Sporting Highlights of London
London is one of the top cities to visit for sports fans around the world. Whether you are into cricket, tennis, golf, football or athletics, there is plenty to whet the appetite across the summer period. And if you're travelling to London from afar and need a comfortable and quality place to stay, our range of London apartments are well placed with convenient access to all the top summer sporting events.
Tennis – Wimbledon Championships
This is the jewel in the British sporting summer. Over two glorious weeks the world’s attention is focused on this leafy corner of South-West London for the pinnacle of any tennis player’s ambition, the Wimbledon Championships. Competitors from across the globe compete in singles and doubles, and there are equally popular wheelchair and veterans’ matches to keep the vast crowds entertained.
All eyes will be on Roger Federer as he bids to retain his “Gentlemens’ Singles” title and win for a record 9th time, but will face fierce competition from Spain’s Rafael Nadal and the skilful Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Local hopes are pinned on the world no. 2, Andy Murray, who will be aiming to go one step further than 2012 when he was defeated in the final by Federer.
In the “Ladies Singles”, British hopefuls Heather Watson and Laura Robson will face stiff competition from the likes of Russia’s Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Sam Stosur of Australia, as well as the relentless Williams sisters, Venus and Serena.
Getting tickets: The annual ballot took place over the winter, so the only way to get tickets is to queue. The Wimbledon Queue is as much an institution as the Championships itself and boasts its own unique atmosphere. You can join the queue early in the morning, around 7am, to get a ground pass, which allows you to take up position on one of the outside courts and take in the wonderful sights and sounds as the sun (hopefully) beats down on the impeccable grass surfaces. If you are keen to get onto one of the larger courts, you can often buy a “Resale” ticket once inside the grounds, which at least enable you to sample the grandeur and excitement for the final match on court that day.
Where to stay?
Earls Court Apartments are an ideal place to stay if you're attending the Championships this year. The apartments are within a 5 to 10 minute walk of Earls Court tube station, where you can take the District line just 10 minutes south to Southfields tube station (15 minutes walk to the grounds) or Wimbledon Park (20 minutes walk to the grounds). Earls Court not only provides direct access to Wimbledon, but it also sits just west of central London, making it easy to access the inner-city districts.
Vauxhall Apartments are also a recommended choice of accommodation for those attending the two-week event, boasting a central London location with direct rail services from Vauxhall rail station to Wimbledon rail station in less than 15 minutes.
Cricket – The Investec Ashes Series
For cricket fans, 2013 promises to be a memorable year. Back-to-back Ashes Series against Australia both in the UK and Down Under will provide the opportunity for some of the world’s best players to strut their stuff on the highest of stages.
England’s potent pace attack of Jimmy Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan, complemented by the masterful trickery of spinner Graeme Swann, should be too much for an Australian side in a poor run of form. England’s batting line-up is blessed with an array of talent, with captain Alastair Cook and the middle order engine room of Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell proving hard obstacles to remove and a thorn in the opposition’s side.
A recent 4-0 series whitewash in India exposed the fallacies of a young, inexperienced Australian side who will do well to avoid a similar result on English soil. Batsmen Phil Hughes and Shane Watson have endured a torrid time during recent Ashes series, and will be keen to rectify that this summer. Inexperience in the middle order and the tussle between Moises Henriques, Steve Smith and Nathan Lyon for the lone spinner’s role, will make for interesting viewing throughout the summer. The emergence of exciting young talent in the fast bowling department, namely James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc is a shining beacon of promise, and Antipodean fans will be hoping they will come good and lead the Aussies to an unlikely win.
Of the 5 Test Matches held in England, London is fortunate enough to host two.
The Lord’s Test Match takes place at the famous old ground in St John’s Wood. The setting is an absolute picture, at a beautiful ground that is widely considered to be the home of cricket. It is a wonderful melange of tradition and state-of-the-art, with the famous 19th-century pavilion mirrored by the 21st-century NatWest media centre, at the Nursery end.
The Oval is a less austere and more raucous venue. Located just south of the river close to the Vauxhall area, the ground is in the shadow of gas-holders, which are as much a feature of the ground as the high pavilion and the newly-opened OCS stand, offering superb views behind the bowler’s arm from the Vauxhall end.
Getting tickets: Tickets are now sold out for all Test Matches, so the best ports-of-call are legitimate re-sale websites such as www.viagogo.co.uk and www.seatwave.com
Where to stay?
