Wimbledon: When to Arrive
As the tennis world’s most prestigious event, Wimbledon is known for its fantastic roster of players, Royal Family attendance, iconic strawberries and cream and, for many attendees, very long queues.
If you’re attending Wimbledon in 2015, it’s easy to assume that you’ll spend a large percentage of your day waiting in line. After all, Wimbledon is one of the few world sporting events where you can queue for tickets on the day of play itself.
While The Queue may be a Wimbledon icon, there’s less of a need to queue up to get in the gate than you might think. In this guide, we’ll cover when you should arrive at Wimbledon to get the most out of the tournament with the fewest delays.
When to arrive if you’re queuing for tickets
Are you planning to join The Queue and wait in line for tickets? Queuing for tickets to Wimbledon is a local tradition – one that attracts hundreds of people early every morning seeking access to The Championships.
Although the long lines of people camping out overnight might make it seem like you need to queue overnight, most of the time you’ll be able to get a ticket if you make it to the grounds by 7 am in the morning.
If you do decide to camp out overnight – which is a fun experience in its own right – you’ll be woken by the grounds staff at 6 am and given a wristband corresponding to your place in the queue.
Wristbands for the Show Courts are given out at 7:30 am to people right at the front of the queue. If you’re queuing for Show Court tickets, you’ll almost always need to camp out overnight – quantities are strictly limited and tickets go very quickly.
The turnstiles open at 9:30 am, so queuing up for a couple of hours isn’t as tough as it might seem. Bring some breakfast (or stop at Wimbledon Village) and some good music to make the wait more enjoyable.
By the way, don’t walk away in disappointment if you arrive to find a long queue for tickets. The queue moves quickly once tickets start being issued, so you may be able to get in even if you’re several hundred places back from the beginning.
The best time to attend The Championship
If you’re attending The Championships with a ground pass, you’ll get the most bang for your buck during the first week of the tournament. Games become less frequent on the outside courts from the second week of The Championships onwards.
Of course, this doesn’t mean it isn’t worth attending Wimbledon on a grounds pass after the first week. There’s constant tennis throughout the tournament, although a lot of the activity moves towards the Show Courts as the tournament progresses.
When to arrive if you have debenture tickets
If you’re attending Wimbledon on debenture tickets, or you’ve gotten tickets in the Public Ballot, you’ll be able to avoid waiting in line for queue tickets and walk right into the grounds.
The turnstiles open at 9:30 am, although play doesn’t begin until 11:30 am on the outside courts and 1 pm on the Centre and No. 1 Court. Since you can enter at any time, feel free to show up a little later and stop for breakfast on the way.
Getting to the Wimbledon on the day
Getting to The Championships is easy, even if you’re not familiar with London and its public transportation system. A shuttle bus departs from Wimbledon Station, making it easy to reach the grounds from anywhere in the city.
From elsewhere in London, take the District Line westbound. You can either exit at Southfields Station (which is a 15-minute walk from the grounds) or Wimbledon Station, where you can catch the shuttle bus.
Wimbledon Station is also a terminal station for several long-distance trains, making it easy to get to The Championships from outside London. Shuttle buses depart from Wimbledon Station every five minutes to the grounds.
If you’re driving, make sure you book parking ahead of time. There’s limited street parking available during The Championships, but assured parking can be booked online ahead of time to make sure you’ve got somewhere to store your vehicle.
Are you ready to enjoy The Championships?
Whether you arrive at 5 am and join The Queue (don’t worry – coffee is available inside the grounds) or arrive at 11 am with debenture tickets, spending a day out attending Wimbledon is always good fun.
From the Show Courts to the outside courts, Wimbledon is a fantastic event that everyone should attend at least once. Are you ready to enjoy The Championships next year?