Go behind the scenes and sense that cup final magic on a tour of the UK’s biggest football stadium
Hosting the nation’s biggest sporting spectacles since 1923, Wembley has plenty of heritage to inspire any visitor, but as the home of England’s World Cup Final win over West Germany in 1966, its legendary status as a temple to sport has been assured forever more.
The old twin towers have long gone, and even though the original Wembley Stadium used to host matches watched by crowds of 127,000 (these days it’s a more modest but still thronging 90,000), those two old peaks would be dwarfed by today’s arena, completely rebuilt and opened in 2007. The iconic arch that spans the width of the stadium can be seen from as far away as Richmond Park.
As part of the project, over £70 million was spent on improving access by train, tube, bus and by foot. In fact, the stadium’s website even has a ‘Sofa to seat’ feature so you can plan the best travel route all the way from your living room to the row your ticket is in.
Even if you’re not coming to see a sports event or a big concert, you can take a Wembley Tour, which revisits the stadium’s golden moments from the 1920s to the present. Open throughout the year (but closed when there are major events taking place), the 75-minute tour is hosted by knowledgeable and impressively enthusiastic guides, who allow you to pause and soak up the stadium magic, take a few selfies and imagine yourself caught up in cup final fever.
The tour includes the England Changing Rooms, the Players’ Tunnel and the chance to sit in the England manager’s hot-seat used during press conferences. You can also climb the 107 steps up to where the winners collect their medals and get your hands on a replica of the FA Cup. There are also exhibits, like the Jules Rimet Trophy and a flag used in the London 1948 Olympic Games. Check the website in advance to confirm which areas will and won’t be included on the dates you want to visit. Other visitor options include the VIP Access-all-Areas Tour of Wembley Stadium, for groups of at least two people. You get your own private guide plus you see inside a corporate box and where referees prepare before a match, in addition to enjoying the regular tour experience. You also receive a Wembley Tour Guidebook, a gift and your photograph taken with the replica FA Cup.
|Venue name:||Wembley Stadium||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Wembley Stadium Tours: £19, £17 adv, £11 over-65s/under-16s, students, £10 concs. adv, £45 family. VIP Tour (min two people) £55pp. 10am–4pm daily; tours do not take place on public holidays and during the build-up to and wind-down from major sports or music events so advance booking is recommended.|
|Transport:||Tube: Wembley Park|
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Always a special place for live events, this should be considered the pinnacle of watching professional football. The views are fantastic from all parts of the ground. Although friendlies can be quite flat, the tradition of this special stadium should not be dismissed with the iconic Wembley Way, Arch, and the statue of Bobby Moore standing proud. The surrounding area is now a bit better for refreshments considering the expense of food and drink inside the stadium. The journey back to Wembley Park can be daunting and can take up to an hour from the end of the game to getting a seat on a train. I would suggest leaving 10-15 minutes early (whilst hoping your team is comfortably up or down) in order to avoid the queues.
Was invited by a friend with a spare ticket to do a tour of the stadium. I am a big football fan so absolutely enjoyed the visit. It was great to hear about the history of the stadium and the see the new stadium in all its glory. You have plenty of opportunity to take some great photos in the changing rooms with shirts of players and also sitting in the press room, that main is a mainstay of my Facebook page. If you love football and go to alot of games, you will love doing the tour here.