On the common is a large white windmill built in 1817. It did not serve its purpose for very long and was closed down in 1864 when it was converted to a home.
Volunteers now operate the museum and it has an exhibition of windmills, rural life and local history.
The museum has a display of scouting memorabilia.
There is an admission price.
However admission to the cafe and gift shop is free.
It is open to the public on summer weekends only (late March to October).
- Museum Visits
At the junction of Wimbledon Hill Road and Wimbledon High Street is a water fountain built here in 1868 as a memorial to a local benefactor called Joseph Toynbee.
Toynbee was a medical man but took great interest in local affairs and helped form the Village Club where local people could attend a libarary and reading room on the Ridgeway in Wimbledon.
- Historical Travel
The War Memorial
You will find this fine memorial at the junction of Wimbledon High Street and The Green, opposite the Rushmore Pond on the common.
It has nice floral displays in season and commemorates the lives of local men who lost their lives in conflicts through the years.
- Historical Travel
Despite been only a few miles from central London , Wimbledon has a large common covering 1140 acres in this south west corner of London.
This is a heath and wooded area with some ponds and very pleasant for walking, cycling, running, picnics and flying kites. It is the largest area of open heathland in the London area.
A very fine Park.
Like a number of other tips this one came about as I was in the process of walking the Capital Ring long-distance footpath in London, a 78 mile circular route linking a number of open spaces. If the reader is interested I have created a set of travelogues here.
At one point my walk led me to Wimbledon Park, one of the largest open recreational areas in London and well-maintained with various amenities.
At 67 acres (27 hectates) it has plenty of room to accommodate the sizeable lake which dominates the centre of the space. As well as being a home to various wildlife the lake also serves as a waterports centre. According to the attached website the facilities include an athletics track, beach volleyball courts, bowling green, cafe, car park, changing rooms, crazy golf, football pitches, ornamental gardens. a paddling pool, play areas, a rockery, toilets (including external DC Radar accessible disabled toilets) and woodland. Almost inevitably in this area there are tennis courts here, not to be confused with their more famous cousins just across Church Road.
The Park is also home to the Wimbledon Club, a private sports club with tennis (again), squash (5 courts), hockey, cricket and gym sections.
Large as the park is, it is only a portion of what were once the grounds of Wimbledon Manor House and must have been absolutely massive. It had been originally landscaped by the famous gardener Capability Brown in the 18th century. By the mid 19th century Earl Spencer who was then Lord of the Manor had sold off a large portion of the grounds to a developer and the ensuing road and house building started to eat away at the open land. In the early 20th century the local authority purchased the park including what is now the Wimbledon Club and the Golf Course but they sold off the Golf Course a few years ago leaving the facility as we see it now.
The Park is open Monday – Friday 8.00 am to dusk; Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 9.00 am - dusk, (Tennis courts open until 9pm Mon-Thur inclusive and until 6pm at other times)
Whilst it is certainly impressive now I cannot help but wish that I had seen it in it's heyday.
- Water Sports
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Greyhound Dog Racing
If you want to experience something fun and I think traditionally a London experience I would recommend a trip to the Wimbledon Dogs.
The admission is GBP5 which includes a racecard. There are several races every 15 minutes I tended to only bet on every second race. The bet minimum is GBP1 so your option is
WIN GBP1, PLACE (first or second) GBP2 REVERSE FORECAST (your first & second in any order) GBP2 or FORECAST.
The rabbit goes first and the dogs chase like mad not that they ever catch the rabbit. The dogs are paraded before the race so you can make your selection also on the racecard it provides details or their previous races and possible predictions. I say ignore all this and go with the name that tweaks your fancy.
This makes a great day out for a group doors open at 6.30 with the first race starting at 7.30 and ends around 10.30pm Tuesday, Friday and Saturdays.
There is a charity set up to find retired greyhounds suitable homes they make lovely pets.
Drinks are roughly GBP3 and there is fast food available but be warned there are usually long queues. Free parking is available.
We took a taxi from Wimbledon station which cost about GBP8 when you exit the stadium make sure you take a black cab as the normal taxis will charge more suprisingly.
Getting tickets - Public Ballot Stage 3
If you have been successful you will hear from the Club from February, asking you for immediate payment. You will need to send a personal cheque drawn on a U.K bank for the full amount in pounds sterling.
If you have not heard by March please assume that your application has not been successful in the main ballot.
However, declined and returned tickets are re-balloted up to the day of play, so you may be offered tickets at a later stage.
The tickets themselves, together with a booklet about the Championship which gives directions, maps, details about parking, public transport, opening times, security, rainfall policy, plus lots of other useful information, are usually sent out in about mid-late May, quite close to the tournament.
Getting tickets - Public Ballot Stages 1 and 2
The A.E.L.T.C (All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club) run a public ballot which allocates a percentage of tickets for the Show Courts (Centre, Courts 1 and 2) for each day of the tournament. First, you need to send an S.A.E to:
A.E.L.T.C. PO Box 98, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5AE. England.
You don’t need to include a letter.
You will receive a straightforward form which you complete and return to the same address BEFORE 15 December. Allow a margin for Christmas post – I sent it too close to the date once and it was returned.
