There was so much to see on the Wimbledon visit I had recently that I had to seperate it into two parts. This post will focus on the guided tour (you can find my experience of the shop here), which takes you around different courts and the overall area. As there was so much to see, I’ve reviewed the tour in a non-linear way so as to group the photographs better.
You’ll meet at a designated location just near the shop. The lady tour guide was super friendly and made it clear she would be happy to answer any questions along the way. After explaining about the Fred Perry statue and the scoreboards, you are moved inside. You go through the corridors where you walk past the broadcasting rooms, including ESPN and Fox Sports. You also get to see the room where the journalists write their copy. You also get to be in studio that the BBC, the host broadcaster, uses and even sit in the press conference that the players use.
You really do get the sense of history even through the walls. You realise how many great champions have created a legacy within these special courts. While my trip happened soon after Garbine Murguruza won the Women’s Singles and Roger Federer won the Men’s Singles (again!), their photos weren’t up on the walls. This was explained as both winners had yet to give approval for the photo to be used at that point.
One of the joys from the tour is the detail the guide gives on the courts and different landmarks within the Wimbledon area. This includes ‘Henman Hill’, as named after the English tennis player Tim Henman, who made four semi-finals within 1998 – 2002. Officially, the title is Aorangi Park, after the London New Zealand Rugby Club’s grounds, which were on the site until 1981. You can see the work going on for stadium 1, which will be the second Wimbledon stadium to have a roof, after Centre Court. You really do get a great view of the famous patch of grass, last scoreboards included. The tour also includes a view of the balcony that the players will use when showing off the trophy to the crowds for the first time.
It’s a shame you don’t get to go into the changing rooms, but you do get to see a lot of what the players do. That includes the outside entrance, what they see when they enter and images and of course, the winners board. You’ll certainly see some famous names in there. Although not all of them. Greats like Monica Seles, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin and Jim Courier never got to hold the trophy. I got close though. The tour lasts around 90 minutes, you can take photographs and ask questions throughout and you really do find out a lot of wonderful trivia. If you’re even a casual tennis fan, you won’t fail to love it. For more information relating to times and prices click here.