When you think ‘visiting London landmarks’, the usual tours of buildings come to mind; Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, The Tower of London. Whilst these are must-see places, sometimes it’s refreshing to think outside the box and realise that London is crammed with famous buildings -many of which offer tours.
The one I refer to here is Wembley Stadium. How much can I gain from a tour of a stadium, I remember thinking skeptically as I wrote the date in my diary. Especially as I’m someone who doesn’t follow football religiously, except to say that I quite fancy Christiano Ronaldo -but who doesn’t?
Along I went with an open mind, a hangover from hell and a football-loving plus-one -to allow me to judge the tour from both perspectives. The first positive was our tour guide, Aynsley. With tonnes of enthusiasm for the beautiful game, not to mention the banter, quips and anecdotes he provided, he immediately woke me up and pulled me out of my hungover state like a human version of Ibuprofen. He assured us that he sees Wembley Stadium as being ‘the best stadium in the world’ and promised to take us to places that the public doesn’t usually see -and sure enough, he did.
As a non-lover of football, even I was awe-struck when walking into the press room. I was amazed when walking out into the stands and taking in the scale of the stadium. I was in heaven whilst walking around the showers and changing rooms, as used by the likes of Beckham and Ronaldo (this is the problem you get when a female reviews a football stadium).
However, it’s not just about the football. As a lover of music, I realised that Wembley Stadium has also hosted some of the greatest gigs in history. You learn all about those gigs, as well as how the architectural design of the stadium is innovative and allows for every seat in the house to have a great view. You’re told of the history and the legacy of this great stadium and soon learn that it has witnessed some remarkable, historical events such as Live Aid or that 1966 World Cup final.
This is a great tour of a great London landmark.