London Stadium Tour: FAQs

By Matthew Pearson

Some FAQs and IAA (Infrequently Answered Answers) about the London Stadium Tour, including...

  • What can I see and do during the tour?
  • How do I get there?
  • What else can I do near to the London Stadium?
  • And much, much, much more

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What is the London Stadium Tour?

It’s your chance to explore one of London’s latest landmarks and one of the UK’s newest big stadiums. Previously known as the Olympic Stadium, it has amassed a fair amount of history over its short life so far. It hosted many important events during the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, and is now the home of West Ham United, a Premier League club with a long and celebrated history in East London. So, a London Stadium Tour will reveal plenty about the country’s recent sporting and cultural history.

What can I see and do during the tour?

The London Stadium Tour is a part guided, part multimedia tour. For some of it you’ll be taken around by an expert, for some you’ll be in the capable hands of an audio guide. You’ll be learning some extraordinary facts about the stadium as you go behind the scenes of this modern sporting and cultural icon. The tour is designed to give you a mix of historical and architectural info and some impressive sights and photo opportunities. You can go snooping around places every football fan wishes they could explore... in the dressing room. Try coming up with your own motivational team talk, so that your family play like a team and for the pride of the family name in the second half of the tour. You’ll be heading down the tunnel and out onto the pitch, experiencing first-hand the view the players get when coming out every other week. Of course, there won’t be 60,000 fans cheering you on/shouting at you, but seeing the green grass and the size of the cauldron-like stadium is still incredibly impressive. Assess the action so far from a seat in the manager’s dugout. And get a photo of yourself looking pensive in a tracksuit, wondering if you should substitute Mum for your little brother, and switch to a back five. Mum is too much of a flair player for this kind of game. You’ll see the indoor running track too. This facility is used by the local community as a multi-use sporting, educational and event space. It’s the home of the Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club, a local sports group who’ve developed more than 25 Olympians. And you’ll get fantastic panoramic views of the London Stadium throughout. And a free personalised certificate at the end.

Can you tell me a bit more about London Stadium?

Yes, absolutely. The London Stadium (then known as the Olympic Stadium) was built between 2008 and 2011. It held its first public event in March 2012, providing the finish line for a National Lottery celebrity run. It hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 80,000 people filled the stadium to watch the athletics events at both competitions, seeing Usain Bolt win Olympic Gold and set an Olympic record, and many world records in both the Olympic and Paralympic games. With a reduced capacity of 60,000, London Stadium has been the home of West Ham United since August 2016. London Stadium has hosted many concerts since 2016 too. Beyonce/Jay-Z played there on their On the Run II Tour, Robbie Williams headlines in June 2017, and The Rolling Stones played the London Stadium during their No Filter Tour. [caption id="attachment_5567" align="alignnone" width="1000"][/caption]

What else can I do near to the London Stadium?

With the stadium the crowning structure of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, there’s plenty to explore nearby. The London Stadium stands close to other key Olympic stadia located in the park. These include the London Aquatics Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid; the Copper Box arena; and the impressive Lee Valley VeloPark. There’s also the ArcelorMittal Orbit, a twisting, towering structures, that looks across the whole park. You can head up to admire the view, then zip down the helter skelter slide that loops and loops around it. And you can read our FAQs about the ArcelorMittal Orbit right here. The park itself spans over 560 acres, which makes it bigger than Hyde Park. And, because it’s apparently how all football-adjacent people refer to things that are big, we’ll give you that figure in football pitches. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the same size as around 300 football pitches.

I’m a West Ham fanatic. Are there any special events on at the stadium which I’ll be interested in?

Yes. If you’re a Hammer, keep an eye out for special event Legends Tours at the London Stadium.

How much is it to take the London Stadium Tour?

If you buy your tickets in advance online, adult tickets cost £17, kids £10, students £14, 65+ tickets are £14 and all carers and under 5s get in free. If you buy them on the day, tickets are a couple of pounds more expensive. However, when you’ve got a London Pass, access to the London Stadium Tour is completely free. Matchday Tours and VIP Tours of the London Stadium cost around double the normal price and are not included with the London Pass. Legends Tours are £40 for adults and £25 for kids.

What languages is the tour offered in?

Five different languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Is the London Stadium Tour fully accessible?

Yes, fully.

How do I get to the London Stadium to begin the London Stadium Tour?

