Visiting London on holiday? Love sport? Ready to experience an atmosphere like no other? If your answer to any of those questions is yes, then it is a must that you dedicate at least a day to discovering British sport in London.
Cricket! What’s all the fuss about? As the national sport of England, cricket is considered to be an intrinsic part of the countries heritage. Whether you’re already a cricket fan or you’re new to the sport, why not hop on the tube to St John’s Wood and visit the beautifully quaint Lord’s Cricket Ground. You can catch a day of cricket within a test series (a match played over five days), or get involved with an exciting T20 (one day) match. What better way to spend a day in the English sunshine than with a glass of pimms watching a delightful match of cricket.
Lord’s also offer tours of the iconic ground, which include visiting the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum, one of the oldest sporting museums in the world and home to the famous and incredible precious Ashes Urn, with the added option of sitting down for a spot of lunch or afternoon tea.
Cricket a bit too slow for you? Want something a bit more aggressive? Look no further. 1823 saw a schoolboy named William Webb Ellis disregard a football match by picking up the ball, only to be tackled by another boy – and from that moment, rugby was born! Almost two centuries later, London hosts some of the world’s greatest rugby battles – and what better place to see them then Twickenham, the second biggest stadium in the UK and home to the England Rugby Union team. Again, tours of the stadium are available, along with admission to The World Rugby Museum, which lies in the East Stand of the stadium.
Born and bred in England, football remains to be the most popular sport in the country. With this, comes the most ecstatic atmosphere you’re likely to witness at a sporting event in England. London is the home of football and host to top Premiership clubs such as Tottenham (White Hart Lane), Chelsea (Stamford Bridge) and Arsenal (Emirates Stadium). If club football isn’t quite big enough for you, the International stage is just around the corner. Wembley - with a capacity of 90,000 making it the biggest stadium in the UK, you won’t forget your visit. Stadium tours are also available for all of the above.
Too much? Maybe these sports don’t tickle your fancy and you’re looking for something a little more civilised. How about you take a trip to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, better known as Wimbledon - host to the world’s number 1 grand slam tennis tournament. Although the tournament happens only once a year, the tennis museum and tour are available all year round, so don’t hesitate and get involved!
Oliver Cousins is an English and American Studies finalist at Loughborough University.