As the ancestral home of cricket, England has always been one of the leading forces in the sport. Regardless of the team’s strengths and the nation’s competitive success, there will always be a core support for the game. It’s just a part of England’s DNA, an essential strand of what makes the place what it is. England without cricket is India without spice, Spain without peppers, China without silk.
It’s a different England though, to the one found in the capital. It’s one of village greens and communities, of tight knit teams working together on a sunny Saturday, before eating little triangle of bread, butter and cucumber. So coming up with a list of the top 10 cricket grounds in London should be a bit of a tough task. There are 2 or 3 well known ones, but after that most people go blank.
What has to be remembered though, is that London isn’t all smoke and concrete. The centre of the city may be thoroughly inappropriate for cricket pitches, but head outwards and the provincial towns of greater London are perfect for hosting this traditional sport.
This is such an obvious inclusion that we were almost hesitant about choosing it. One of the most famous grounds in the world and a sure thing for the top 2 of any list of the best cricket grounds in London, The Oval is definitely well known. In the end though, we couldn’t leave it off. It might be well known, but it got that way for a reason. Arguably the best ground in the country, it has it all. Easy transport links, great services, great seating, amazing atmosphere. What more could you want?
The Oval is located at: Kia Oval, Kennington, London SE11 5SS
To find out more please visit: http://www.kiaoval.com/
If the Oval is Cricket’s Old Trafford, then Lord’s is its Wembley. This historical site is the most prestigious ground in the world. Players dream of playing on its hallowed soil one day, and the reputation alone makes it a must visit for any fan of the sport. Modern renovations have brought into line with the more recent stadiums and it’s relatively easy to get to, even if things get a bit jammed during peak hours.
Lord’s is located at: St John’s Wood Rd, London NW8 8QN
To find out more please visit: http://www.lords.org/
Situated in Tower Hamlets, Victoria Park is a bit of a culture shock for those used to cricket as the upper class sport. It’s a bit rough and ready, but no worse for it. Passion and enthusiasm are the order of the day here, as anyone who has played at this ground will tell you.
Victoria Park is located at: Grove Road, Bow, London E3 5TB
To find out more please visit: http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=12670
Greenwich Park Cricket Pitch
An idyllic little patch of greenery, you couldn’t come closer to the rural town square if you tried. It has all the charm and gentle easiness that so few modern pitches still manage to capture, and represents something of a rarity: a ground less than an hour away from central that feels as if it’s been plucked straight from a Kentish dream.
Greenwich Park Cricket Pitch is located at: Greenwich, London
To find out more please visit: http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/greenwich-park/sport-in-the-park
Royal Artillery Ground
As one would expect from a ground with military associations, everything is done well at this ground. The grass is perfectly trimmed, the nets maintained, the rental equipment shining. It lacks some of the personality you’d find in other grounds, but more than compensates with a healthy dose of quality.
Royal Artillery Barracks is located at: London SE18 4BH
Dulwich Sports Ground
An easygoing club in a great location, there’s no real mystery as to why the Dulwich Sports Ground is included on this list of the top 10 cricket grounds in London.
Dulwich Sports Ground is located at: Turney Rd, London SE24 9HP
To find out more please visit: http://www.dulwichsportsground.com/
Chiswick & Latymer Cricket Club Ground
Chiswick & Latymer is best known for its good standards, but it’s the great club spirit that should really be driving you to enjoy its excellent facilities.
Chiswick & Latymer Cricket Club Ground is located at: Staveley Rd, London
To find out more please visit: http://www.chiswickandlatymer.org/
Leyton County Cricket Ground
Stratford’s less glamorous sister, Leyton is a bit of an oddity. Known for being a place in the East End that basically has none of the cool hipsterish activies or cheap prices on offer elsewhere, it seems to exist only to house a mediocre football club. However, peel back the prejudice and Leyton is a peaceful and multicultural area with a strong sense of community. The local cricket ground is far from state of the art but it has soul.
Leyton County Cricket Ground is located at: Crawley Rd, London E10 6RJ
To find out more please visit: http://leytoncounty.play-cricket.com/subsite/web_pages/66928
South Hampstead Cricket Club
A ground where anyone is welcome to come and play. That alone is always a great benefit to any mid range cricket club, but the South Hampstead cricket club is particularly welcoming to newcomers.
South Hampstead Cricket Club is located at: Milverton Rd, London NW6 7AR
To find out more please visit: http://sthhampstead.play-cricket.com//
Streatham & Marlborough Cricket Club
On Dulwich common, this cricket club is well known for being one of the better grounds available at a smaller scale. It makes this list mainly on that merit, although it has plans of greater things. For now, it’s a solid effort, if a little unspectacular.
Streatham & Marlborough Cricket Club is located at: Dulwich Common, London SE21 7EX
To find out more please visit: http://www.streathammarlboroughcc.co.uk/