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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Wimbledon: More than Just tennis

Wimbledon, the London village well known for tennis has much more to offer people than meets the eye. It is an ideal location for anyone who loves tennis, football, and theatre as well as lovers of rich history and haughty architecture. The area where Wimbledon now sits saw human activity all the way back into the days of the ancient Romans and Greeks. Though there is no archaeological evidence to back up this claim, the first mention of the town was given by King Edgar the Peaceful in a speech where he referred to the area as “Wimbedoungyng.” This speech was given back in the year 967!

The first public records of the village appeared in 1328. The Archbishop of Canterbury claimed the village of Wimbledon was one of his many possessions. This claim allowed the village to become a place of great importance. Thomas Cecil, the Earl of Exeter at one time called Wimbledon home. Elizabeth I and James I notoriously visited the village, and the first locomotive went through in 1838 bringing with it many new businesses, shops, trades, and talents. 

There are many things to do in Wimbledon to pass the time. This makes it a prime location for visitors and residents. Whether you came to the village for the most obvious Wimbledon pastime of all- tennis, or you came for theatre or football, you will find a wide assortment of things to do that could peak your interest.

Horseback riding is one of the other most popular pastimes in the village. The Wimbledon Village Stables are the oldest documented stables in the entire country of England. Horseback riding is a fantastic way to relax, so it is no wonder the residents and visitors of the village have it at the top of their list of favourite activities.

If you like physical activity of an individual nature, you may be perfect for the club known as the Windmilers. The Windmilers are a running club that meets every Saturday to run a 5K course. There are 300 runners that belong to the group, each of which aim to improve their physique and running capabilities.

Football is the other most famous pastime in Wimbledon. The Wimbledon FC began as a team that did not belong to a league, but after a streak of successful games over the years, the team was moved 70 miles away to a different village called Milton Keyes in the late 1980s. The Wimbledon stadium that had been used for the games was deemed unfit for such a successful team. Upon the moving of the team, the locals became very upset and a new team, AFC Wimbledon was formed.

Until May of 2011, the AFC Wimbledon played small minor league games. They now are a part of the English League of football teams. Any sports lover must see one of their games and take in this rich (and often unmentioned) part of Wimbledon culture.

For people who rank art and music higher than sport, Wimbledon’s Edwardian style theatre is a must see. The theatre has been beautifully kept and restored over the years, with much of the original Baroque period, ornate decoration still intact. Whether you travel to Wimbledon short term or long term, with a family, or as an individual- you are guaranteed to find things to suit your fancy no matter if you are a tennis fan.
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