As the superb weather of June moves casually into even better weather (hopefully) in July, summer in London that mean’s the chance to experience one of the world’s greatest sporting events… No, not the football, it’s Wimbledon! The comfortable sound of racket meeting ball, crowds ‘ooh’-ing and ‘aah’-ing at every desperately-won point, champagne and strawberries with cream, and all the drama that comes with a day’s play at centre court. There’s nothing quite like it.
Nearly everyone has heard of Wimbledon. It is the home of British tennis and the host of one of the world’s greatest tennis tournaments. Known as the home of tennis, the All England Lawn Tennis Association keeps this heritage and historical site moving into the 21st century. Wimbledon Club is a great place to visit and if you can get tickets to the annual international Grand Slam tournament, you’ll be able to enjoy a day out in the summer sun, with the obligatory dish of strawberries and cream, while watching some of the world’s tennis greats take to the centre court.
Perhaps it is the tradition, pomp and ceremony that make playing, and watching tennis at Wimbledon something very special. If you watch interviews of the great tennis players, they will always comment on how special it is to play and win in the magnificent Centre Court of this magnificent tennis club. It’s not as large as other stadiums around the world, but there is a sense of history, English tradition and the splendor that goes along with that.
If you’re not able to score one of the expensive tickets during the championship weeks, then visiting Wimbledon during the rest of the year is a great way to experience the history and tradition of the club. There are guided tours throughout the year and a fascinating museum right on the site. The guided tours last for about an hour and half and you will get a glimpse of the most recognizable areas of the club as well as a great behind the scenes tour. You can enjoy the museum before or after your tour, but be advised that you will have to book in advance to be included in a tour and the waiting list is quite long.
Being that we’re right in the middle of the Wimbledon fortnight, you may not have a ticket, if you’ve just arrived in the city. If you’d like, you can partake in a fun Wimbledon tradition: camping for tickets, fondly known officially as, “The Queue”. Simply put, get a few friends, a flask of hot coffee and your sleeping bag and wait outside the Gate 3 turnstiles along with everyone else. Even if you don’t get your hands on tickets, you’ll still have a fun time and you’ll more than likely make a few new acquaintances.
Head on over to the official Wimbledon website for advice on how to get your hands on tickets.
Next up, getting there. The Wimbledon site very wisely advises using Public Transport where possible, and with the options you’ll find living in London, this shouldn’t pose a challenge. Go to your nearest public train station, take a train to Waterloo and from there you can catch a train to Wimbledon station. Alternatively, you’ll find trams running every ten to fifteen minutes at East Croydon Station to Wimbledon Station during weekdays (Monday to Saturday) and every thirty minutes on Sundays. Couldn’t be easier! You can also take the tube to Wimbledon on the District Line.
When you arrive at Wimbledon take the No 493 bus directly to the club. If you are going to attend the prestigious tournament or visit at any time during May – August, always use public transport as there is very little parking in the area. It is gems like visiting Wimbledon that will enrich your life while you are living in London. As for the Strawberries and Cream, give them a try as they really are quite delicious and law decrees that if you’re at Wimbledon, you are ordered to partake in them, by order of… Someone important!