The club will send you information which explain how the ballot works, prices, dates and what you do, and do not do. This is an outline of the details.
Tournament dates: 2008 - Monday 23 June - Sunday 6 July inclusive.
The categories of tickets available are explained, for example: Centre court:
- one pair of tickets
- two single tickets (ie the seats will not be adjacent)
- one single ticket
Successful applicants will be offered one category for one day of the event. Single or two single tickets are balloted once all the pairs have been offered.
Prices vary according to the Court and the day of the tournament. Court 2 tickets on the first Monday will be approx £27 per head, Court 1 tickets on the second Wednesday (quarter final day) will be approx £65 per head and a pair of mens’ finals match tickets on Centre will cost you in the region of £87 per head.
Wheelchair ballot – There are wheelchair spaces on Centre and No 1 Courts and there is a separate form for this ballot.
Once you have returned the form you wait – fingers crossed ! The ballot is always very over-subscribed, but you might be lucky.
British Lawn Tennis
The Wimbledon Tennis Championships is played at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, one of the most prestigious tennis clubs in the whole world.
People come from all over the world to see a game.
I have been fortunate enough to see the men's semi finals and the women's finals in 2004, and the mens and ladies semi finals in 2005. I have also seen a couple quarter final matches. In 2006 I saw Agassi play his last game ever at Wimbledon prior to his retirement, against Nadal. That was an emotional game! We saw 3 other matches too in 2006.
I have seen players and have to say Federer is my favourite - not only because heis half-South African (his mum), but because he is a fabulous player and is an absolute gentleman in manner and play too. Go Federer!
The atmosphere is electric, the applause thunderous and the entertainment thrilling.
- Adventure Travel
- Wine Tasting
- Theme Park Trips
Public Ballot - Do's and Don'ts.
This is detailed on the form, so I will just provide an outline.
You need to apply for tickets from your permanent residential address, not a business or “Care of” address. Only ONE application for tickets per address / household can be accepted.
Tickets from the public ballot are NOT transferable – they are intended for the sole use of the original applicant and, if applicable, their guest. So please don’t buy a ticket as a gift for someone.
Do not advertise tickets for sale on the internet, newspapers etc.
The A.E.L.T.C. are “very hot” on these points as you will see from the warning on the form.
If you are lucky and do get tickets, I can assure you that it is worth it. It really is an excellent event – held in lovely surroundings – and makes a great day out.
The big screen behind Court 1
Wimbledon is not just about the high pressure matches – a mixed doubles match on a long sunny summer evening is every bit as enjoyable.
Wimbledon is a lovely place to visit - You can buy a ground pass and watch the tennis on the big screen behind Court No 1, stroll around the grounds, buy a pizza, or a pimms or whatever, and have a laugh with friends. There is a choice of eateries, ranging from the really smart to the very casual and if you like flowers, they are everywhere – all in the Wimbledon colours of purple, green and white.
The tournament is very well run, by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), who combine the buzz of a world class event and yet retain the atmosphere of a club – with not an advertising hoarding in sight.
Andrew has written some Wimbledon pages and there is an extensive website – details given below.
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
If you have not been to Wimbledon since the new museum opened in March 2006 then you should experience the much improved facility along with a grounds tour. The museum is an ace for tennis players and fantastic for fans of the game, with interesting exhibits about the history of lawn tennis and Wimbledon's championship tournament. There are audio guides in eight languages, including Mandarin Chinese!
Upon entering the museum you are introduced to the history of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which actually began as the Croquet Club. The evolution of rackets, clothing, and traditions from the Victorian era to last year's championship is all on interactive displays. Young scientists will appreciate the cinema showing a film that uses special effects to demonstrate detailed aspects of tennis physics. In a separate exhibit, one can also see how the "ghost" of John McEnroe is created while listening to him talk about his Wimbledon experiences. (See photo #4) Finally, you'll have a chance to get up close to the championship trophies and imagine yourself lifting them over your head. (See photo #5)
- Museum Visits
- Historical Travel
- Family Travel
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis museum
I have not actually visited the grounds or the museum before but it is on my list to do and if you are in Wimbledon something you should do as well.
The new musuem opened up recently and is very interactive - you get a guided ghosted tour of the Gentleman's dressing rooms in the 1980's by John McEnroe, also you can test your tennis grip. The musuem houses the Mens & Ladies Trophies as they are not allowed to take them home when they win, instead winners names are engraved and the players take home a replica of the trophy.
The mueum is open daily except during the championships
Adults GBP7.50 or 14.50 incl tour
Children GBP 6.25 or 11.00 incl tour
- Museum Visits
Beckham from the half way line
Not a must see, more a should have seen!
David Beckham while playing for Man United on 17th August 1996 against Wimbledon, took the ball from inside his own half and let fly (seeing the goalkeeper Neil Sullivan off his line).
You know what happened next!
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
Extract from the Museum's website:
"Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum offers a glimpse of how the original medieval real tennis, has now become a multi-million dollar professional sport, played all over the world.
Open all year round, the Museum includes memorabilia from many famous players and includes a state of the art Audio/Visual Theatre showing highlights of great players in action, and views of Centre Court."
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel