From stadiums and museums, to marathons and football matches (not to mention some of the best sports teams in the world!), London is an ideal destination for any sports enthusiast.
Not only are there a ton of tourist attractions remaining from the 2012 Summer Olympics in Stratford and Wembley, there’s also a variety of different sports-related tourist attractions scattered around the rest of London as well; ranging from football museums to BMX racing tracks, to cricket grounds and even aquatic sports centres.
Whether you want to check out some athletic tourist attractions in London, or even take up a sport or two while you’re visiting London’s many parks, here are some of the best neighbourhoods in London known for their sporty attractions:
Wembley is home to two local non-League Football clubs (Wembley F.C. and South Kilburn F.C.), but is perhaps best known for being home to the largest of all the 2012 London Olympic venues (Wembley Stadium). The nearby Wembley arena is another popular sports attraction in London, as it’s hosted six FA Cup finals, various American football champions and motorsports events, just to name a few.What to do in Wembley: Visit the Wembley Arena, watch a Wembley F.C. football match at Vale Farm stadium, take a Wembley Stadium tour
Stratford was essentially the epicentre of the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games, thanks to venues like London Olympic Park (now renamed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) and Olympic Stadium. The Lee Valley VeloPark (at the northern end of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) boasts a BMX racing track and mountain bike trails, and it was also home to the 2011 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup series. The London Aquatics Centre hosted various swimming, diving and synchronized swimming events during the Olympics, but is now used as a public pool.What to do in Stratford: Take a dip in the pool at the London Aquatic Centre, have a picnic at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, ride the rapids at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.
If you’re a hardcore football fan, then a visit to Chelsea is a must. The Chelsea Football Club has its home base at Stamford Bridge, where they have played since 1877. (If you have the money to dish out on an expensive Stamford Bridge stadium tour, you can see the team’s changing rooms, the press room, the tunnel and dug-out areas). And let’s not forget the Chelsea Football Club Museum, which features interactive football exhibitions any member of the family would enjoy.What to do in Chelsea: Look at some football memorabilia at the Chelsea Football Club Museum, watch a football match at Stamford Bridge, take a Chelsea FC Stadium Tour
Marylebone is home to the Marylebone Cricket Club which was founded in 1787, so naturally there are a ton of cricket-related attractions in this northern neighbourhood of London. The Lord’s Cricket Ground is perhaps the most notable cricket attraction in London, (although it was also used for archery competitions during the 2012 Summer Olympics). Not only is Lord’s famous for being the “Home of Cricket,” it also houses the world’s oldest sporting museum (the MCC Museum) which opened in 1953.What to do in Marylebone: Watch historical cricket footage at the Brian Johnston Memorial Theatre, visit the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum, watch a cricket game at Lord’s Cricket Ground
Craven Cottage stadium is home to the Fulham football club, so naturally sports enthusiasts venture here when they’re visiting London. Craven Cottage (which lies next to Bishop’s Park) was used as a historic royal hunting lodge since as far back as the 1780s, and its surrounding fields were used for various sports over the last couple of centuries; (it even hosted a few games during the 1948 Olympics).What to do in Fulham: Watch a football match at Craven Cottage, go on a Craven Cottage stadium tour, take a selfie next to the Johnny Haynes statue
Wimbledon and tennis have always been synonymous with each other, as it is home to the All England Lawn Tennis Championships (the oldest tennis championship in the world). The area is also home to the Wimbledon Village Stables (the oldest riding stables in England), and there’s also an active running club called the Windmilers whose homebase is in Wimbledon as well. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is also located in Wimbledon, and Wimbledon Stadium has hosted Greyhound and stock car racing from time to time as well.What to do in Wimbledon: Watch a tennis match at Wimbledon Stadium, visit the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
Queen’s Park is home to the Queen’s Park Rangers (who play at Loftus Road in the nearby Shepherd’s Bush), but the main athletic attraction at Queen’s Park would have to be Queen’s Park itself. The park boasts 30 acres, and includes six all-weather tennis courts, a pétanque pitch, a children’s paddling pool and even a pitch-and-putt course.What to do in Queen’s Park: Watch a Queens Park Rangers game at Loftus Road, take the kids to the children’s paddling pool, check out the nearby White City Stadium