Definitely travel by public transport if you can. Stratford is the closest underground station and is on the Central and Jubilee lines, as well as the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). National Rail and London Overground services also stop at Stratford. There are heaps of buses which arrive at Stratford station too. When arriving at the Stadium, head to the Tours ticket office, which is located on the upper level of the Stadium Store at the southern end of the stadium.

What time does the London Stadium Tour run?

Every day between 10.00 and 15.00, except on Saturdays when the last tour leaves at 15.30. However, due to events held at the London Stadium, timings are subject to change. Check the website form more details here.

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Westminster Abbey

Who's buried in Westminster Abbey?

Although Westminster Abbey may be better associated with royal weddings and coronations, the country's most iconic cathedral is also the final resting place of thousands of influential people, from monarchs and consorts to poets, scientists and politicians. Whether your interest is in the architecture, the history or culture that shaped the world we know today, you'll gain a true sense of history when you visit some of the most famous Westminster Abbey tombs:  Edward the Confessor Anne of Cleves Elizabeth I Sir Isaac Newton Jane Austen Martin Luther King, Jr With The London Pass®, you can explore Westminster Abbey and more big-name landmarks, local hotspots and epic tours, all on one pass, all for one price. Not only that, but you'll enjoy savings of up to 50%, compared to buying individual attraction tickets.  ✈️ Buy The London Pass® ✈️ Edward the Confessor Edward the Confessor was responsible for the building of Westminster Abbey during his reign from 1042-1066. After a turbulent childhood when England was the target of Viking raids and invasions, Edward spent 25 years in exile, until he was received as one of the first Anglo-Saxon kings. He was the first Anglo-Saxon — and only king of England — to be canonized, in 1161. From Edward the Confessor until George II, most kings and queens had a Westminster Abbey burial. Edward V Despite being named King of England upon his father's death, 12-year-old Edward V wasn't crowned, and only reigned for 86 days before his uncle Richard III seized the throne and sent him and his brother to the Tower of London. They would forever be remembered as "The Princes in the Tower" after disappearing in 1483. Their fate remains unknown but it is widely believed that they were murdered on the orders of Richard II. In 1674, children's bones were discovered in a stairway of the Tower and King Charles II placed them in Westminster Abbey, however, it's never been proven the bones belonged to the princes. Anne of Cleves The fourth of Henry VIII's six wives, Anne of Cleves and Henry were only married for six months before the marriage was annulled. Originally from Dusseldorf in Germany, she was brought over to England for their wedding in 1540 - but Henry wasn't taken with her. After the annulment, she was referred to as 'the King's beloved sister', and ended up outliving all of Henry VIII's other wives, dying in 1557. She is the only wife of Henry VIII to be buried in the Abbey. Elizabeth I One of the most famous Westminster Abbey burials, Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Her reign, known as the Elizabethan era, is famous for a golden age of poetry, drama and music,  with playwrights such as Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe leading the creative charge, as well as exploration and colonizing the 'New World' of the Americas and Caribbean, with explorers such as Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh navigating the seas. She never married or had children, and died after 44 years on the throne in 1603. She shares her grave with half-sister Mary I. Where is her father Henry VIII buried? Henry VIII, the famously controversial English king, is buried in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. He was responsible for sweeping religious and political changes during his tenure. He is buried next to his third wife Jane Seymour, who gave him a son, Edward VI. Their burial spot is quite detailed and regal, making clear how instrumental a role he played in English history. Discover more historical facts About Henry VIII Sir Isaac Newton Considered one of the most influential scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton was a physicist and mathematician known for his work on the laws of motion, gravitation, classical mechanics, calculus, planetary motion, optics and more. Among other accolades, he was made President of the Royal Society and was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and died in his sleep in 1727. Sir Charles Barry You'd be excused for not knowing Sir Charles Barry's name, but you already know his work. An English architect in the 