Watch Steve Ridgway of the British Tourist Authority talk to Jason Dasey in the video above about the places to visit in the UK this summer
Thousands of cricket-mad fans will descend on the United Kingdom this summer, most of them armed with World Cup tickets, ready to visit some of the 11 venues hosting games. But for those without tickets, or looking for something to do on the days they aren't at a game, fear not: there are plenty of places of cricketing interest worth visiting other than the grounds themselves.
MCC Museum, Lord's
All right, this first one is probably cheating, but the MCC Museum behind the Lord's pavilion is unmissable for any cricket nut. It is home to one of the oldest sporting collections in the world, and contains everything from WG Grace's bats to a signed shirt from World Cup bolter Jofra Archer. The Ashes urn is the obvious centrepiece, but it's well worth setting aside a few hours and having a look around the most extensive collection of cricket memorabilia you are ever likely to see. Entry is free on major match days, or comes as part of the ground tour which you can book online.
The Thomas Lord, West Meon
Sticking with the Lord's theme, this Hampshire pub is named after the ground's founder, a first-class cricketer for Middlesex in the late 18th century. After a request by two members of the aristocracy, Thomas Lord developed a new ground for the White Conduit Club - which would later become the MCC - in Marylebone, and eventually settled in St John's Wood, where the most famous cricket ground in the world still stands. Lord retired to the Hampshire countryside in the village of West Meon, and the pub named after him bears portraits and art in his memory. Just as importantly, it serves a mean Sunday roast - we recommend the roast beef.
Bramall Lane, Sheffield
Bramall Lane is now home to a Premier League football club - its tenants Sheffield United won promotion to the league last month. But the stadium - now a 32,000-seater - is one of just ten grounds in the UK to have hosted a Test (the third of the 1902 Ashes series). It continued to host Yorkshire games until 1973, when a permanent stand was built at one end of the football ground, effectively covering the strip and ending the possibility of cricket being played. Areas of turf from the square were sold for 20p a yard, and Geoffrey Boycott - who claimed it was his favourite ground - reportedly splashed out £4 on 20 of them. The football club will likely run stadium tours throughout the summer.
Jack Russell Gallery, Chipping Sodbury
Remembered as much for his eccentricity and his battered white sunhat as his brilliant glovework and gnarled lower-order batting, Jack Russell became both an England regular and a Gloucestershire legend over the course of his career. Never one to make close friends with his team-mates, Russell bought a sketchpad during a rainy County Championship fixture, and recalls that he said to himself, "If Rembrandt can do it, then why can't I?" He became an excellent artist, and now runs a gallery displaying his work in the sleepy village of Chipping Sodbury. Entry is by appointment only, via email@example.com
The son of a super-rich oil tycoon, John Paul Getty Jr might seem like an unlikely owner of Britain's most beautiful cricket venue. But after Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones frontman, introduced Getty to the game, he fell in love with it, and had a pitch - complete with a red telephone box and mock-Tudor pavilion - built on the grounds of his enormous estate. The venue has hosted county cricket and women's internationals, and has welcomed politicians, royals and celebrities as fans. Look out for red kites overhead, and soak in one of the various fixtures between club or invitational teams.
New Road, Worcester
While it is likely to be overshadowed by a momentous summer of international cricket, the county season continues through the duration of the World Cup, and New Road is perhaps the quintessential venue for it. The cathedral spire pokes out behind the trees to create a wonderful backdrop, and the locals are a friendly and knowledgeable bunch. Pick out one of the many Championship fixtures there this summer, settle in for a gritty Daryl Mitchell innings, and make sure to visit the Ladies Pavilion for one of its famous cakes at tea time.
The Grange CC, Edinburgh
It would be remiss to forget that England are not the only international side in the British Isles. Scotland's home ground is both beautiful and historic. The club was founded in 1832 by three Edinburgh University students, who were members of a political think tank that became bored of the discussion and instead turned their attentions to cricket. They procured some land, formed a club, and eventually turned it into the home of Scottish cricket. The Grange CC has since hosted various touring teams and a number of internationals. Last summer its short boundaries were peppered by Calum MacLeod, who made an unbeaten 140 not out against England in ESPNcricinfo's Associate Batting Performance of the Year, on the way to a famous six-run win against their historic rivals. Scotland's home games there are early in the season, but the Grange will announce their fixtures for the season shortly.
Tony Greig Café, Hove
Tony Greig's is a name that means different things to different people, depending on their generation. For some, he will forever be remembered as the talented England allrounder and captain who memorably put his foot in it by proclaiming he intended to make the West Indies "grovel" before a series England lost 3-0; for those a few years younger, he was the voice of countless hours in front of the TV, pushing his car keys into the pitch to work out just how big the cracks were. But for county cricketers of the 20th century, his name was synonymous with one of the best lunches on the circuit. The Tony Greig Lunch Room was a highlight of any trip to Sussex's home ground Hove, but since its demolition in 2000, his name was absent from the ground. Until February this year, when the club refurbished their old café and named it after him. Enjoy some tea and cake there on a Sussex match day, or from 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday on non-match days.
The Tap and Run, Upper Broughton
How do players prepare for life after cricket? In the case of Stuart Broad and Harry Gurney, the answer is simple: go into business together and run a chain of local pubs. The Nottinghamshire pair launched their company The Cat and Wickets in 2016, and opened their second pub, The Tap and Run, at the back end of last season. While it used to be Gurney who was stuck pulling pints and checking staff rotas during the winter, his resurgence as a T20 specialist for Melbourne Renegades, Quetta Gladiators and Kolkata Knight Riders has meant that Broad was left to do the bulk of the work this time around, though they share the load with a local friend. As with so many British pubs, a traditional Sunday roast is their speciality, and they show live sport on TV, so you don't have to miss a ball of World Cup action while you're there. Book a table to avoid disappointment.
Gary Palmer Batting Lab, Witney
If you can face the effort hauling your kit over to the UK and making it to the small town of Witney in Oxfordshire, then a visit to Gary Palmer's Batting Lab will be worth the effort. Palmer, who was once hailed as the next Ian Botham but never made it near international cricket, has worked extensively with several top-level players over the past few years, and places most of his emphasis on opening batsmen's stances up so that their front foot points down the ground when driving. It was a method that paid off for Alastair Cook, who worked with Palmer regularly towards the end of his career. Palmer offers his services to all who are keen to improve. Be sure to call ahead - you can book a one-on-one session here.