Thanks to a little sport involving two racquets, a green ball and some fancy white uniforms, Wimbledon, London is one of the most well known areas in the city.
Tennis isn’t the only thing this district has to offer – it is home to a fantastic selection of restaurants, bars, shops and cultural venues. Here you’ll find pockets of quiet, leafy residential zones next to streets buzzing with an eclectic mix of places to eat, drink and have a enjoyable night out. It’s a relatively safe and friendly area to live with a broad mix of cultures, professions and ages.
Photo credit: Andy Hebden on Flickr
There is a large South African community here, as well as Polish, Sri Lankan and Ghanaian residents, so this is a great place to visit for unique supermarkets and restaurants.
So grab your tennis racquet and head to Wimbledon, the one place in the world where you might spot the Queen and the Wombles on the same day [Tweet quote]
A little bit of history
Wimbledon has been around for a long time – a hill fort is believed to have been constructed in Wimbledon Common during the Iron Age and there are mentions of the area in the Domesday Book. It ‘s been home to many affluent and important people who have built some impressive estates over the years, including Robert Bell, director of the East India Company who built Eagle House.
During the second half of the 19th
century, the population of Wimbledon increased fifteen fold in fifty years. This growth resulted in a huge increase in commercial development and Wimbledon evolved into a thriving residential district.
Wimbledon is located in the southwest of London, just south of Battersea and north of Sutton. Take the District Line to Wimbledon station, although if you’re heading to the tennis, it is recommended that you get off at the Southfields tube station. There are also overland lines and plenty of buses that frequent the area.
Photo credit: Craig Zaduck on Flickr
Cost of living
Wimbledon offers a cross section of housing from glitzy mansions to modest town houses to brown brick apartment blocks. The cost of living varies greatly throughout the district in both housing prices and the shops and services in the surrounding streets. Wimbledon Village is home to the rich and swanky, so if you’re a millionaire wanting to hang out with the tennis stars you should look to buy a house here. For the rest of us, you can find affordable apartments and houses to rent and buy in central and south Wimbledon.
But be quick – the average price for houses in the area has increased by 8.91 per cent over the past year.
Lowest average rental prices for a two bedroom flat cost around £330 per week.
Highest average rental prices for a two bedroom flat cost around £460 per week.
Places to eat and drink
Photo credit: Cristian Bortes on Flickr
Book a table at Bayee Village as this is one of Wimbledon’s most popular Chinese restaurants. Serving traditional Peking and Szechuan cuisine, the food is tasty, fresh and missing that ‘pink’ glow you sometimes get at your local Chinese takeaway. Some evenings you will be entertained by live jazz music – not the first thing you would expect in a Chinese restaurant but enjoyable nonetheless.
24 High Street, Wimbledon Village, SW19 5DX, London
020 8947 3533
If one Chinese restaurant hasn’t sated your tastebuds, then head to Confucious for a simple, unfussy but very, very satisfying meal. The service here is prompt and organised and their Sunday dim sum is great value and definitely worth trying.
271 The Broadway, London, SW19 1SD
020 8542 5272
Une baguette avec le camembert, s’il vous plaît. Practice your high school French at this little French bakery, nestled between shops on Wimbledon Road. Here you can get an authentic French lunch, delivered to you with authentic French service. The baguettes are fresh and delicious and you can choose from their fantastic range of sweet pastries for dessert. They also have an online store that will deliver for free anywhere in London. Oui oui, monsieur!
233A Wimbledon Park Rd, London, SW18 5RJ
020 8874 1446
Photo credit: France Bon Appetit on Flickr
Wimbledon’s large South African community means there are a number of supermarkets and specialist stores selling food and ‘reminds me of home’ items from South Africa. The Savanna is a small family business that has thrived and flourished into six shops across London. Famous for their biltong and boerewors this is the place to come for all of your favourite canned goods, drinks, wines and spices from South Africa.
Barry House, 20-22 Worple Road, Wimbledon, SW19 4DH
0208 971 9177
With all of the tennis paraphernalia hanging on the walls of this pub and hotel, you’d think there was some sort of important sporting ground nearby. The Dog & Fox is a reliable come-to for fantastic food, great beer and a relaxed yet happening atmosphere.
If you can’t manage the journey home after you have stuffed your belly full of angus beef, wild game and cheese, and had one too many pints of ale, you can book yourself a luxury room in the hotel. We love the skylight suite, which has a skylight (obviously) over the bed, allowing you to sleep under the stars (if you can see them through the London smog) in comfort.
24 High Street, Wimbledon Village, London SW19 5EA
020 8946 6565
Photo credit: Ealonian56 on Flickr
This quintessential British pub has been serving food and drink since 1835 so they have really worked out how to do it. Located on the edge of Wimbledon Common, Hand in Hand offers a warm and cosy environment for a pint and a warm meal on a cold winter’s day. On the few sunny days of summer, you can head outside to the beer garden. Come on a Tuesday for their “really very hard quiz”. We hear it’s a tough one.
6 Crooked Billet,
Wimbledon Common, London, SW19 4RQ
Things to do
Anyone for tennis? You can’t come to Wimbledon and not check out where the big guns in the tennis world come to play. You can go on a tour of the courts, visit the museum or if you’re going to be in the area during the competition, why not grab some tickets via the ballot and watch the action live? It is also mandatory that you drink champagne and eat strawberries and cream while in the vicinity. Well, if we must, we must.
Church Rd, Wimbledon, London SW19 5AE
020 8944 1066
Photo credit: Steve on Flickr
Add some drama and spectacle to your visit to Wimbledon with a show at the New Wimbledon Theatre. The building is a Grade II listed Edwardian theatre, originally built by J B Mulholland, and it is believed to be the only theatre in England with a Turkish bath in the basement. There is a wide range of live performance including comedy, drama, musicals and cabaret – purchase your tickets online
or at the box office.
The Broadway, Wimbledon, London, SW19 1QG
0844 871 7646
Here’s something for the kids – Polka Theatre is a wonderful, charity run theatre that hosts performances for children and offers a selection of fun activities and classes for budding actors. Children aged 0-14 can participate and develop their creative awareness and skills. You can also come and see live performances of shows such as Peter Pan and Flat Stanley.
240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB
020 8543 4888
Escape the madness of the city with a relaxing amble through Wimbledon Common. With 460 hectares of natural open space, the common offers walking paths, forested areas, recreational facilities, ponds, a windmill and a museum. Get your bird and animal spotting eyes on as this is home to a wide range of native fauna – you might even spot a Womble or two. Bring a picnic, go for a bike ride or hire out one of the tennis courts.
The Ranger’s Office,
Manor Cottage, Windmill Road, London,
020 8788 7655
Photo credit: Debster on Flickr
If you want to connect with more things happening in Wimbledon, check out on Twitter and see what’s going on in the local community!