Each and every year, London continues to provide its residents with a broad range of ways to get the absolute most from their free time. Wherever your interests lie, you can be certain the city has got you covered. And for many, sport is a great way to decompress, take a respite from the stresses and strains of daily life, and enjoy a day out to remember!
The good news is the capital has some of the world’s finest venues and stadiums, many of which host a diverse spectrum of events - sporting or otherwise - throughout the year. With this in mind, here’s our pick of some of the best sporting spots and what to expect when visiting…
Also known as The Championships, Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, attracting an incredible 39,000 visitors each day of its two-week run. Frequented by celebrities and royals alike, this is a quintessentially British occasion that sees the greatest players from across the globe compete for the coveted silver trophy. Matches are intense and have been known to go on for quite some time, the longest ever being an 11 hour marathon in 2010 between John Isler of the US and French national Nicholas Mahut. Meanwhile, spectators get to indulge in a wonderful historic tradition: strawberries, cream and a glass of chilled champagne.
Lord’s Cricket Ground
Situated in leafy St. John’s Wood, Lord’s has been the home of truly excellent cricket since its incarnation in 1787. Known for its relaxed, welcoming atmosphere, this is the perfect place to while away a lazy, summer’s afternoon. The food is outstanding, the drinks are surprisingly affordable and the cricket is, of course, competitive and compelling. Meanwhile, the MCC cricket museum is an absolute must for fans, featuring a comprehensive display of memorabilia from down the ages. What a day at Lord’s is really about, though, is getting away from it all, spending time with friends and enjoying the cream of sporting talent. Highly recommended.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Formerly the London Stadium, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is a stunning multi-purpose venue in East London, known for hosting the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. For the UK as a whole, this was a truly celebratory occasion, and its legacy felt to this day. Other high-profile events include the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Rugby League Test Matches and World Athletics, ensuring its reputation as a definitive sporting venue is now unparalleled. In 2023, the UEFA Women’s Champion League Final was held here, and soon it'll transform itself into a premier music setting, featuring acts like Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Adele. A genuine London favourite.
The 02 is primarily known as a cultural venue, but it also offers an abundance of outstanding sporting events, including basketball, ice-hockey and boxing. There’s also trampolining, bowling and, when you’re looking to wind-down, a series of superlative restaurants and bars. Then there’s climbing the 02, which is an increasingly popular experience that can be enjoyed by all the family. Now firmly established as one of London’s primary sporting venues, the 02 continues to raise the bar, putting on events that, year in, year out, continue to capture the national imagination.
Wembley is England’s national stadium, the biggest in the UK and, without question, the most iconic. One of the most important sporting venues in the world, it’s hosted the Football Association Cup Final every year since its completion. A visit here is well worth the asking price, because being up close and personal to this level of footballing excellence is, quite frankly, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So, for those serious about their soccer, this is an essential experience, one that’ll linger long in the memory. English culture at its most inclusive, enjoyable and significant.