Visit London Blog » wembley arena Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:10:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 I’m With the Band: Top 10 London Attractions for Musicians Tue, 04 Mar 2014 09:00:36 +0000

London has long been a magnet for the world’s most famous singers and bands – and it’s produced a fair few itself, from Queen to Amy Winehouse. So the city is full of great attractions where musicians and lovers of music can learn about their idols, buy classic records and even record a tune. Here are 10 of the best:

Abbey Road
The iconic Beatles album cover picturing the famous four walking over a zebra crossing on London’s Abbey Road has inspired endless copies and parodies. The nearby Abbey Road Studios are not open to the public (unless you’ve booked a recording session), but they do have a live web cam online so why tell your friends back home to look out for you doing the famous walk?

Jersey Boys
Even if you’re not familiar with the name Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, you’ll know their songs: Bye Bye Baby (Baby Goodbye), Big Girls Don’t Cry, Beggin’, December 1963 (better known as Oh What A Night)… the list goes on. So Jersey Boys, the Olivier Award-winning musical about the band, is a must for all music fans – even if you think you’re not into musicals! Other great musicals to check out include Thriller – Live (Michael Jackson) and We Will Rock You (Queen).

British Music Experience
Roll back the years at the British Music Experience (located inside The O2) and explore amazing outfits, instruments, videos, photos and other memorabilia from the past and present of British popular music. Look out for John Lennon’s glasses, Ziggy Stardust’s 1970s number outfit and ‘Ginger Spice’ Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress. Plus you can show your best moves in the Dance The Decades booth, record a track in the Gibson Interactive Studio and transport yourself to some of the biggest concerts of the past 60 years in The Finale.

Open Mic Night at The Spice of Life
Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Jamie Cullum have all performed at The Spice of Life in Soho. And you can too if you pop along to its Open Mic Night, held every Monday. Make use of the in-house piano and PA, or bring along your own instrument. The music kicks off at 7pm, but performers should sign up at 6.30pm to be sure of getting a spot.

Denmark Street
Denmark Street, near Leicester Square, is known as London’s Tin Pan Alley. Both sides of the small street are lined with music shops, including Wunjo Guitars (selling new, used and vintage guitars), Vintage & Rare Guitars and Stick around into the evening to enjoy live music at the intimate 12 Bar Club or Alleycat Bar Club, located below Regent Sounds Studio – where the Rolling Stones recorded their first album.

Rock and Roll London Walk
If you love to be regaled by tales of rockstar exploits, book a spot on the fascinating, two-hour-long Rock and Roll London Walk. You’ll visit the famous Marquee Club, pop into the pub where Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton once jammed, discover the location of the Sex Pistols’ world debut, and much more. No need to book, just turn up at Tottenham Court Road station (Exit 3) any Friday at 2pm.

Honest Jon’s Records
Arguably the most legendary of London’s independent record stores, Honest Jon’s is the retail arm of the acclaimed record label of the same name. Specialising in reggae, jazz and soul, Honest Jon’s has enjoyed a colourful, rollercoaster existence since its birth in 1974 and is still considered to be one of London’s best record shops by those in the know.

Wembley Arena
Every musician dreams of shouting “Hello Wembley!” to a sea of screaming fans – and many have done it, including Madonna, David Bowie and Prince. Check out Visit London’s music section for listings of gigs taking place every night across London at venues including Wembley Arena.

Music Gallery at Horniman Museum
See, hear and play instruments from around the world at Horniman Museum – from a 3,500-year-old pair of Egyptian bone clappers to a retro synth. Make time to visit ongoing exhibition The Art of Harmony, exploring Western classical music traditions, as well as the Hands-On Base, where you can give the instruments a go. Other London music museums to check out are The Royal Academy of Music Museum and The Royal College of Music’s Museum of Instruments.

Hard Rock Cafe
Today there are Hard Rock Cafes all around the world, but the London branch is where it all began in 1971. The walls of the restaurant – and the vault below – are lined with memorabilia, including the first piece donated to the cafe: Eric Clapton’s Lead II Fender. You may even spot the odd rock star popping in for a burger, according to the cafe – or witness one of the occasional jamming sessions. And if you don’t, you’ll still get a great meal out of it.

]]> 0
What’s On This Weekend. 29 March – 1 April 2013 Mon, 25 Mar 2013 09:00:36 +0000 It’s a long weekend thanks to the Easter bank holidays, meaning that there’s even more to do in London than usual. A selection of great options is below, and you can check out our Easter Weekend page for more ideas.

