When the mighty Lionesses roared to victory at the Euros 2022, they changed the face of women’s football forever. But to really honour their legacy we need to see more fans supporting teams at their home grounds, whether that’s in the Women’s Super League or grassroots squads across the country. London is home to some of the most successful women’s football teams in the UK – including the current WSL title holders, Chelsea – as well as inclusive teams that are open to LGBTQ+, trans and non-binary people. Here we’ve rounded up the best places to watch women’s football in London when the new season starts in September.
Chelsea FC Women
Several of the most prominent Lionesses play for Chelsea, including defender Millie Bright and striker Fran Kirby – not surprising considering this is one of the most successful women’s football teams in the country, who won their fifth Women’s Super League title earlier this year. Though the men play at Stamford Bridge in Fulham, the women’s ground is actually just outside London, at Kingsmeadow in Kingston upon Thames, but it’s more than worth the trip to watch the Chelsea Ladies in action.
Kingsmeadow, Kingston Rd, Kingston upon Thames KT1 3PB
Dulwich Hamlet FC Women
Dulwich Hamlet recently found itself at the centre of a TV docu-series fronted by Peter Crouch, after the footballer rejoined his old club to help revive grassroots football, and much of the series focused on the women’s team, which is one of the most popular in the London & South East Women’s Regional Football League. Known for their eye-catching pink and blue kit and their inclusive approach on the pitch – they made history earlier in the year by hosting the world’s first match against an all-transgender side – their games at Champion Hill are renowned for their fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
Champion Hill, East Dulwich, London SE22 8BD
The most successful club to grace English football, Arsenal Ladies have lifted a staggering 58 trophies in their 35-year history. The team has long been known for producing some of the most talented female footballers in the country – this is where the Lionesses’ captain Leah Williamson currently plays and where former England player and pundit Alex Scott earnt her stripes. As well as having an eye for spotting the next big thing, the team is fashion-forward too – earlier in the year their kits were given a stylish new redesign by none other than Stella McCartney. You can catch them playing at Meadow Park in Borehamwood.
Meadow Park, Brook Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 1TL
Victoria Park Vixens
The Victoria Park Vixens started out in 2019 through social media, after the founders Morgan and Maria put up an Instagram story callout for girls to put together a team in East London – the Vixens formed almost overnight and since then they’ve grown from a squad of 12 to over 40 players. The mixed-abilities team plays in Super 5 League’s intermediate and advanced divisions as well as the Goal Posts League in Mabley Green in Hackney, and the ethos here is very much about having fun on the pitch as well as off it, with regular post-match socials held.
Mabley Green Park, Lee Conservancy Road, Hackney, London E9 5HW
First founded in 1972, the Lionesses is one of the oldest clubs and most recognisable names in women’s football. They were the first in the country to be officially affiliated to a professional men’s team, as well as being the first to open a Girls Centre of Excellence, allowing them to develop talented players from the age of eight right through to senior level. The team currently plays alongside local rivals Dulwich Hamlet in the London & South East Regional Women’s League and games are held at The Den in Millwall, also home to Millwall FC. With a capacity of over 20,000 it’s easily the biggest stadium in women’s league football.
The Den, Zampa Road, New Cross, London SE16 3LN
Tottenham Hotspur Women
Spurs’ women’s team joined the top tier of women’s football in 2019 and swiftly went on to break records when they held their first north London derby against Arsenal. A crowd of 38,262 turned out to watch the historic fixture, setting a new all-time attendance record for the WSL. Unlike many of the top teams in the league, the women’s team plays some of its home games in the same place as the men’s team, the flashy Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while the rest are held at Brisbane Road in Leyton.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, 782 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 0BX
Formed in 2017 in Brockwell Park, Brixton, this inclusive women’s team (known as The Swans to their fans thanks to the park’s resident nesting swans) is open to women, non-binary and genderqueer people of all abilities. The South London-based team plays in two leagues – Clubs United in Haggerston and Ladies Super Liga in Waterloo – and is focused on inspiring a love of football and empowering their players above else. If you fancy joining, they hold training sessions every Monday night in Stockwell and are always open to meeting new potential players.
Stockwell Primary School, Stockwell Road, Stockwell, London SW9 9TG
Goal Diggers FC
Founder Fleur Cousens set up Goal Diggers FC in 2015 after getting fed up with constantly being told football was a man’s game. The main aim of the club is to remove the barriers that prevent women and non-binary people from being involved in sport – everyone is welcome, with teams based on availability rather than ability. They currently play in six different leagues all over the city and hold weekly training sessions at Haggerston Park. While their membership for 2022 is full, they do have priority spaces available for people of colour, non-binary people, trans women, players over the age of 40 and goal keepers.
Haggerston Park, Yorkton Street, Hackney, London E2 8NH
West Ham Women
This season will mark the fifth straight campaign in the top-flight of women’s football for West Ham Women, who are managed by former Hammers left-back Paul Konchesky. This season they’re kicking off with an exciting London derby against the reigning champions Chelsea, with the match being held at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 11 September. The ground can hold 40,000 people, so they’re hoping for a big turnout inspired by England’s Euros win. When they’re at home you can cheer them on at the Chigwell Construction Stadium in Dagenham.
Chigwell Construction Stadium, Victoria Road, Dagenham, Essex RM10 7XL
This London club, which is affiliated with Barnet FC, has a home ground fittingly named The Hive, which you’ll find in Canons Park. They play in the third tier of the Women’s Football League, against the likes of Oxford United, Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth, and were originally founded in 1975, when they were known as the District Line Ladies FC. Since rebranding as the London Bees in 2014 they’ve become famous for their distinctive orange and black kit and their cleverly designed crest, which features silhouettes of Big Ben, the Shard and the London Eye.
The Hive, Camrose Avenue, Harrow, London HA8 6AG
Shepherds Booters FC
West London suffered from a distinct lack of grassroots football teams – until Shepherds Booters FC came along and changed all that. The club was founded to address the lack of footballing options in the area, and the team prides itself on offering an inclusive space for local women and non-binary people to play. You’ll find them playing on a variety of different pitches across West and South West London and they hold weekly sessions in Shepherd’s Bush, where they’re keen to welcome new players of all abilities.
Various sites across London