Sports and Leisure

London has been host to the Olympic Games three times in 1908 (IV), 1948 (XIV) and 2012(XXX) – more than any other city – so far.  There are still some remnants of the earlier games and the legacy of the latest events are still being realised.

London has a wide range of sports venues, facilities and teams.

Clearly most of them are open to the public when events are taking place. Some events are free, others have low to high ticket prices with early booking required for some events or for discounts or to obtain good or good value seats.

However many clubs and teams also have behind the scenes tours on a regular basis or by special arrangements. Multiple sports and more  are also available at Lee Valley. Here are some suggestions:

London Marathon; London Stadium (West Ham FC); Linford Christie Stadium, W12;

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historic Herne Hill, SE21; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Lee Valley; plus cycle ways; plus route to Box Hill and back.

Lords (Middlesex County Cricket Club (MCC)) and museum, NW8 8QH, from 1814; The Oval (Surrey County Cricket Club), SE11; and many lesser grounds.

…championships at Alexander Palace and Lakeside.

for men, women and juniors: in Premiere League, Football League Championship and Leagues One and Two: Arsenal FC; Barnet FC; Brentford FC; Chelsea FC; Charlton Athletic FC; Crystal Palace FC; Dagenham and Redbridge FC; Fulham FC; Layton Orient FC;  Millwall FC; Tottenham Hotspur FC(Spurs); Watford FC;  West Ham FC; AFC Wimbledon and many non-league teams. Plus Wembley Stadium and for other purposes and sports.

The FA Cup Final (Football Association) was first played at the Oval in 1872 and then at Crystal Palace before moving to Wembley in 1920s.

Hackney Marshes has most extensive pitches for football especially Sunday League ; and for rugby and cricket.

at Crayford, Romford.

– private; municipal; championship such as Sunningdale; with golf schools and driving ranges.

– Men’s and women’s Great Britain matches at Lee Valley; with many local clubs.

– Sandown Park; Ascot; Epsom.

– at Alexandra Palace, Lee Valley, Queensway, Streatham and in the winter at Broadgate and Somerset House. Plus ice hockey.

on ‘Kite Hill’, now Parliament Hill.

Brands Hatch, Swanley, Kent; a number of Go-Kart tracks.

there are 200 rowing clubs in London area on lakes, rivers and special courses. The Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford Universities started in 1829 and annually from 1856, in April, with men’s and women’s races these days. Henley Regatta, in July, since 1839.  River and Rowing Museum at Henley-on-Thames. Eton Dorney lake near Windsor.

– for men, women and at sevens: Twickenham / England with Museum of Rugby and tour, TW2; Harlequins (Quins); Saracens; London Scottish; Richmond; London Welsh;

London Broncos, TW8.


– various halls.

– no outdoor facilities.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park plus many local baths / pools operated by local authorities and fitness clubs; Crystal Palace Pool; plus some open air lidos such as on Hampstead Heath.


Wimbledon – The All England Lawn Tennis Club – with Tennis Museum, SW19 5AE; Hurlingham Club, SW6 3PR; Queens Club at Barons Court, W14 9EQ; and many public courts and private clubs – including David Lloyd centres, for all ages and abilities.

Also there are other racket sports of badminton, squash, racket ball and table tennis.


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there are a number of indoor ski slopes and ice rinks; with some winter rinks such as at Somerset House and Broadgate.

There are various sports ground and multi-sport fields owned by Universities, Banks and other large commercial organisations. Some are in green belt; others may be suitable or vulnerable for development with the demands of a growing city.

Plus health clubs and gyms, some with swimming pools, sauna and steam rooms – by private companies and through local authorities.


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