Oval cricket

It’s great to go to see the match or the play, or the concert, but you can get even closer to celebrities and heroes by taking a backstage or behind-the-scenes tour.  Here, you can get a real sense of the nerves, the anticipation, what it is to put on sporting colours or a costume.  You can imagine the hoards of journalists clamouring to get your picture, the roar of the crowd and the thunderous applause.  And you can tread the paths of legends.   GoMunkee has selected some of the UK’s biggest, best and most unusual behind the scenes tours which will fascinate parents and children of all ages.

If football floats your boat, then take in a stadium tour or two.  Stamford Bridge is home to Chelsea FC.  Chelsea’s one hour tour is fun, informative and unforgettable.  Glimpse behind the scenes at one of the world’s greatest football clubs, and access areas normally reserved for players and officials, plus various stands in the stadium.  Look into the dressing room of footballing heroes and sit in Jose Mourinho’s chair in the press room…

If you want to experience what the the roar of the crowd sounds like on match day as the players head out onto the pitch through the tunnel, try the new Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium Tour   Hear it from heroes,  see it for yourself.  The tour lets a host of Arsenal stars share their match-day experiences as you explore behind-the-scenes at Arsenal with new audio tour.  Hear from the boss as you take your place in the changing room,  explore the museum and test your Arsenal knowledge against one of the Arsenal experts.

Other football stadium tours include Manchester United’s Theatre of Dreams Tour at Old Trafford, and Liverpool FC’s Anfield Tour.  All clubs like to engage with their fans, so most offer a peek behind the scenes to their loyal supporters.

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Anyone for tennis?  A tour of  Wimbledon Tennis Club and Museum presents a fantastic opportunity to experience the home of The Championships and see close up the world’s most prestigious tennis venue.  The tour includes Centre Court, No.1 Court, the Picnic Terraces and Water Gardens, the Millennium Building and press interview room.

An absolute must for fans of English rugby is the iconic Twickenham Stadium.   Twickenham Stadium is the largest stadium in the world, purely devoted to rugby.  The tour takes you behind the scenes to visit the some of the most exciting and select areas of the stadium.  It  includes the royal box, hospitality suites, medical room, players’ tunnel, breathtaking views of the arena from the top of the stand and finally a pitchside walk.  The highlight of the trip is a visit to the England dressing room where visitors learn about the match-day preparations and routines of international rugby players.

If cricket is more your thing, then Surrey Cricket would like to invite you to visit their historic home. The Kia Oval Ground Tour provides its visitors the chance to discover the history behind the iconic International Stadium, not only for cricket but its contribution to many other sports.  Did you know?  The first ever FA CUP Final was played at the Oval in 1872.

Taking in the historic Members’ Pavilion, visitors can see the historic Long Room, Galadari Museum, Library and the prestigious Committee Room.  They can experience the players’ dressing rooms along with backstage access to see where the players train.  This includes the Ken Barrington Indoor Cricket Centre and Gym.  They can also see the Kia Oval from a media perspective, exploring the Brian Johnston Broadcasting Centre and the Sydney Pardon Press Box.  On the tour there’s the chance to step onto the world renowned outfield and take in some stunning views across London from the newly re-furbished Corinthian Roof Terrace.

Looking to up the pace a bit?  Then why not take in  The Silverstone Tour where you can explore the track of legends, go behind the scenes and experience the thrill of this world famous circuit?

Wembley Stadium has played host to thousands of significant events. From England’s glorious World Cup victory in 1966, the unforgettable Live Aid concert in 1985, FC Barcelona’s stunning UEFA Champion’s League triumph in 2011 to the historic ongoing tradition of the FA Cup Final.  This tour gives you the chance to relive your greatest moments, and create some new ones, as you go behind-the-scenes at the most famous stadium in the world.  You can sense the history of the England changing rooms, take Roy Hodgon’s hot-seat in the Press Room and take photos from some of the best views in the stadium.  Visitors can literally feel the tension of the players’ tunnel, climb the 107 sacred Trophy Winner’s steps and visit the Royal Box.  They can even get their hands on a true replica of the FA Cup.

There’s also the Millennium Stadium Tour  in Cardiff, with most large stadiums in cities across the UK offering tours.

Moving from sport to the movies, revel in the complete Harry Potter Experience at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London   which shows the making of Harry Potter films.  Or step inside the BBC by going on a studio tour.

If you fancy a bit of culture, explore the backstage life of London’s National Theatre.   The Royal Opera House backstage tour offers a chance for families to learn about the history of the Royal Opera House and see what goes on in the labyrinth behind the opera in a free, short, backstage tour.  There is also a Performance Backstage Tour and a Velvet, Gilt and Glamour Tour of the auditorium, focusing on architecture.

Many West End and provincial theatres will let you into some of their stage secrets on their tours.  A visit to Angels, The Costumiers in London, while strictly limited, provides a fascinating insight into the country’s leading costumier, which supplies costumes for film, television and theatrical productions, including period costumes and uniforms.

And if you’re looking for something completely different, why not take a tour around Kent’s nuclear power station, Dungeness B | Power stations | EDF Energy?  Or explore Tower Bridge’s iconic structure, current exhibitions and magnificent Victorian Engine Rooms with a Tower Bridge Exhibition tour – the only way to truly experience the most famous bridge in the world.  Find out about other interesting venues to explore, by registering with GoMunkee

© GoMunkee 2015

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