Whether you’re visiting for the Tennis Championships, to browse the Village boutiques or to head out for a country walk, here’s a local’s guide to all the best things to do in Wimbledon, London SW19.
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Watch the Wimbledon Tennis Championships
It’s so well known across the world that it’s called simply ‘Wimbledon’. The Championships, held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon London, is one of the premier sporting events in the world and a highlight of the UK’s summer social calendar. And watching the tennis is one of the best things to do in Wimbledon, London.
For two weeks in early July, the global stars of the tennis circuit gather in this leafy suburb in south west London. It’s revered as the oldest tennis tournament in the world and the only one of the four Grand Slam Majors still played on grass courts. That’s why the Wimbledon Championship title is considered the most prestigious of them all.
How to get tickets to watch Wimbledon
It’s not easy to get Wimbledon tickets! Step one is to enter the public ballot each year. You just might get lucky.
Or join the famous Queue at The Championships. Unusually for such a major event a limited number of premium tickets are available each day of the tournament as well as thousands of ground passes.
Hundreds of people camp overnight in Wimbledon Park for a chance to be first in line. Don’t fancy camping? You could still snap up one of the thousands of daily ground passes to the outside courts and Henman Hill/ Murray Mound.
Once inside you also have the chance of bagging a resale ticket for a main show court before the end of play. Cheering the players on from Henman Hill is a classic thing to do in Wimbledon.
Alternatively splash out and buy a VIP experience. Often used for corporate entertaining, hospitality packages for Wimbledon include excellent seats, delicious food in a lovely setting and no need to queue at all.
Contact Keith Prowse who are the only official providers of hospitality experiences at The Wimbledon Championships.
Enjoy strawberries and cream at Wimbledon
Whether you manage to get hold of a precious ticket or not, eating strawberries and cream is a key thing to do in Wimbledon during tennis fortnight. Apparently 38.4 tons of strawberries are consumed on the grounds each year, that’s 1.92 million strawberries. The staff also serve around 300,000 glasses of Pimm’s, the traditional British summertime cocktail. Cheers!
Visit the Wimbledon tennis museum
Outside the frenetically paced fortnight of The Championships, the Wimbledon Tennis Museum is a fascinating place to soak up the history and stories behind the world famous tournament. The Museum, Shop and Wingfield cafe are open all year round to visitors. And you can book a behind-the-scenes tour, led by an official Blue Badge guide. Did you know for instance that fans are used to stop unwanted seeds settling on the hallowed turf? And the courts are weeded by hand?
Vote for the decorated windows in Wimbledon Village
Each year Wimbledon businesses compete to decorate their store windows with a tennis theme. The coveted prize is of course, tickets to Centre Court! Marks are given for creativity, originality and humour as well as designs which best combine the business with tennis. With thousands of visitors passing through the village on their way to The Championships the decorated windows really add to the party vibe.
Things to do in Wimbledon London
Wimbledon isn’t just about the tennis. There are 50 more weeks in the year when the world isn’t watching. I’ve lived in both the town and the village so I know that Wimbledon is a lively place all year round. Wimbledon has plenty of things to do and places to go to keep locals and visitors entertained, without a tennis racquet in sight.
Wimbledon Village shopping
Only half an hour from central London, Wimbledon Village has a distinctly rural feel. Horses and riders clip clop along the high street from the stables in the centre of the village. Dog walkers pop in and out of cafes, the pubs have a cosy ambience.
This is all helped by the fact that Wimbledon Common, more than a thousand acres of woodland and heath, lies right on the doorstep of the Village.
Try Wimbledon cafes and brunch
Wimbledon Village is a sought after location with an affluent air. At weekends it’s a magnet for visitors who want to sample its town and country combo. The Village has plenty of all day cafes serving breakfast, brunch, coffees and cake. Try Maison St. Cassien for people watching, Demitasse for speciality coffee and Caffè Nero for a quiet corner with your laptop, dogs welcome.
Go designer shopping in Wimbledon Village
The Village has some seriously desirable boutiques. Matches of course, with its luxury designer edit. Trilogy for its fab denim collection, Boho which will catch your eye with breezy kaftans, Un-Common, a newcomer with rails full of interesting picks.
And that’s only the beginning. For lovers of vintage and second-time-around the village charity shops hold designer treasures, while the Phoenix Style re-sale store also flies the flag for sustainable dressing.
Assemble a gourmet picnic
Take a walk down the High Street and within minutes you can throw together the gourmet picnic of your dreams. The Village has the best selection of bakeries and delis. Select Italian specialities to takeaway from Prezzemolo & Vitale, pick up a freshly baked handmade sourdough loaf at Gail’s Bakery, cross the road to PAUL’s for the finest French pastries and tarts.
Collect rotisserie chicken from Provenance and select artisan cheeses and charcuterie from Vallebona. Round it off with fresh fruit and a chilled bottle of something at Bayley and Sage. Then carry it all off to the Common to find the perfect picnic nook.
