I do love a tour, but it can be hard to find tours that are suitable for children. Now N’s older, he’s more interested in hearing someone talk about somewhere we’re visiting, so I’m looking forward to more options in future. But the latest one we went on was a Wembley tour. There’s not many children who’d turn down a chance of visiting behind the scenes of football legends.
Check out alternative football themed days out suitable for all the family.
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We booked back in the summer to book one of the Wembley tours, but the earliest date we could find that wasn’t on a Sunday or didn’t clash with football matches was the end of November. We used an inset day which worked well – there were a few other children on the tour, but mostly adults. There are different options for the tours, a standard which we did, but also VIP versions.
We thankfully avoided train and tube strikes, but so many tubes on the Metropolitan line are fast trains so miss out Wembley Park stop from outside. But otherwise it’s easy to get to on the tube, and then a short walk.
The atmosphere must be amazing on match days, or concert days. The walk from the tube station, across the pedestrianised walkway up to the stadium is a lovely place to be out and about with Box Park and its restaurants and leisure activities there. We’ve never been to the area before but should keep an eye out for events we might want to go to.
Wembley tours arrival
The tour entrance is right behind the Sir Bobby Moore statue, so it’s easy to find.
All the staff at Wembley Stadium we met were friendly and helpful. We had a bag security check and picked up wristbands on arrival. We had about 35 people on our tour but it didn’t feel too busy.
Self guided tours
Our first stop was the self guided tour, the museum part. This was about the stadium itself, the history of the old and the rebuilding of the current stadium. And not forgetting the 1966 World Cup win by England. There was the crossbar from the final that was the subject of the controversial goal. The story of Pickles, the dog who saved the world cup trophy.
If you wanted green background photos taken, you had them taken inbetween the 2 self guidaed tour areas. We didn’t bother, but it was £5 for a card, although you could have photos and decide to buy them afterwards rather than on arrival.
The second self guided area was in the Lionness bar. Here was where you could find out more about all the other sports and events that have happened in Wembley Stadium over the years.
From NFL to pop concerts, ski jumping to horse jumping, boxing to baseball, it’s all gone on at Wembley. There’s information and memorabilia galore from various concerts and sporting events.
The Wembley tour
Then it was time for the stadium tour. It’s around 1 ½ hours long and ours was led by Rob who was excellent. He made the effort to find out where people were from and which teams they supported to personalise the tour a bit.
With the tour you get to see behind the scenes, the areas that only the footballers aand equivalent get to experience. There are also lots of photo opportunities.
We heard about the 1948 Olympics which were based out of Wembley, as well as the other sports held in the stadium.
Then we headed to the mix in area. This is where the press stand to see players coming in off the bus. We saw it decked out in England colours, although it changes depending on which tournament or teams are playing. Or which singer or band is on that evening. They can all request whatever they want for decoration.
The press conference room was next, where the media get to interview those on the stage. Each group of us could sit behind the table and act as manager or captain. Our tour guide took photos for everyone too. It’s just like a lecture theatre, but must be quite intense with all the questions firing at those being questionned.
Then we went into the old changing room, set uip with legends’ shirts. From cup winner’s jerseys to signed shirts from former stars of the football world, from England players to others across the world like Messi and Ronaldo. You can sit with your favourite star’s shirt.
We learnt about the prep room where players can warm up before going onto the pitch, and tricks of the floor, as well as hearing about the manager’s office, used by the home team.
Next it was chance to see the home team’s current changing room which was much more airy and light. All the seats are in a horseshoe shape and the physio area is in the same room at one end.
The room is set up with all the England team’s shirts, men in red and women’s in blue. Again we could sit in any of the seats for photo opportunities as we were told about the set up. N was happy to go straight for his favourite players’ seats, but even wanted his photo taken with some of the stars of the England women’s Euro cup winning team.
Our last stop was the inside of the stadium itself. N and another boy got to lead out our 2 ‘teams’ out of the players tunnel. It was an experience just going out to the side with empty seats, but would be amazing atmosphere with 90,000 football fans clapping you on.
We didn’t get to go onto the hallowed grass which was being prepared for its winter growing. We heard about the audience sizes for music and football, how the stadium works with the roof and building works. How the old walk up to the royal box used to be around 40 steps, now it’s over 100.
It was a long walk up to the royal box but we got to sit there with the best view over the pitch. And for a bit of fun got to make the echo around the stadium work with so few people.
It felt really special to be in the stadium. Now N’s determined to get to watch a football match there.
Tips for visiting doing Wembley Tours
- If your child plays for a team and you’re members of the England FA, then there’s a 30% discount on Wembley tours. Unfortunately I didn’t know this. But it’s still a good value tour.
- Check out attraction deal sites* for special offers on group or pairs of tickets.
- The website says there are multimedia guides for the self tour part, and to take headphones. But there were none when we were there which was disappointing. Instead, you can use the QR codes on your phone to listen instead. But my phone doesn’t have the battery power for that on a day out, and N’s phone wouldn’t connect to the website.
- There are a lot of steps and quite a bit of fast walking around. We had a man on our tour with a boot on his foot/leg, and he managed with the tour guide advising bits he might find harder or slower.
- Be prepared for the England shop at the end of the tour if you’ve got children with you, although it’s predominantly kit for sale.
Wembley tours aren’t just for football fans, although the majority of what you see and hear about is focused on football*. If you’re a music fan there’s also information for you. It’s definitely a tour I’d recommend anyone doing.
Have you ever been for a tour around Wembley Stadium, or any other football clubs?