Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
by Shady Ady
Hinckley, England, United Kingdom
May 17, 2006
From journal An Insiders Guide to London
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
December 2, 2003
It's true that most of the best tickets are sold well in advance (you apply through a draw each December for the next year), but it it possible to enjoy a full day's tennis quite cheaply by buying a ground ticket, which means you can watch matches on all the outside courts (that is, everywhere except Centre Court, No.1 and No.2 courts).
You will have to get there early to queue, but there are lots of tickets available and half the fun is the queueing - there are often bands playing and there are sometimes goodies being given away (drinks, stickers, etc.).
Some of these courts have just one row of seats and you stand just behind if you don't get a seat; others are a little larger and have banks of seating on each side. Because the locker rooms are under Centre Court, the players have to walk round the ground to get to the outer courts, giving you a good opportunity to spot the stars.
You can wander from court to court, good if a match isn't very exciting, or arrive during a match and find a spot to watch from if the crowd noise sounds promising.
Refreshments are expensive - strawberries and cream, the traditional fare, is about 4 pounds, and you don't get many strawbs! There are several cafes and even a proper restaurant, but it's perfectly acceptable to bring your own food and drinks. If you want to splash out, though, the food is said to be good and there is often live music while you eat.
If people leave Centre Court early, they can return their ticket stubs to the box office, which are re-sold at half price and the money given to charity. This is a good way of getting onto Centre Court, as many corporate guests leave early, usually after lunch. We were naughty and simply asked people for their stubs, cutting out the middleman, but we did put a few quid in a collecting tin since we felt bad! This way we got to see Pete Sampras play in a great match, and the thrill of watching Centre Court tennis was immense.
(Be prepared to wait ages for a bus back to Wimbledon village in the evening - the queues are long!)
From journal Summer in the City