Wimbledon London Travel Guide
1. Lawn Wimbledon Tennis Museum
Let’s start with Wimbledon itself, or precisely with a striking ghostly white figure of former World No. 1 John Patrick McEnroe, which can be found at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. Here, you can feel the tournament spirit of history and traditions, touch the items of clothes worn by players in the Victorian times, examine trophies and even look at the equipment of your favourite player.
The Wimbledon museum provides guests with free audio guides recorded in 10 languages, interactive displays and 3D film to get the fullest and most exciting information. See the site for more details about tours.
Location: The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Church Road, Wimbledon, London SW19 5AE.
The Wimbledon tennis museum is located at Gate 3.
Subway: District line – Southfields, plus 15-minute walk or 493 bus.
When: It is open during the event and only for ticket holders.
You can visit it from 9.30 am to 8 pm during the event, and throughout the year from
10am to 5pm.
2. Wimbledon Village Stables
Don’t worry if you have no experience of horse riding. You won’t do it at the drop of the hat. So, to feel confident in the business, a newcomer usually tries out all the peculiarities of horse riding at an equine simulator. When you are ready, ride around lovely landscapes of countryside. Leave city noises behind as you are flying abreast with nature.
Location: 24 a/b High Street, Wimbledon, London SW19 5DX
Subway: District line – Wimbledon Underground Station plus 10 minute walk/Wimlbedon Park plus 19 minute walk, Northern line – South Wimbledon plus 24 minute walk.
When: non-members of the club can ride Tues-Fri at 9, 10.15, 11.30am or 2 pm. To start with simulator lessons come any day of the week.
3. National Gallery
This outstanding art museum has one of the most notable collections in the world. An important point is that it is free to visit because of public ownership. Its funds have been established by donations from private collections. They feature many remarkable masterpieces, that symbolize particular turning points in art history from the middle of the 13th to 20th century. The names of artists whose works are gathered at the museum come to mind instantly when important art pieces are being mentioned. Italian Renaissance painting is represented by Paolo Uccello, Piero della Francesca, Giovanni Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Jacopo Tintoretto, and that’s not the entire list.
Great Baroque works by Caravaggio can be seen here as well. Among them The Supper at Emmaus and Salome with the Head of John the Baptist. Sunflowers by van Gogh is sending out its golden gleam. Mystical and impulsive William Turner takes away in his hypnotic seascapes. French impressionists show every slightest aspect of life as filled with delicate charm and individuality.
The best way to appreciate these treasures is to go and see with your own eyes.
Location: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
Subway: Overground/Northern/Bakerloo line – Charing Cross, Northern/Piccadilly line – Leicester Square, Piccadilly/Bakerloo line – Piccadilly Circus, Northern/Bakerloo/District/Circle line –Embankment
When: Sat-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-9pm
4. Tower of London
When it comes to sightseeing in London, you are usually sent to the Tower by tourist advisors. Don’t worry, though this expression – ‘sent to the Tower’ – means being punished, now the most fearful about this fortress is possibly legends about the ghost of executed Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII.
It’s interesting that, despite all the apparent impenetrability, the first escaper happily left the place in 1100. Bishop Ranulf Flambard, who is also the first recorded person to be imprisoned here, managed to rope down with a cord secretly delivered in a wine vessel.
The Tower was founded as the first Norman King of England, William the Conqueror, came to the throne. In Norman tradition, a central tower symbolized a lord’s power. Consequently, the whole castle got its name from the White Tower. In the 13th century, it already had more like present-day appearance after some extensions and improvements introduced by Kings Henry III and Edward I.
The prison was not the only function of the castle and even not the main one. It has been used as an armoury, a menagerie, the home of the Crown Jewels of England, a royal residence, a public records office, the home of the Royal Mint, a treasury and a strategically important object in general. Some buildings were destroyed by The Blitz in September of 1940. Maybe the six tower ravens, always kept at the Tower, saved it from a bigger disaster.
