July in London is synonymous with Wimbledon. If you’ve ever wanted to attend a match you know that tickets to the actual tennis matches can be pricey. However, there are still ways to enjoy all that Wimbledon has to offer even without the high price tag. You just have to stand in a long line to get there.
On a recent trip to London, we visited Wimbledon on the day of the men’s final, which happened to be Djokovic vs. Alcaraz (if you don’t know, Alcaraz won). While tickets to the actual match were more than I was willing to pay, I was just as excited to experience being there, soaking up the tennis scene, and enjoying some strawberries and cream.
We knew the line to get into Wimbledon on the day of the final would be long but I had no idea how long! We took one look and started to head back to the tube assuming that it would be impossible to gain entry at this point. As luck would have it, my hubs just happened to ask a security guard how long the line was, mostly out of curiosity, and he told us that it wasn’t too bad and we’d likely get in. This was incredible given the fact that it snaked through a few open fields. But, we decided to give it a go and line up we did. A nice, very British feature of this queue is that you are given a card which acts as a placeholder for space in line. That way, no one can skip in front of you nor will you lose your place if you need to leave and go to the bathroom.
We decided to buy the grounds pass for entry into Wimbledon, which at this point, was the only type of ticket left to buy. The Grounds Pass gives access to Wimbledon village, shops, restaurants, court 3, court 12, court 18, and Henman Hill. First stop, of course, was to the gift shop to buy the official Wimbledon t-shirt and other tennis souvenirs. If you are looking for Wimbledon merch this is the only place to get it as far as I know. We assumed local stores close to Wimbledon would sell their merch but we were informed that this is not the case. If you want a Wimbledon tee, you buy it at Wimbledon.
After exiting the gift shop, we stopped to get a Pimm’s cup, a gin based, lemony flavored Wimbledon staple, and proceeded to take a walk around the grounds. While we did not pass any celebrities on our stroll around the grounds, they were definitely there. We thought we spotted Brad Pitt (who was actually there but alas, my hubs said it was only his reflection in the window ; ) There were several junior matches being played on the outer courts and we watched several players who we will no doubt eventually see on Centre Court in the future. We also saw Djokovic practicing on Court 18 prior to the final.
The Sunday of the men’s final is crowded. Those without tickets to Centre Court opt to enjoy a picnic lunch while sitting on Henman Hill to watch the matches on the big screen. Be advised, the hill gets packed! I mean, there is barely any room to walk to find a grassy spot. While you can buy lunch at Winbledon, we noticed that most people brought their own food and drink to enjoy while watching the match.
Since we did not bring a picnic lunch, we ate in one of the local restaurants in Wimbledon village, Wingfield Cafe. The lines were long but the food was good, mostly sandwiches and salads here. Still, I could not leave Wimbledon without trying the famous strawberries and cream and the strawberries and cream were just that…. strawberries floating in a box of cream. Underwhelming but at least I can say that I tried it.
My afternoon at Wimbledon was lovely and I could have stayed all day soaking up the beautiful weather and exciting tennis being played. If ever get the chance to go back, I know not to be intimidated by that loooong line and to next time, bring my lunch.