The All England Tennis Club also called the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is located in a suburb of London called Wimbledon. This club has gained popularity world wide because it hosts the most prestigious Grand Slam event, The Wimbledon Championships which is also one of the oldest tournaments in the history of lawn tennis. This is the only Grand Slam event that is played on a grass court (the other 3 are played either on hard or clay courts). In addition to playing host to the Wimbledon tournament, the club will also host the tennis competition of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Initially, this club was called The All England Croquet club; however, with the introduction of lawn tennis in the year 1877, this club was renamed The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. In order to signal the change of name to all, this club held the first lawn tennis tournament in the year 1877. What was basically a fundraiser for some lawn equipment signaled the birth of the most prestigious tennis championship. The first Championship had only one event, The Gentleman’s Singles event. The winner of the singles event was Spencer Gore, thus becoming the first Wimbledon title holder.
The club that started with just one court off Warton Road in Wimbledon now has 19 courts exclusively for the tournaments and 14 extra grass courts just for the players to practice before their matches. The Center Court is the largest court which hosts all the final matches of each event.
Public Transport: You can get to Wimbledon using London Underground. There are a number of trains from Earl Court to Wimbledon. Once you get off the train you can either take a 15 minute walk south through Wimbledon Park road to reach the Championship venue or you can opt for the shuttle bus services. There are a number of buses available throughout the day either from the Wimbledon Station or South Field Station. So reaching the venue will never be a concern.
You can also opt for traveling through trains from Waterloo to Wimbledon station. There are also many other long distance trains that run from various stations across the country to Wimbledon. Once the passengers alight, they can take the shuttle service to reach the venue.
Trams are available for transportation from East Croydon station to the Wimbledon Station. They run once every 15 minutes from Monday to Saturday and once every 30 minutes on Sunday.
A lot of effort goes into ensuring the smooth movement of traffic around the venue during the Championship tournament. Hence it is important for all people to follow the signs put up around the venue and co-operate with the police. There is no parking on any of the roads around the club during the Wimbledon tournament.
Security is given top priority during the Championships. There are number of measures that have been taken to ensure that there is no security lapse. All bags will be subjected to a thorough search and bags beyond a certain size (18” x 12” x 12”) will not be allowed inside the venue. Also, one person is given the permission to carry just one bag.
You will also not be allowed to carry any sharp objects inside the venue. Any kind of spray is also barred entry. Each person can carry only one small bottle of wine or 2 cans of beer that can be consumed only in certain designated areas and not on the ground. Also, nobody is allowed to resort to foul or abusive language. Anyone found doing so will risk their entry inside the club. It is recommended that the mobile phoned be switched off to ensure that it does not inconvenience any one. Any person violating these rules will not be allowed to enter the grounds.
There are many options for dining and refreshments inside the Club itself. A restaurant by name the Wingfield restaurant is the only place where you can make reservations for a meal. The payment needs to be made in advance and the reservation is limited to a maximum of 6 people per group.
For debenture holders, there are several exclusive dining facilities. There are self service counters as well as restaurants that serve at the table. There are many other places too for the visitors to eat and drink. You can either opt for a buffet lunch or for some snacks like pizza, hot dogs, fish and chips, various beverages and drinks, hamburgers and the traditional strawberries and cream. Wimbledon without strawberries and cream can be considered synonymous to pizza without cheese!!
There are many places of interest in and around the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
This is a place that is worth a visit. If you want to know why the Wimbledon Championships are so famous, you should pay a visit to this museum. This place has a huge collection of the Championship trophies and an enviable collection of all tennis memorabilia from as early as 1555. Another main attraction is the “ghost” of the American tennis legend John McEnroe that talks about his matches and opponents. This can be found in the room that was used by this American sporting star. You can also see all the equipment that was used for the first Championship game that was played in the year 1877 at the club.
In addition to this there are many national trusts that are worth a visit. Some of the notable ones are the Osterle Park and House and Ham House and Garden which are about 2 miles from the place.
The Kew Gardens also known as the Royal Botanical Gardens is also located in Greater London and is less than a mile away from the Championship grounds.
Fred Perry Statue
Fred Perry was the last British person to win the championship title. Unfortunately, since then no English person has been able to clinch this most coveted title. He won the Wimbledon title three times consecutively and in order to commemorate the 50th year of his win, this statue was erected in 1984.