HomeAway travel expert
The most prestigious championship in northern hemisphere rugby promises a hugely exciting tournament in 2014. Current champions Wales are eager to defend their trophy and take an unprecedented third title in a row; England are desperate to prove themselves after narrowly missing out on glory in the last championship; the greatly fancied French and ever-defiant Irish are both out to make amends for mediocre performances last year; the Scottish team aims to build on a promising third place finish; and then there’s giant-killers Italy, who seek further scalps after taking down France and Ireland in 2013.
Beyond the pitch, the Six Nations famously brings colour, excitement and a spine-tingling festival atmosphere to the capital cities of the competing nations. From the pubs in Dublin to the bars in Paris and beyond, there are some amazing spots from which to catch the games. Get a HomeAway holiday rental and plunge yourself into the scintillating atmosphere of the tournament in the heart of Europe’s finest cities. And after that final whistle, these cities promise a wealth of cultural delights.
Where to find the best Six Nations atmosphere in 2014
First weekend, 1st and 2nd February - Cardiff
This year’s championship bursts into life Saturday afternoon at the Millennium Stadium with Wales v Italy. While at a glance this game may have whitewash written all over it, don’t believe it: Wales will hunt for an emphatic victory as they look to repeat their grand slam of 2012, but Italy will be looking to stamp their mark on the tournament with a shot at the reigning champions. Nowhere in Britain will match the atmosphere in Cardiff on the first day of February - it’s not to be missed.
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Second Weekend 8th and 9th February - Edinburgh
2014’s Calcutta Cup game takes place at Murrayfield, where Scotland will be looking to use home support and familiar turf to their advantage against England. Edinburgh is rarely devoid of atmosphere, but when the country’s rugby team plays host to the English, the anticipation is tangible; if Scotland could choose to win only one game in the whole Six Nations, it'd probably be this one. Whether you can make it into the stadium, to one of the many sports bars, or a crowded pub off Haymarket, Edinburgh is the city to be this weekend.
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Third Weekend 21st and 22nd February - London
While Wales vs France may prove a turning point in the championship, the hot tip for this weekend is the tussle between England and Ireland for the Millennium Trophy at Twickenham. There’s something about the Anglo-Irish battle at the Six Nations; the game always either a moment of shining glory or a catastrophic failure. London is an exciting place any time of year, but on Saturday the city’s bars will be humming with anticipation as the English hope to build momentum for the following week’s matchup with Wales.
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Fourth Weekend 8th and 9th March - Dublin
Of the three games to be played at Lansdowne Road in the 2014 Six Nations, the contest between Ireland and Italy may not appear the most exciting on paper. But in reality, this game promises to be one of the tournament’s most passionate, with Ireland seeking to avenge last year’s defeat, and the Italians desperate to prove that the victory was no fluke. Rugby aside, Dublin is a most invigorating city in which to revel in rugby raucousness, being one of the British Isles’ favourite tourist destinations, and for good reason.
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Weekend Five 15th March - Paris
The closing match of the championship sees Ireland meet the French at the Stade de France. Paris is of course Europe’s most romantic city, and a delightful in the crisp spring air. The passion permeating the rues and carres this particular weekend will seep from two the rugby teams intent on making amends for disappointing performances in 2013. It’s possible that the trophy may have already been lifted by this point, but that shouldn’t take anything from lifting a glass in this beautiful city during a surely enthralling match.
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Six Nations image All rights reserved by Helen Mulvey
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