An accessible day out at a great venue with excellent disabled facilities / viewing and staff
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
The Wimbledon Tennis on Day 7 of the championship is always going to be very busy and disabled people have to take this into account when they plan their day out, Its busy, noisy and crowded and you have to queue for food etc but this is par for the course. Unlike the other reviewer, I found the parking, access, staff, disabled toilets and the seating/viewing excellent. From our seats there were even small TV monitors to keep us updated on the results from the other matches. The radar key operated toilets were 4 metres from our seats (on level 5 in the shade of centre court).
Transport & Parking
I drove to Wimbledon in my drive from Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) but the traffic at 10.30 was relatively quiet with queuing traffic only on the last approach to the car park. Disabled car parking is pre bookable and costs £25 but it is well worth it as you are parked as near to the entrance to the court you are allocated tickets to. You are warned in advance the ground is rough and you may need help over the ground and on to the metal ramps. This is standard for other outdoor venues.
You are sent in advance an excellent Easy Access Guide which provides you with all the information you require on parking, where to cross the road, best wheelchair route to your court, lifts, radar key operated toilets etc. Its busy and it is difficult for wheelchair users to purchase food and drink unaided. This is the same as at many venues (eg Hampton Court Flower Show) and you can plan around this by taking your own food. I used a lift to reach level 5 on Centre Court but although people are helpful you have to be patient as the lifts are small and there will always people who don't want to use the stairs so give yourself plenty of time,
I have fortunately managed to get one ticket and a free companion seat via the ballot in 2015 (Court 3) and 2018 (Centre Court). On both occasions the toilets were very close to the allocated seating, operated only by radar key (staff all carried radar keys in case you forgot your own or your could borrow a key for the day). Toilets were regularly cleaned and were spacious. There is one toilet with a full changing facility with space for 2 carers to assist. I wish I had taken photos
Brilliant ! Car park staff were helpful as were the staff assisting you to cross the road where the dropped kerbs are located. Once inside the complex there were plenty of people to direct you although the signage was good as was the disabled access guide map. The security staff nearest to our seating could not have been more helpful - always opened the toilet door for me, even went and topped up my water bottle several times (free drinking water only available on the ground level) and when possible discreetly let me back to my seating area.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
Yesterday was a brilliant day out and worth every penny. I felt very well looked after and thanked the staff. It was the first time I was able to take my daughter to Wimbledon since my SCI in 2009 (when she was 12) and I was so pleased to be able to give her the sort of care free and fun special day that I had been able to do when I was 13/14 even if it took me until she was 21 ! Well done Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Association.