Want to have an amazing day at Wimbledon? This guide tells you what to bring, where to eat, what to wear, how to get there and everything else you need to know to make the most out of your trip.
When visiting Wimbledon, there are a lot of rules, etiquette and logistics to get your head around but we’ve made it simple thanks to local insights from living in London and from being a regular spectator at the event.
If you don’t have tickets, check out our comprehensive guide to getting Wimbledon tickets.
Let’s start with the basics...
Qualifying: June 24 to 27th, 2019
Main Draw: July 1 to 14th, 2019
Session timings: Centre Court & No. 1 Court start play at 1pm for the majority of the event but shift to 2pm for the Finals’ Weekend. Play on all other courts starts at 11:30am for the first eight days and then moves to 11am on the middle saturday for the remainder of the event. The grounds open at 10:30am.
Bag restrictions: If you need to bring a bag, select one that measures no more than 16” x 12” x 12” (40cm x 30cm x 30cm) and has as few compartments as possible which will expedite the security screening process. Fans are allowed maximum one bag per person.
Food & drink: You can bring in snacks and drinks (including alcohol) but bottles of spirits are prohibited. Hard-sided items such as picnic hampers/cool boxes (coolers) and picnic chairs are barred from the Grounds. The quantity of alcohol is limited to the equivalent of one bottle of wine or Champagne (750ml) or two cans of beer (500ml) or two cans of premixed aperitifs per person. Full guidance can be found here.
What to wear: Dressing for comfort and variable weather is the best strategy. There isn’t a requirement to dress smartly for the general public but a fair portion of the crowd will turn up in dresses and collared shirts. Which ever approach you take, make sure you bring (or buy) a hat and umbrella and an additional layer (ie light scarf or cardigan) if the forecast looks suspect. If you’re wearing a dress and want added height wedges instead of stiletto heels are the way forward as you’re likely to be walking on grass, climbing stairs and standing for extended periods of time. Flip flops are allowed but frowned upon as they’re seen as too casual for the elegant nature of the event.
The easiest option is to stay in South West London in close proximity to the District Line, which encompasses areas like Chelsea, Fulham, Putney, Southfields and Wimbledon. Staying more central (ie: Mayfair, Marylebone, Covent Garden, Soho, Notting Hill) is suitable too but always allow time for switching tube lines. Venturing further east than Soho could become a bit of a headache, especially if you happen to travel during popular times for commuting (roughly 7:30 - 9:30am and 5 - 7:30pm).
Wimbledon offers an official accommodation guide with some deals on local accommodation. If you’re partial to boutique hotels, Tablet Hotels and Mr. & Mrs. Smith are solid sources. If you want to see a wider variety of options, consider Booking.com, Expedia and Last Minute. If your trip includes a larger group, Airbnb is always worth checking out as July is one of busiest and most expensive times to visit London.
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The Championships are held at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which is located at: The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Church Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 5AE.
There are many travel options available, and public transport is your safest bet due to traffic and a scarcity of close parking spots.
Here is a map published by the tournament with helpful signage.
One of the most efficient ways to access the Wimbledon grounds is via the legendary London Underground. Take the Wimbledon branch of the District Line (this is a crucial detail as there are several District Line branches) to either the Southfields or Wimbledon stops. When you get off you can either walk for about 25 minutes to the grounds or hop on a free bus provided by the AELTC. The event staff do a comprehensive job of signage and providing directions in stations and tube cars themselves.
Traveling via an Overground train is another option. In this case get off at Wimbledon stop and you will either have a 45 minute trek to the grounds or a 10 minute free bus journey furnished by the event.
London General operates a bus service direct from some of the main stations dispersed around London including St. Pancras, Euston, Baker Street, Marble Arch and Victoria. The buses depart every 30 minutes but could take the better part of an hour in traffic.
Trams run every 5 minutes from East Croydon station to Wimbledon station during the day on Monday to Saturday, and once every 7-8 minutes on Sundays and early mornings-evenings. This service takes around 25 minutes.
If you opt to take a cab, be aware that you might still have a ~10-minute walk at the end of the journey because the roads directly in front of the club are often closed during the tournament. A black cab from central London to Wimbledon is likely to cost in the range of £50 GBP depending on traffic. If you don’t want to hail a cab you can order one in advance via Taxi App or Gett apps. There is a cab queue at the facilities for those wishing to take one after the event but keep in mind that dozens of other fans might have the same plan at the exact same time…
Uber fares in London are typically cheaper than Black Cabs by a material sum but it’s important to consider the dearth of cars and local traffic during big events as well as the prospect of surge charges. Catching an Uber ride to the grounds won’t be an issue but securing one at the end of the day is far from guaranteed.
A lot of Londoners head to South West London for long cycle rides on the weekend because there is far less congestion many more parks available. You don’t have to be London resident to use the Santander bike scheme and if you’re staying in Wimbledon Village but slightly out of walking distance this option is definitely worth considering.
Driving your own car
If you opt to drive your own car, there is event parking available but expect some congestion entering and leaving the groups.
We’ve all been there. You need to find a gift for a friend, partner, sibling or parent who loves tennis. But you’ve already bought the tennis-themed cuff links, the necklace with the racket and ball charm and a DVD of the 10 best matches of all time (which are surely collecting dust somewhere now).
To help you find the perfect tennis-related present, here’s a list of fresh ideas organised by price band...