The village of tennis, it is what Wimbledon is known for. Each year in June and July the world massively flocks to this part of south-west London for an exciting tournament of this racket sports.
Of course, if you are a tennis fanatic, it is this event that draws you to this part of town. But it has much more on offer.
Wimbledon Common is a wonderful place for a bike ride. Most roads are car-free and the air is much cleaner than in other parts of London. It consists of three areas: Wimbledon Common, Putney Lower Common and Putney Heath. For some amazing mansion-gaping I would recommend to cycle the whole area as you will soon enough find yourself in Putney Village, with its large houses in the middle of the heath lands.
In the middle of the Common you will find Wimbledon Windmill. Currently, it lost its sails as they are being restored, but it is still quite an impressive sight to see a real windmill in London. It was built in 1817 and served the community until 1864. If you want to learn more about the function and the history of windmills, I would recommend visiting the Museum.
The windmill is also a great location for a quick break, with the Tearooms offering breakfast, lunch and drinks indoors or on the patio. There are plenty of bicycle racks to safely secure your bike, so you can have a look around while your bike is safely stored.
Taking a break from cycling is not a bad idea while out on the Commons. Some paths are open to pedestrians only and can lead you to hidden ponds and further into the ‘woods’.
Golf is just a big thing in the UK. I don’t think I have ever seen so many golf courses in a country. Of course, the Common has one of its own and you will definitely pass it when you are cycling the Common. The Royal Wimbledon Golf Club is beautifully located in the woodlands and dates back to the 1800’s. This makes it the third oldest golf club in the UK.
Wat Buddhapadipa Temple
Cycle from the Common onto the A219 and turn left onto Somerset Road, and right again onto Calonne Road. Kudos to you who conquers the hills! Halfway Calonne Road you will find something quite unique. This part of London is the home of the UK’s first Thai Buddhist temple. On 1.5 hectares of tranquil land, you will find an impressive temple in white and gold surrounded by beautiful gardens, ponds and streams.
It is an extremely peaceful location and an important place for Thai Buddhist to gather and meditate. The community assists in maintaining the site and is very welcoming to all outsiders. In addition, they also organize meditation sessions and retreats where everyone can take part in. Free food and tea and coffee are also being handed out to all visitors I was told.
For some grand shopping head to the High Street and The Broadway. Where the High Street is home to mainly independent stores, cafes and restaurants, The Broadway is the high street shopping hub. Right next door you will find the railway/Underground station.
For any of you culture buffs, do visit New Wimbledon Theatre. Unlike its name, this Grade II listed Edwardian theatre opened in 1910 and hosts some of the best shows in town. It is also a favourite among TV producers with TV series like Little Britain, Extras and The IT Crows being shot here.