The Summer of Sport in London

With the Olypmics last summer, its safe to say that 2012 was a legendary year for sport in London. However, lest we forget these balmy months have played host to legendary sporting fixtures in London for the past 100 years. Here’s Woolwich Central’s quick guide to the top sporting fixtures not to miss, in and around London this summer.

Football – UEFA Champions League Final, Wembley Stadium, 25th May

Host of rockstars, concerts, and more occasionally football matches. On the 25th of may Borussia Dortmund take on Bayern Munich at Wembley after the German pair respectively overcame Real Madrid and Barcelona in the semi-finals. The 90 000 seater stadium re-opened its doors in 2007 after a facelift, featuring a newly built arch and enclosing 4million cubic metres of space under its roof- a fitting venue so oversee the battle for the European championship.

Aviva Premiership Final

Rugby – Aviva Premiership Final, Twickenham, 25th May

Just 10 miles south of Wembley, Twickenham stadium hosts the WRU’s biggest domestic club final, selling out the 82 000 seater stadium for the last 5 years running. The line-up for the final is Northampton Saints vs Leicester Tigers, a clash that is guaranteed to match the occasion itself.  The finalists have spent nine long months to get to this moment;  the culmination of 135 games between the top 12 teams and the season all comes down to this one game, with the best two sides in the country going head to head in a winner-takes-all encounter.

Tennis- Wimbledon, 24th June – 7th July

Prepare to share your pearls of tennis wisdom and cross your fingers for the weather to hold out; the 127th Championships  at Wimbledon are likely to be dominated by a familiar theme – can Murray (or any Briton for that matter) take home that heralded trophy? Hopes will be higher than at any time since Fred Perry’s 1936 victory after Andy Murray made it all the way to the final last year, but Federer showed us why he deserved his legendary status last year and will be hungry as ever to win an incredible eighth title. Serena Williams is not far behind on five Wimbledon championships and undoubtedly dominant on the noise stakes. So ready you tents for the queues, pack your strawberries, cream and a sturdy umbrella and head down to the All England Club for 2 weeks of world-class tennis.

Horse Racing- Royal Ascot, 18th– 22nd June

A short stop outside of the capital and top racing action mixes with high fashion at the five-day race Featuring some of the top equine stars from around the world. Since 1711 Royal Ascot has been a date in the diaries for the ‘well-heeled and fabulous’, promising “excitement, pageantry, fashion and style”- and 2013 looks set to be no different.

Rowing- Henley Royal Regatta, 3rd -7th July

Just an hour’s drive from central Greenwich, this sleepy town on the Upper Thames comes alive once again for first week of July. With crews from across the globe competing, this event is the culmination of the previous 365 days of 5am training sessions, vats of pasta and endless hours on the rowing machine. US universities look set to dominate the Temple challenge cup once again and 2013 promises no end yet to the Eton/Abingdon rivalry for the Princess Elizabeth. But as with all good sporting events, Henley Royal is also a steady fixture on the social calendar. With some of London’s finest watering holes de-camping to the toe-path for the week, it’s safe to say the clubs are full of more than just vanquished rowers drowning their sorrows. Just remember your maxi dress / blazer, picnic and a hearty supply of Pimms and you can’t go wrong.

Henley Regatta

Cricket- The Ashes (Lords and the Oval), 10th-25th July

Back slightly more central for an age-old rivalry with the aussies. This year England will host Australia in the Ashes series in July and August. The sides will contest five Test matches  at Trent Bridge, Lord’s, Old Trafford, Chester-le-Street and The Oval. England hold the famous urn after winning the last two series, but with our cricketing performances as unpredictable as the weather, who knows what the 2013 competition promises.

Athletics – Anniversary Games, Olympic Stadium, 26th-28th July

The world’s best athletes will descend on the nation’s capital as the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games takes place at The Stadium – Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 26-28 July. Considered one of the best IAAF Diamond League meets in the world, 2012 saw a host of British and international champions put in show-stopping performances, and this year looks to build on previous performances.

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What to do now that the sun is out in London…

We have had a weekend of sunshine and with temperatures rising daily, it is time to think about what there is to do in London now that the sun is out…

London Cycle Path

The View from The Shard

The View from the Shard

Running right past our doorstep, it would be almost criminal not to take advantage of a sunny  day by hopping on a bike to enjoy some of londons finest spots. Taking you past independent shops and markets, the best of british architecture, and some of Londons finest ‘secret gardens’, the London Cycle path is a great way to explore the capital. The nice people at transport for London have even put together a few suggested routes for you to try.

The View from the Shard

Self-proclaimed as ‘London’s most eagerly awaited attraction’, this new vantage point from which to enjoy the panorama of the British capital is a must for any clear-afternoon. From floor 69 you get a 360° view of London, before being exposed to the elements on floor 72.  At 800ft the shard is almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in London, and you are promised a crowd-free, stress-free, queue-free viewing experience – although pre-booking tickets is advised.

Horse-riding

There are a surprisingly large number of inner-city haunts which take care of all your equestrian needs. Offering everything from taster sessions, to birthday parties, jumping lessons and hacks, look no further than the capitals riding stables to provide a great day out for when the weather finally warms up. Dulwich Riding School, established in 1961, offer horseback rides through Dulwich park for £25 for an hour – the perfect way to enjoy some ‘inner-city ‘countryside.

Rock n Roll Walking Tour

With a weekend to kill and spring on the breeze, why not jump whole-heartledy into tourist mode and embark upon a walking tour of our great capital? Free with a London Pass, or £9 without one, the ‘Rock and Roll’ walking tour takes you through the musical history of London. You’ll wander through Soho and Covent garden tracking Britain’s rock heritage including the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and David Bowie. Tours start daily at 1pm from the Original London Visitors Centre.IMG_4745

Outdoor Fitness

Making the most of the capital’s parks as well as a range of industry expertise, the SWFitness group specialize in outdoor group fitness sessions … ‘Boot Camps’… which are designed to give you “the best hour of exercise you can get”. Burning up to 1000 calories a session, in a motivational environment in the great outdoors, SWFitness cover everything from dropping body fat, to all-round health, and of course nutrition; because nothing says “spring is here” like donning the lycra and getting sweaty in a local park.