Sport and Leisure in London, England

Sport and Leisure in London, England

Since the 2012. The Olympics will be held in London for the first time since 1948, the capital is building a number of new sports facilities, especially in East London, where most of the competition will take place. Listed below are the main sports clubs and centers in the capital with information about children’s courses or programs. Don’t forget that you can find tennis, soccer, basketball and softball courts and fields in many London parks.

Crystal Palace has long been the spiritual center of British athletics. Details of athletics events are available from: England Athletics (tel: (0121) 452-1500, www. englandathletics. org) or the South of England Athletics Association (tel.: (020) 7021-0988, www. seaa. org. uk). Both are great for agility and coordination. For details of children’s clubs, call Badminton England (Tel: (01908) 268-400, www. badmintonengland. co. uk) or England Squash (Tel: (0161) 231-4499, www. englandsquash. co. uk). Because of their growing popularity, these two American sports are combined under one agency, BaseballSoftballUK (tel: (020) 7453-7055, www. baseballsoftballuk. com).


Sports and outdoor activities in London, England - Photo 2


The English Basketball Association can help you find everything you need from a warm-up court to a youth club to join. Find out more on 0870-774-4225 or at www. englandbaskelbalI. co. uk At Wembley Arena (tel: 0870-060-0870) and the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre (tel: (020) 8778-0131) , regular games are held during the basketball season (October – April).


The two main London venues for this most tactical of sports are the Lords (headquarters of Middlesex Country Cricket Club) and the Oval, headquarters of Surrey County Cricket Club. The county championship season runs from April through September with four-day matches, usually Thursday through Monday, often with a one-day match on Sundays.

Sport and Active Recreation in London, England - Photo 3

East Otago High School bowler Ethan Simpson sends down a delivery to South Otago High School batsman Tom Houghton during a McCullum Cup match at Bayfield Park yesterday. Dion Willocks watches from the other end and the umpire is Con Ratten. CRICKET

Each venue also hosts a minimum of one one-day international match and a five-day international Test match between England and one of the nine major cricketing nations: Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, India , Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the West Indies. Tickets cost 10 to 25 and slightly more for international matches. The Lords and the Oval run cricket courses for children as young as eight years old and vigorously support “quick-cricket. , an easier and faster version of the game for children.

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A piece of fishing line and a bent nail are all a child needs to get addicted to fishing. But you can splurge on fishing equipment at one of the many stores in the capital (for example, Swiftys Bait & Tackle, 44 Wilcox Road, SW8 , tel: (020) 7627-5907, ww. swiftys-fishing-tackle. co. uk). You will need a licence one way or another. Contact the Environment Agency (formerly National Rivers Authority, tel: (01734) 535-000 , ww. environment-agency. gov. ukfish). The licence can be purchased online.

You will also be offered a list of fishing spots along the Thames, which are home to over 100 species of fish. Trout and freshwater fishing licence prices: full adult 24. 50, for children 12. 25; eight-day 8. 75, one day 3. 25.


Soccer has always been a beloved national sport, but over the past 15 years it has achieved unprecedented popularity, appearing in millions of books, magazines, videos and even audio recordings. The most successful players earn seven-figure salaries and the best clubs list their stock on the stock exchange, making it a major business entity. Despite all this, the game itself has remained as simple as ever.

It requires simple equipment (primarily a soccer ball, as the goal can be constructed from improvised materials), and it can be played almost anywhere. Not surprisingly, British children prefer soccer to other sports. Over a dozen professional soccer clubs are based in London, with the main ones – Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Tottenham and West Ham – all playing in the Premiership, the most prestigious national league.

London, England - Photo 4


Premier League matches are played at weekends (usually at 15.00 on Saturdays), cup games and European games are played midweek. Matches of the leading clubs regularly gather more than 30,000 fans. The game is becoming more and more interesting, and after a determined fight against hooliganism in the late 1980s more and more families with children began to come to the stadiums.

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Most stadiums have family-friendly facilities, especially Premier League stadiums . Tickets should be booked as early as possible; despite high prices, tickets for major games sell out very quickly. An adult ticket can cost anywhere from 25 to 90 (and about half that for a child), depending on the importance of the game and the convenience of the seat. Most clubs have a two-tier pricing policy, with high “A” prices for matches between the top clubs (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United, plus some local rivals) and cheaper “B” prices for other matches.

International matches involving England are played at the 90,000-seat Wembley Stadium. A word of warning – if you’ve never been to a soccer match before, know that your children will hear some very “flowery” language, obscene songs and swearing – all part and parcel of the spectacle. At their best, soccer clubs serve as a unifying force for society. Most London clubs take part in the Football in the Community program, where experienced coaches provide after-school and school vacation coaching for local children (both boys and girls) of all backgrounds.


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Children love to put on their racing suits, gloves and helmets, step on the gas pedal, and race around the track with tire tracks. They enjoy speed (karts can go up to 50 km per hour), they like to do something “grown-up,” even if it is only an imitation of real racing. London’s indoor tracks offer practice and mini races for young drivers from 8 to 16 years old. All safety precautions are observed here. The center issues racing suits and helmets and provides safety briefings. Children must come in pants and long-sleeved clothing. An hour karting session costs approximately 30. Docklands F1 City Gate 119, Connaught Bridge, Royal Victoria Dock, E16, tel: (020) 7476-5678. Buses: 57, 109, 118, 133, 201, 250, 255.


