester Evening News Arena is used to hosting big events but surely none as outlandish as the TNA Wrestling Maximum iMPACT! tour, which comes to the north-west on 29 January. See AJ Styles and Samoa Joe slug it out against their opponents in a night of mayhem.

The gymnastics at  Edinburgh's Meadowbank Sports Centre on 5 December will be just as athletic but more pleasing to the eye. The annual Gymnastics Christmas Display brings together the stars of the future to perform routines with a festive twist in front of an audience of 1,500 captivated spectators.

And, finally, to complete our sporting tour we're going to the dogs. More than 200 greyhound meetings a year are staged at Newcastle's Brough Park stadium, which used to play host to a multitude of events, including, on one memorable night, so legend has it, cheetah racing. This 1950s experiment was quickly shelved, however, when one of the competitors broke through a hole in the fence and spent the next two hours roaming the local district looking for a suitable takeaway! These days the only danger is leaving with an empty wallet. The All England Cup is the highlight of the dog racing year and takes place on 11 November.

How to get there...

Guinness Premiership

Headingley Stadium. Nearest stop: Leeds, 2.5 miles. Bus services 18, 18A and 56 from the city centre.

www.leedscarnegie.co.uk, 0871 423 1315

 

Sheffield Steelers

Sheffield Arena. Nearest stop: Sheffield, 2.5 miles. Bus service 69 or Supertram.

www.sheffieldsteelers.co.uk, 0114 256 5656

For more information on things to do in and around Sheffield, visit trains to Sheffield pages.

 

Doncaster Rovers Belles

Keepmoat Stadium. Nearest stop: Doncaster, 1 mile. doncasterroversbelles.co.uk

01302 762576

 

England v New Zealand 

Galpharm Stadium. Nearest stop: Huddersfield, 0.5 miles.

www.therfl.co.uk, 0844 856 1113

 

TNA Wrestling

Manchester Evening News Arena. Nearest stop: Manchester Piccadilly, 1.5 miles, then a tram to Victoria. We offer numerous trains to Manchester from most Northern UK cities.

www.men-arena.com, 0844 847 8000

 

Gymnastics Christmas Display 

Meadowbank Sports Centre. Nearest stop: Edinburgh, 1.5 miles.
www.edinburghleisure.co.uk/list-87

0131 661 5351

Trains to Edinburgh

 

Greyhound racing

Brough Park Stadium. Nearest stop:  Newcastle Central, 2.5 miles
www.broughparkdogs.co.uk, 0191 210 5300

Trains to Newcastle

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