Discover – Wimbledon
Pretty parks, a high street lined with unique stores and tempting eateries, plus one of the world’s biggest sporting events – if there was ever a reason to venture beyond Zone 1, then Wimbledon is it. Well-connected by transport services, Wimbledon is easy to get to. Although you can take a District line Tube all the way west, you can also get there in 16 minutes by catching a train from London Waterloo.
Wimbledon Bookfest (5-15 Oct) is a great time to visit: Judy Murray (mother of Andy) talks about her book Knowing the Score, which tracks her family’s journey from the wet courts of Dunblane, Scotland, to Centre Court (6 Oct). Other names include the former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, novelist Salman Rushdie and Nicholas Hytner, ex-director of the National Theatre.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
In June and July, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships take over and people flock here to watch matches. Outside tournament time, you can get acquainted with the game by visiting the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. Look out for displays of tennis rackets through the ages and champions’ kits, and take a guided tour to Centre Court.
Wimbledon happens to be the perfect place in which to try out horse riding. Local stables, such as Wimbledon Village Stables, offer beginner rides. As there are traffic lights dedicated to horses here (this is true!), you couldn’t find a better location for equestrian pursuits.
There is no shortage of pubs in Wimbledon, but a popular one is The Dog & Fox. Doubling up as a hotel and restaurant, this pub has lots of great beers and wines on offer. A top tip? Visit here for weekend brunch – the blueberry pancakes are simply delicious.
Spanning 1,140 acres, there is a lot of ground to cover at Wimbledon Common. A popular spot for runners, cyclists, walkers and horse riders, the common is photogenic in any season. Spot the swans and other birdlife that live here, or take along a picnic to enjoy by one of the nine ponds. It’s open all day – head here if you want a tranquil escape from the centre.
There are a number of windmills left in London, and you can find one of these in Wimbledon. The Wimbledon Windmill can be found on the Common; pay the £2 admission fee to find out more about this architectural marvel, which was built in 1817.
Wimbledon has its fair share of hidden gems. One of the top ones is Wat Buddhapadipa, an exquisite Thai Buddhist temple hiding in suburbia, which welcomes everyone. The temple is decorated with magnificent artwork by two leading Thai artists.