On the anniversary of the spectacular London Olympic Games, we look at the top museums in England, dedicated to various sporting activities and pursuits.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Tours, London
The UK is still savouring Andy Murray’s awesome win at Wimbledon earlier this month, as he became the first British Men’s Singles Champion since 1936. And now you too can imbibe the atmosphere at London’s LTA Museum, which has interactive displays and films. Glimpse the glistening trophies and wonder at the historical tennis memorabilia which dates back to 1555, from outfits, racquets and balls. And from October there is ‘Viewpoint’ a 3D cinema experience that brings the game to life. There are also guided tours on offer of the grounds and behind the scenes areas.
Old Trafford Museum and Tour, Manchester
Mighty Manchester United is one of the biggest and most successful football teams in the world and you can tour the hallowed turf at Old Trafford. The museum charts their 130 year history and the fascinating stadium tour this year includes a glimpse into the major task of renewing all the turf for the 2013/2014 football season. Walk the players’ tunnel, peek inside the changing room and admire the array of trophies and silverware.
And if you want more football in your life, check out the National Football Museum which is also based in Manchester. This museum only opened a year ago and focusses on the cultural aspects of the sport on the country. It charts the rise and rise of football, from its humble beginnings as an everyday sport. The FIFA collection is amongst the 140,000 items, which is completely free to explore.
MCC Cricket Museum, Lords Cricket Ground, London
Now in its 60th year, the MCC Museum is one of the oldest museums in the world dedicated to sport. Its displays date back to 1864 with the highlights being the original Ashes urn, which rarely leaves the building. Other pieces include actual cricket kits over the years, including Shane Warne’s kit, cricket paintings and footage of incredible cricketing performances in the Brian Johnston Memorial Theatre.
The National Horseracing Museum, Newmarket
Explore the world of horseracing in Newmarket with interesting tours, galleries and exhibitions. The Equine tours allow you to glimpse behind the scenes and tour the gallops in the town. The galleries feature various exhibits including the origins of racing, the thoroughbreds, owners and trainers and of course the famous jockeys. The three legends of Steve Donoghue, Sir Gordon Richards and Lester Piggott are all heavily featured. The You Bet! gallery charts how betting on horseracing has shaped the sport.
National Badminton Museum, Milton Keynes
For anyone that’s into Badminton, the national museum will prove interesting. On display this year is the incredibly rare Jaques “Cavendish” fishtail handle badminton racket, an original 1928 winners’ cup and Yonex BWF World Championships 20111 winner’s Lin Dan’s signed shoe.
Brooklands Museum, Weybridge, Surrey
Both aviation and motorsports are celebrated at the Brooklands Museum in the south of England. This fascinating museum charts English motoring history from 1907 right up to the present day including section on the motor industry and motor racing. The aviation section covers flying pioneers and flying schools as well as World War I and II.
World Rugby Museum, Twickenham
Home of the England rugby team, Twickenham charts the national team’s heritage and successes. Visitors can witness the buzz around the grounds as preparations are underway for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Take a tour of the changing rooms, tunnels and trophy room.