Location: London EC3N 4AB
Subway: Circle and District lines – Tower Hill
When: Tue-Sat 9am – 5.30pm, Sun-Mon 10am – 5.30pm
5. Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
The original building of Shakespeare’s time, constructed in 1599, was destroyed fourteen years later when fire emerged because of the cannon used in a play. Since all the structure was wooden, with the thatched roof, sparks from the shot caused the destruction. Even after the Globe was soon rebuilt, in 1642 the Puritans ordered to close all the theaters by reason of incompatibility between such amusement and hard times.
Modern reconstruction is as close to the original as possible. Considering that safety requirements allow approximately half of the whole amount of visitors admitted to performances previously. Just like earlier, the theater is placed near the River Thames. Though 230 meters away from the initial point because of water level change. All reconstructions of are based on studying of old schemes, drawings, and architecture of theaters that existed at the same time as the Globe. Actors perform on the same thrust stage projecting into a wide yard surrounded by three tiers of seating.
To go or not to go? That’s not even a question. Of course, to go – with bells on!
Location: 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, London SE1 9DT
Subway: Central Line – St Paul’s, District and Circle lines – Mansion House, Northern and Jubilee lines – London Bridge
When: daily 10am–6pm.
6. Westminster Abbey
It is the most international and complex church that ever existed. Though the sacred place has been known from the middle of the 10th century, the history of this English symbol began in the 11th century as King Edward the Confessor founded the Abbey – a church, built in the style of Normandy. Later in the 13th century, Henry III reconstructed it mixing French and English Gothic styles so it was more like that we observe today. He went on to provide interior decoration with metalwork, painting, mosaic and sculpture.
Now the Abbey hosts main national events. They are coronations, State services, weddings and funerals of the Royal Family.
Henry VII’s Chapel has been recognized as a pearl of art and John Leland, English poet and antiquary, called it ‘a wonder of the world’. It was established in the place of the 13th-century Lady Chapel, and, though planned as a separate church, it reminds us of something secular, particularly in fenestration. Therefore it contradicts a bit the style of the ensemble and simultaneously impresses even more than the rest of the Abbey. So does the atmosphere inside. If you look closer at the sculptures of saints, of which there are about a hundred, they don’t seem at all gloomy or sorrowful – they are lively and calm, each with individual features and character.
A quite fascinating thing to do around the Abbey is to find some epitaphs written in various languages by artists of different times. On the monuments examples musical scores and a mathematical equation can be found. The building itself reminds us about its conception that came as a combination of epochs, talents and arts. A fascinating example of old cosmopolitan culture to visit!
Location: 20 Deans Yd, London SW1P 3PA
Subway: District and Circle lines – St James’s Park; Jubilee, District and Circle lines – Westminster
When: it is open to visitors Mon-Sat throughout the year. On Sunday and religious holidays open for worship only.
7. Palace of Westminster
The site of the Royal Palace hasn’t changed from nearly 1052, although the first one built by Edward the Confessor was rather between the Abbey and the river. Even today the oldest part of the ancient palace, Westminster Hall, is still functioning.
The Palace has been extended and improved. It gathered more and more official structures. After serious damages caused by fire in 1512, the Royal Court would never return to Westminster as a residence. It became the place of government offices and sessions of Parliament. Since all buildings were connected and many were made of wood, another violent fire devoured the Palace. Charles Burry, who won the competition set by Royal Commission, became the architect of the new Houses of Parliament, while Edmund Beckett Denison designed the Great Clock and Elizabeth Tower, widely known as Big Ben (after the colloquial name of the largest bell inside the tower).
The Clock Tower rises 96 m high. It has turned into an iconic symbol of London and England in general.
