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Wimbledon Tennis Championships: our top tips

How do I get tickets? Can I take my own Pimm’s? We answer your burning Wimbledon questions

Sarah Cohen
Written by
Time Out London editors
Sarah Cohen

After tickets for Wimbledon – aka the most prestigious Grand Slam? Well, unfortunately the ballot has now closed. But the legendary queue for day tickets is back. We’ve got you covered for all areas of the tennis extravaganza, including how to get your mitts on those coveted seats and what to do when you actually get in the place. Don’t fancy queueing? Check out our list of big screens across London where you can watch all the courtside action from the comfort of a deckchair. 

RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to Wimbledon 2023 Tennis Championships

Our top tips for Wimbledon 2023

I’ve missed the ballot. Is queueing my only option now?

Unless you want to splash out for super-expensive debentures tickets via resellers, then yes. There are two routes to getting your hands on tickets if you opt for the queue.

If you want to get a show court ticket, you’re looking at spending 12-24 hours sitting/standing in the queue even in the first week of the tournament. Or, if you want to have the best time possible in the first week at Wimbledon without spending too much, grab yourself a cheaper ground pass; it gets you access to all courts except the show courts. Get down to Southfields or Wimbledon Park tube station on the first train, aim to be in the queue by 5.30am and you should be inside by 10.30am.

What’s the best way to get to the tennis grounds?

You can get to the Championships by shuttle bus from either Wimbledon Park (which you can get to from Waterloo) or Southfields tube stations, which are on the District line, though the former is marginally further from the grounds. Both stations are walking distance from the site (15-20 minutes) or alternatively, you could splash out on a taxi.


What should I wear? Is there a dress code?

Only the competitors have a strict dress code (a predominantly-white kit), while spectators typically come in comfy casual wear. You will see are some posh frocks and blazers, particularly around the hospitality areas, but if you’re heading to the tournament more for the tennis and less for the champers, just be sure to wear layers – the day may begin with blazing sunshine but come the afternoon, it might be sleeting (most courts aren’t covered). Bear in mind the ‘British summer’ weather and take clothing suitable for all conditions.

Is it acceptable to heckle during the match?

Swearing, booing and heckling are not the done thing at Wimbledon (most players adhere to that too, but not all; looking at you Nick Kyrgios), although a little tutting may be heard when one of the players throws a tantrum. It is acceptable however to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ carefully, as if watching the New Year Eve’s fireworks, and then cheer when the Hawk-Eye replay appears on the screen. But basically, don’t call out during a rally or you’ll feel the crowd’s wrath on your head. 


What do I do when the ball lands in the crowd?

Spectators should throw the ball back to one of the excellent and well-trained ballboys or ballgirls, but never during play. If you’d like to get hold of a ball as a souvenir, you’ll have to cough up for a used one from the shop.

What happens if it rains?

In 2009, a retractable roof was installed on Centre Court, enabling play to continue during rain, and a decade later one was built for No 1 court as well, but if you’re watching on any other court, rain will always disturb play. You can take shelter in the museum and in the few merchandise shops, as well as the restaurants and cafés around the site. Other than that, the grounds are quite exposed, so be sure to take an umbrella.


Are there places to eat? Can I take a picnic?

Buying food in the grounds isn’t cheap, so taking a picnic is a thrifty way to eat at the tournament, plus you’ll avoid any queues for the restaurants. Only one bag per person is permitted into the grounds and it must measure no more than 40 x 30 x 30cm. No hard-sided picnic hampers, coolboxes or briefcases are allowed, so take a disposable bag, which you can bin once you’ve eaten your lunch. However, you can get a punnet of strawberries and cream (picked in Kent at 4am every day of the tournament) for a pretty reasonable £2.50. 

Can I take my own booze?

Booze is allowed into the grounds but is strictly limited to just one bottle of wine or two 500ml cans of beer or other alcoholic drink per person. No spirits allowed, sorry guys. All alcohol must also be consumed in dedicated areas, and glass is not allowed into the courts.

See our full guide to Wimbledon 2023

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Whether you’re a legitimate tennis fan or just in it for the Pimm’s and oh-so-toned players, the Wimbledon Tennis Championships are once again upon us and it’s time to get excited...

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