London: City of Sports

When it comes to traveling to sports destinations, they don’t get much more exciting than London, home of top-flight football clubs including Arsenal, Chelsea, and Tottenham Hotspur. Not to mention that it’s where the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club holds the iconic Wimbledon tennis championship every year. Strawberries and cream, anyone?

As a regular visitor to the UK capital, I’ve rounded up below all the key information you need if you’re in the market for a sporting trip to this cosmopolitan city, from the top events to check out to the must-see sights and where to stay to recharge after a busy day of spectating.

Top Sporting Events Going On in London

NFL London Games 2024

London may not be the first city you think of when it comes to American football, but the NFL is coming to the UK’s capital in October 2024. The New York Jets will face off against the Minnesota Vikings on the 6th, while the 13th will see the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Chicago Bears; both of these bouts will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The New England Patriots will go into battle against the Chicago Bears on the 20th at Wembley Stadium.

The Boat Race 2025

Synonymous with the spirit of the capital is its world-famous Boat Race, which has seen the Oxford University Boat Club and Cambridge University Boat Club go head to head annually in a series of races since 1829. The next Boat Race will be held on April 13th, 2025, and, keeping with tradition, will take place on the section of the River Thames between Putney Bridge and Chiswick Bridge. Londoners and visitors to the city alike line the river to watch and cheer on the rowers, with around 250,000 people attending every year.

The 2025 London Marathon

The London Marathon is one of the most popular marathons in the world, which saw around 53,000 runners complete the course in 2024. Next year’s date has already been set: the 2025 London Marathon will be held on April 27th.  Thousands of spectators line the route every year, which takes in some of the city’s famous landmarks, such as Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, and the Cutty Sark.

FA Cup Final 2025

When it comes to football in London, The FA Cup Final is the most exciting sporting event in the domestic English football calendar. It’s an opportunity to see the best teams in the country compete in a knockout competition. The tournament culminates in the FA Cup Final, which will be played on May 17th, 2025, at Wembley Stadium. Since its inception in 1871, 44 clubs have won the tournament, with Arsenal holding the title of most wins; the Gunners have lifted the FA Cup trophy on 14 occasions.

The Championships, Wimbledon

Known around the world simply as “Wimbledon,” this annual Grand Slam grass-court tennis tournament draws a huge global audience. The 2025 event will run from June 30th to July 13th at one of the most iconic postcodes in the world: SW19. It’s advisable to book as far in advance as possible, as seats—especially for centre court—are likely to sell out.

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025

Set to be one of the biggest sporting events in the London 2025 calendar, Twickenham Stadium will host the Women’s Rugby World Cup from August 22nd to September 27th, 2025. The tournament, for the first time ever, will be a 16-team event that will see England, Canada, France, New Zealand, and others face off for the trophy.

London Sports Teams Not to Miss

Arsenal FC

As the biggest football club in London, seeing Arsenal FC—affectionately known as the Gunners—play at their home ground, the Emirates Stadium, is a must. The club holds a slew of records and honours, not least of which is the highest average league finishing position (of 8.5) of the 20th century. Not bad.

Harlequins Rugby Team

London has a number of National League rugby teams, including the mighty Harlequins, that play in the Premiership. Twickenham Stoop in the south-west of the city is the side’s home ground; it’s named for Adrian Stoop, former England international, who played for the Harlequins before going on to become the club’s president.

London Spirit Cricket Club

With its home turf as the world-famous cricket ground Lord’s (the spiritual home of the sport itself), London Spirit is a 100-ball cricket side with both a men’s and a women’s team. The women’s side finished fourth in The Hundreds of 2021, while the men’s team bagged third place in the 2022 tournament.

London Lions Basketball Team

A trip to see a London Lions basketball game promises to be an electrifying treat! The team (both men’s and women’s) plays its home games at the 6,000-capacity Copper Box Arena located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Lions currently hold the BBL Championship title and the BBL Trophy and are certainly worth catching while you’re in the city.

Other Destinations in London Sports Travelers Will Want to See

If you’re in London for a non-sporting event, there are still plenty of famous sports-related destinations to check out. if you look for football in London, enjoy a tour of the Emirates Stadium or for cricket, Lord’s Cricket Ground. Perhaps book a ticket for the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and tour – all offer truly unforgettable experiences.

How about a day at the races? Ascot racecourse is just slightly outside of London and an easy journey by car or train. Over 600,000 people visit this iconic sporting destination every year to watch the races – and maybe enjoy a flutter. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park should also be a definite on your itinerary. Constructed for the 2012 London Olympics, you’ll find the VeloPark here, as well as the Aquatics Centre and much more.