Location: Big Ben, Parliament Square, Westminster, St Margaret Street, London SW1A 0AA
Subway: District line – Westminster; District and Circle lines – St James’s Park; Circle, District, Northern and Bakerloo lines – Embankment
When: guided tours run on Saturdays throughout the year
8. British Museum
It was founded in 1753 on the basis of nearly 71,000 curiosities collected by Irish-born British physician and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane during his lifetime, among them printed books, manuscripts, drawings, various antiquities from Egypt, Greece, Sudan, Rome, the Ancient Near and Far East and the Americas. Besides, Sir Robert Cotton’s collection of books from Elizabethan epoch and the Earls of Oxford were added. James Cook and others 18th-century explorers greatly enriched the funds. Visitors could get acquainted with most precious subjects that were important for understanding human history, development of science, arts, and societies. Thus, the establishment contributed to people’s ability see themselves in historical perspective and appreciate the diversity and peculiar origins of different world cultures.
Each of today departments has its subdivision. They full of creations of every epoch and corner of the world, for example, sculptures from lost Egyptian cities.
Location: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG
Subway: Central line and Northern line – Tottenham Court Road; Central and Piccadilly lines – Holborn.
When: daily 10am-5.30pm. Most galleries are open until 8.30pm on Fridays (except Good Friday). The entrance is free.
9. Natural History Museum
Fantastic hall of inside the grand example of Victorian architecture leads you into the world of natural history. This place is famous for enormous dinosaur skeletons and opulent interior.
This establishment separated from the British Museum in 1963 and acquired the reputation of a cathedral of nature, comprising near 80 million items.
See if jaws open wide will give you the heebie-jeebies!
Location: Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Subway: District, Piccadilly and Circle lines – South Kensington plus 5-minute walk
When: daily 10am – 5.50pm
10. Wimbledon Park Watersports and Outdoor Centre
If you are lucky enough to catch a good weather, this place is ideal for family holiday to choose from the Wimbledon London Travel Guide. Take the appropriate thing – canoe, kayak or windsurfing. And just enjoy it. The program of activities can be adjusted for adults to both adults and children in order to organize safe and sufficient rest.
Location: Wimbledon Park Sports Centre, Home Park Rd, London SW19 7HX
Subway: District line – Wimbledon Park
When: Mon-Thurs from 9am to 6pm, Fri-Sun from 10am to 4pm
11. Dennis Severs’ House
Obviously continuing the tradition launched by Malcolm Munthe, Dennis Severs went even further. He acquired the house that dates from nearly 1724 and created a ‘still-life drama’. Imagine that you got into someone’s house when all inhabitants – silk weavers – have just gone out. Now you can trace everyday life with both important and usual events of several generations of the fictive Jervis family who lived there from 1725 to 1919.
It’s like a time machine! Epochs come and go, but hearts and emotions link people over the precipices, and You either see it or you don’t – that’s the motto of the house.
Location: 18 Folgate St, London E1 6BX
Subway: Hammersmith & City and District line – Aldgate East; Central, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines – Liverpool Street
When: Mon noon-1.15pm, 5-9pm, Wed 5pm-9pm; Fri 5pm-9pm; Sun noon-3.15pm
12. Richmond Park
Created as a deer park in the 17th century, it has become the largest of Royal Parks. Picturesque landscapes and wild life make it one of the most inspiring places. After visiting it no one cold-hearted person can ignore the life beauty anymore.
Location: Petersham Road, Richmond, Surrey
Subway: District line – Richmond; the next station on both these lines, to the northeast, is Kew Gardens, the world’s largest collections of living plants
When: pedestrian gates are open 24 hours
13. London Zoo
Originally it was intended to be used for scientific purposes. From the first opening to the public in 1847, it has maintained the collection of 756 species.
By the way, the scene from ‘Harry Potter’ where he talks to the Burmese python is filmed here in the Reptile House.
Location: Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY
Subway: Northern line, Edgware branch – Chalk Farm or Camden Town
When: daily 10am-6pm. Last entry at 5pm.
14. West End theatre
West End is a real Theatreland, as the main theatre district of London is called. Some leading theatres, however, are also referred to as ‘West End’, though the Apollo Victoria Theatre, is located in Westminster. Plan your visit with officiallondontheatre.co.uk.
