Despite its reconstruction between 2003 and 2007, the new Wembley Stadium has retained its status as one of the most famous sporting venues in the world. Primarily used for football matches, the stadium also plays host to numerous other sports events as well as music concerts.
Wembley hosts both Rugby League and Rugby Union matches and has been the venue for the Rugby League Challenge Cup since 1929. This is despite Rugby League traditionally being associated with the north of England.
Less frequently held at the stadium are Rugby Union matches. The first Union match played at the new Wembley was between Barbarians and Australia in December 2008.
As for the stadium spec, the £737 million spent on its redevelopment has produced a truly modern sports arena. The three-tiered, 90,000-capacity stadium is fitted with all mod cons including flat screen televisions throughout the concourses. In the less exclusive areas of the stadium, the food outlets are of the traditional ‘steak and kidney pie’ variety. However, those privileged enough to have access to a Club Wembley season ticket will be treated to more exotic options including champagne and sea food bars.
Looming large over the stadium is a giant 133-metre steel arch that is painted white and illuminated at night, allowing it to be seen from numerous vantage points across London.
Unlike many modern stadiums, the powers that be decided not to create an on-site Wembley Stadium hotel. We suspect this is due to the threat of terrorism.
In short, Wembley remains a great venue steeped in history. And if sports fans are happy to see it back up and running, imagine how the owners of Wembley hotels feel!
Stadium tours are available to book online.
Wembley is served by good tube and bus links, as well as a mainline station. Wembley Park underground station is a five minute walk from the stadium and is on both the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines. It is a 20-minute ride from Central London.
The next closest tube stop is Wembley Central, which is a 15-minute walk from the stadium. Wembley Stadium mainline station, a few minutes walk from the stadium, is on the London Marylebone-Birmingham line.
Inevitably, these stations tend to be extremely busy on event days and visitors often complain about the bottleneck crowds along Empire Way – the long pedestrianised street that connects Wembley Park station with the stadium. This can often turn a 300-yard walk into an hour-long nightmare.
The lack of parking nearby means that for those arriving by car, a good option is to head for Stanmore or Uxbridge, at the end of the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines respectively, and parking up there. Both are easily commutable to the stadium.
Parking in one of these London suburbs also means cheaper hotels. It is also convenient for a pint after the game, a tube ride to your hotel, and a quick getaway the next day.
A tip for pedestrians, and a handy way of avoiding the throng on Empire Way after events, is to take a sharp left as you come out the stadium and head towards Wembley Arena. A 20 minute walk from here is Preston Road station on the Metropolitan line. You will be rewarded for your efforts with a guaranteed seat on the train, as this is the preceeding stop before Wembley Park on the way into Central London.
And if you don’t fancy the trek into the centre, and the hotels near Wembley Stadium don’t cut it for you, Preston Road is also a decent spot for budget accommodation. The Brent X Hotel is a clean and relatively new hotel, and a 20-25 minute brisk walk from the stadium.