Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

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Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club

Church Road, London, SW19 5AE, United Kingdom | 020 8944 1066 | Website
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A sporting venue that's well set up for wheelchair users

4

Visit date:

This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid, Wheelchair, Mobility Scooter

Overview

It's not perfect, but I've been to the Wimbledon tennis fortnight three times now, and found each time that there are well-established facilities in place for wheelchair-users. And if you are allocated tickets to Court No 1, the view from the wheelchair places is fantastic.

Transport & Parking

2.5

*Shudder*. First of all, the good news: it's easy to get a parking place on the day in the allocated field for blue badge holders across the road from the venue, and they had laid down a plastic walkway this year to help you get from your car up to the road without having to cross too much grass or other uneven surfaces. The problem is getting there: the trains and tube in London are 90% useless for wheelchair-users, so we have to endure a long, hot, slow drive through cramped residential roads to get to the Wimbledon tennis from where we live in the north of the city. It's a good job it's a fun day out when you get there, because this has almost put us off going again.

Access

3.5

I'd recommend that people read jugosling's Wimbledon review from 2015, because it's very well put and everything there is still true: https://www.euansguide.com/venues/wimbledon---all-england-lawn-tennis-and-croquet-club-london-5568/reviews/while-the-tennis-improves-annually-the-access-doesnt-1181 So while it's good that there's a special section of the ticket ballot where you can apply for a step-free place on one of the show courts, and it's also nice that your companion gets in for free, it's a shame you can't put in for any more tickets for friends and family to accompany you. They can apply separately in the main ballot, but none of you know which day or court you'll be given, or whether you'll win the right to buy tickets that year at all. Be aware, also, that what you're getting is a wheelchair space, not the option of a seat, so you're expected to stay in your wheelchair or small scooter while watching the tennis, even if you'd normally rather transfer to another seat. (Your companion does get a folding seat next to your wheelchair space.) Inside the grounds, there is step-free access to pretty much everywhere you need to go, including the food and drink stands, and watching the actual tennis on these famous courts is fantastic. You're up at the back of the arena if you get wheelchair tickets to Centre Court, so not very close to the action, but on the plus side, it's Wimbledon Centre Court!! Also, there is shade under the fixed part of the roof up there and easy access to the toilets on the same level. Court No 1 also gets its share of famous players, and there the wheelchair seats have the most fantastic view, just a few rows up from the courtside. It's pretty exposed there on a hot day, though, so make sure you have a hat, and if the sun gets a bit much, take a break and come back later.

Toilets

4

Particularly good accessible loos on Centre Court, where they're right near the wheelchair seats and it feels like hardly anyone else is using them. The ones I used around Court No 1 were clean and reasonably spacious too, and opened with RADAR keys.

Staff

4.5

As previous reviewers have said, some of the staff could do with a bit more training in giving you directions, but I had a couple of particularly good experiences this time that I'd like to acknowledge. Firstly, when I approached a young woman working in the very crowded Wimbledon souvenir shop, she helped me find and reach down the things I was looking for, took me straight to the front of the queue to pay, and then parted the crowds so I could get out again. The other helpful people were the armed forces volunteers working as stewards on the nearest entrance to my seat. I realised to my dismay that I'd got a puncture in one of the wheels of my small folding scooter, and the military volunteers quickly radioed around to find a colleague with a bike pump on the site and then helped to pump up the tyre.

Anything else you wish to tell us?

The other Wimbledon tennis reviewers and I have quite rightly highlighted areas where the venue could improve its wheelchair access, but please don't let anything we say put you off - this is the international home of tennis, and you'll have a great day there seeing the world's best players, whatever minor inconveniences you may encounter. The thing to remember if you want to go next year is that you must apply for your tickets by the end of December this year, and this is a multi-stage process, so do go to http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/tickets/ballot_uk.html when the application process opens on 1 September and find out what to do. And if you don't get any tickets this time, try again next year - it's worth it. If you don't get a ticket to one of the show courts but do get one the grounds, it's still worth going, because there's a great atmosphere among the crowds watching the big screen on Henman Hill, and there are some drop-in wheelchair places on some of the outer courts where you can often see some good matches. Top tip is to go to the ticket office as soon as you arrive on the grounds and put your name down for wheelchair returns. so when someone with a wheelchair ticket on Centre Court or Court No 1 decides to go home a bit early, the office will call you and offer you their returned ticket for free when they leave.

Photos

This picture, taken in 2016, shows the view from the wheelchair spaces at the back of Centre Court (bit quiet at this point but it would fill up later when some bigger names came onto the court) View from the excellent wheelchair seats on Court No 1 in 2018 It does get rather hot in the Court No 1 wheelchair seats, so make sure you bring a hat and take shady breaks

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