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Looking for things to do in Wimbledon aside from the world-famous Tennis tournament? The town in South London has a lot more to offer than you might think.
For many people across the world, Wimbledon means Tennis. The small south London town has become globally known as the home of the tennis tournament with over half a million people visit every year.
However, for me, it is somewhere I grew up and still spend a lot of time now. For me, it is much more than tennis, offering some wear to socialise, eat well and find plenty of hidden gems. If you are looking for things to do in Wimbledon with kids, places to go in Wimbledon on a night out or even educational activities, you will find it.
So whether you are a local finding a new way to spend a weekend or a visitor looking for attractions alongside your visit to the tennis, Wimbledon has it to offer.
Fun Things to do in Wimbledon, South London
The Tennis Lawn Museum
Tennis is a big part of Wimbledon and they are proud of it. For tennis enthusiasts wanting to learn more about the history as well as look back on part championships, you can visit the Tennis Lawn Museum.
Get up close to the famous trophies, feel the fabrics of tennis fashions from the Victorian period, test your skills on the Batak wall and learn about how The Championships has developed since 1877.
View clothing and equipment donated by tennis’ top stars as well as visit the museum’s Virtual Reality Experience, a new and exciting way to experience Wimbledon. Using the latest VR technology you’ll be transported back in time, before being given full 360° access to The Championships.
Daily visits are limited and advance booking of tickets is strongly advised – especially during the tennis season.
Visit a traditional Buddist Temple
You probably were not aware that you could visit a traditional Thai temple in Wimbledon, but you can.
The Buddhapadipa temple in Wimbledon was the first Thai Buddhist temple to be built in the UK. It is a Buddhist centre which aims to disseminate the teaching of the Buddha in the Theravada tradition.
It is affiliated to the Royal Thai Embassy in London and has been in Wimbledon since 1976. The temple grounds are open on weekdays but the main temple is open to the public only on the weekends – not only is the building and grounds absolutely beautiful, but it is also fantastic to visit for culture or for an educational day out with kids in Wimbledon.
Go to the theatre
Wimbledon is home to two main theatres – The New Wimbledon Theatre and the Polka Dot Theatre.
Standing proudly since 1910, New Wimbledon Theatre has garnered a glittering reputation as a premier theatrical venue in South West London. The Edwardian style theatre has played host to many touring productions as well as live concerts over the years. During the winter season, it is home to one of the largest and most famous pantomimes in London.
The Polka Theatre is Londons most successful children’s theatre. Based in Wimbledon since 1979, Polka creates world-class theatre to entertain and inspire young audiences. Over 90,000 children visit Polka every year to experience engaging, fun and exciting theatre, often for the first time. With productions changing every few months, the Polka Theatre is one of the perfect things to do in Wimbledon with children.
Alongside its large array of shops, Wimbledon also has a fantastic selection of independent restaurants and cafes. I love visiting Wimbledon for dining out, especially for brunch on a weekend.
You will find some of the best brunches in Wimbledon further up in Wimbledon Village, but if you are looking for somewhere closer to the main station, I personally recommend visiting Megan’s for their bottomless brunch.
Wimbledon Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday, rain or shine, Wimbledon plays host to a traditional Farmer’s market. Each week engaging and knowledgeable stallholders sell their products including fresh fruit and veg, game, milk, bread, cakes and cheeses.
The stock on sale all depends on the current season, meaning everything you buy is fresh and homegrown.
The Wimbledon Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm at Wimbledon Park Primary School on Havana Road.
Join a Japanese cookery class
19 years ago, Reiko Hashimoto set up Hashi Cooking, becoming the first person in the UK to teach the art of sushi. Today, she has set thousands of students on the path to creative and accessible Japanese cooking, coaching a range of talent from raw beginners to professional chefs from her kitchen in Wimbledon.
Therefore if you are looking for something different to do in Wimbledon then book a class at Hashi Cooking. Across the weekend, Hashi Cooking hosts sashimi and sushi classes while during the week you can learn to make traditional Gyoza.
For those looking for something extra special, you can book a private class or course.
Enjoy a summer afternoon in a beer garden
There are some fantastic pubs in Wimbledon. Away from the few chain pubs, Wimbledon is home to many independent establishments serving chilled craft beers and wonderful food.
If you want the traditional cosy pub feel then head to The Old Frizzle near Wimbledon Broadway but if you want one of the best beer gardens in London then visit The Hand in Hand, located near on the edge of Wimbledon Common. The Hand in Hand courtyard is an excellent alfresco space. Combined with the low-ceilings and cottage vibes of the pub, it maintains a village atmosphere despite still being in London.
Picnic on Wimbledon Common
For those not keen on a pub, Wimbledon Common is the perfect place for a picnic in Wimbledon.
Wimbledon Common is 1,140 acres of countryside amidst the urban surroundings, offering a home to an abundance of wildlife as well as bordering the neighbouring towns of Putney and Kingston.
Wimbledon Common is also home to the Wimbledon Village Riding Stables. Here visitors can book in advance to take one of the magnificent horses on a hack across the common.
Deen City Farm
Deen City Farm is an urban farm with an educational focus in the heart of the London Borough of Merton. Run purely through donations this wonderful community initiative teaches the local community about the rural environment and where their food comes from.
Entry to the farm is free, however, donations are encouraged to help keep the facility running and open. Alongside the farm, there is also a small dining area, a farm shop and an affordable children’s horse riding stables – which is actually where I learnt to ride a horse!
Escape the Mystery Cube
I have written a lot about my love of escape rooms, in particular about the best escape rooms in Surrey. If you are looking for a team-building exercise in Wimbledon then book a game at Mystery Cube Escape Rooms.
Advanced booking is essential but definitely worth the wait. Groups are challenged to follow a series of clues and challenges to escape the cube in the space of an hour.
Enjoy Afternoon Tea after a morning shop
Wimbledon Village is home to many independent and boutique fashion and homeware stores, making it a great option for a luxury weekend shopping spree.
After shopping head to the Hotel Du Vin for a quintessential afternoon tea, one which boasts itself as the best afternoon tea in Wimbledon. Finger sandwiches, scones, cakes and savouries are served with your choice of tea and if you’re looking to put a bit more fizz in your afternoon, try the Champagne afternoon tea.
The Museum of Wimbledon
Potentially more one for the locals of Wimbledon, here you can take in 3000 years of local history. The Museum of Wimbledon is another wonderful local initiative, receiving no funding and run entirely on volunteers.
The museum reflects life in Wimbledon from early prehistory until the present day. All artefacts and exhibitions have been donated by Wimbledon locals, which together display a history which has not only influenced local society but at times often created a change on a much large scale.
The town of Wimbledon has much more to offer than some might think and far more than just a place to visit during the tennis tournament. Whether you are a local or a tourist to the town, you will find plenty of things to do in Wimbledon.