Everything you need to know for your first trip to Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London
Last year saw my very first visit to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, something I had dreamed of doing for years. I was that kid out on the street pretending to be Martina Navratilova (badly I may add), she was cool and she had a weird surname like me as well.
So when the mother was successful in gaining tickets - and to Centre Court no less, it was time to get ready for Pimms, strawberries and cream and of course tennis!
Did you know?
The championships began at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in 1877.
So here is everything I know from visiting Wimbledon last year.
When does the 2022 Wimbledon Tennis Championships take place?
Wimbledon 2022 runs from Monday 27th June until Sunday 20th July 2022.
When do the grounds open?
The grounds are open from 10am each day.
When do the matches start?
Outside court matches start at 11am with times for No 1 court - 1pm and 1:30pm for Centre Court.
How do you get tickets for Wimbledon?
There is usually a public ballot for tickets, so it is up to Lady Luck whether you can get a ticket. The ballot normally opens at the start of September and you need to register with myWIMBLEDON by the end of December.
Can I choose which day or court I am allocated?
Sorry no, you don't get any choice on what day or court you are offered.
The famous Wimbledon queue
A limited amount of seats are sold each day for Centre Court, No 1 Court and No 2 Court. That means that theoretically, you could bag yourself a ticket. If you want to go with friends, they will have to queue with you as it is one ticket per person.
If you just want to get the atmosphere of Wimbledon and watch matches on the unreserved courts as well as from the famous hill, then grab a ground pass for the day. (current prices here)
So now you have your ticket, how do you get to Wimbledon?
As you can expect, it gets busy at Wimbledon time. The roads, the tube, everywhere is busy. We went by tube to Southfields Station. The traffic flowed well arriving and was handled efficiently on our return. Southfields Station is in Zone 3 of the District Line (Click here for TfL Journey Planner). From Southfields Station, it is a 15-20 min walk and it is well signposted, as well as playing follow the fellow tennis fans.
If you are driving, you can pre-book parking here.
What is disabled access like at Wimbledon?
I'm not a wheelchair user but I have health issues so need to take it a bit more easy at times. Honestly, I found Centre Court to be awful. Up and down steep stairs, there didn't appear to be a toilet on each level so you have to go up and down stairs to get to toilets, and that's before having to hike out to get any supplies. I understand it's a large event, but surely some more toilets on each level could be arranged? Even having someone randomly going around selling drinks and snacks at each level would help. So be aware that you may be spending a lot of time going back and forth to toilets and then having to wait to get back in so as not to disturb play.
What is there to eat and drink at Wimbledon?
You will be glad to know that it isn't just strawberries and cream (boo!). There is a wide range of food and restaurant styles on offer. Click here for a map of all the food and drink outlets at Wimbledon.
The Wingfield Restaurant offers a sit-down dining experience for ticket holders with views across the Tea Lawn. The Wingfield is priced at £95 per person. sample menu here.
The Centenary Seafood Bar is situated on the top floor of the Centenary Garden. Click here to view a sample menu of Centenary Seafood Bar.
There are also takeaway stalls and seating areas available.
How much is strawberries and cream at Wimbledon?
It is £2.50 for a box with strawberries and cream. (2021 price)
How much is it for Pimms at Wimbledon?
It is £8.50 for Pimms at Wimbledon (2021 price).
Can you bring your own food and drink?
Yes, you can! As long as you don't bring in your own food and drink in hard-sided containers, vacuum flasks over 500ml and items such as picnic hampers/cool boxes and flasks. Click here to see the full list of prohibited items. There is an M&S Food Hall and Sainsbury's Local at Southfields Tube Station.
Can I bring in alcohol?
Alcohol may be brought into the Grounds but 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. Bottles of spirits or fortified wines will not be allowed into the Grounds.
What size of bag am I allowed to take into Wimbledon?
Bags are restricted to one per person and must be no larger than 40cm x 30cm x 30cm.
What should you wear at Wimbledon?
There is no dress code for visitors to Wimbledon but smart casual seems to be the way to go. Comfortable shoes, there's a lot of walking about and remember the British weather so sunglasses, umbrella and raincoat!
Enjoy your trip!