There are half a dozen ice skating rinks in London, many of which host popular evenings with disco music. Most rinks do not allow children under three years old on the ice. Skates can be rented at the entrance. Average price, including skate rentals, is 6 – 8 for adults, 4 – 6 for children. Alexandra Palace Ice Rink Buses: 133, 141, 172, 214, 271 . One of London’s few outdoor ice rinks. It fills up in November and runs until March. Lee Valley Ice Centre Don’t let the distance embarrass you.

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This large ice center holds daily sessions and offers skating lessons six days a week. Gymnastics is a great way for kids to get fit, develop coordination and motor skills. They enjoy watching or doing gymnastics. For more information, contact the British Amateur Gymnastics Association (tel: 0845-1297-129 , www. british-gymnastics. org). Crechendo At various locations around London, tel: (020) 8772-8120 . www. crechendo. com With toys and soft climbing equipment, young children develop coordination skills at Crechendo’s six children’s gyms in London.

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There are five age groups from four months to four years old. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tumbletots, Gymbabes & Gymbobs At various locations around London, tel: (0121) 5857-003. www. tumbIetots. com Children from one-and-a-half to pre-school age can climb, jump and hang on special machines to develop balance, coordination and general physical fitness skills. Children ages 5 to 7 can learn adult fitness equipment under the supervision of instructors in 13 London gyms.

There are dozens of riding stables and schools in London. Some offer lessons for children as young as 2, 5 years old who have only recently learned to walk. Ealing Riding School Price: Private lessons – adults 27, children 20 for 30 minutes. Age limit: ages five and up. Hyde Park Riding Stables Price: private lessons 69 per hour, group lessons 49 per hour. Age limit: ages five and up. London Equestrian Centre Buses: 13, 82, 112, 143, 260. Price: from 25 per lesson. Age limit: ages four and up. Wimbledon Village Stables Price: from 45 per hour on weekdays, 50 per hour on weekends. Age limit: Three years old and above.


Sports and Recreation in London, England - Photo 7


All of London’s professional clubs provide coaching services for boys and girls during the season (fall through late spring), and some provide summer camps. Professional club matches in the two leagues (Guinness Premierships and National League) are usually on Saturday afternoons. For more information contact the Rugby Football Union (tel: 0870-405-2000, www. rfu. com). Harlequins Tickets: 15 – 30 , wheelchair users free. Special wheelchair access, adapted toilets. London Irish RFC Wheelchair entrance, adapted toilets. Training for children; girls can play from 12 years old.

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10 annual sports competitions in London.

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London is the European capital, which is famous not only for its magnificent architecture. If you visit the city at a certain time, you can witness various annual traditional events dedicated to sports competitions.

Let us tell you about the main sporting events in London for 2014. Please note that in other years the dates are subject to change. Hotels are always better booked in advance to avoid problems.

London Marathon

A mass cross-country skiing event which has been running since 1981. The distance of the marathon is 42 kilometers and 195 meters. It is open to absolutely all categories of people (from men to children and people with disabilities). The number of participants is about 30 thousand people. Thanks to the marathon you can get into the Guinness Book of Records not only for speed and endurance, but also for the original costume.

The date of the competition is April 13, 2014.

Regatta on the Thames.

A rowing competition for the honor of an educational institution that has been taking place between members of Oxford and Cambridge since 1829. After pre-selecting participants, students begin preparing for this event as early as September.

The date of the competition is March 12, 2014.


International tennis tournament in south London, which lasts for two weeks. The championship is held since 1933. The main rule for the admission of participants to the competition is the presence of white uniforms. The traditional dish during the tournament is strawberries and cream.

Competition dates are from June 23 to July 6, 2014.

Horse Triathlon (Three-day event)

Each year Badminton House Park hosts an international three-day equestrian triathlon event. They include dressage riding (Day 1), cross country (Day 2), and steeplechase (Day 3). The sporting event was first organized in 1949 by the Duke of Beaufort. The area allocated for the competition is 1,500 acres.

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The competition dates are from May 7 to 11, 2014.

Henley Royal Regatta

The Royal Regatta lasts for five days during which you can watch around 200 races by professional and amateur paddlers. The event was first held in 1839, and has been part of London’s social life during the summer season ever since.

The date of the competition is from July 2 to 6, 2014.

English League Final Cup

An annual soccer match to determine the finalist among the teams who have played in the preliminary qualifying rounds.

The date of the competition is March 2, 2014.

Vintage Car Race London – Brighton

The first mass retro-style car race dates back to 1927. Models made no later than 1905 are eligible for the race. To receive the bronze commemorative award, you must reach the finish line by 5 p.m.

The date of the race is the first Sunday in November.

London Grand Prix

Competition among athletes, which is traditionally held every year at the London Olympic Stadium, since 1953. However, in 2014, the tournament will be moved to the city of Glasgow.

The date of the competition is from July 11 to 12.

Royal Ascot Race

The Royal Ascot Race, founded by Queen Anne in 1711, is the most popular horse racing competition in Britain, where, besides watching the competitors, you can show off your attire and headgear (special attention is paid to ladies’ hats). The prize fund is several million pounds sterling. The date of the competition is from June 17 to June 21, 2014.

Squash Tournament (ISS Canary Wharf Squash Classic)

This annual international squash tournament takes place on the courts of the East Wintergarden Glass Arena. Held since 2004.

Date of competition: March 24-28, 2014.

In addition to the main sporting events, there are equally interesting contests such as: “cheese race”, “pancake run”, “pudding run”, “tough guy”, from which you will get only positive emotions.

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