New to the Wimbledon queue? Here’s some info on what to expect.
June 2015 Update: This information was provided in 2012 and may have changed since. For information about the 2015 Wimbledon queue, arrival times etc, I suggest tweeting @ViewfromtheQ
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I thought I would need to queue for Wimbledon tickets at least once during the Wimby leg of the fan slam but I’ve managed to get tickets online and from a friend, so haven’t needed to queue.
However as the queue is a key part of the Wimbledon experience I wanted to include info about it, so big thanks go to experienced queuer @jackaleelee who provided most of this info and also to @mojobackhand for the pic of her queue card.
Getting to the queue
However you arrive you’ll need to head for Wimbledon Park Road where it crosses with Woodspring Road just before Church Lane.
The closest tube station is Southfields which is a 10 minute walk. Also pretty close is Wimbledon Park tube station and you can take a short cut through Wimbledon Park and arrive at the bottom of the field where the queue is located. Its a 10 minute walk as well but the Park gates don’t open until 6am, so not an option if you’re heading for the queue earlier than that.
Arrival Time and Ticket Options
If you want to be in with a chance for tickets for a show court you do have to get there early, and I mean early. There are 500 tickets each for Centre Court and Courts 1 & 2; for Centre Court you may need to queue overnight and camp, but getting there at 5am or earlier I’ve always managed to get tickets for either Courts 1 or 2. And Court 2 is often witness to some of the best matches/players in the first week; I’ve never had a bad day on there.
Getting a court ticket is especially brilliant as you’ll have a guaranteed seat for the day which is always welcome if you’ve queued from 5am.
A Ground Pass will mean you’ll see great tennis but it also means queueing again once in the grounds for an unreserved seat on one of the outside courts.
The first section of the queue is on a field and if you do get there early you’ll be there until 6-6.30am before the queue starts moving.
When you arrive at the end of the queue you’ll be issued with a Queue Card and also a booklet of tips and do’s and don’ts.
- Buying tickets in the queue is cash only so make sure you have enough money to pay for the tickets you hope to get. Although if you do forget to bring cash a Steward can escort you to an ATM.
- Bring a book or magazine to read to help you pass the time.
- The ground will be wet and dewy so either take a large piece of plastic, a bin bag or one of those fold up rugs with the plastic backing as you’ll want to sit down.
- Try not to take anything with you that you can’t discard as the day goes on. Tupperware is all very well but who wants to have a bag full of empty containers to carry home?
- Same with a flask of coffee, there are vans on the field selling drinks and hot snacks and the quality is fairly decent, although the prices are a little high. Same with the refreshments in the grounds, so take some things with you so you want to save some money.
- If the weather is hot you’ll need plenty of water, but in the last couple of years there have been water fountains popping up so you can refill your water bottle at no extra cost.
- Also for sale to queuers are the newspapers with Wimbledon style freebies, thats where we obtained our plastic backed rug! and the papers will have the order of play so you can decide which matches you want to see.
- There’s also a pretty good mobile phone reception in the area so you can also check out websites and twitter for information.
- For those who have camped overnight, the Wimbledon Stewards will start waking you at 6am to clear up.
- There are portacabins with decent and clean toilet facilities and anytime from 6 you’ll see people traipsing across in their pyjamas to clean their teeth and freshen up.
- For the queuer and not the camper, the most entertaining part of this is the dismantling of tents and repacking, especially the circular “fold up in a bag” tents; they’re not a simple as they look.
- There are places to leave luggage and heavy items as you’re not allowed to take more than one bag into the grounds. There is a small charge for this and there is also a security check just before you cross over the bridge onto Church Lane.
- And last but not least, one of the best things about the queue is the people; you’re surrounded by tennis fans which is always a good thing and I’ve always found there is a great atmosphere while you’re there. Enjoy!
Getting in to the grounds
If you are lucky enough to obtain a chance to buy a show court ticket, you’ll have been issued with a wrist band while in the queue; there’s a different colour for each court and these are distributed by the Wimbledon Stewards typically from about 8am. When you reach Gate 3 and the ticket turnstiles, those with the allocated wristbands will be separated to the specific turnstile for the court (sales are strictly one ticket per person and only cash is accepted at the turnstiles; check the website for up-to-date ticket prices as they increase each day)
Once you’ve purchased your ticket you’ll be in the grounds and right in front of the Order of Play board. If you queued early you’ll probably get there around 9.30am.
There are stalls selling souvenirs and programs (£8 this year) in this area of the grounds as well as a newsagents, cafe, official shop and toilet facilities.
The main grounds aren’t open until 10.30am so this is the only area you can access for an hour and it gets really busy.
Once the grounds are open you are able to sit on any of the unreserved seats on the outside courts where play this year starts at 11.30, so there’s time before the show courts open to see at least a couple of sets of tennis.
Do you have any other tips for the Wimbledon queue? Please let us know in the comments below or tweet them to @grandslamgal.