London is a vibrant city with so much to see beyond the Wimbledon Championships. While London competes with other world capitals in terms of entertainment, attractions, shopping and dining, the city is relatively compact and once you get the hang of it, it can be fairly easy to navigate. As is usual when venturing outside of our home country, there are always challenges present, usually extending from differing customs and common practices. One of the great things about London (at least for our English-speaking guests) is that unlike many other international destinations, there is no language barrier. One of our goals at Roadtrips is to help set your expectations and do whatever we can to ensure that you are prepared for London’s challenges and triumphs, and to create the best possible experience for all of our guests.
Travel Times & Transportation
Like most major world cities, traffic can be a significant issue in London. In particular, when it comes to major events such as Wimbledon, traffic patterns are, by nature, always somewhat dynamic. Roadtrips accesses official information from local authorities and from our destination partners to provide the best information possible about traffic, estimated travel times, and permitted drop off points at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC). Roadtrips’ Wimbledon guests will benefit hugely from our experience working at multiple Wimbledon Championships as well as the 2012 London Summer Games.
We strongly recommend that you plan your journey to Wimbledon in advance, with the assistance of the Roadtrips At-Your-Service Desk. Our personal concierges can arrange a luxury vehicle and driver to take the stress out of getting to Wimbledon. It is important to take into account that roads servicing The Championships will be heavily congested, and extra time may be needed to complete your journey.
There are plenty of public transportation options available for getting to the Wimbledon Championships as well, either via tube, train, tram, or bus. The Transport for London website offers a journey planner that can assist and of course, the Roadtrips At-Your-Service Desk is well-prepared to help you plan your route as well.
Dining Out & Reservations
Boasting a long list of Michelin-starred restaurants, London is a standout in the restaurant scene. London restaurants are generally open for lunch around noon and dinner from 6 pm. Often Londoners take later meals than we are used to in North America, so if you find yourself without a reservation for dinner, you can opt for an earlier seating time and will most likely find a table. Many restaurants also offer a pre-theatre seating before 7pm, often a special pre-set menu. For top-end restaurants it’s wise to reserve a table in advance, either directly with the restaurant, or with the assistance of the Roadtrips At-Your-Service Desk. Be sure to check out our London Restaurant Guide to hear about some of our favorites.
How to Dial Locally and Internationally
To call a London phone number from a US or Canadian phone (mobile or land line) you must dial 011 + Country Code (44 for United Kingdom) + Area Code (20 for London) + the local phone number.
To call a US or Canadian phone number from your North American mobile phone you must dial 00 + 1 + Area Code + Telephone Number.
The language spoken in England is of course, English. While this makes things easy for our Anglophone guests, even those most skilled at the language may be occasionally tested (and amused) with the notorious British slang. While you’ll hear more English than any other tongue, London is a very diverse city and you may hear dozens of different languages spoken throughout your visit.
Summer can be very pleasant with temperatures averaging 18°C (64°F) and often rising into the low 20s (70s F), perfect for taking in a match. While warm summers are the norm, London does occasionally experience heat waves with temperatures soaring well above 30°C (86°F).
The number of rainy days is fairly consistent throughout the year with between 11 and 15 rainy days each month. Overall rainfall is highest in November and August and is lowest in March and April. Centre Court at the AELTC does have a retractable roof, so that you can enjoy the tennis regardless of the weather.
It’s standard practice to leave a tip for good service in a restaurant, generally 10-15% of your total bill. Some restaurants may include a service fee in the total (particularly for larger groups) so it’s wise to check your bill first. Tipping the bar staff in London’s many pubs is not necessary or expected. As for taxis, it’s common to show your appreciation by rounding up to the nearest pound, or leaving up to 10% for longer rides or exceptional service.
Banking & Local Currency
The UK’s currency is the pound sterling (£ / GBP). Despite being a member of the European Union, the UK has not adopted the euro. Just as Americans have dollars and cents, the UK has pounds and pence, with 100 pence equaling one pound. More colloquially, pence are often referred to simply as “p,” a pound is known as a “quid”, a five-pound note is a “fiver” and a ten-pound note a “tenner.”
Credit cards, especially Visa and Mastercard, are widely accepted in London’s restaurants, bars, cafés and shops. American Express and Diners Club cards are less commonly accepted. There are plenty of cash machines (also known as cashpoints or ATMs) dotted around London. Most accept international cards with the Visa, Plus, Mastercard, Cirrus or Maestro symbols. Note that if you have a non-UK account you will almost certainly have to pay a charge when you withdraw cash.
Voltage in London runs between 220-240 V. You will need to use a converter, which allows your electronic device to run on a different voltage, especially for anything that runs on 110 V. Most outlets in London are the European 3-prong style or two round, oversized prongs and will require an adapter to convert a North American pronged plug to fit the outlet.
London is on British Summer Time (BST) during The Championships. During Daylight Savings Time (the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October), London is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC). In the winter, London is the same as GMT.
Book Your Trip to Wimbledon
Call a Sports Travel Specialist at 1-800-465-1765 or