19th century, Barry is most well known for his work rebuilding the Palace of Westminster, more commonly known as the Houses of Parliament. You'll also see his work not too far away in Trafalgar Square, and at Highclere Castle (a few miles outside of London in Newbury), which famously served as the location of TV show Downton Abbey. He is one of the lesser-known figures found when the Westminster Abbey Tombs were opened. Charles Darwin A naturalist and geologist, Darwin is probably best known for his contribution to the science of evolution and publication of 'On the Origin of Species', where he introduced the process of natural selection. He's buried in the north aisle of the nave of Westminster Abbey. David Livingstone Best known for his exploration of Africa and infamous meeting with Henry Morton Stanley, which gave the world the phrase 'Dr. Livingstone, I presume?', David Livingstone was a Scottish explorer, missionary, and one of Victorian Britain's most prolific individuals. Coming from a working-class background, he not only discovered the sources of the River Nile, but he also crusaded for the abolition of slavery. He died in 1873 in Zambia, which is where his heart is buried, and his ashes were buried in the Abbey in 1874. Aphra Behn You may never have heard of her, but Aphra was a British playwright, poet and translator during the 17th century. Virginia Woolf once wrote 'All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn... in Westminster Abbey... it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds'. She was one of the first English women to earn a living from writing, and became a role model by breaking cultural barriers. She was even employed by Charles II as a spy!  Behn is buried in the East Cloister, not far from the steps into the Abbey. The Unknown Warrior The burial of an unidentified British soldier killed during the First World War is the first example of a tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He represents the thousands of individuals who died during the war. Six bodies were exhumed from various battlefields and were placed in unmarked coffins, before one was selected for burial in Westminster Abbey. Although there are many graves on the floors of the church, this is the only one you're not allowed to walk on. Who's buried in the Poet's Corner? Located in and around the Abbey's eastern aisle, in the south transept, the Poets' Corner is a special section of Westminster Abbey dedicated to poets, playwrights, and writers. You'll see such illustrious names as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Geoffrey Chaucer, T.S. Eliot, and more. Charles Dickens One of the most famous English writers, with classic books such as 'A Christmas Carol', 'David Copperfield', 'Oliver Twist' and many more, Charles Dickens is synonymous with the Victorian era. During his lifetime, he wrote novels and novellas, short stories and articles; he also gave lectures and campaigned for education and children's rights. He's buried in the Poet's Corner. Geoffrey Chaucer A scientist as well as writer and poet, the father of English literature died in 1400 and was the first poet to be buried in what's now referred to as Poets' Corner. Anyone who studied English literature will be familiar with his use of Middle English in works such as 'The Book of The Duchess', 'The Legend of Good Women', and most famously 'The Canterbury Tales'. Dr. Samuel Johnson Best known for his 'A Dictionary of the English Language', published in 1755, Dr. Samuel Johnson was one of the most influential writers of the 18th century. His book was viewed as the predominant British dictionary until the introduction of the Oxford English Dictionary 150 years later. He's buried just in front of Shakespeare's memorial. Rudyard Kipling Another literary icon buried in Poet's Corner is 'Jungle Book' author Rudyard Kipling, whose ashes were buried there after his passing in 1936. Born in 1860s colonial India, writer and poet Kipling was one of the main innovators of short stories. His children's books are classics to this day, with well-known titles such as 'Just So Stories for Little Children' and 'Kim'. Sir Laurence Olivier Perhaps one of the world's most legendary actors, Laurence Olivier dominated the world of acting the mid-20th century and played over 50 cinema roles. During his lifetime, he appeared in over 50 movies, and received a knighthood, a life peerage (becoming a baron), the Order of Merit, and four Academy Awards. The National Theatre's largest auditorium was named in his honor and he is commemorated every year in the Laurence Olivier Awards. Want to save money on those bucket-list attractions? Planning your London trip? With The London Pass®, you can explore big-name landmarks, local hotspots and epic tours, all on one pass, all for one price. Not only that, but you'll enjoy savings of up to 50%, compared to buying individual attraction tickets.  ✈️ Buy The London Pass® ✈️
Suz Pathmanathan

Top Spots for Christmas Ice-Skating in London

The top of our must-do list in the leadup to Christmas - check out our guide to the top spots for ice-skating in London The Christmas countdown has begun and it’s officially the festive season. With less than a month to go, we’re happy to enjoy the build up and make the most of the various events and activities going on in and around London in the meantime. One of the things that we love most about Christmas in London is that it means ice skating season! Experienced skaters and novices alike; ice skating is a great social activity in winter. It’s an excuse to don your woolly knits and strap on a pair of blades and do your best – all in the name of Christmas! There are plenty of places to go in London to get your fix, so here are some of our favourites: Natural History Museum Ice Rink Perhaps one of the most iconic ice rinks in London in the winter, the Natural History Museum is, arguably, an unbeatable backdrop for this romantic activity. Lit up at night, this ice rink is surrounded with trees draped in fairy-lights and is a great place to head with your loved one for a great selfie moment. Skate around the Christmas tree in the centre of the rink before you explore the Christmas stalls and chalets with mulled wine and chocolate treats on offer. You can’t help but feel the festive mood! From 25 October 2018 - 20 January 2019; Adult tickets from £12.65, child tickets from £8.80Underground stop: South Kensington Skate at Somerset House A favourite for local Londoners, Somerset House on the Strand is another of London’s most iconic buildings and at winter especially as it turns into something truly magical. Skate around the inner courtyard with friends and family and jig along to the sounds of a DJ on special club nights, too. Open well into the evening, Skate at Somerset House is a great way to end a day of sightseeing and enjoy an unusual night out. Wrap up warm because it could be a late one! Surrounding the rink are a variety of stalls in partnership with the luxury brand Fortnum & Mason, so you’ll be sure to taste some delicacies along the way. From 14 November 2018 – 13 January 2019; Adult tickets from £11, child tickets from £8.50Underground stop: Temple Hampton Court Palace The ice rink at Hampton Court Palace is one of our favourites for its location alone. Skating right outside this stunning royal palace, once home to King Henry VIII, you can’t beat it for a view! Why not combine a visit to Hampton Court Palace with ice skating for a really festive sightseeing experience. It’s one of the less crowded ice rinks so it might be a better option if you’re visiting with a family. If you need any more reason to go to Hampton Court Palace, just see what you can learn at this royal palace here. From 23 November 2018 – 6 January 2019; Adult tickets from £14.50, child tickets from £11.50Nearest station: Hampton Court train station Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park London’s winter playground, Winter Wonderland, is a haven for those after some festive cheer. Set in the middle of Hyde Park it’s a great place to go to get in the Christmas mood as it’s dotted with arts and craft stalls and wooden Bavarian-themed huts selling mulled wine and German sausages. You can’t miss Winter Wonderland’s outdoor ice rink either where you can skate under the bright fairground lights and ferris wheel and through this Magical Ice Kingdom. From 23 November 2018 – 6 January 2019; Adult tickets from £9.50, child tickets from £7.50Underground stops: Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Paddington and Victoria Tower Skate With the dramatic backdrop of The Tower of London on one side, and the buzzing atmosphere of the Thames on the other, could skating at the Tower of London be any more exciting? Oh yes, you’re skating inside the moat with lights beaming against the tower walls. After your skate, relax in their Cafe Bar with mulled wine and snacks. The Tower of London has named itself the most dramatic place to skate this Christmas, and we don’t think they’re wrong. If you want to go inside The Tower of London itself, entry is included with The London Pass. From 23 November 2018 - 6 January 2019; Adult tickets from £14.50, child tickets from £10.50Underground stop: Tower Hill Skyline Skating High above the bustling crowds on Oxford Street, located on top of the John Lewis department store, is a mini ice rink and gin bar. With views of the West End skyline, live music, gin cocktails and freshly baked pies, Skyline Skating is a skate experience like no other. After your skating session, enjoy the views while listening to music with drinks and snacks in hand. The rink only fits 21 people per session so booking is recommended. From 20 October 2018 - 6 January 2019; Adult tickets from £8, child tickets from £6Underground stop: Oxford Circus
Seren Morris

