Wimbledon Tennis Grounds Tour: A Complete Guide to Exploring Tennis History

Published: 04 Jul 2024 Updated: 16 Jul 2024
The Wimbledon Tennis Tournament is an iconic tournament with a long history. It is usually held in July and lasts for 2 weeks, and getting tickets to the tournament is difficult. Did you know you can visit the iconic Tennis Grounds on a 90-minute tour throughout the year, experience the rich history, visit famous courts, and explore behind-the-scenes areas of the world's most prestigious tennis tournament? The ticket also gives you access to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, which has Championship trophies and plenty of tournament history on display.
Wimbledon Tennis tournament trophies
Wimbledon Tennis Tournament Trophies in a Poster

Wimbledon, the world-renowned tennis tournament held in South West London and one of the Grand Slam tournaments, is a prestigious event in an iconic venue worthy of exploration year-round. Many tennis fans have watched Wimbledon matches on TV and want to see the location in person. However, it’s not easy to get tickets to the tournament itself. There’s a ballot for tickets; if you’re lucky, you can buy two tickets for a specific day. This tour takes you on a 90-minute journey through the grounds, uncovering the history, tradition and main courts that make it the most important tennis tournament of the year.

What to Expect on the Tour

1. Arrival and Meeting Point

The tour is reserved for a specific time slot and lasts 90 minutes, so be sure to get there in time. If you’re too early, there’s a very nice café offering snacks, food, and drinks, a great place for a break. You can also catch some history on the cafe’s walls, starting when the tournament was founded.

You and your group will be met with your guide outside of the Wimbledon shop. The tour guides are excellent and make the tour memorable. With all the history at Wimbledon, there are many stories to tell about specific matches or funny events at the tournament.

2. Exploring the Outdoor Courts

Wimbledon Tennis tournament scores
Wimbledon Tennis Tournament Match Results

As the tour continues, you’ll glimpse the scoreboard and results from the previous tournament. This is an inspiring sight for any tennis enthusiast. Then, you’ll be guided through the facilities. The guide will take you through the steps of maintaining the lawn in the outside courts, a process that’s as interesting as it is precise. Let’s say it’s a lot of work and science to grow and keep the lawn playable.

Then, you will enter the renowned Court 1, equipped with 12,345 seats that have welcomed the best tennis players in the world. As you take in the awe-inspiring sight, you’ll also have a chance to experience the view outside the court. Right next to No. 1 Court is the Hill, also known as Henman Hill or Murray Mound, a popular place to sit and watch a match from the big screen installed on the side of the court while hopefully enjoying a beautiful summer day and a cold drink.

Wimbledon Tennis Court 1
The Famous Wimbledon Tennis Court 1

The walk continues past Court 18, where John Isner and Nicholas Mahut played the legendary longest-ever tennis match in 2010, which took 11 hours and 5 minutes to complete.

3. Behind the Scenes

You’ll also catch a sneak peek of the Centre Court offices, where the ball boys and girls manage the tennis balls during the games. Getting to work at Wimbledon is an honour, and the requirements are stringent. Punctuality is one of the important aspects, and being late for a practice session is not allowed.

Outside the Centre Court
Outside the Centre Court

After Court 18, you’ll get inside the impressive press room, with 200 desks for press personnel from various parts of the world. The air becomes charged with excitement as you sit behind the desks where interviews with players and coaches are conducted daily. You’ll see signs or name tags for all well-known media outlets in the world, starting from the BBC and New York Times. There’s also a new interview section close to where the press is sitting, and it’s also, luckily, part of the tour.

As the tour progresses, you can glimpse the Centre Court balcony, where the winners present trophies to the spectators. The balcony also provides a view of Court 3 and other courts at the south end of the grounds.

View from the Millennium Building Terrace
View from the Millennium Building Terrace towards Courts 2 - 12

4. Centre Cours Experience

The next step is to visit the Centre Court and see the royal booth reserved for distinguished guests. The court also has friends and family booths, typically reserved for the players’ loved ones. However, all the seats provide a great view of the court and the game’s action.

Outside of the Centre Court, the final stretch of the tour leads to a pathway where you’ll see the names of all the champions during the tournament’s history, including legends such as Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, and many others.

Images of Famous Winners
Winners by year and Images of some of the Winners

5. Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Shop

This is where the tour officially ends, but you’ll still have a chance to visit the fantastic museum downstairs of the shop. It is packed with historical tennis gear, rackets, and memorabilia from the earliest days of the Championships up until the present day. It shows how the outfits have changed over the years, from very sophisticated dresses to modern sportswear.

Inside the Wimbledon Tennis Museum
Inside the Wimbledon Tennis Museum

In the shop, you can purchase items to commemorate your unforgettable experience. The shop is filled with high-quality items, from apparel to commemorative merchandise, and this is a great opportunity to buy something nice for the home or for your outdoor activities.

Practical Information

When to Visit

The tour is available throughout the year, except during the Wimbledon tournament itself in July. A big part of the tour is walking around the grounds and its dependant on the weather so the best time to visit is between March and September, although the tour is worth considering any time of year.

Ticket Prices

The price of the tour is the following:

  • Adult: £30.00
  • Child (5-15): £20.00
  • Concession (student, 60+, disabled): £26.00
  • Infant (0-5): Free

There is also a family offer, where one child per adult is free. For example, tickets for two adults and two children are only £60.00 when using the promotion code specified on the Wimbledon website.

How to Book?

Booking the tour is easiest on the Wimbledon website Museum & Tour page. The first tour of the day starts at 10:15 and the last 15:15 and there are 12 tours per day. The booking page shows the availability for each tour on your chosen day, and you can choose the required tickets after selecting a time slot.

What to Bring?

You don’t need much on the tour, but as it involves some walking and takes 90 minutes, it can be a good idea to bring a bottle of water with you, especially if the weather is warm.

Why Visit the Wimbledon Tennis Grounds?

The Wimbledon Tennis Centre tour offers a unique and spectacular journey that enables visitors to experience the fantastic atmosphere of this iconic tennis venue. The tour is unparalleled and a must-see for any tennis fan, from exploring the museum to learning about the intricacies of maintaining the outdoor courts

How to get to Wimbledon Tennis Grounds?

The easiest way to get to Wimbledon is by taking a train or the District line to the Wimbledon Station. From there, you can either walk for about 30 minutes, or take bus 93 or 493.

Conclusion

We hope this post gives you an idea what to expect during the tour. We can warmly recommend the tour due the importance of Wimbledon to the history of tennis. The excellent guide with stories about Wimbledon makes the tour even more memorable.