Our North London Apartments are dotted around the northern borders of Regents Park and encompass the St John's Wood area. Sanctum Apartments is only a 20 minute walk from the Lord Cricket Ground and can cater for up to 7 guests. From our Marylebone Apartments, guests can take a 30 minute stroll through the tranquil grounds of Regents Park or just hop on the tube two stops from Marylebone station to St John's Wood station.
Football – The Champions League Final
This is the pinnacle of the European club football year. The final is hosted by Wembley Stadium for the second time in 3 years, this time celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Football Association, the founding fathers of football.
At the time of writing, the identity of the finalists are unknown, but we do know that they will consist of two of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund. Whoever is striding out under the famous arch that evening, there will be world stars on show and the club season will come to a dramatic climax with the lifting of the trophy emblazoned “Coupe des Clubs Champions Européens”.
Where to stay?
Our City & Tower Bridge Apartments are perfect for those who want to see the London sights during the day before attending one of Football's most celebrated tournament finals in the evening. Centrally located in the city, guests of these apartments will be only a 10 minute tube ride to the popular districts of Soho, West End and Oxford Street, and Westminster, and will have direct underground access to Wembley from Farringdon tube station. The apartments are all within close proximity to Farringdon station, where guests can take the Metropolitan line north east 6 stops to Wembley Park (10 minute walk to the stadium). Buses to the stadium also run regularly from central London on match days.
Golf – The PGA Championship Wentworth
The flagship event of the European Tour comes to Wentworth, 25 miles (40km) west of London, from 23 to 26 May. It is an opportunity to see many of the world’s top players up close and personal in a beautiful Surrey heathland course.
Previous winners include such illustrious names as Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and most recently, Luke Donald. It is played over 4 days, with a half-way ‘cut’ after the first two rounds. The championship builds to a climax on the Sunday afternoon, with the players at the top of the leaderboard vying for the birdies and eagles that will land them the famous silver trophy and cheque for £700,000.
Getting tickets: Tickets are easily obtainable on the day, although small discounts are available for booking in advance.
Where to stay?
Our Vauxhall Apartments sit in the heart of London and are within walking distance to Vauxhall rail station, one of the city's busiest terminals. Here, guests can take a direct 45 minute train to Virginia Water station (10 minutes from the golf course). Hammersmith Apartments are also a worthy place to stay for event-goers, especially for those who are travelling by car. The Wentworth course is only a 30 minute drive from Hammersmith and has plenty of in-ground parking. Or, for those taking public transport, Hammersmith is a short tube journey to Richmond, where direct rail services can complete your journey to Wentworth in 10 minutes.
Horse Racing – Royal Ascot
One of the highlights of the Flat Racing season take place within easy reach of London.
Royal Ascot is synonymous with style, sophistication and fashion. Running from 18 to 22 June, it combines some thrilling racing, betting excitement and the stylish glamour of the attendees. A dress code prevails across all four days, with gentlemen encouraged to sport a full top and tails and ladies’ dress requirements are somewhat quaintly put as follows:
“Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer. Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater. Strapless, off the shoulder, halter neck, spaghetti straps and dresses with a strap of less than one inch are not permitted.”
The experience will doubtless be an unforgettable one as the racing unfolds amid a cacophony of champagne glasses clinking, the thunder of hooves interrupting this institutional British sporting event.
Where to stay?
Ascot lies 30 miles west of London and many visitors of the event opt to stay in inner-city locations for their royal trip. Waterloo Apartments and Vauxhall Apartments are within close proximity to the two major rail stations (Waterloo and Vauxhall station), where direct rail services reach Ascot in under 30 minutes. Westminster Bridge Apartments offer luxury apartments with superb river views and landscapes of Westminster's iconic landmarks, and are only a stones throw from Waterloo station.
Athletics – Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games
Taking place in the 2012 Olympic Stadium, this flagship event of the athletics year once again comes to London. Usain Bolt, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah are just some of the Olympic Gold Medallists to return to the scene of glory, as they endeavour to thrill the capacity crowds to the same degree.
Getting tickets: These sold out within hours of going on sale, so the best outlets are www.viagogo.co.uk or www.seatwave.com
Where to stay?
Staybridge Suites Apartments and Windmill Apartments are located in Stratford within close proximity to the Olympic stadium, and offer both four-star and more basic accommodation for your stay. Our Canary Wharf Apartments are also an ideal place to stay for this event, located only three tube stops away on the Jubilee tube line, and is where you'll find luxury apartments in a lively and vibrant inner-city area.