As you might expect from such a vibrant and bustling capital city, London is no stranger to great sport, from iconic stadiums to annual events, there are plenty of ways to connect with sports when visiting the city. You might be heading to London specifically to enjoy a sporting event such as Wimbledon or an international football match being played at Wembley Stadium or you might just want to take in some sport related attractions when you are exploring; London is home to plenty of those too.
To give you a head start we have gathered together some top example of places to watch, discover and participate in sports all across the city of London.
This annual tennis competition arrives in the city each summer and is a real highlight for anyone who enjoys the sport. It is the chance to see international names compete for the legendary Wimbledon title as well as getting to enjoy some typically British fare in the form of Pimms with a side of strawberries and cream. In the classic British fashion, it hasn’t really ‘been’ Wimbledon until it has rained so do make sure you pack a raincoat and/or an umbrella if you plan to watch a match and don’t worry if you weren’t lucky enough to secure tickets for a game in the draw; matches are shown on large screens all over the city in places such as Murray Mound, located directly outside Wimbledon, the roof terrace at One New Change opposite St Paul’s Cathedral and Embankment Gardens. If you are visiting London outside of the competition then there is a lovely museum at Wimbledon where you can explore the history and tradition of tennis, see the Championship Trophies up close and even test you own sporting prowess.
The Boat Race
Taking place in March, the Boat Race is typically the first major British sporting event of the season and is one which continues to grow in popularity. It is a series of rowing races between teams from Oxford University and Cambridge University and takes place on the River Thames. If you are staying at a Montcalm Hotel London then finding your way to the race route should be pretty simple. Around a quarter of a million people gather on the banks of the River Thames to watch the races each year and if you have an interest in the sport of rowing then this is really one sporting event you can’t afford to miss. If you want to take your interest further then do also factor in a visit to the River & Rowing Museum which is in Henley on Thames. Although set a little bit further out of the city, this museum covers the history of the sport of rowing, the history of the Thames and there is even an interactive display where you can try your hand at a rowboat race as well. Henley itself is a wonderfully picturesque town which would be ideal to explore for a few hours once you’ve made the trip out there.
Twickenham Stadium is the home of English Rugby and it is one of the most iconic rugby venues in the world with many international games being held here. If you don’t manage to score tickets to an actual game then it is still worth heading to the stadium to admire it from the outside, and to explore the World Rugby Museum which is located here too. The museum is home to 25,000 items of memorabilia and objects with plenty of interesting facts and interactive displays too. You can also book a tour of Twickenham Stadium if you want to see inside the stadium; the tour even includes a trip to the England changing room!
Where to Play?
As mentioned above, there are lots of sporting facilities in London if you want to try your hand at playing any popular sport. There are tennis courts at Hyde Park, swimming facilities at various locations across the city including outdoor lidos such as Brockwell and the Serpentine and the majority of the parks in London have football fields as well. You might want to consider looking at spa breaks in London to help you unwind again if you have a desire to be particularly active. For an all-round sporting experience you can’t go wrong with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Contained within the Park is the Copper Box Arena where a regular programme of exercise classes are held plus table tennis tables which are available for public use, the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, the London Aquatics Centre and the Lee Valley Velopark as well. Even if you are only visiting London for a short break, it can be fun to get involved with a class or a game taking place, especially if you enjoy keeping active at home.
London is also home to a number of football teams and subsequent stadiums; the most popular teams include Fulham, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspurs. Each of these teams has their own London stadium; the ideal place to visit for any football fan and they often run tours of the stadium as well. Of course the other major football stadium which is situated in London is Wembley Stadium; the location for many important football matches including the FA Cup Final as well as matches of international significance. Although used for many events besides football, this is a real must-visit for any football fan and a tour of Wembley is a real treat. You can see inside the changing rooms and get up close with shirts worn by international football stars, sit behind the microphones in the press room and give your own match analysis and even hold and raise the FA Cup in the Royal Box.