Wimbledon is The annual tennis event. A fabulous social occasion watching the World’s best tennis players. The setting is The All England Lawn Tennis Club, (AELTC), in Wimbledon London SW19.
It runs for 2 weeks each year and the tournament begins on the last Monday in June or first Monday in July and I have been fortunate enough to attend on 2 occasions. Both times they were as a result of competition prizes, one won by myself and the second where I went as a gust of a friend who was the prize winner. Entering competitions is one of my main hobbies and passions after watching football. Here are 10 random facts about me
Obviously you don’t have to be a competition winner to obtain a ticket. You can apply to The AELTC to be in the Public Ballot. The Wimbledon Public Ballot, first launched in 1924, is intended to be the fairest means of obtaining tickets for The Championships. Entry into the Ballot does not automatically entitle applicants to tickets, but to a place in the draw. It is not possible to request tickets for specific days or courts, as the day and court offered are chosen randomly by a computerised selection process.
The Wimbledon Public Ballot is comprised of two compulsory phases: Registration – open from 9 September to 21 October, followed by Application – open from 1 November to 30 November.
I have applied this way and was unsuccessful the first occasion and the second time the tournament was cancelled due to the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak. Hopefully better luck next time.
Getting to Wimbledon
Once you are in central London there are a few ways you can travel to the Lawn Club. Buses run at a reasonable price. I used this method the first time and we picked up the bus close to Euston Station, once you’re on its a pleasant trip but it is a long journey over an hour and it was very hot and sticky.
Other ways are to use the overground and underground transport routes. You need to research the route most suitable for you. Myself and my friend used a tube from London Euston to Vauxhall and then the overground to Wimbledon. A swift journey under an hour. Once you arrive at Wimbledon Station there is a slick system to get you to the Club as quickly as possible. There are marshals who funnel you into a queue for cabs if you don’t wish to walk. They group 4 passengers into a cab and there is a set fee per passenger. Easy and stress free, plus the opportunity to meet new people on the way. The atmosphere is very relaxed and friendly.
If you are collecting tickets you usually have to produce photographic ID such as your Drivers license or passport. Once inside I found it to be such a fabulous venue. I have been fortunate enough to ahve visited many top sporting events, such as Cheltenham Races, The Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Ascot races and numerous Cup Finals. This in my opinion has the best organisation.
Looking at it from outside it can give the impression of being very formal and stuffy. There is a certain set of rules in place, such as only being able to enter the stands to your seat during breaks in play. However you can take in drinks bought from the bars and picnic food brought with you from home. On my visit myself and my friend took a cool bag and our own food.
When I have been to other venues trying to get served for food or drinks has been really difficult and slow. At Wimbledon it is so slick and there are few queue’s. Fabulous considering there can be 42,000 spectators within the ground on any one day. Prices were not extortionate, as well as beers on tap they also had Pimm’s on tap which was very enjoyable.
A bowl of the strawberries and cream, which Wimbledon is famous for is around a fiver, which I know is expensive but I did expect it to be more. n 2017, fans consumed 34,000 kg (33 tons) of English strawberries and 10,000 litres (2,200 gallons) of cream.
On my second visit hospitality was included in the prize she had won. The hospitality was just outside the grounds and we were transported from the venue to the courts by golf buggy. The hospitality was fabulous we had a buffet lunch with wine. The food on offer had plentiful choices catering for everyone’s tastes. We were also treated to afternoon tea, which we could make our way over for when it suited us during play. If you ever get the chance to enjoy hospitality you would not be disappointed.
The grounds are beautiful with so many floral displays and ample places to sit. The area known as Henman’s Hill or latterly Murray’s Mound is a fabulous space. Spectators can sit and relax and watch play on a large screen.
There are tickets available where you can have access to the grounds without a seat in a court.
Play can continue quite late into the evening so when you are leaving you can hand back your ticket at the gate and they are then resold at a much reduced rate for charity. Therefore if you live in London you can visit in the evening perhaps after work to spend a few hours.
When you are ready to return to the train station again there are points to join in a taxi queue and again Marshals are present to divide people into groups of 4, the queue’s move quickly and you are soon back on your way home.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visits. I have described the venue without even mentioning the fabulous quality tennis on display. I like tennis but it is not my main sport, however once in your seat watching you soon get caught up in the match and the atmosphere. Cheering on your favourite. One thing I hadn’t really noticed when watching on TV is the training of the line judges and ball boys/girls. Their movements are coordinated and acted out with precision. Everyone makes the same move at the same moment. Such discipline to help everything move forward fluently.
Have you ever been to Wimbledon Tennis tournament, if so what were your opinions? Or is there another sporting event you have found to be a fabulous occasion.
Plus if you have any hints or tips about visiting please share with me as I would love to learn more. If you enjoyed this review you may want to take a look at my review of a trip to London for a Theatre break
Thanks for popping in today.