|Globetrotting Planning Articles|
Globetrotting Traveling Articles
Globetrotting Lodging Articles
Globetrotting Touring Articles
Globetrotting Dining Articles
Globetrotting Making Magic Articles
Globetrotting General Travel Articles
12 Tips to Hotel Bliss
Assateague Island National Seashore
Back To Barcelona
Bellagio of Las Vegas
Chateau de Chenonceau
Disney on Broadway
Disney's Magical Express
Exploring Chicago's Museums
Flying Premium Economy
Grotte de Pech-Merle, France
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates
Kennedy Space Center
Lake Constance, Switzerland
Lake Thunersee, Switzerland
Learning the Language
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
Making Your Way by Ferry to the Magic in Disneyland Paris
Montezuma Castle National Monument
More of Hilton Head Island
Mount Fuji & Hakone, Japan
My Quest for the West
New Orleans Revisited
One Place is Never Enough!
Palm Beach, Florida
Serendipity 3 in New York City
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
Star Wars in Concert
Taking to the Road
The 'Other' Jersey
The Billie Swamp Safari Park
The Egyptian Museum
The Gardens of Versailles
The Green Heart of the Big Apple
The Manatee Tour
The Palace of Versailles
The Pyramids of Giza
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Tired, Tried And True
Traveling the Northern Oregon Coast
Valley of Fire
Viewing Cities From Above
Visiting the French Alps
Wimbledon Tennis Museum
You Don't Have to Cruise to See Alaska
View all PassPorter articles
Wimbledon Tennis Museum: The All England Lawn and Tennis Club
|by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist|
Last modified 03-16-2011
Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!
Filed in Articles > International Travel > General Travel
There are many unique visitor attractions throughout the world, and many are based on various different sports. From baseball to football, there are museums to celebrate them, but perhaps one of the most unusual sporting tourist attractions can be found at Wimbledon.
The name is known the world over for the famous tennis tournament that takes place over two weeks at the end of June, and beginning of July.
The only remaining grass court Grand Slam tournament, there’s much more to Wimbledon than just a fortnight of international top quality tennis action on the courts. The All England Lawn and Tennis Club, who run Wimbledon, realised some time ago that there was potential in the site and, as part of the major investment, which has seen the famous roof arrive on the new Centre Court, and a brand new number one court, a new museum was opened to the public in 2006.
It’s something I’d wanted to visit for some time, and when my parents came down to see us, it seemed like the perfect place to take them. I got my love for tennis, and most particularly Wimbledon, from my mother. It was a well known fact when I was growing up that everything ground to a halt in our house for those two weeks, and that’s a family tradition I’ve continued to this day!
When we visited, it was a very quiet weekend, and we found parking at the site easily enough, although spaces there are very limited. It’s easy enough to get to from the center of London using public transport, as you can take the Underground to either Southfields on the District Line or Tooting Broadway on the Northern Line or the train from London Waterloo station to Wimbledon station. With all these options, then just grab the 493 bus.
London - Wimbledon Tennis Museum
The trophies awarded to the winners of the mens' and ladies' singles at Wimbledon, as seen in the museum. - photo by chezp
It’s perhaps one of the most bizarre entrances to a museum, as it’s actually located underneath the major merchandise shop at Wimbledon. You buy your tickets and then descend down the stairs. As you walk in, you learn some fascinating facts – for example, did you know that visitors consume 28,000 kilos of strawberries during the two weeks? Well, you do now!
From there, you learn how the game of tennis started, and how it came to Wimbledon. There’s even a section on how they get the courts ready for play, and as my father used to do a similar job, we found this really interesting. They even have ancient lawnmowers that were once used at Wimbledon. Of course, there are sections about tennis racquets, and the 52,000 balls that they use in a tournament.
Once you’ve learnt about the background to the tournament, and the various elements that make it up, then it’s on to the important part – the players. Although you don’t get to meet the players themselves, you do get a tour of the gentlemen’s dressing room in the 1980s from a ghost-like John McEnroe. When I read about this online, I was a bit sceptical, but it’s been exceptionally well done and we all really enjoyed seeing this section. McEnroe talks candidly about life at the tournament, and preparing for matches, and none of it sounds scripted. It was really interesting to get a glimpse of somewhere that we wouldn’t usually be allowed to go.
