Chelsea Stadium Tours operate three times each day, except for match days and bank holidays, at Chelsea FC’s imposing Stamford Bridge Stadium, off Fulham Road, in west London. Whether you’re a Blue or not, anybody with an interest in the beautiful game will enjoy the family attraction that is the 42,000-capacity arena. Among the facilities on show are the Centenary Museum and Chelsea Stadium Tours that kick off from there. Chelsea Stadium Tours run for an hour and a quarter and are presented in English and Cockney.
Erected in 1876 for athletic meetings, the Bridge became the home of Chelsea FC in 1905 and welcomed that year’s Khaki FA Cup Final. The legend of Fatty Foulkes and the development of the Shed Stand is but one area of the club’s history detailed in enthralling style at the Museum, a section of original terracing greeting ticket holders to Chelsea Stadium Tours.
The Museum’s galleries feature cutting edge hi-tech touch-screens, sound effects, glass cases with artefacts, and reams of photo montages and flat-screen TVs reliving memorable moments. One of the exhibits focuses on Speedway and Greyhounds – detailing the other sports played at Stamford Bridge over the decades, including American football, rugby, baseball and cricket. There are also displays about The War; Wembley; Champions 1955, 2005/6; King’s Road Swingers; Cup Kings; The Battle for the Bridge (with Messrs. Hoddle and Gullitt); and Revolution, looking at the Abramovic era, Jose Mourinho and beyond.
Highlights of the memorabilia collection at the family attraction include mannequins showing off original football strips, pendants, footballs, Seamus O’Connell’s England caps and medals, Roy Bentley’s boots and contract from Ted Drake’s 1955 championship team, and Jose Mourinho’s Armani jacket. Crucial points in the club’s history – triumph, tragedy and more besides – are related, providing both an educational and entertaining family day out. Photos of a heaving Bridge in 1935 when 82,910 fans watched Chelsea and Arsenal, as well as the Moscow Dynamo match, when some 120,000 packed in, nestle by images of past and present legends, from Osgood and Bonetti, to Drogba and Cech.
A footy family day out takes in normally out of bounds areas like the players’ tunnel (with the sound of supporters played to enliven the ticket holder’s experience) and Home and Away dressing rooms – where you can try on a shirt – the managers’ pitch-side dug-outs, the tactics room, press room, and the Champions Room, with its three trophy cabinets. A Chelsea Stadium Tours guide outlines player rituals and superstitions, policing and security measures, and tales from the Shed Upper Tier, which provides a grand vista unlike that of any other family attraction.
Ticket holders on the Chelsea Stadium Tours can take in the Chelsea Megastore, where a raft of wares are available. With disabled access throughout, it’s an all-year round family attraction that can be enjoyed by everybody.
Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, London, SW6
Tel: 0871 9841955
Times: Monday-Sunday, 9:30-17.00 (last entry is at 16.00).
Tours at 10.00, 10.30, 11.00, 11.30, 12 noon, 12.30, 13.00, 13.30, 14.00, 14.30, and 15.00
Matchdays, 9:30am to kick-off, with last entry one hour prior to kick-off.