Best Places to Stay, Drink, Eat, and Shop for Sports Fans in London

London is simply packed with various types of accommodation, restaurants, pubs, and bars and offers a myriad of exciting opportunities for shopping. To help you get started with planning your trip, I’ve got the inspiration you need. We are also gathering the best places to eat near the top stadiums to help you when watching the matches of the big teams.

Best Hotels for Sports Fans in London

  • Maldron Hotel, Finsbury Park – just half a mile from the Emirates Stadium, this four-star hotel is a great base for a footballing adventure. The area is fast becoming a hotspot for music, art, and gastronomy.
  • The Westbridge Hotel – a short walk from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, you’re also only minutes away from the 02 Arena if you opt for this hotel. As well as an onsite gym, there’s also a fabulous lounge and restaurant.
  • Premier Inn, Broadway – London isn’t known for its affordability, but if you’re planning on catching a tennis match at Wimbledon while you’re in the city, Premier Inn is a reliable and relatively cheap choice. This branch is just a mile from SW19.
  • Twickenham Guest House, Twickenham—If you’re heading to Twickenham Stoop to enjoy a rugby game, this guest house is super convenient. A ten-minute walk from the ground, it’s also very handy for the tube and airport.
  • Danubius Hotel Regents Park, St John’s Wood – You’re not going to get much closer to Lords Cricket Ground than this hotel, which is literally a stone’s throw away from the iconic sporting venue. It’s also within easy walking distance of top attractions, including the London Zoo, Madame Tussauds, and Abbey Road Studios.

Best Restaurants for Sports Fans in London

London is famed for its melting pot of culinary influences and its vibrant food scene. Whatever type of food is your favourite, be it Vietnamese street snacks, French-style fine dining, or good old English pub grub, you’ll have no trouble finding it in the capital.

Some of the best places to try include the contemporary Malaysian food joint Mambow in Clapton, the Michelin-starred St John in Smithfield, which serves up English classics with a twist, and Akoko in Fitzrovia for exquisite West African fare.

Best Bars and Pubs for Sports Travelers in London

Looking for a sports bar or pub to catch a match on a big screen while you’re in London? Then look no further, as I’ve got some great options for you below.

  • Bar Kick, Shoreditch – as well as watching all the Premier League and Championship football action live, you can also have a go at table football here; there are regular competitions if you’ve got talent!
  • Kings Sports Bar, Leicester Square – located within the Empire Casino, big screens show sporting events and tournaments from around the world, 24/7, including Formula One, football, cricket, and NFL.
  • The Alexandra, Clapham Common – with its projectors and large-screen TVs, this pub is the perfect place to enjoy a pint while watching the match live. There is always a lively atmosphere here and an interesting range of beer on tap.
  • The White Swan, Twickenham – those in London to catch a rugby match will definitely want to head to The White Swan, a charming 18th-century pub on the riverside. This welcoming establishment serves a delicious menu of traditional English pub grub if you need refueling.
  • Sports Bar and Grill, Canary Wharf, Marylebone, and Victoria – head to one of the Sports Bar and Grill venues to enjoy watching many different types of sports (including football, rugby, tennis, snooker, and NFL) in a lively, convivial atmosphere.

Traveling for Sports? London is the Place to Go

When it comes to sports, London is one of the globe’s most exciting and diverse destinations. Whether you’d love to watch the footballing giants of the English Premier League do battle, soak up the unique atmosphere at the Wimbledon Tennis Club, or catch a cricket match at Lord’s, you could literally spend your whole trip visiting iconic sporting grounds and stadia. Not to mention, of course, the city’s plethora of famous landmarks and attractions.

Traveling for sports to London? Use the guide above to get started planning an epic sporting adventure today.

FAQs

What is the biggest sporting event set to take place in London in 2025?

While there are plenty of major sporting events to look forward to taking place in London in 2025, some of the biggest are set to be the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the FA Cup Final.

How much is a ticket to see a Wimbledon Tennis Championship match?

The cost of a ticket to attend a Wimbledon tennis match varies widely, depending on the court and the day of the tournament. For example, you can expect to pay around £50 (about €60) to see a match on courts number 2 or 3 on the first or second day of the tournament, while a centre court ticket on finals day will set you back around £275 (about €325).

Where is the best place to watch the London Boat Race?

Taking place along the River Thames, some of the best places to spectate the London Boat Race include the Putney embankment, the Hammersmith Bridge, Chiswick Steps, Barnes Bridge, and Chiswick Bridge.