Go to Wimbledon Village farmers market
On Sunday mornings awaken your tastebuds at the stalls of the Wimbledon Village farmers’ market. It assembles at the corner of the High Street leading to the Common. Fresh organic vegetables, sizzling wild boar burgers, caramel pear buns and honey gin all caught my eye last weekend. More details here.
Explore Wimbledon Common
Many visitors don’t get further than the ‘front’ of the common, the wide open spaces around Rushmere Pond which are flanked on three sides by village homes. Cross Cannizaro Road and you’ll find yourself with acres and acres of woods, heath, ponds and golf courses to explore.
The Common’s Keepers patrol on horseback, and are a familiar sight amongst the walkers, joggers, cyclists, horse riders and golfers who all share the wide open spaces. North of the Windmill the Common merges into Putney Heath, which continues beyond the A3.
Visit the wimbledon windmill
In the centre of the common is Wimbledon’s striking white sailed windmill. Once used to grind corn for the neighbourhood it now houses its own small museum. It’s open to visitors at the weekends. Beside the windmill you’ll find the Ranger’s Office and also the Windmill Tearooms, a must visit when you’ve worked up an appetite on the Common.
Take a stroll in Cannizaro park
Once the lavish gardens of a private house in the Village, Cannizaro is a Grade II listed public park beside the Common. With wide lawns, an Italian Garden and a pretty azalea dell it’s a wonderful place for shady walks and picnics.
Discover Wimbledon’s Thai temple
Wat Buddhapadipa is a Buddhist centre in Wimbledon Village. The peaceful 4 acre grounds include a traditional style Thai temple which was completed in 1982. A small community of monks live here and aim to disseminate the teachings of Buddhism to a wider audience. The grounds are open to visitors at certain times and meditation classes are also held here.
Walk to Richmond Park
If you’re keen for a longer walk or cycle ride you can cross the Common and head to Richmond Park. This is one of London’s Royal Parks with a different feel to the Common. Its 2500 acres includes herds of wild red deer and from King Henry’s Mound you can see as far as St Paul’s Cathedral.
Visit Wimbledon’s town and country pubs
Whether your order is a pint or a Pimm’s, Wimbledon’s watering holes are fun all year round and full of the party spirit during The Championships. Just pick your pub to match your mood.
From the buzzing Alexandra in the town centre with its sports bar, DJs and rooftop cocktails to cosy commonside favourites like the Hand in Hand and The Crooked Billet where you’ll find beamed ceilings, sumptuous Sunday roasts and Labradors under the tables.
Visit the Wimbledon Brewery
Following in the footsteps of the first Wimbledon Brewery, established in the Village in 1832, today’s brand uses the best ingredients and traditions to inspire a new generation. Join in the fun at one of its Cheese and Beer Pairing events, held in the taproom beside the huge fermentation vats.
As well as beer they produce small batch Wimbledon Garden Gin and still and sparkling rose wines produced in partnership with a Surrey vineyard. Buy direct from the Brewery or find them stocked at Bayley and Sage or Elys Wimbledon.
Outdoor activities in Wimbledon London
With so many open spaces Wimbledon has plenty of opportunities to get active outdoors. Here are some of the best outdoorsy things to do in Wimbledon London.
Go horse riding on the Common
Twenty-five horses and ponies live in the riding stables in the centre of the Village. Wimbledon Village Stables is an up-scale members’ riding club but non-members who are experienced riders can also book weekday hacks on the Common. Beginners can learn the basics on the Equicise riding simulator.
Play golf on Wimbledon Common
The 18 hole golf course on the Common is one of the oldest in England and is actually used by two different clubs with separate clubhouses. Confusingly they use different routes around the course too! Visitors are welcomed by both Clubs and all players must wear pillar box red coloured tops so that they can be easily spotted. Keeping a sharp eye open for golfers and vice versa walkers is important on the Common!
Go boating at Wimbledon Park
Wimbledon Park is one of the largest in Merton and is right next door to the AELTC, where The Championships are held. It dates back to the eighteenth century when Capability Brown landscaped a park for Earl Spencer. The Park has a lake with a watersports centre where you can learn sailing, kayaking and canoeing. There’s fishing too, an athletics track and tennis courts to hire. If you’re looking for a purposeful walk then Wimbledon Park to Richmond is section 6 of London’s Capital Ring walk .
Visit Morden Hall Park
Lying just south of South Wimbledon, Morden Hall Park is not strictly in Wimbledon at all. But this National Trust property is worth the short drive to get there. It’s really a country estate in SW London. You can walk alongside the river Wandle, looking out for kingfishers and dragonflies, while children enjoy the natural play area and family trails though the parkland. Check the website for summer outdoor theatre and cinema too.
More things to do in Wimbledon London
Wimbledon has plenty of indoor entertainment too. Here are some cultural and active things to do in Wimbledon London.
Visit the Wimbledon Museum
This newly-refurbished hyperlocal museum concentrates on history on the doorstep, collating the stories of Wimbledon’s diverse neighbourhood community over time. Take a glimpse inside, or discover the stories of Red Teddy or the Wimbledon Poisoner on a visit. The museum is open on three afternoons a week.