The BNY Mellon Boat Race

Watch the thrilling race between Oxford and Cambridge universities on the river Thames. The BNY Mellon Boat Race is one of the world’s most famous sporting competitions and sees two teams of eight rowers competing over the Championship Course between Putney and Mortlake. It’s free to watch this exciting annual event, and as well as standing on the riverbank, you can enjoy special celebratory events in Bishops Park and Furnival Gardens. 4.30pm, 31 Mar

Sacred Tarts at Barts, Smithfield

Enjoy alternative Easter treats at Barts Pathology Museum, which is hosting a special pop-up cake shop on Saturday. Taking place from 11am to 7pm, Sacred Tarts is a Christian-themed cake shop and show which offers topical confections such as cake popes, cupcake saints and stigmata cookies. You can also enjoy a holy spirit or two from the Miracle Messiah bar. 30 Mar

The Harlem Globetrotters at Wembley Arena

Basketball legends the Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their family show to Wembley Arena this Saturday as part of the “You Write The Rules” tour. The brand new team, which includes their first female player for two decades, will be demonstrating their skills and entertaining the audience with amazing tricks. Tickets start from £14.25. 30 Mar

The Wandsworth Common Beer Festival

Head to the magnificently eerie Royal Victoria Patriotic Building by Wandsworth Common for one of London’s most popular beer festivals. You can sample more than 120 real ales here, alongside a variety of ciders, perries and English wines. Food and live music are also on offer, and tickets are £4. 27-31 Mar

Park in Progress Tour at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Take a peek behind the scenes of the Olympic Park transformation on this fascinating tour. Not only will you get an exclusive insight into what the future holds for the site, but you will also take a trip up the ArcelorMittal Orbit, from where you’ll have a great view over London. Tickets start from £15. 29 Mar – 6 May

]]> 0
Player Draw for World Badminton Championships Announced Mon, 25 Jul 2011 15:18:08 +0000

The countdown is on to the YONEX BWF World Badminton Championships at Wembley Arena next month as the results of the player draw for the tournament were announced this morning.

Gail Emms, former Olympic silver medallist, celebrated at the Tower of London with two Yeoman of the Guard (Beefeaters), commenting:

“The Championships are a fantastic opportunity for the public to show support for the British athletes.  With excitement building for 2012, the battle for the World Badminton Championships this year is set to be an exciting one, and I know how important our home crowd support will be in getting behind the players.  I urge all badminton fans to lift the roof of the famous Wembley Arena!”

The draw including a tough first round match for British No. 1 Rajiv Ouseph against Danish Peter Gade (who has beaten him six times in the past); Susan Egelstaff of Scotland will play Canadian Michelle Li; and in mixed doubles Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork received a bye into the second round where they will likely face Malaysian players Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh.

See full results of the draw for English and Scottish players.

YONEX BWF World Badminton Championships 2011, 8-14 Aug 2011. Buy tickets

]]> 0
Disney on Ice at Wembley Arena Tue, 15 Mar 2011 15:00:28 +0000

Wembley was crawling with little people over the weekend.

Boys and girls of all ages descended on the North London suburb to meet some of their favourite cartoon characters, up-close-and-personal. I am of course talking about the Disney On Ice Disneyland Adventure. Now touring the country, the show spent a few days at Wembley Arena last week.

My boys – aged seven, five and two – could not believe their luck when we took to our seats. At the front of the stage, we had an unobstructed view of all the action. And what a lot of it there was.

Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy were our guides for the morning, as we joined them on a fun-filled tour of the Disneyland theme park. The enchanted Tikki room, It’s a Small World, Space Mountain and other Disney attractions sprang to life metres in front of us.

The flimsy plotline made no difference to my wide-eyed kids. Each time a new character took to the stage, my youngest announced their arrival at full volume: “Baloo! Buzz! Woody!”

The excitement mounted as Mickey and pals prepared for the Disney parade. The characters skated out one-by-one, impressing the audience with their daring leaps and spins, until one of Disney’s most evil witches brought proceedings to a sudden halt.

Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent cast an evil spell over the arena, prompting our heroes to fall into a 100-year sleep. Never fear, however, as The Incredibles saved the day after the interval.

The kids had a blast, though many of the parents may have felt slightly less impressed by the travelling Disney money-spinner. If you take the whole family, expect to find a rather large hole burnt into your pocket. On top of the tickets, there are extras to consider such as a programme (£9), popcorn (£8), candy floss (£7.50) and flashing Mr Incredible (£15).

Still, the experience was priceless, as far as my youngest was concerned. As he lay his head down on his pillow that night he turned to me and said, “That show was really great Mummy.”

The London run of the show is now finished, but for more information about other UK dates visit

]]> 1
Top Five Comedy Shows to Look Out for in 2011 Mon, 03 Jan 2011 10:00:15 +0000 There’s some top comedy in London coming up this year. Five stand-up comedians touring in 2011 that you should buy tickets for now are:

]]> 1
Rhythmic Gymnastics to be held at Wembley Arena for the 2012 Olympics Fri, 14 May 2010 10:22:40 +0000

The international gymnastics federation (FIG) announced this week that the Rhythmic Gymnastics events will be held at Wembley Arena for the London 2012 Olympics.

Rhythmic Gymnastics and the Olympic Badminton competitions were originally scheduled to be held at a temporary venue near the Olympic Park in East London.

But London Olympic Games organisers decided last year to scrap the temporary facility and relocate both sports to Wembley Arena, which will save up to £40 million. A similar announcement is expected from the Badminton powers-that-be soon.

Wembley Arena seats 12,500 and is London’s second largest indoor arena (The O2 is the biggest). Wembley Arena underwent a £35 million renovation five years ago and, as you can see from the pic, it’s looking very flash these days.

Wembley Arena has hosted some huge names in the past and this year has concerts by Flight of The Conchords, Green Day and John Mayer. Stunning acrobats Cirque du Soleil will also take to the famous stage in July.

We trust the Olympic rhythmic gymnasts will enjoy competing at Wembley Arena.

]]> 1
Walking with Dinosaurs Thu, 06 Aug 2009 11:14:24 +0000 An even scarier T. Rex, from Walking with Dinosaurs

It’s turning into Dinosaur week in London. Which, as any six year old, or any grown up dino-nut (guilty as charged), will tell you is only right and proper.

Last night saw the first London performance of Walking with Dinosaurs at The O2. It’s on there until Sunday and then comes to Wembley Arena at the end of the month.

Huxley the paleontologist narrates the journey from the first dinosaur eggs in the triassic through to the meteor impact at the close of the cretaceous (was that a spoiler?). He does the science bit, covering evolution and plate tectonics to tell how the world and its animals and plants have changed over millions of years. But the stars are, of course, the dinosaurs themselves – nine different species, plus one pterosaur.

T. rex is, as in all dino-films, a shameless scene stealer, stomping and roaring as she defends her child from a pair of (justifiably) upset herbivores.

For me the stars were the Brachiosaurs. When Huxley describes the beast towering over him as a youngster and goes on to tell how much bigger he will grow (as tall as a three storey building, as long as two buses, as heavy as ten adult elephants “give or take an adult elephant”) you may think “ah, that’s why they made a small one, there’s no way they could do an adult”, but then a full grown titan joins him in the arena!

The dinosaurs are wonderful creations – they look, move and sound like living animals. For anyone who loves, or even just likes a little bit, dinos, this is probably the closest we’ll come to seeing them in life.

Tickets are selling out fast so book now or enter our competition to win a family ticket.

]]> 2
Dinosaurs in London Wed, 05 Aug 2009 09:31:21 +0000 Scary t Rex at the Natural History Museum

Dinosaurs are taking over London! We’ve met dinosaurs at The Proms and Walking with Dinosaurs arrives at The O2 tonight.

Are you planning to see Walking with Dinosaurs at The O2 or Wembley Arena? You’ll see full size dinos roaring and fighting on stage!

If you love dinosaurs, head to either the Natural History Museum or Crystal Palace Park before the show for more prehistoric scares.

The Natural History Museum is home to an impressive collection of dinosaur fossils. Get close to dinosaur skeletons and explore the science behind these big creatures. What does dinosaur skin look like? Did you know that there are still dinosaurs alive on earth today? What did they eat and will they eat you? Find out the answers to all your dinosaur questions at the Natural History Museum.

If you want to meet dinosaurs in the wild, visit Crystal Palace Park. These life size sculptures were built by the Victorians and you’ll find them lurking in the woods like a real life Jurassic Park. Scientific understanding about dinosaurs has moved on a bit since these dudes were created so there’s a few funny faces and poses, but they’re still scary and huge.

Entry to the Natural History Museum and Crystal Palace Park is free. It’s not too late to book tickets for Walking With Dinosaurs.

]]> 0