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Wimbledon, more than just tennis

The evenings draw longer. The temperatures rise. Sales of strawberries go through the roof. It can only mean one thing…Wimbledon. For 137 years, the tournament, touted as the most prestigious lawn tennis event in the world, has been held in the upmarket, leafy London area of Wimbledon; its namesake.

Descending on the verdant suburb, they come in their thousands; those that are lucky enough enter the famous gates and find comfort court-side. The rest sit atop ‘Murray Mound’ drinking Pimms by the bucket load, their eyes fixated on the giant players gracing the big screens.

It may be over for 2014…but there is always next year! And if you’re thinking about making a trip to the 2015 Wimbledon Tournament, you may want to plan ahead and really make the most out of it.

The Village

Whilst being only a short commute, with fantastic transport links, from the hustle and bustle of the city, Wimbledon has plenty to offer anyone looking to stay somewhere with character.

Wimbledon Village itself is full of quaint, beautiful buildings, which make a stroll around the suburb a pleasure. Complemented by designer boutiques and independent shops, the town is a miniature shopping haven, with something for everyone.

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, Wimbledon is the perfect balance of town and country. With the huge open spaces of Wimbledon Common close by, stunning in the sun, a picnic and a game of cricket is the perfect way to while away an afternoon with friends and family.

Or, you can just stare open mouthed at some of the insanely beautiful, and extremely large, houses that grace the streets of the town!

Where to Stay

Wimbledon has, like any town, its fair share of hotels and guesthouses; the most prestigious of which being the Canizarro Hotel. Located on the edge of Wimbledon Common and near the famous tennis courts, this luxurious boutique hotel boasts elegant accommodation and stunning gardens. A period building, built in the 18th Century, the house has a history of glamour and indulgence.

There are a range of mid-budget hotels located in and around Wimbledon; Ibis and Holiday Inn’s, although most are a short drive away from the main attractions of Wimbledon Village.

Where to Eat

Combining the standard chain restaurants, Wimbledon offers independent restaurants serving up a range of great cuisines. Renowned for its friendly ‘village’ atmosphere, the pleasantries enhance the dining out experience.

There is a variety of welcoming pubs, which serve traditional food. You must visit The Dog & Fox, which boast the best Sunday Roast in the South West. The pub is a great place to visit during the Wimbledon tournament; providing a great atmosphere and serving a variety of cask ales from microbreweries.

But if you’re looking for a more refined dining experience, you may want to book a table at The Lawn Bistro. With rave reviews, the bistro serves French inspired food, with nods to British, Spanish and French cuisine. Chefs serve the freshest seasonal ingredients, and its menu is constantly evolving in response to customer feedback and new suppliers.

Where to Visit

Wimbledon of course! But if you are visiting out of tournament season, or have a day unplanned, you may want to consider discovering what else Wimbledon has to offer!

Did you know that Wimbledon has its own Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum & Tour? Nope…well, the museum provides a multi-dimensional tour of the history, traditions and triumphs of both the tournament and Lawn Tennis Association, with interactive guides throughout.

Extraordinarily, visitors to Wimbledon can also take a tour of the UK’s first Buddhist temple. Not something that you would quite expect to find! The Buddhapadipa Temple covers four acres and incorporates an ornamental lake, a flower garden and an orchard. The walls of the interior of the temple include masterpieces of Thai mural painting, depicting the life of Buddha. With free entrance, this is one place you shouldn’t miss.

Most people don’t associate windmills with Wimbledon, but the suburb does in fact have its very own windmill…and its own windmill museum. Situated on Wimbledon Common, the museum tells the history of windmills, and includes working models. You can also buy Womble paraphernalia at the shop! If you have time for more discoveries, you must pop into the Wimbledon Museum of Local History, and find out more about the history of the area beyond its links with tennis.

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