It’s that time of year again, when the strawberries, cream and jugs of Pimms come out in full force. That’s right; it’s the Wimbledon Tennis Championships! Running between the 23rd of June and the 6th of July, tennis fans will be heading to the capital to catch sight of their favourite players on Centre Court. Whether they have tickets, or are happy to watch via the big screen on Henman Hill, Wimbledon is a major tournament in the UK sports calendar and fans all over the world will be in London because of it. If you’re planning to join them, take a look at the Travelodge’s in London sooner, rather than later, because the fortnight of Wimbledon will be a busy one and accommodation is essential if you’re planning to stay in the city overnight.
If you’ve never been to Wimbledon before, chances are you may have some questions that will need answering so that you can be as organised as possible. Here are a few helpful tips and pieces of advice that should help you.
It’s not easy to get tickets in advance, because they are allocated the year before by way of public ballot. However, don’t be disheartened. If you’re willing, they do make some available on the day, but you’re going to have to camp for it! The ticket queue this year opens at 8am on the 23rd June, but you’ll find hundreds of people camping overnight. If this is your plan, you’ll need a comfortable bed at the local Travelodge for the following night, to recover! Ticket prices vary, depending on the match that you want to watch, and be aware that chances of grabbing a ticket for the last four days (i.e. the finals) are nigh on impossible.
If you’re after tickets for next year, the ballot reopens on August 1st. If you want first dibs, start looking ahead to Wimbledon 2016; the public ballot for this will open in December.
Hop on the District Line and head to the Southfields tube station. There’s a shuttle bus that runs from the station to the grounds, or you can walk it in around 20 minutes. Wimbledon station is also nearby, but Southfields is closest.
Food and Drink
Be prepared to dig deep within the grounds if you’re planning on buying food and drink once you’re there. It will soon add up and can be overpriced. If you’re on a budget, you are allowed to take one bag into the grounds with you, which has to be a specific size (40x30x30cm). A carrier bag with some picnic style lunch in it will be fine, and will save you a fortune.
Watching away from the Courts
If you’re not planning on nabbing a ticket but would still love to watch the games during your visit to the city, there are plenty of places that will be showing the matches. If you want to watch from Henman Hill, you will need to buy a ground admission pass, which varies in price from £5 to £20. Otherwise, pubs in the area are your best bet.
Whether you’re heading to Wimbledon for the strawberries and Pimms or it’s just about the tennis for you, the Championships are a major event that isn’t to be missed. Who knows, maybe Andy Murray will smash his opponents again to win a game, set and match!