There are so many ways to enjoy London. In fact, one of our previous posts ‘12 Alternative Things to Do in London’ suggested some off-the-beaten-track activities that you can do as you explore the city. Now, Trading Places has compiled a short but sweet list of sporting vacations not only for you but for the entire family, too.
Visit Wembley Stadium
Wembley is one of London’s landmark venues, and you and your family can watch a handful of sporting events here. Soccer, obviously, is the main sport played at Wembley, with the England national football team — the famed Three Lions — playing their home matches here. The largest stadium in the UK and the second largest in Europe, Wembley Stadium also hosts UEFA and Premier League matches, the rugby league Challenge Cup final, boxing matches and the annual NFL games in London.
In the unfortunate event that there is no game at Wembley, you and your family can nonetheless enjoy a tour at the iconic stadium via the Wembley Stadium Tour available every day. For 75 indulgent minutes, the entire family can walk along the hallowed halls of Wembley Stadium, visit the dressing rooms, amble up to the Royal Box, step foot in each opposition’s penalty box and take as many pictures as you want. It may not be as exciting as watching an actual sporting event, but it is nonetheless a memorable alternative.
Partake in tennis history at Wimbledon
Tennis has a long and storied history, and you and your family can learn a thing or two about it at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. Here, you can explore the evolution of tennis from its rather humble beginnings to being the global, multimillion sport that it is today. Among the highlights of the museum are its interactive and audio guides (set in 10 languages!), virtual reality storytelling of Wimbledon’s history, and items donated by some of tennis’s most iconic players. There are also guided tours around Wimbledon’s grounds, including the prestigious Centre Court, the Millennium Building, the Press Interview Room, and the players’ areas.
Watch soccer at London Stadium
The London Stadium in Stratford became an iconic sporting landmark in London as it played host to the 2012 Summer Olympics. The fact that it is nestled inside the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park means there is more for the family to explore, like the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK’s largest public work of art. But ultimately, the highlight will be to watch resident soccer club West Ham United in the stadium and immerse yourselves in England’s unique soccer culture. In a Premier League preview by Coral, West Ham are expected to do well this season, after a summer of change. Therefore, at the London Stadium, you and your family can catch a glimpse of not only elite-level soccer but also some of the league’s best players, including World Cup standouts Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, and Paul Pogba who also ply their trade in the Premier League.
Learn about cricket at Lord’s
Cricket may not exactly be a sport of choice for Americans, but any sport-loving family will surely enjoy a trip to Lord’s, the home of cricket. Here, you will be taken on a guided tour that includes stops at the Legendary Long Room and the famous Honours Boards. A detour to the MCC Museum will introduce you to the sport’s 400-year history, as well as 400 years’ worth of cricket-related memorabilia. The museum even has a memorial for cricketers who died in the conflict.
London has a thriving sports scene and is an excellent spot for families who love their sports. There is pretty much something for everyone, from soccer to basketball to boxing and so on. And if you wait till June of next year, you and your family might even catch a couple of MLB games — between bitter rivals New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox no less.