Go to the movies in Wimbledon
With a 12 screen Odeon with IMAX and a comfy 3 screen Curzon, Wimbledon always has a wide-ranging cinema menu to choose from.
New Wimbledon theatre
The New Wimbledon Theatre is actually Edwardian and was built in 1910. A Grade II listed Edwardian confection of gilt and crimson velvet, it’s now owned by the Ambassador Theatre company. Check out its a busy schedule of musicals, drama, dance and pantomimes.
Polka childrens theatre
Further down the Broadway is the treasure that is Polka Children’s Theatre. The company has entertained generations of children since the 1970s with world-class, high quality and innovative productions for toddlers to teens.
Try the indoor bouldering and climbing wall
Yes, you can now go rock climbing in Wimbledon. Newly opened at the Centre Court Shopping Centre is an indoor bouldering and climbing gym. Check here for more info The Boardroom Climbing Ltd
Wimbledon London What’s On
Take part in some of the regular events in Wimbledon from the weekly parkrun to the annual music festival.
Watch an AFC Wimbledon football match
Wimbledon’s local professional football club was formed in 2002 when the former Wimbledon FC relocated to Milton Keynes and became MK Dons. AFC Wimbledon’s new home stadium is in Plough Lane and in the 2023-24 season they will be playing in EFL League Two. A community based club, AFC Wimbledon also has an active local action group with a network of volunteers. Book match day tickets.
Join the parkrun on Wimbledon Common
Lace up your running shoes and get to know the woodland trails on the Wimbledon Common 5k parkrun. It’s a fun, friendly and free thing to do in Wimbledon! The weekly event that starts by the Windmill at 9 am on Saturday mornings. No need to be fast – walking is allowed! Register here.
Visit Wimbledon’s Bookfest
A 10 day festival of literature based, this year, in Wimbledon town centre. This year’s autumn Bookfest is 12 – 22 Oct, 2023.
Wimbledon Art Fair
Discover an affordable masterpiece at the twice yearly art fairs held at Wimbledon Art Studios. Free to enter and open for 4 days, you can see the work and buy direct from more than 150 diverse and original artists. The next show is in November.
Wimbledon International Music Festival
Hosting an impressive roster of talent from the classical music world for its two week run, WIMF offers solo recitals, orchestral works and a jazz evening. This year, highlights from the programme include the Juilliard Quartet and baritone Roderick Williams who performed at the King’s Coronation in May. The Festival runs from 11 – 26 Nov 2023.
Stay in Wimbledon London
Here’s a selection of lovely places to stay in Wimbledon. Book ahead if you want to be at the heart of the action during The Championships!
Rose and Crown
Historic cosy 17th century Village pub with rooms.
- 13 air-conditioned bedrooms with ensuites
- Flat screen TV with Sky, free wi fi, coffee machine, room service
- Award winning beers
- All-day dining with seasonal pub classic dishes
- Dog friendly: dog beds, blankets and bowls provided
Dog and Fox
In the heart of the village, the Dog and Fox is a lively pub with a large function space for weddings and events.
- 25 bedrooms with ensuites
- Flat screen TV, free wi fi, coffee machine, room service
- All day dining, popular pub classics and specials
- Room service, 24 hr front desk, air conditioning.
- Dog friendly with dog beds, blankets and bowls provided
Fox and Grapes
An independent gastro pub with rooms in a quiet location on the edge of Wimbledon Common.
- 3 modern double rooms with ensuites, air-conditioning, flat screen TV, free wi fi
- Complimentary continental breakfast delivered to room
- Gastro pub serving lunch and dinner 5 days a week
Hotel du Vin Cannizaro House
Boutique hotel and restaurant in a 19th century country house on the edge of Wimbledon Common and Cannizaro Park.
- 50 individually decorated hotel rooms and suites
- Flat screen TV, free wi fi, room service
- Orangery and terrace overlooking parkland
- Bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner
FAQs about Wimbledon
Wimbledon station to central London is approx 8 miles and will take around 50 minutes by car depending on traffic. By train or tube it can take as little as 31 minutes.
Wimbledon Village, sited on the top of a hill in south west London, dates back to medieval times. The town on the lower slopes grew up around the railway station which first opened in 1838.
The nearest underground to The Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club is Southfields on the District line. But Wimbledon station with its rail, tube and tram services is closer to the town and Village.
Please note that all visitor information here is for guidance only. Please check the relevant websites for the most up to date information eg. accommodation details, tickets, entrance requirements, opening times etc.
All photos are all rights reserved. Please do not reproduce these photos without prior written permission
What to read next
Looking for more things to do in Wimbledon London?
Here’s the latest on the famous Wimbledon Queue: is it worth it?
Plus our up to date guide to the best cafes in Wimbledon.
And a selection of the Best Wimbledon pubs too
Thinking of moving to Wimbledon? Check out What It’s Like to Live in Wimbledon: 2023 Area Guide here.
If you’re visiting London, let our 2 Day London Itinerary take the pain out of your planning
About the author Nancy is a former women’s magazine editor and writer who lives in London and is mum to two 20-something boys. In Map&Family she shares info and inspiration for curious travellers: singles and couples as well as families travelling with teens and young adults.