As the oldest and most prestigious tennis event in the world, the Wimbledon Championships is one of the highlights of London’s sporting calendar, making for a great day out or weekend activity this summer.
Taking place at the All England Club in Wimbledon, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships first began back in 1877. The thrilling tournament now welcomes more than 500,000 spectators each year, who travel from all over to enjoy a sporting event unlike any other. For two weeks, spectators can expect a quintessentially British experience of Pimm’s and strawberries and cream, while watching tennis legends compete for champion titles.
While the Wimbledon Championships is aired on TV, nothing beats the thrill of watching the action right in front of your very eyes. Read on to discover more about this prestigious tournament, including where the championships are held, how to get there, and things to do in the local area.
The tournament is held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, also known as the All England Club, which is located on Church Road in Wimbledon, south west London.
From Wimbledon station, it’s just a 10-minute stroll to the tournament entrance, or if you’d prefer not to walk, you can catch the 840 Wimbledon Tennis Shuttle Bus from just outside the station, which costs £3.50 for a single ticket and will get you there in around six minutes.
Things to do at Wimbledon Tennis Championships
The tournaments and events are undeniably the main attraction at Wimbledon Tennis Championships, but the fun doesn’t have to end once the matches are over. From a museum and gift shop to indoor and outdoor entertainment, there’s so much to do within Wimbledon and the surrounding area.
Tournaments and events at Wimbledon
While the Wimbledon Tennis Championships might only run for two weeks, each day is packed full of thrilling tournaments and events perfect for keeping your whole group entertained. The grounds consist of 18 grass courts, including the famous No.1 Court and Centre Court where the most famous sports stars often play. In total there are five main events, four junior events and seven invitation events, each with their own individual matches.
Wimbledon’s main events are the Gentlemens' Singles, Ladies' Singles, Gentlemens' Doubles, Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles matches. You’ll be sure to see a considerable number of famous names taking part, so if you manage to secure tickets to any of these matches then don’t forget your camera!
To see tennis’ future stars in action, don’t miss the junior events. These gripping matches feature some of the best up-and-coming tennis players from all over the world.
For something a little different, opt for the invitation events, which include Gentlemen's Invitation Doubles, Ladies' Invitation Doubles, Senior Gentlemen's Invitation Doubles, Gentlemen's Wheelchair Singles, Ladies' Wheelchair Singles, Gentlemens' Wheelchair Doubles, and Ladies' Wheelchair Doubles.
How to secure a ticket
It goes without saying that tickets for the Wimbledon Tennis Championships are in high demand, but rest assured that there are a number of different ways you can secure yourself a ticket.
To give yourself the best chance, opt in for the Wimbledon Public Ballot, which will entitle you to a place in the ticket draw. Ticket winners will be chosen at random, but don’t worry if you’re unlucky, as there are still plenty of ways you can secure tickets.
If you’d rather purchase your tickets from the box office, then in Wimbledon tradition you can join the Queue outside the stadium . Turn up on the day you’d like to attend (or the night before if you’re really committed) and queue for Show Court tickets (for No.1 Court, No.2 Court and Centre Court) or Grounds Passes, which give you access to unreserved seating and standing space on Courts No.3-18.
A Ground Pass also gets you access to Murray Mount, otherwise known as Henman Hill, which features a large screen displaying live tennis matches and a spacious, grassy hill perfect for a family picnic or a spot of sunbathing.
If you missed out on securing tickets, find out about other ways to watch Wimbledon!
Things to remember
Wimbledon is a tournament rich in history, and with that in mind, it’s a good idea to take a look at these key dos and don’ts to help you stick to the Championships’ rules and regulations.
If you’re collecting your tickets from the box office, make sure you bring along some valid photo ID, and pack your belongings into a single bag measuring no more than 40cm x 30cm x 30cm. If you have extra baggage, don’t worry, as this can be stored with Left Luggage just outside the grounds.
Once you’re amongst the buzz of the action, the most important thing is not to distract the players! The Wimbledon Tennis Championships is undoubtedly a memorable experience, and you’re allowed to take as many photos and videos as you like—just make sure that your phone is on silent with the flash turned off. Be sure to also keep noise to a minimum while any rallies are taking place, and if you need to leave the court, wait until the change of ends or go between matches.
Take a look at the full list of rules and regulations.
Things to do in the Wimbledon area
While you’re in the area, take advantage of the many other fun things to do nearby.
Enhance your knowledge of tennis history with a trip to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, which is free of charge to ticket holders during the Championships. For another fascinating museum experience, head to the Wimbledon Windmill, where you can find out all about Wimbledon’s local history. Make sure you check out the Buddhapadipa Temple, which was the first Thai Buddhist temple to be built in the UK and makes for some stunning photographs.
If stunning scenery is your thing, then break up your day with a relaxing stroll around Wimbledon Common, then head to Wimbledon Village to browse the chic shops or relax in one of the many cafes and bars set amongst stunning period buildings. Keep an eye out for tennis-themed windows – part of the Wimbledon Village Tennis Windows competition!
Food and drinks
With dining options to suit even the pickiest eater, you won’t go hungry at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. There’s nothing more British than a picnic outdoors, so why not treat your family to a specially made picnic, which contains a selection of mouth-wateringly delicious treats as well as Wimbledon’s staple dessert: strawberries and cream.
Alternatively, for food on-the-go check out the Walled Garden Market, Tea Lawn, Food Village, Aorangi Coffee, and the many sandwich kiosks around the venue. For a more classic dining experience, consider booking at the Wingfield Restaurant or Conservatory Kitchen.
Places to stay around Wimbledon
No matter your budget, there are many nearby places you can stay if you’re looking to make a weekend out of your trip. Family-friendly stays include Marple Cottage Guest House and Antoinette Hotel Wimbledon, while if you’re on a budget, take a look at the Premier Inn London Wimbledon (Broadway) and The Wimbledon Hotel. For a touch of luxury, choose between Hotel du Vin, The Fox & Grapes Wimbledon, and Dog & Fox Hotel.
Wimbledon Tennis Championships accessibility
The Wimbledon Tennis Championships aims to provide a high standard of accessible facilities to every guest, including those in a wheelchair. From allocated parking and viewing areas to special assistance, you can find out more about Wimbledon’s accessibility on their website.