This ace museum details the history of tennis – from its French precursor jeu de paume (which employed the open hand) to the supersonic serves of today's champions. It’s a state-of-the-art presentation, with plenty of video clips and a projection of John McEnroe in the dressing room at Wimbledon.
There are over 20,000 objects in the museum, chronicling the long history of lawn tennis. Expect trophies, medals and player memorabilia galore, along with fascinating displays on traditional tennis equipment and fashion styles – tennis clothes worn by female tennis players in 1881 weighed up to a gruelling 4.9kg! A far cry from Maria Sharapova’s ultra-lightweight 2004 Ladies Singles outfit (the year she won the title), which is also on display. For many, however, the highlight of the museum is the chance to see Centre Court from the 360-degree viewing box. Free audio guides are available.
The museum also houses a cafe and a shop selling all manner of tennis merch.
Tickets and other practicalities
Entry fees for the museum are £13 for adults and £8 for children. Regular 90-minute tours of Wimbledon that take in Centre Court, No 1 Court and other areas of the All England Club also include access to the museum (adult £25/child £15). Museum tickets and tours can be booked online via the official website, though it's worth noting that during the championships in June/July, only those with tickets to the tournament can access the museum.
To reach the museum from Southfields tube station take bus 493, or it's a 15-minute walk; alternatively, take the tube, train or tram to Wimbledon and then take bus 493.