The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club is a private sporting club that opened in 1886. Also known as the All England Club, the facility has annually hosts the world famous Wimbledon Championships since 1877, the third of the four Grand Slam events held each year over two weeks in late June and early July on grass courts.
Several Davis Cup matches have been played at the club, most recently in July 2015 as Great Britain defeated France 3-1 in the quarter-final on their way to winning the tournament. The first edition of the Fed Cup in 1963, when it was a 16 team knockout competition held over 3 days was also held at the club and won by the United States. The club also acts as the national headquarters of real tennis, the original racquet sport and hosts the British Open.
The club has hosted the tennis event of the Summer Olympics on two occasions in 1908 and again in 2012, as Andy Murray won the Men’s Singles in front of a home crowd.
Other sports previously hosted at the club include annual Oxford v Cambridge challenges at rugby, football and athletics from the late 1920s to the 1950s. The famed amateur Corinthian Football Club played home fixtures at the ground until they dissolved in 1939 and an England v Wales football international was played at the venue in March 1895.
Capacity: 14,979 (Centre Court), 12,345 (No. 1 Court), 4,000 (No. 2 Court) & 2,000 (No. 3 Court)
The club has 18 tournament grass courts used during The Championships, as well as a further 14 grass courts at Aorangi Park used for practice. Courts 4 -17 and Court 19 are known as outside courts, whilst there are six ‘show’ courts:
- Centre Court – The largest court at the club and perhaps the most famous tennis court in the world. Centre Court was opened in 1922 and today has a capacity of just under 15,000, whilst in 2009 a retractable roof was installed to allow play to continue in wet weather.
- No. 1 Court – The club’s secondary court, opened in 1997 to replace the former No. 1 Court which had stood since 1924 and was replaced by the Millennium Building.
- No. 2 Court – The current No.2 Court opened in 2009 on the site of the former No. 13 court and has a capacity of 4,000. The old No.2 Court was known as the Graveyard of Champions due to the number of former Champions who fell to surprise defeats on the Court.
- No. 3 Court – The current No. 3 Court sits on the site of the former No.2 Court and was opened in 2011 with a capacity of 2,000.
- No. 12 Court – The mini stadium has a capacity of 1,736.
- No. 18 Court – This unique court witnessed the longest tennis match in history in 2011 between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes.
Tickets at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
The Wimbledon Championships
There are several different ways of purchasing tickets for Wimbledon:
Public Ballot: Wimbledon operates a public ballot each year for tickets, with applications open from late September each year to the end of the year. You can apply on the official website here.
The Queue: ‘The Queue’ is one of the institutions of Wimbledon and of British culture. If you’re willing to queue/camp overnight, a limited number of Centre Court, No.1 Court and No.2 Court tickets are available each day, except for the last four days where all Centre Court tickets are sold in advance.
If you’re happy with a Grounds Pass, it is advised to arrive a few hours before the Grounds open at 10:30am, where you will be given a Queue Card.
Ticketmaster: Tickets are available for purchase online on Ticketmaster for Centre Court and No.3 Court tickets. Returned tickets are available 48 hours before the day of play, whilst reserved tickets are on sale the morning before the following day’s play.
Ticket Resale: Once you are inside the Grounds, there is the opportunity to purchase tickets for the ‘Show’ courts later in the day, for a discounted rate.
Further information can be found on the official Wimbledon website here.
Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Tour
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum is open Thursday to Sunday, 10.00 – 17.30 with public tours of the grounds taking place during the summer. Museum entry costs £13 for Adults, £11 for Concessions (Including Senior Citizens) and £8 for Children and tickets inclusive of the tour cost £25 for Adults, £21 for Concessions and £15 for Children. Tickets must be booked through the official website here.
Location & Travel to the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
The All England Lawn Tennis Club is located in the southwest London district of Wimbledon (SW19), approximately 7 miles (11km) from central London.
Airport: Two of the world’s largest airports are situated near London and both serve many international destinations.
London Heathrow Airport is 15 miles west of Wimbledon. Perhaps the easiest way to travel from Heathrow to Wimbledon is to catch the train from Terminal 4 to Paddington Station. From there, the district line will take you to Wimbledon station.
Gatwick Airport is approximately 30 miles south of Wimbledon. From the airport, catch a train to Clapham Junction and then change to another service to Wimbledon station.
Bus: The 493 bus runs between Wimbledon Station, Southfields Station and the Wimbledon Museum.
London Underground: The closest stations to the All England Lawn Tennis Club are Wimbledon (District Line and Main Line) and Southfields (District Line). Both stations are approximately 15 minutes walk from the grounds.
Driving & Parking: There are several car parks that are available to pre-book, check the official website here for the latest information and booking. There is also a Park and Ride scheme available (6.30am-11.00pm) at Morden Park which costs £15.
Train: Wimbledon station is about 25 minutes away and has a great number of services across London and further afield to Guildford and Luton.
Thinking of catching a train to London? Search and book your journey through the Trainline here.
Trams: Trams run from East Croydon station to Wimbledon, with a journey time of about 25 minutes.