Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wimbledon on a Whim

Attending the Tennis Championships at Wimbledon has been on my London wish list.  I applied for tickets through the public ballot months ago, but was not awarded the opportunity to purchase any.  I wasn't prepared to spend a small fortune buying Debenture tickets and I had no interest in camping overnight in a park to get tickets through The Queue.

So I had pretty much abandoned any hope of seeing the tennis this year.  And then I read Laura's post about the Wimbledon Queue.   And my hope was renewed.

In a matter of hours I booked a babysitter and hatched a plan. 


Yesterday we put the plan into action.  We traveled by train to Wimbledon station and then boarded the special shuttle bus that goes directly to the tennis club.  (From the shuttle bus drop off, it is a loooong walk to The Queue.  If I were to do it again, I would just get a taxi from the station directly to The Queue).  I was prepared, and a bit excited, to take my place in the infamous Wimbledon Queue, but as luck would have it, there was absolutely no line!  They still handed out queue cards and stickers so I guess I technically queued at Wimbledon.

We passed through security and right up to the turnstiles.  Tickets after 17:00 were only £12 each!  Once inside, we headed for the resale ticket kiosk. 

As spectators leave for the day, they hand in their tickets which are then resold to latecomers (like us) and the proceeds are donated to charity.

The queue here was quite long, the the kiosk didn't even appear to be open.  No one seemed to know who would be playing next or on which court.  About 30 minutes later, as I approached the ticket window, we finally confirmed that Venus and Serena had just started their match.  So we bought £5 tickets and dashed off to Court 2.

We were thrilled to find ourselves in the second row just a few yards from the action.  I was afraid the noise of my shutter clicking would disturb the players-  that's how close we were!


At one point we had a brief rain delay which is all just part of the Wimbledon experience.


As you can see, there were many empty seats.  I think most people (including Wills and Kate) were watching the Centre Court match between Murray and Ferrer. 

Many spectators watch the Centre Court match on TV from the grass
After the match we checked out the famous strawberries and cream, had a Pimms, and hit the gift shop (the only place at Wimbledon that accepts credit/debit cards).

It was such a fun evening.  I'm so glad we had a chance to experience this English tradition!


3 comments:

  1. How exciting! You are so lucky to have seen a game. I will have to remember this...maybe one day I'll be in London in the summer rather than the winter!

    Take care and have a great weekend!
    Natasha

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  2. I'd love to do this - but I live a fair journey from London, so I'd have to plan it a bit more! :-)

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  3. i just have to say, it seems you are living the dream. bravo! love following your fun from afar!

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