Wimbledon has become an affluent suburb of South West London. It was originally a small village, and then, after the railways were built in the nineteenth century, it has continued to grow. The area has been inhabited since the Iron Age, and the remains of a hill fort can still be seen on the parkland of Wimbledon Common. Wimbledon has a relaxed atmosphere and sophisticated vibe, despite being part of London’s commuter belt. In particular, the quarter around Wimbledon Station and the Broadway offers exciting restaurants and bars. This introduction will provide a brief guide to first-time visitors.
London Underground, or ‘tube’ services as they are commonly called, as well as trains, run regularly between Wimbledon and central London, with a journey time of just over 15 minutes. Wimbledon Station is a key transport hub, with connections for trains, trams and the tube. Trains to central London go via the mainline railway, whilst the tube goes into the centre via the District Line. Heathrow and Gatwick airports are within an hour’s travel of Wimbledon Station.
Things to Do
Wimbledon Common – This offers 1,100 acres of open woods and grassland. Why not walk and relax in the area, and maybe have a picnic? There is a windmill a museum toward the northern end of the Common, in addition to a village fair in June. Bicycles can be hired from Smith Brothers on Church Street.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, Church Road – Tennis is forever synonymous with Wimbledon, and this is a must-see museum. Guided tours are available, including of the world famous Centre Court.
Wimbledon Market, Plough Lane – when in Wimbledon, do as the locals do. Open every Sunday, this market offers bargains on clothing, fruit and vegetables.
Wimbledon Village – this is the heart of old Wimbledon, and is situated in and around the High Street. The Village is a quaint and attractive part of Wimbledon, often overlooked by visitors. It is great for those wanting to browse boutique fashion and antiques shops, or enjoy a drink in a caf’e or bar.
Cannizaro Park – this is a beautiful, Grade II listed garden, and is one of Wimbledon’s lesser known destinations to be discovered. With a labyrinth of paths and gardens, it’s great for picnics, as well as watching a performance or two at the open stage venue there. This delightful garden covers just under 34 acres.
Probably the biggest and best attraction in Wimbledon is the annual tennis championships at the All England Club, known as Wimbledon fortnight; the oldest and probably the most famous tennis competition in the world, and one of the four grand slam events. The championships take place every June and/or July, and tickets sell very fast indeed. However, last minute seats can often be purchased, so be sure to check with local agents and on the internet for availability if you are in London at this time of year. Tours are also available from The Wimbledon Experience.
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