Pancake Day: The Best Pancakes In London

Pancakes. The simple act of mixing eggs, milk, flour and butter has no right being so good. But here we are. An advanced civilisation that has travelled to the stars, mastered electricity, and created front-facing phone cameras. And still, this humble mix of kitchen basics remains one of the most delicious concoctions anyone has ever dreamed up. So, how did we get here? Well, it's likely the popularity of one Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Day. Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was the pig-out event that preceded Lent, a Christian month of fasting and self-reflection before Easter. This involved using up all the bits and bobs left around the house, so you wouldn't be tempted to tuck in later on. And those ingredients I mentioned above? Turns out they make some pretty tasty things. These days, Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is something that everyone can enjoy. You don't even need to fast afterwards. And if you're in London, you can certainly make the most of it. There's no shortage of pancake places to visit. So, if you're the sort of person who flips a pancake straight onto the floor, or if every bout in the kitchen results in a fire, somehow, then head outside for some pancake-y treats. And you don't even have to do your own research - it's all here. Just for you. So, let's get on with it. Here are the best pancakes in London. Featuring: My Old Dutch Breakfast Club Christopher's and more! My Old Dutch Holborn If you want to be spoilt for choice, and you're partial to a savoury pancake too, then your first stop should be My Old Dutch in Holborn. Their menu is immense, featuring an A3 side of sweet and savoury pancakes to choose from. You could, of course, go for the traditional sorts. Sugar, lemon, maple syrup, etcetera. But, why not try something different? The eponymous My Old Dutch features smoked bacon, chicken, ham, peppers, mushrooms, sweet corn & cheese. Or, if you're vegan, they have a whole section full of guilt-free goodies. And, if you're still reeling from your post-Christmas/New Year's blowout, sample the Lite menu for tasty treats under 450 calories. But if you're going full-fat, go on an empty stomach. Their pancakes are massive. As wide as a large pizza, but a little kinder on the midriff. If you're planning on going there on the day itself, we'd recommend you book ahead. My Old Dutch is pretty popular, and we only imagine it'll be rammed on Pancake Day. If it's not their busiest time of year, then, people are peopling wrong. Breakfast Club Angel and other assorted locations If you're not already aware of Breakfast Club, here's the gist. Breakfast all day, every day. Taking inspiration from John Hughes' 80s brat-pack classic, Breakfast Club has made a name for itself all across London over the past decade. Step inside and you'll see walls plastered with memorabilia from the era. Movie posters, newspaper cuttings and the like. If you've walked past a small restaurant with a surprisingly large queue at 9 in the morning, then you've probably walked past a Breakfast Club. Naturally, they have a host of trans-Atlantic breakfast offerings to choose from. Including stacks of American-style pancakes that are sure to fill the belly of any Pancake Day enthusiast. There's the All American, with eggs, sausage, potatoes and bacon. Or pancakes with berries and even vegan pancakes for those of you living the clean life. Just bear in mind those queues we mentioned earlier. You can't book in advance, so especially on pancake day, aim to get there early and leave a little time to spare in case a queue has formed outside. Where The Pancakes Are Southwark The clue's in the name. This is another pancake house that specialises in sweet and savoury offerings. And the good news is that on Pancake Day they'll stay open until midnight. So, you've got plenty of time and literally no excuse not to go get your pancake on. Whatever that means. You've got your typical American offerings, as well as more unusual sweet offerings like the Banana Praline Marshmallow, which is relatively self-explanatory. And The Hummingbird, which features cinnamon-poached pineapple (yes, that's apparently a thing, and no, we didn't know about it either), lime syrup, pomegranate and toasted coconut. Or, if you're in the mood for another round of Christmas dinner - even if it's nearly 2 months late - try A Winter's Tale. Roast turkey, Brussel sprouts, cranberries and sage butter. And for a few extra quid, you can add a glass of mulled wine and feel extra Christmasy. Nice. Hash E8 Dalston This East London spot is another all-day breakfast place. Because breakfast is the best. And that's a fact. While Hash E8 doesn't specialise in pancakes, their fluffy offerings are some of the best in town. This self-stylised 'modern greasy spoon' offers your standard buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup, blueberry pancakes with yoghurt, and white chocolate pancakes with caramelised banana. It might seem slim compared to some of the other places on this list, but when the quality is this high, why not keep it simple? Of course, you could always add to your Pancake Day prize with a number of delicious sides. Why not throw in some hash browns, a bucket of bacon, and some grilled halloumi to boot? Simply divine. Christopher's Covent Garden For nearly 20 years, Christopher's has been giving Londoners the sweet taste of American cuisine. The restaurant is housed in what was London's first licenced casino, but you won't be taking a gamble when you check out their pancakes! Sorry, that was terrible. If you're looking for something a little more bespoke this Pancake Day, then Christopher's is a great shout. 'Why', we hear your brains chanting. Well, because Christopher's allows you to build your own pancakes. Not literally. Like, obviously they'll make the batter and cook it for you. No, instead you get to put whatever the hell you want on it. How about spicing up your buttermilk discs of delight with some avocado, lime peel and ketjap manis? Or add a little spice to your chocolate pancakes, craft them into a makeshift volcano, and top them off with a single cherry tomato? You'll lava it. Sorry again, we'll stop. Whatever and however you like your pancakes, you're bound to be satisfied at Christopher's. Book ahead, though. It's rather popular, and given the build-your-own offerings, it's bound to be packed full of evil monsters dunking their pancakes in marmite and mustard. With olives. And pineapple. Shudder. And those are the best pancakes in London, just in time for Pancake Day! Did we miss any of your favourites? Let us know below. And while you're here, if you're making an early start to get ahead of the pancake -seeking competition before work, why not start with some great coffee to perk you up? Or, if you want to work off some of that sweet cakey goodness, why not take the day off and burn those calories to dust on a walking tour?
Dom Bewley

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