Wimbledon Championships 2016

Today sees the start of the prestigious Wimbledon Championships 2016, taking place for the next two weeks in SW19.

27 June – 10 July 2016

Steeped in history, the first Championships at The All England Club were held in 1877 in a location off Worple Road, Wimbledon. Church Road became their new home in 1922 and they have developed into the imposing courts they are today.

Famous for its grass courts, Royal patronage and of course strawberries and cream, the Championships take place for two weeks every year, from the last Monday in June.

Wimbledon flag   Strawberries and Cream Wimbledon   Wimbledon Tennis Championships

The tennis spirit is apparent both inside and outside the courts, with flags flying, decorated shop fronts in Wimbledon Village and a mock grass court laid out at Southfields tube station.

There are plenty of places to get refreshments in Wimbledon and Southfields, whether you’re looking for something to take-away or prefer to eat in and enjoy the atmosphere.

Wimbledon village2   Wimbledon village estate agents    Eating alfresco Wimbledon Village

The closest tube station is Southfields (District line) but the courts are also walking distance from Wimbledon train and tube station, or you can catch a bus.

Click here for further information

Southfields station   Wimbledon Tennis Championships4    Wimbledon Train and Tube Station

How to get tickets

There are four ways to obtain tickets for the Wimbledon Championships: The Ballot; The Queue; Ticketmaster; and Official hospitality packages.

As the Ballot has already closed for 2016, your options are to try to get online tickets the day before a match through Ticketmaster or to join The Queue.

There are three options for The Queue: camp overnight; arrive early in the morning (around 5-6am); or queue after 5pm (tickets are slightly cheaper after this time). There are a limited number of tickets available for Centre Court, No.1 Court and No.2 Court (except for the last four days on Centre Court where the tickets are sold in advance) and several thousand Grounds Passes which allow unreserved seating and standing room areas on Courts No.3-19 or if they are full you can soak up the atmosphere at the large screen on ‘Henman Hill’ / ‘Murray Mound’.

Please note, tickets can only be purchased with cash, they do not accept credit cards.

See www.wimbledon.com for further information and ticket details.

Wimbledon campsite  Wimbledon Tennis Championships  Wimbledon Tennis Championships2

Security checks take place before you go in. There is a list of things you can’t take in with you that is worth a read, click here.

Alternatively, why not watch the tennis from one of the large screens across the city, follow this link for some ideas.


One Day, Three Gardens

One day, three very different gardens.

The day started in Holland Park with its fabulous cherry blossom trees. Hidden away in the park is the picturesque Kyoto Garden, a Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991.
Spring is a great time to visit when everything is in full bloom.

Kyoto Garden Kyoto Garden Kyoto Garden

Then onto the Sky Garden (20 Fenchurch Street, also known as the ‘Walkie Talkie’) to queue for the ‘walk up’ tickets. It’s free to go inside. You can book in advance via their website or queue up on weekdays between 10am – 11.30am, 2pm and 4.30pm. Remember to take ID with you.
A lift takes you to the 35th floor with fantastic views over the city, capturing many of London’s famous landmarks including Tower Bridge, The Shard, the Tower of London, Canary Wharf, the London Eye and St Paul’s Cathedral. Inside are several eateries and a garden with a series of terraces, each planted in a different theme.

Sky garden1 Sky garden2 Sky garden3

A fitting end to the day was a leisurely wander around Covent Garden, gleaming in the sunshine with its latest installation – mirrored walls! Originally a fruit and vegetable market, it is now a must see attraction in London for its market stalls, shops and street entertainers. A great place to people watch whilst having a glass of wine or coffee.

Covent Garden4 Covent Garden2 Covent Garden1

How to get there
Holland Park: High Street Kensington or Notting Hill Gate Tube Stations
Sky Garden: Monument Tube Station
Covent Garden: Covent Garden Tube Station


Happy 90th Birthday Queen Elizabeth

Happy Birthday to Queen Elizabeth. Our longest reigning monarch turns 90 today.
Queen Elizabeth Weymouth BeachDid you know…
  •  The Queen’s real birthday is on 21 April but it is officially celebrated in June (usually on the second Saturday) with ‘Trooping the Colour’
  • In an average year, The Queen receives approximately 60,000 pieces of correspondence
  • The new London CrossRail line will be called the Elizabeth Line, named after Queen Elizabeth
  • When she was born in 1926, Princess Elizabeth was not expecting to be the Queen. It wasn’t until December 1936, when her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated, that her father became King George VI and she became next in line to the throne.
  • The Queen’s Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, at the age of 27
  • If the Royal Standard flag is flying at Buckingham Palace this means the Queen is in residence
  • The Crown Jewels, which are only worn at coronations and the annual State Opening of Parliament can be found in the Tower of London. For other formal occasions the Queen wears the jewellery from her private collection.

Queen Elizabeth Trooping the Colour                    Trooping the Colour

Top: The Queen visits Weymouth Beach
Bottom (left to right): Trooping the Colour

(sources https://www.royal.uk and wikipedia)


National Living Wage

As of 1 April 2016, the National Living Wage was set at £7.20.

This means anyone aged 25 or over is legally entitled to at least £7.20 an hour from 1 April.

For those under 25, the National Minimum Wage still applies:

  • Those aged 21 to 24 are entitled to at least £6.70 an hour
  • For those aged 18 to 20 it’s £5.30 an hour
  • If you’re under 18 it’s £3.87 an hour
  • For apprentices the minimum wage is £3.30 an hour

For further details:
National Living Wage
Minimum Wage