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Sunday, 5 January 2014

A short introduction to Wimbledon

Image: freedigitalphotos
An affluent residential suburb, Wimbledon is located in South West London. Until the railways were built in the nineteenth century, it was a small village. It is thought that the area has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age. On the parkland of Wimbledon Common, the remains of an Iron Age hill fort can still be seen. Wimbledon has a relaxed and sophisticated feel, despite being a part of London's commuter belt. In particular, the quarter around Wimbledon Station and the Broadway offers various restaurants and bars. This brief introduction will help the first-time visitor when in Wimbledon, London

Getting there

London Underground, or 'tube' services as they are commonly called, as well as trains, run regularly between Wimbledon and central London, with a journey time of just over 15 minutes. Wimbledon Station is a key transport hub, with connections for trains, trams and the tube. Trains to central London go via the mainline railway, whilst the tube goes into the centre via the District Line. Heathrow and Gatwick airports are within an hour's travel of Wimbledon Station.

Things to Do

Wimbledon Common - This offers 1,100 acres of open woods and grassland. Why not walk and relax in the area, and maybe have a picnic? There is a windmill a museum toward the northern end of the Common, in addition to a village fair in June. Bicycles can be hired from Smith Brothers on Church Street.

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, Church Road - Tennis is forever synonymous with Wimbledon, and this is a must-see museum. Guided tours are available, including of the world famous Centre Court.

Wimbledon Market, Plough Lane - a favourite with the local residents, this market offers great deals on clothing, fruit and vegetables, and is open every Sunday. Well worth a visit if you get the chance.

Wimbledon Village - the heart of old Wimbledon, and centred on the High Street. The village is a quaint and attractive part of Wimbledon, often overlooked by visitors. Why not browse the antiques shops and boutique fashion retailers, and have a coffee at one of the various wonderful caf'es or bars?

Cannizaro Park - Another delightful, more secret and secluded destination in Wimbledon; a Grade II listed garden of just under 34 acres, and remains one of the lesser known areas. It offers a labyrinth of paths and gardens, and is great for picnics. The park also has an open stage venue where performances can be seen on a regular basis.

Tennis Championships

Probably the biggest and best attraction in Wimbledon is the annual tennis championships at the All England Club, known as Wimbledon fortnight; the oldest and probably the most famous tennis competition in the world, and one of the four grand slam events. The championships take place every June and/or July, and tickets sell very fast indeed. However, last minute seats can often be purchased, so be sure to check with local agents and on the internet for availability if you are in London at this time of year. Tours are also available from The Wimbledon Experience.

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