Even if you know nothing about cricket (like me), a tour of Lord's Cricket Ground is a fascinating day out. You'll find out more about the history of the club, the architecture and the nuances of the game and see areas generally not available to the public.
Lord's is considered the 'Home of Cricket' and its owner, Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), remains the guardian of both the Laws and the Spirit of Cricket.
Lord's is also the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), as well as the European Cricket Council (ECC).
Within the grounds, is the MCC Museum which houses over 400 years of cricket history. Highlights include the Wisden Trophy and, of course, the original Ashes urn, but the museum also has bats, balls and kit donated by great players like Mahela Jayawardene, Glenn McGrath, Paul Collingwood and Shane Warne - as well as from past greats such as Victor Trumper, Jack Hobbs and Don Bradman.
Above all, Lord's is the setting for some of the best cricket in the world.
Tours of Lord's
Tours run daily all year round and give visitors the opportunity to go behind the scenes at MCC's historic ground, where they can see many of the most famous sights in world cricket. Tours last around 1 hour 40 minutes and start in the MCC Museum, which is within the Lord's ground.
Be aware, photography is not allowed within the buildings but you can take photos at some great vantage points around the ground.
The tour starts with the most famous exhibit in the Museum: the incredibly small Ashes urn. Our Guide told us all about the history of the Ashes and that this urn is actually never given to the winning side as it is so fragile.
As a match was being played on the day I visited we couldn't go to the dressing rooms so instead we went to the Film Theatre to see the replica Honour's Board. (The original Honour's Boards are in the dressing rooms.)
Our Guide was incredibly knowledgeable about Lord's and cricket in general and there was some great banter with the group posing questions to her and the Guide testing our cricket knowledge in return. The discussion about pre-match and dressing room superstitions was hilarious and left us all comfortable to ask questions throughout the tour.
We saw the Nursery Ground and then headed up to the iconic Media Centre that was built for the 1999 World Cup. This gave us a good view of the famous slope across the field at Lord's.
We then had the opportunity to sit in the stands and found out more about all the stands and the Pavilion architecture. The Grandstand is the third version built and the latest was made possible with funding for expansion to allow women in the Ground; something that was not possible before 1998.
Many of the group hadn't realized that Lord's is named so because it was owned by someone called 'Lord'; many had presumed it was a 'Lords and Ladies' reference. (Of course, the apostrophe should have been the clue.) This is the third location for Thomas Lord's cricket ground and the first game was played here in 1815.
Do look up to see the famous weathervane that is apparently 6ft high. It portrays Old Father Time and is located above the clock between The Mound and the Tavern Stands.
The tours ends with a visit inside The Pavilion to the Long Room which leads to the player's dressing rooms. This is where every player has to walk through on their way to the field and on their way back. There are some interesting portraits and a trophy cabinet to see too.
We laughed a lot as a group on this tour and I think I can honestly say everyone came away happy. I chatted to some of the group in the museum and shop later and everyone had been impressed by the Guide and the tour in general.
After the tour you're free to return to the Museum (most of us did) and there are options for discounts at the eateries within the ground with your tour ticket.
I stopped to watch some of the match that was on that day as it was a free admission so there was no problem with finding a seat.
The Lord's shop is near the East Gate and has a selection of souvenirs, replica Ashes urns, and a wide range of clothing and books.
Tickets may be purchased in advance or on the day. Open-ended tickets are available as gifts.
Booking: 020 7616 8595 or buy tickets online.
You can also buy Lord's Cricket Ground Tour tickets through Viator.
Tours run all year with three daily tours from April to September and two daily tours from October to March. Check the official website for latest information.
Official website: lords.org/tours
There are no tours on major match days at Lord's, or on preparation days; and during minor matches the Long Room will be accessible only on the 10am tour.
Address: Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood, London NW8 8QN
Nearest Tube Stations: St John's Wood station is a 10 minute walk, Baker Street and Marylebone stations are a 15 minute walk.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.