This Is How I Got Tickets To Wimbledon Centre Court

Every British person with even a vague interest in sport has entertained the idea of attending Wimbledon. However, most assume it is too difficult or expensive. Each year the BBC coverage shows a Royal Box filled with royal family members and celebrities, people like Cliff Richard and David Beckham, dressed in white linen suits and panama hats. These are the people who get to go to Wimbledon, or those with connections to the BBC or Tennis Association. Not ordinary people.

Wimbledon royal box

That’s what I always thought anyway. But two years ago I went to Wimbledon. I watched Roger Federer, Serena Williams, and Andy Murray play on Centre Court while sipping a glass of Champagne and eating strawberries and cream. It was an incredible experience. I am an ordinary person and have no special connection to Wimbledon or any of the sponsors. Here’s how I did it.

Postal ballot

First I will tell you the various options for getting tickets to Wimbledon. The simplest is to apply via the postal ballot. The closing date to apply tends to be around the September before the tournament. However, the ballot has always been oversubscribed and you cannot choose the court and day you want as it is allocated randomly by a computer. This method didn’t suit us as we were in London during a specific few days so needed to go to a match during that time. Also, we were both desperate to see Scottish tennis player Andy Murray who we strongly assumed would be playing on the second Monday of the tournament so that was the day we wanted to go.

Camp overnight

The other way to get to Wimbledon, and the way we thought we would have to do it, is to camp out the night before. Around 500 Centre Court tickets are allocated to those who camp, with other court tickets then allocated before they get to the day pass tickets which allow you access to the Wimbledon complex (including the famous Henman Hill/Murray Mound where you can watch the matches on the big screen). We actually met a group of people who had camped overnight when we were on in the hill, all sporting “we camped at Wimbledon” stickers.

Tickets released day before

The third, most difficult way to get tickets for Wimbledon, and the way we ended up getting them, is to buy them from the very small number which are released online at 9am each morning for the following day’s matches. This method absolutely cannot be relied on as it is only a very small number which are released in this way and they go in a matter of minutes (maybe even seconds). It is only due to being super organised, up early, pre registered on the Wimbledon website, being at the right web page and having our fingers poised at 9am, combined with Paul’s lightening quick reactions, that we managed to get Centre Court tickets for the second Monday. To make it clear how fast they sold, I was a matter of seconds behind him and by the time I’d got to the page they had sold out. The Centre Court tickets were expensive, £100 each, but the experience which followed was 100% worth the money.

Day at Wimbledon

Ecstatic with our Centre Court tickets in hand and no need to camp, we prepared for our day at Wimbledon.

Walking into the Wimbledon Complex was overwhelming in its familiarity. The green lawn courts, the sound of the balls thwacking, the blazer clad umpires and the familiar green and purple Wimbledon branding is a constant presence on British TVs every summer so to be there in real life was very surreal (but very cool). The complex is made up of lots of tiny courts which anyone who has day entry can go to, so we popped in and out of different ones watching bits of matches from young players from around the world, wondering if we were seeing any stars of the future. 

wimbledon

This photography print of Wimbledon is available to buy from my shop.

wimbledon

This photography print of Wimbledon is available to buy from my shop.

Wimbledon

This photography print of Wimbledon is available to buy from my shop.

Murray Mound

wimbledon hill drinks

wimbledon hill drinks

After exploring the complex we wandered over to Wimbledon’s famous hill, which is either known as Henman Hill after English player Tim Henman or Murray Mound after Scottish player Andy Murray (it’s Murray Mound to me). You can bring two bottles of alcohol into Wimbledon which includes wine or fizz, so we cracked open our Cava and lay back on the grass. Hanging out on the hill was so much fun and very much worth doing on its own without even going into any of the courts. It’s only £25 for a ground pass to Wimbledon and you can bring in two bottles of wine so it’s great value for money.

Manic Monday

We hadn’t realised it, but the day we attended Wimbledon, the second Monday of the tournament, is known as “Manic Monday” as it features the most games from the biggest players. As a result, we saw Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Andy Murray all play on centre court! It was thrilling to see some of the biggest stars in the world live in action. Our seats were right at the back but it was still an amazing atmosphere as the crowd were so excited to see the best male and female tennis players of all time and to cheer on home star Andy Murray. None of the games were particularly exciting, all three beat their opponents easily, but it was still incredible.

Wimbledon Centre Court

This photography print of Wimbledon Centre Court is available to buy from my shop.

Roger Federer Wimbledon Centre Court

This photography print of Roger Federer is available to buy from my shop.

Serena Williams Wimbledon Centre Court

Andy Murray Wimbledon Centre Court

Strawberries and cream

Strawberries and cream Wimbledon centre court

Of course I had to have some strawberries and cream on Wimbledon Centre court.

Champagne prices

During Serena Williams’s match I got thirsty for another glass of fizz so I ran out during a break to the nearest bar. There was a massive queue, I was keen to get back not to miss any of the match, there was a limited selection which was all very expensive and I really wasn’t in the mood for Pimm’s so I panic bought a small bottle of Champagne. The price? £40! For a quarter sized bottle of Champagne! As I handed over the money and ran back to Centre Court I couldn’t believe I had actually just paid that money. The bars at Wimbledon are certainly not cheap.

Wimbledon complex

After leaving Centre Court we wandered around the complex, went over to see Andy Murray’s brother Jamie play doubles and popped into a few of the smaller courts before calling it a day and heading home.

Best day

Our day at Wimbledon, without exaggeration, is one of the best days I have ever had. Wimbledon is a British institution I never thought I would get to experience and it completely lived up to expectation. Being in the midst of its familiar surroundings was so exciting, watching the best tennis players of all time play live was thrilling and the whole day was just so much fun, wandering in and out of different courts, eating strawberries and cream in Centre Court and drinking Cava on the hill. I would urge anyone who has always wanted to attend to try to get tickets by any of the means I described above. Even just a day pass to soak up the experience on the hill is absolutely worth doing. In my experience, a day at Wimbledon does not disappoint.

P.S. Wimbledon Photography From My Shop and What It Was Like To Spend Christmas In Berlin

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