Lords Tour is located at Marylebone Cricket Club’s Lords ground off Wellington Road in posh St. John’s Wood, London. It’s a family attraction that will enthral not only to cricket buffs but anyone wanting a novel and memorable family day out. Ticket holders can take the Lords Tour (two or three operate each day – detailed at the Lords Tour website) and have the chance to peek behind the scenes of one of the planet’s premier sporting institutions and to enjoy a thrilling and enjoyable insight into how key events are staged at ‘The Home of Cricket’. The Lords Tour last for about two hours, and there’s a host of other attractions on hand as well.
The MCC Museum is the world’s oldest sports museum and houses the Ashes urn. It relates the 400-years of the noble sport through paintings, photos and other items. Among them are the Wisden Trophy, kits donated by Mahela Jayawardene, Glenn McGrath, Rahul Dravid, Paul Collingwood, Shane Warne, Victor Trumper, Jack Hobbs and Don Bradman, and a poster advertising a cricket match from 1837.
Additionally, there’s a Wisden alamanac that cricketer ‘Jim’ Swanton held during his incarceration in a Japanese prisoner camp in the Second World War, and even the stuffed sparrow ‘bowled’ by Jehangir Khan in 1936! Not something you’ll see at any old family attraction!
A captivating family day out on the Lords Tour includes the Pavilion’s Long Room and art gallery, with paintings of the likes of WG Grace, whose amazing career is commemorated by busts and memorabilia acquired since 1864.
The Lords Tour takes in the England Honours Boards, with century-scoring players (100+) or those who claimed five wickets. They include Jack Hobbs, Les Ames, Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood, ‘Gubby’ Allen and Ian Botham. The Away team dressing room features a Board listing Victor Trumper, Viv Richards, Bishen Bedi, Waqar Younis, Keith Miller and Garry Sobers.
The Lords Tour also goes by the players’ Dressing Rooms, the Tennis Court where Real Tennis is still played, and an Indoor Cricket School, with HawkEye technical analysis and 100mph bowling machines. The Brian Johnston Memorial Theatre airs film of historic performances, ensuring ticket holders have an illuminating and entertaining family day out.
The Lords Tour offers superb vistas of the Grand Stand, Mound Stand, Investec Media Centre and Lord’s Shop, which has exclusive souvenirs. (And architectural tours are available as well).
Furthermore, a ticket for the Lords Tour grants holders access to the Brian Lara: His Story Exhibition on the upper floor, honouring his world record high scores in Test and first-class cricket. The exhibit provides context, looking at West Indies cricket and focusing on his childhood, influences, batting successes, three captaincies and life after retirement in 2007. There are pieces from his personal collection, notably a kit, bats used to score 375 and 400 runs, a jacket from Nelson Mandela and the 1994 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award. There are also family photos and recollections, along with those of family, cricketers and commentators, providing an informative and inspirational element to a family day out.
The Lords Tour welcomes education trips and, with disabled access and facilities, it’s a family day out that everybody will be bowled over by.
Lord’s Cricket Tour Ground, St. Johns Wood Road, London, NW8 8QZ
Times: Tours daily at 10.00, 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.00