The biggest event in the tennis calendar, The Wimbledon Championships, gets under way on 20th June 2011. Tennis fanatics the world over will descend upon Wimbledon in record numbers for their chance to experience the greatest tennis tournament on the planet.
Wimbledon is one of those sporting events that just has to be experienced at least once in life. Where else can you watch the best tennis players in the world battle it out with a glass of Pimms in one hand and a palette of strawberries and cream in the other? So if you’re looking for somewhere different to take someone special, Bowes-Lyon Partnership most definitely recommends Wimbledon!
Check out the Bowes-Lyon top tips for your day of spectacular tennis:
1) WHEN TO GO – The best time to go to the Championships is the first week as this is when the most matches are on and presents your best opportunity to catch one of the seeds in action. The only day to avoid is the middle Sunday of the tournament (26 June) as this is a rest day for all of the players and there is no tennis! The final Sunday is another to be avoided as there’s very little tennis being played beyond the finals on Centre Court.
However, saying that, at £5 it’s worth considering as a venue to watch the Men’s Final as thousands will congregate on Henman Hill to watch it on the big screen.
2) WHAT TO TAKE – The key thing to remember is to pack a mac! English summers are notorious for being damp squibs and more often than not and it rains at some point during the course of the Championships. Remember, picnic hampers and cool boxes are not permitted inside the ground.
3) HOW TO GET THERE – Southfields is considerably closer and is actually a couple of stops before Wimbledon on the District Line. From the station it’s an easy 15 minute walk up the hill to get to the ground. The route is well sign posted though the chances are you won’t need them- just follow the crowds!
4) HOW TO BEAT THE QUEUES – Sadly the days where you could wonder in off the street and catch a bit of the action are long gone. Queuing up for entry is now a Wimbledon right of passage and is inescapable in most cases you have to be prepared to queue for anything up to three hours or more – especially in the first week. Unless you’re prepared to camp in the field overnight that is…!?
5) WHICH TICKETS TO GET – You’re unlikely to be able to purchase a ticket for Centre Court, Court Number One, Court Number Two at this stage, but the Standard Ground Ticket still promises a fabulous day out as this gets you access to all the outside courts and in many respects is better – you won’t get the opportunity to see the likes of Federer or Nadal in action but you will still see some quality tennis at much closer quarters. During the early rounds, in particular, you’ll also see many of the seeded players slogging it out against some of the so called lesser players with a point to prove. Many of the better games in the first week are on the outside courts. But if you’re really, really desperate for a show court ticket, head to the resale ticket office next to Broadcasting Centre in the corner of the complex to see if you can pick up any returned tickets. For a full list of ticket prices check out the official Wimbledon website.
6) WHERE TO WATCH THE ACTION – Check the order of play the night before and head for the court where you think the best matches are on as soon as you’re let in the ground as there’s no allocated seating and all available vantage points fill up fast!
7) WHAT IF RAIN STOPS PLAY? If it’s looking like a wash out or you’ve had enough of the tennis there’s plenty to do in and around the surrounding area. If you make the short walk up the hill and into Wimbledon Village you’ll find a number of bars and pubs for you to grab a drink, many of which will be showing the World Cup.
8) AFTER THE TENNIS – The only place to go afterwards is Wimbledon Village. This is where everyone goes at the end of play including the players themselves once they’ve been knocked out of the tournament. There are many pubs and bars to choose from but here are our top three: Dog & Fox, Rose & Crown or the Hand in Hand.
Hayley & Natalie
Thanks to http://blog.hostelbookers.com/travel/guide-wimbledon/ for their advice