This district is a usual touristic destination, mainly the three streets: Drury Lane, Shaftsbury Avenue and The Strand. The longest running shows enjoy the constant attention for decades. For instance, Les Misérables (played initially at the Barbican, now at the Queen’s Theatre) has already been staged for 30 years, and The Mousetrap, opened at the Ambassadors Theatre, is now performed at the St Martin’s Theatre for the 63rd year.
Location: West End
15. Word on the Water
Words, words, words. A lot of words at the London Bookbarge. Would you ever imagine a floating bookshop? It does exist – situated on a 1920s Dutch Barge floating along the local canals. It has been as one of the ten best independent bookshops in the world where affordable books of high quality are waiting for a book lover.
Recent location: York Way, Granary Square, N1C London. Check the Bookbarge’s current location on its page on Facebook.
When: Mon-Sun 12am – 7pm
16. Wilton’s Music Hall
A charming place matches charming music. The music hall is founded by businessman John Wilton in 1859. It still holds its glory, but keeping it in good condition requires much enthusiasm and ardour. The 300-year old building has been recently restored. Now it’s ready for a new performance season.
Location: 1 Graces Alley, London E1 8JB
Subway: Hammersmith & City and District line – Aldgate East; Circle and District lines – Tower Hill
17. Somerset House
Walking from the Strand towards Waterloo Bridge, turn to huge Neoclassical building standing on the site of Tudor palace. It is one of the best-known design works of Sir William Chambers, an initial member of the Royal Academy.
Somerset House serves as a public space where a lot of cultural events are held, including films, design exhibitions, open-air concerts, guided tours to little-known parts of building and family workshops. It rightly claims to be the major art centre in the very heart of London.
Location: Somerset House, South Building, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Subway: Circle and District lines – Temple; Piccadilly line – Covent Garden; Northern and Bakerloo lines – Charing Cross; Circle, District, Northern and Bakerloo lines – Embankment
When: check out the site to arrange your visit
18. St Paul’s Cathedral
This baroque cathedral is located at the highest point of the city. Its fanciful forms will take your breath way. Sir Christopher Wren, who designed the church, is admitted as one of the most talented in history. It was constructed between 1675 and 1710. More than two centuries after it still was the tallest London building.
The design of dome emerged from the inspiration by Michelangelo’s and Mansart’s creations. The columns of the West Front remind of great Santa Maria della Pace in Rome and an intricate interior decoration creates a magnificent illusion of architectural elements flowing into the ornaments.
Location: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD
Subway: Central line – St. Paul’s
When: Mon-Sat 8.30am – 4pm (last entry). This schedule can vary depending on service and event programmes.
19. London Eye
Rise to cloud nine on the Millennium Wheel, another recognizable symbol of London, accessible to anyone. Step into one of the 32 passenger capsules which can carry 25 people at once, and enjoy the view. One revolution takes about half an hour.
Location: London SE1 7PB
Subway: Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines – Waterloo; Bakerloo line – Lambeth North; Jubilee line – Southwark
When: daily 10am – 8.30pm
20. Southside House
In the first year of plague outbreak (1687) Robert Pennington, having lost his son, came from London to a Wimbledon farmhouse. He decided to build on its basis a mansion and invited Dutch architects to design it. In the following years, the house would become larger and wealthier decorated. It would welcome noble guests: Frederick, Prince of Wales, Admiral Nelson, and Sir William and Emma Hamilton.
A few centuries later the mansion came into the Munthes’ possession when Hilda Pennington married Axel Munthe, a famous Swedish psychiatrist and writer. Their son Malcolm did a great job. In order to renovate and maintain the house which suffered from German air raid during World War II. Fortunately, original furniture and imposing art collection preserved.
Nowadays the house is used for holding various art and educational events. For instance, literary evenings, lectures, etc. Young artists come here to get inspired by refined furnishing and wild beauty of Southside Gardens, which are kept with environmental responsibility and expanded by planting new spices (Swedish birches).
Location: 3-4 Woodhayes Rd, Wimbledon Common, London SW19 4RJ
Subway: District line – Wimbledon Underground Station
When: on Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday afternoons and Bank Holidays. At 2pm and 3.30pm guided tours are available.
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