Formally known as The Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, every July the tennis world turns its attention to the grass court tournament commonly referred to as Wimbledon. Planning a trip to England to witness tennis greatness? Read on for these seven inside tips.
The All England Club’s website has an extensive FAQ section with guidance on driving, public transport and the area. Take heed to their recommendations and your experience will be that much better.
Allow good time to reach the All England Club – local roads and transport networks will be congested and security measures are in place prior to entering the Grounds. Remember there will be 39,000 fans descending upon the grounds at the same time.
Endless beautiful backdrops abound for photos. From the statue of Fred Perry across from the Member’s Entrance, to the rolling hill of “Murray Mound” where the 40m2 TV broadcasts the action to those fans who have grounds only tickets. Fred Perry is best remembered for consecutive Wimbledon Championships from 1934 to 1936.
In common with many other major sports and entertainment events, ‘selfie sticks’ are not allowed into the grounds.
Rufus the Hawk
Keep an eye out around 9am for Rufus the Hawk, who visits the Club most weeks in the year to provide a deterrent to local pigeons by making aware of a predator in the grounds to persuade them to roost elsewhere. Flies for one hour (9.00am) most mornings of The Championships before the gates open.
The quintessential strawberries and cream is legendary with tennis fans, who will polish off 28,000kg berries and over 10,000 litres of fresh cream – over 140,000 servings. Grown in nearby Kent and picked at 4.00am, they are delivered to the Club by 11.00am for the day’s menu.
The most popular items sell out quickly and they include the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Championship towels, key rings, large yellow autograph balls and the classic logo navy cap. The latter might be a must for the summer sun. Many of the seats aren’t shaded and hats are a life saver. Pick up a can of used tennis balls, it’s a great gift for the niece with a wicked backhand, and all proceeds go to the Wimbledon Foundation. Don’t fret if you miss out on shopping as the Wimbledon Online Shop stocks most items.
Photo source Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum is open only to ticket holders during the tournament, and well worth the extra ticket fee. Get a real sense of the history since 1877 through the exhibits and permanent collections such as the tennis fashions display. Equipment and trophies donated by tennis’ top stars are one of the many highlights.
Although The Queen last attended in 2010, there is still anopportunity to see members of the Royal Family. HRH the Duchess of Cambridge has taken up the royal duties from The Queen, and will be seen presenting the awards. As a keen tennis player herself, Kate has been heard to say that it’s one of the few sports in which she can beat her husband Prince William.
A mere two weeks in July and the only major still played on grass, Wimbledon is considered the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. If you go, enjoy the traditions, the social scene, and most of all the tennis.
Photo source Mvkulkarni23