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A first-timer's guide to Wimbledon

We answer all your frequently asked questions about one of the world’s most exciting sporting events.


Every English summer, one of the most must-attend events pops up on the social and sporting calendar. Wimbledon. From smart dress codes to copious amounts of strawberries and cream, there can be plenty of unspoken rules and traditions when it comes to Wimbledon. Particularly if it’s your first time attending, you might have a few things you need to clarify.

Every year, we offer great-value breaks to Wimbledon, which includes a comfortable hotel, return transfers to The Championships, and reserved seats on No.1 Court. If you happen to be a Wimbledon first-timer, we’re answering all your questions that we frequently receive about Wimbledon. From transport to BYO alcohol to dressing up, here’s our comprehensive guide to attending Wimbledon:

What do I wear to Wimbledon?

Despite the strict rules placed on the athletes for their Wimbledon attire, spectators are given a little more room. There are no hard and fast rules about what spectators should wear, but for those attending The Championships, it’s a bit of an unspoken rule to dress “smart”. But what does this actually mean?

Smart can really include anything from lounge suits to stylish pantsuits to summery frocks. Usually, jeans, shorts, and trainers are not worn on the big day and outfits featuring loud or offensive statements are a complete no-go. Just remember that because the weather can change at short notice, it’s important to bring a light jacket and an umbrella, even though it will be summertime. 

What is there to eat at Wimbledon?

There are plenty of food and beverage options available at Wimbledon. Of course, as per tradition, you can’t go past some strawberries and cream topped off with a glass of bubbly. According to the event organisers, around 190,900 portions of strawberries and cream are devoured during The Championships each year. Another fun fact, since 2010, the price for a serving of strawberries and cream at Wimbledon has stayed at £2.50. These days, you can even get a vegan cream option.

If you are understandably looking for something a little more substantial to get you through the big day, there are plenty more options than booze and fruit. The grounds offer a brasserie, seafood bar, ice creamery, sausage grill, and a restaurant offering seasonal produce from all around the UK. To help plan your day, here’s a map of the event’s full food and beverage arrangement. 

If you happen to be on a budget, or perhaps last night’s leftovers are too hard to resist, you are more than welcome to pack your own food and drink. Just remember that picnic hampers and cool boxes are not permitted. When it comes to alcohol, bear in mind that BYO alcohol is limited to one bottle of wine (750ml) or two cans of beer or premixed aperitifs per person. Bottles of spirits or fortified wines are not permitted.

What items do I need to bring to Wimbledon?

Aside from food and drink, there are a few other things you should bring or might like to bring. Ensure you bring along your mobile tickets, and if you’re collecting them at the event, bring along some photo I.D. 

To stay hydrated throughout the day, bring a water bottle – there are more than 100 spots where you can refill it. Because it is British weather we’re working with, bring along a hat and sunscreen, and an umbrella just in case. Ensure that the bag you bring should be no larger than 40cm x 30cm x 30cm. 

What time should I arrive at Wimbledon?

The Wimbledon Grounds open at 10am every day of the tournament, with play beginning on the outside courts at 11am, No.1 Court at 1pm, and Centre Court at 1.30pm (except for during the finals, when it will be 2pm). Just remember that with all the spectators in attendance, you should allow for extra time to move from court to court, as you may need to queue.

How do I travel to Wimbledon?

It’s definitely a good idea to plan your trip in advance. As the event can see up to 42,000 spectators at one time, the local transportation can become quite crowded. So, plan your journey in advance. To simplify things, the postcode you need is SW19 5AG. Public transport is one of the best ways to reach the grounds, as parking, though available, is very, very limited. 

If you’re taking the tube, Southfields (on the District line) will be the station closest to the grounds. This is just a 15-minute walk. If you’re taking the bus, the 493 is your best bet, as it directly links Wimbledon Station and Southfields Station. If public transport isn’t for you, you can also be dropped off or collected by Taxi, Uber, or Bolt at a location outside the grounds.

What are the rules for watching tennis at Wimbledon?

This question is an important one. As Wimbledon is a tournament based on tradition, they do take their tennis pretty seriously. There are some simple rules that spectators should observe, including:

  • If you need to leave or re-enter court, you can do so only at the change of ends or between matches, and never during a tie-break
  • During a rally, refrain from making noise 
  • Leave your glass drinking vessels and uncorked bottles off the court
  • Switch off your phone or switch it to silent mode 

Excited to attend Wimbledon next year? Let us take care of all the tricky bits. By booking a Wimbledon package with Newmarket Holidays you not only get to experience a packed day of tennis fun and tradition, but we will also look after you with return transfers between your hotel and the grounds, the services of a tour manager, and best of all, reserved seats on No.1 Court.

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