4 Unmissable sporting experiences in London 

With its iconic sports venues and steeped in history, London offers unforgettable experiences for visitors. From watching tennis on Wimbledon’s pristine grass courts to touring prestigious football stadiums and cricket grounds, sports lovers have plenty to explore. 

Any visit to London is exciting, and if you’re keen to learn more about the capital’s homegrown legends, see a premier football stadium and shop for some sporting memorabilia, this action-packed city is the place to go. Whatever sport you’re into, this article covers four sporting experiences in London for a fan-based trip you’ll be hard-pressed to beat.

Must-see sporting venues

For tennis fans, there is no greater venue than the world-famous Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club in South London. In late June and early July, tennis on Wimbledon’s hallowed grass courts is a quintessential part of the British summer. 

The Wimbledon Championships is the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament and the only one of four Grand Slam tournaments played on grass. While many queue for hours (even camping overnight), lucky ticket holders come from far and wide to see the world’s best tennis players thrash it out and savour strawberries and cream courtside. Wimbledon’s museum charts the Championships through the ages, with player memorabilia like vintage tennis outfits and rackets.

Meanwhile, the annual historic Oxford vs Cambridge University Boat Race at London’s River Thames is held in March or April. The highly competitive Boat Race sees rowers from England’s two exclusive universities compete in one of the world’s oldest sporting events. Attracting crowds of more than 250,000, the four-mile event and post-race celebrations are a memorable experience, whichever side you support.

For keen runners visiting the capital, The London Marathon every April is one of the world’s biggest single-day running events. The 26.2-mile route starts in Blackheath and finishes on The Mall near Buckingham Palace, passing many of London’s most famous landmarks. Joining over 40,000 runners, some in fancy dress, creates an incredible atmosphere. Thousands of supporters line the city streets to encourage the runners across the finish line.

London in July | Wimbledon

Tour London’s popular stadiums, museums and grounds

One of the most iconic matches in English football – or the ‘Beautiful Game’ – is the FA Cup Final at London’s historic Wembley Stadium. Although it might not be possible to buy tickets to see two teams battle it out for the oldest football trophy in the world, it is possible to tour the famous Wembley Stadium. Take a behind-the-scenes tour, follow legends’ footsteps, visit the England changing rooms and see the FA Cup.

The interactive England Football Museum also has many shirts and dusty match day programmes. Keeping with the footballing theme, a visit to Stamford Bridge, the home ground of Chelsea FC, one of the famous Premier League clubs, is a must. This fantastic stadium offers tours and the chance to explore the changing rooms, press areas, tunnel, dugout and more. Alternatively, enjoy behind-the-scenes of Arsenal FC’s ultra-modern stadium and pop into the club’s museum to see Arsenal’s memorabilia.

For rugby enthusiasts, Twickenham Stadium is the home of English rugby. Their stadium tour includes the changing rooms, players’ tunnel, royal box and access to the hallowed pitch. The World Rugby Museum is also located here, with interactive exhibits depicting the sport’s history, from its early days to the modern era. Iconic trophies, medals, shirts and more are on display.

Known as the ‘home of cricket’, Lord’s is another renowned venue steeped in history and tradition. Fans can tour the grounds and museum and visit the dressing rooms, Long Room, press box and pitch, with cricketing memorabilia on show and the world’s most comprehensive cricket collection. Likewise, the Oval Cricket Ground and Museum is a stunning venue. Its museum covers cricket history from the 17th century, including cricket equipment owned by Grace and Bradman and items from The Oval’s rich past.

Honour sporting legends across London

London is famous for its English Heritage blue plaques honouring famous celebrities and even some of London’s sporting heroes. The city has produced many world-renowned sporting heroes over the years. Football figures like David Beckham, Bobby Moore and Wayne Rooney are all originally from London. 

For keen golfers taking some time out from honing their game, London is home to the late great Henry Cotton, one of England’s best-known golfers, with an English Heritage plaque honouring his birthplace in East Dulwich. For boxing enthusiasts, Frank Bruno’s statue in east London is a tribute to the British heavyweight boxing champion. His statue sits near the O2 Arena and depicts Bruno in his famous victory pose after a win. 

In addition, the iconic bronze statue of Bobby Moore is outside Wembley Stadium and commemorates England’s 1966 World Cup-winning captain holding the Jules Rimet trophy. It’s located by Wembley Stadium’s entrance and is a popular photo spot.

Meanwhile, in London’s renowned Olympic Park is a Bradley Wiggins statue. A striking silver tribute honouring British cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins, the first Brit to win the Tour de France. Today, the Olympic Park is worth visiting and is an impressive, lasting legacy of the London 2012 Games.

Shop for some sporting souvenirs

Lillywhites in Piccadilly Circus is a London institution and one of London’s oldest sports shops. Spread over five floors, it covers every sport imaginable with memorabilia cabinets, historical items and a vast range of footballs, tennis rackets, cricket bats and more. With multiple stores across London, JD Sports is a go-to for big brands like Nike, Adidas and Puma. The Oxford Street mega-store is a temple for trainer lovers, with floors dedicated to every brand. 

Niketown, located on London’s busiest high street, Oxford Street, is Nike’s enormous shop. This is heaven for fans of the famous sportswear brand, boasting a full range of innovative gear and an actual basketball court and running track.

The London Soccer Store near Green Park tube station is perfect for football fans who didn’t grab a shirt on their stadium tour. There are old match programmes, books, DVDs and collectables to browse from, with staff that know their football.

London, a sports mecca, offers unparalleled experiences for sports enthusiasts worldwide. From iconic stadiums to memorable London tours, this energetic city is bursting with sporting memorabilia and treasures in museums. It’s a perfect backdrop for fans eager to delve into London’s sports history or witness current athletes in action.