10 Of The Best Things To Do in Wimbledon – A Local’s Guide
10 of the best things to do in Wimbledon – a local’s guide
Wimbledon might be famous around the world for its tennis, but there is so much more to this leafy locale in London
With several parks, fantastic pubs, luxury shopping, independent boutiques and grocery shops, riding stables, two theatres, two cinemas and plenty for kids to do, Wimbledon has all the amenities of a big town alongside a charming ‘Village’ too.
If you’re a first-time visitor, here’s our list of the best things to do in Wimbledon.
As a local, things I love most about Wimbledon include its Sunday market, walking through picturesque Cannizaro Park (and the woods and wilderness of Wimbledon Common, grabbing a coffee from The Windmill along the way), people watching from the Al Fresco terrace at the Dog & Fox pub, taking the kids to see a show at the Polka theatre – and letting them splash in the fountains in Wimbledon Park playground. You’re spoilt for choice with upmarket Wimbledon shops, independent boutiques, fancy delicatessens and a charming bookshop all in the village, and for bargain lovers there are several charity shops.
If you’re new in town, visiting or hosting a visitor, here are my top suggestions:
1 Sunday Market
Every Sunday morning Wimbledon Village hosts a farmer’s market outside Wimbledon Books and Light on the Common, usually on between 10am and around 2pm. There are green grocers and fish mongers, fine cheeses, honeys and home-made chutneys and condiments, artisan breads, quiches and pastries, as well as food trucks serving hot lunches and food for on the go.
2 Cannizaro Park
Walk through the grassy Wimbledon Common, past Rushmere Pond, and head towards Cannizaro House (a lush hotel in Wimbledon). To the right of the house you’ll see a grand-looking gated entrance, walk through the gates towards the fountain and you’ll quickly find yourself in one of London’s most beautiful parks. It really is one of Wimbledon’s best kept secrets. There’s a herb garden, a rose garden, an Italian garden, a pond, streams and tucked-away pathways that lead through flower-filled woods.
3 Wimbledon Windmill
Set Wimbledon Windmill as the destination on your map, and explore through the Wimbledon Common woods that surround it. The woods cover a huge stretch of land and still feel wild and untouched – letting you forget for a moment that you’re in London. The iconic Windmill landmark is a museum but is better known for it’s cafe as they serve hot food and drinks year-round. Perfect for a hot chocolate treat after a cold winter’s walk, or for grabbing an iced latte in the summer.
4 The Polka Theatre
The Polka Theatre in Wimbledon is ideal for little children – there’s space for parking buggies, a huge indoor play space (free to use even if you haven’t booked to see a play), an outdoor playhouse / climbing frame, and a child-friendly cafe with highchairs and a play area. The main highlight is of course the children’s theatre which hosts plays and workshops.
Polka Theatre, 240 The Broadway, London SW19 1SB, polkatheatre.com
5 Wimbledon Park
Just one tube stop away (or a 30 minute walk) is Wimbledon Park, with tennis courts, a boating lake, a cafe and two playgrounds.
Anyone can book a tennis court (£12 per hour),book online here. Feed the ducks on the lake (duck feed available from the café), run through the water fountains and splash area (open July and August) and swing by the fun fair which opens every summer.
Wimbledon Park, SW19 8AU. Catch the district line to Wimbledon Park tube station, or find parking near the football fields.
6 New Wimbledon Theatre
A beautifully ornate Edwardian theatre in the heart of the town, Wimbledon’s theatre has a huge audience capacity, holding 1,670 seats across three different levels, and since its opening in 1910 has hosted a wide range of stars across the ages. They frequently show big hit shows, and host world-famous comedians too.
7 Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
You can’t visit SW19 and not take a trip to the world-famous Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club. If you’re here at any other time than Championship fortnight, there is still much to explore and discover about not only the history of the tournament but the sport, too. Get close to the trophies, and tour behind-the-scenes of the grounds – and even walk through the players’ entrance.
8 Southside House
Located in beautiful Wimbledon Common, the magnificent Southside House and gardens has featured in many films and dramas. The 17th-century Grade II listed building has been the home of the Pennington Mellor Munthe families for generations and tells a wealth of history through several generations. To see it, you’ll need to book for one of its events.
9 Morden Hall Park
At the bottom end of Wimbledon is Morden Hall Park. Filled with pretty streams and bridges, it’s a lovely park to take a picnic.
10 Wimbledon Village Stables
Explore the local landscape on a horse ride with Wimbledon Village Stables. It’s primarily a members clubs but non-members are welcome when there is availability.