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Each summer, Wimbledon reverberates to the thwack of tennis balls, as the world’s most oldest and most prestigious tennis competition rolls into town. Throughout June and July, the town focuses on little else, but visit outside of those times and you’ll find a polite and peaceful suburb on the edge of the capital, with excellent links to central London and further afield.
Book a hire car in Wimbledon and you can explore the local area, get lost in all that London has to offer, or head out to the South Downs and beyond, to the twin seaside cities of Brighton and Hove.
Wimbledon sits on London’s southwest perimeter, which makes it easy to get to from most of the capital’s airports. The closest is probably Heathrow, which is about a 40 minute drive away, when traffic is good.
Once you’ve arrived, it’s simple to visit other parts of south London. If you’d like to enjoy some street food, galleries and cafés in an ultra-hip environment, for example, just head to Boxpark in Croydon, about a 40-minute drive away.
Book a rental car in Wimbledon and you’ll have plenty of well-regarded providers to choose from, including popular brands such as Avis, Hertz and Keddy by Europcar.
If you’d like to catch a tennis game, you’d better be prepared to queue. Websites like Ticketmaster will release several hundred tickets at 9am the day before play, but expect them to go quickly. Otherwise, your best bet is to roll up (possibly with a tent) and join the lengthy queues. If that doesn’t sound like a fun way to spend a holiday, you could join the crowds at Murray Mound (formerly Henman Hill) and watch on the big screen instead. You still need a grounds ticket, but you won’t have to experience the longest queues, which are reserved exclusively for courtside tickets.
Just to the north of Wimbledon is Richmond Park, one of the largest areas of green space anywhere in the capital. It’s so big you could easily spend a day here, spotting deer and foxes, or enjoying some tea and cake at one of the nearby cafés.
Hampton Court, in nearby Richmond-upon-Thames, is another beautiful place to spend an afternoon. The 16th century palace has hosted plenty of British monarchs over the years, including names such as Henry VIII and Queen Mary I. A guided tour will fill you in on their history as well as some spooky ghost stories. Find the palace about 20 minutes away from Wimbledon when you use the Kingston bypass.
Like most of the London suburbs, Wimbledon can experience busy traffic during peak commuting hours. Aside from that, you’ll find nothing out of the ordinary if you’re used to driving in the UK. Drive on the left, and make sure to keep your licence, ID and insurance documents in the car with you at all times.
Ready to plan your own trip to Wimbledon or the rest of England? Start with this city guide, and then use the Expedia search tool to hunt out the best deals on flights and hotels, and to research the best attractions and activities.
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