The Whites of Wimbledon takes you through the outfits worn by the players over the last 100 years. Personal highlights for me were some of Venus William’s unique dresses, Roger Federer’s amazing monogrammed jacket, and Maria Sharapova’s gold tennis shoes, embroidered with her name.
The highlight is of course seeing the Wimbledon trophies, and yes, they do look exactly as they do when you see the winners holding them up on the TV, although they are both fairly small. I guess the title and the award money more than makes up for that!
One unique aspect of the museum is that you can also book a guided tour of Wimbledon. We broke up our museum visit to do the guided tour, which they’re very happy for you to do. Our guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and very enthusiastic, happily answering any question we had. The tour took us to court number one, where we’d been lucky enough to see a match a couple of years earlier, where you get a front row seat for a couple of minutes.
We then headed up what’s affectionately been named Henman Hill, where crowds who couldn’t get tickets to the showcourts used to gather to watch British favourite Tim Henman in action on big TV screens. From the top of the hill, you have wonderful views across London, and I was amazed at how much you could see, including the London Eye, and the skyscrapers of the City of London.
Passing various outside courts, we saw the TV broadcasting suite, complete with a topiary of a TV cameraman on top of it, before heading inside to the press suite, where players do interviews after their matches. They’ve got a very impressive set-up here, but the numbers of journalists that cover the tournament are just staggering, so I guess they need to!
After a stop-off to see the title winners’ boards, and a glimpse of the other showcourts, numbers two and three, the tour finished with a visit to Centre Court, with a front row view again. Now if only we could get those during the tournament itself!
The museum was a fascinating glimpse into every aspect of tennis, and covered more things than I could ever have imagined, but for me, the tour was the highlight, allowing you to enjoy the site without the crowds of Wimbledon fortnight. For any tennis fan, like me, this place really is a must-do on any visit to London.
To find out everything you need to know before a visit, check out the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum website, where you can also book guided tours online.
London - Wimbledon Tennis Museum
The Wimbledon museum tour takes you to visit court Number One. - photo by chezp
About the Author: Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!
Related Links:Read additional articles from PassPorter.com
Serendipity 3 in New York City - A Dining Review last updated 12/29/2008
Hong Kong Disneyland Celebrates - A New Year In A New Disney Park last updated 12/18/2008
Valencia, Spain - Travel Tips last updated 11/27/2008
Bellagio of Las Vegas - Simply Bellissimo! last updated 1/08/2009
Hever Castle - Kent, England last updated 1/15/2009
CastawayJP on March 17, 2011 @ 9:15 am
We were there in 2002 and loved the guided tour. The museum really needed an updating, and it sounds like they did a great job! Hopefully I'll get there to see all the new stuff soon!
View all 2 comments in forum thread neiljhonson01 on June 6, 2011 @ 6:25 am
Wimbledon 2011 will be starts from 20 june to 3 july. to know all the related information on Wimbledon like latest news, photos, videos, schedule, live score etc. Check out here all the related information on>>> Wimbledon 2011 and Wimbledon 2011 schedule
So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!
(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)
Updated 03-16-2011 - Article #606
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide.
As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!|
We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result
in more spam! We guarantee it.
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
| LEARN MORE|
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks|
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences!
Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com
Stone Mountain Christmas
11 Oct 2014 at 11:27pm
We are planning on stopping at Stone Mountain on our drive south right after Thanksgiving and they have a Christmas village and celebration with...
(click title above to view replies)
by Queen of Everything
7 Oct 2014 at 11:11am
Next summer (2015) we will be traveling to Davis WV to my family reunion. This is the first time we will be reunioning :p in the general vicinity...
(click title above to view replies)
Renting a house in Europe?
30 Sep 2014 at 6:44pm
We have often rented homes for vacations in the US and Canada. I am planning a trip to Italy next year and hopefully will be joined by one of my...
(click title above to view replies)
Total Visits: 5135