Have you planned your Wimbledon Tennis fortnight? Here is our guide to getting the most out of your trip
If like us Wimbledon Tennis fortnight is the highlight of your sporting calendar, then get your picnics at the ready as we bring you our guide to getting the most out of the exciting two-week tournament.
This year the Wimbledon Championships start on 2 July and for two weeks this well-heeled part of London will become the epicentre of the world of sport as players don their tennis whites and take to the grass courts in the hope of holding on to tennis titles or causing a few upsets.
There’s a sense that anything can happen during Wimbledon Tennis fortnight…and quite often it does.
Wimbledon Tennis first began in 1877 at the All England Club in Wimbledon on Worple Road, initially as an all-male event. However, in 1884 women were allowed to compete and by 1900 the Wimbledon Championships had gained international recognition, with everyone wanting to attend this most English of tournaments.
Rules have relaxed slightly over the years – women once had to play in full-length dresses with long sleeves and white was the chosen colour to wear as it disguised that most unladylike of secretions: sweat. The Championships also moved to its current location on Wimbledon’s Church Road in 1922.
Wimbledon is often touted as the tennis tournament that all the players want to win. Over the years the greats of world tennis have proven themselves here – Martina Navratilova, Andre Agassi and Bjorn Borg have all been crowd favourites, but ever since British player Andy Murray took home the Men’s Singles’ title in 2013 and then again in 2016, British supporters have rallied behind him.
Murray’s first win signalled the first time a British player had won the Men’s title here since Fred Perry in 1936 – Virginia Wade was the last woman to take home the Women’s Single trophy in 1977.
The 2018 Wimbledon Championships planner
By far the best way to get a sense of the excitement during Wimbledon Tennis Fortnight is to have a court-side ticket. Of course many of the best tickets – for Centre Court and Court 1 will have been snapped up a long time ago but there is a select number of tickets released for the three top courts each day (apart from the last four days of the tournament), as well as several thousand Grounds Passes that give you access to Courts No.3-19, plus the famous Murray Mount, hence those incredible queues that weave their way all the way up Church Road each year.
Find out about Wimbledon tickets.
If you are considering queuing for Grounds Passes then go during the first week when a lot of the big players will be on the outside courts. You can also get cheaper passes if you arrive after 5pm but you may have to wait for people to leave before you can go in.
in addition, several hundred Centre Court and No.3 Court tickets are sold online on the day before play via Ticketmaster so it’s worth keeping your eyes peeled for those.
Go to Wimbledon Village
If you don’t manage to get Wimbledon tickets then the next best thing is to head to the posh streets of Wimbledon Village where you can watch a match in one of the many pubs (the Rose and Crown and Hand in Hand are particular favourites) where there’ll be a genuine buzz.
This is also a great place to spot players and celebrities in the evenings.
Indulge in strawberries and cream…and Pimm’s
Nothing says Wimbledon like that most English of delicacies, strawberries and cream, which are in season right now. Another summer must-have to really carry off the English lady and gent look is a glass of Pimm’s, complete with sliced cucumber, orange, lemon, mint and whatever other fruit takes your fancy. Be warned though, prices within the Wimbledon grounds aren’t cheap and in the past they have been criticised for watering it down, so you may want to indulge elsewhere.
Where to stay for Wimbledon
As the tennis is just round the corner, most of the accommodation in and around Wimbledon will be booked up but go a little further, to Sloane Square or South Kensington (just a few stops on the District Line from the nearest stop to the tennis, Southfields), and you’ll be able to find some great traditional options.
The Eccleston Square Hotel in Belgravia is offering seven nights in one of its Signature King rooms for the price of five nights throughout the whole of July. Guests can play in the hotel’s very own tennis court or watch matches on its cinema screen.