Your Guide to London Wembley
Where is Wembley?
Wembley is probably the one location in the world that conjures up images of major sporting and entertainment events in your mind, and rightly so as it’s home to Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena! Base yourself in Wembley when you come to London and you’ll find yourself in the London borough of Brent in North West London, surrounded by places like Harrow, Hampstead, Harlesden Acton. This world-famous area is well served by the Metropolitan and Bakerloo tube lines, the London Overground Railway and a multitude of bus routes. It lies within Tube Zone 4 on the underground, and the London Congestion Charge affects no part of Wembley.
History of Wembley
The name Wembley comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Wembalea’ meaning ‘Wemba’s forest clearing’, which later became the triangular Wembley Green. Throughout the Middle Ages, woods covered much of the surrounding area, but by the 16th Century, Wembley, although a small village, was one of the richest in Harrow, surviving first by arable and then hay farming. It was an extremely prosperous place to live and it's popularity grew amongst the upper classes. Animal farming in the 19th century replaced the original industries.
With the development of transport, the Harrow Road became the major route from London to the North. The first railway station, now Wembley Central, opened in 1842, and it was not long before suburban housing with shops, a hospital and improved transport links, placed Wembley well and truly on the map. This ‘beautiful and salubrious little suburb’ became the site of Wembley Stadium, which in 1923 held the Football Cup Final. As the 20th Century progressed, Wembley also became an icon of ethnic diversity in London, while the last 30 years have seen the addition of some defining characteristics, such as Wembley Market. More recently, the old Wembley Stadium was demolished in 2003 to make way for a newer version, which is now a major part of London’s skyline and one tourist attraction that you must visit!
The Positives of Wembley
If your coming to watch a sporting event or concert in Wembley City (where you’ll find Wembley Stadium and Wembley Arena), it definitely makes sense to stay in one of the hotels in Wembley; they are conveniently placed and far cheaper than hotels in the city centre. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be cut off from the rest of the capital though, as the transport links in Wembley are so fantastic that you’ll be able to travel to all the tourist attractions that you want to see with ease. The variety of pubs and restaurants will provide you with a more than adequate selection of refreshments too! Also, the ethnic diversity of the area has created a vibrant, bustling atmosphere for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Need to Know Wembley
With so much investment being placed into Wembley City and linked transport facilities, other areas of Wembley have suffered. With the superb Brent Cross Shopping Centre less than 10 minutes away and the popular Harrow Shopping Centre 15 minutes away, Wembley High Street doesn’t attract all the major chain stores – merely individual, relatively unknown shops that cater for the diverse ethnic backgrounds that make up the area. However, there is undoubtedly a wide choice of goods that you probably won’t find elsewhere! Also, due to the international recognition of Wembley Stadium, parking and travelling by car become difficult on operational days at the stadium. So go by tube if you’re going to the match!