Wimbledon – or “SW19” – may have a reputation for its eponymous tennis tournament, but it’s also home to thousands of expats from South Africa, Australia, Poland, Sri Lanka and Ghana. That means an influx of family over the festive break – family who’ll no doubt need to be entertained. Here’s our pick of seven family-friendly things to do in Wimbledon.
Where: Deen City Farm, 39 Windsor Avenue, Merton Abbey
There’s plenty of fun to be had for animal lovers of all ages at the Deen City Farm. This urban farm is home to more than 200 animals, including poultry, water fowl, sheep, goats, cows and even alpaca. Feed and interact with the animals, have lunch at the Barn Owl Cafe, take horse riding lessons and learn about the rural environment and where your food comes from. The Deen City Farm is a registered charity, relying on donations and volunteer services.
Where: Wimbledon Farmers Market, Wimbledon Park Primary School, Havana Road
The market takes place every Saturday from 9:00 – 13:00 in the school playground. There are normally around 20 stalls, with a fantastic range of produce, including cheese, flour, bread, meats, flowers and much more.
Where: Buddhapadipa Temple, 14 Calonne Road, Wimbledon Parkside
The Buddhapadipa Temple was the very first Thai Buddhist temple to be built in the UK. Visitors of any faith are welcome to visit the grounds and temple as long as they are respectful of the space and the resident nuns and monks. Wander the gardens, walk the “philosophy path” and view the beautiful gabled temple interior. There are also many events taking place throughout the year for those who wish to learn about Buddhism.
Where: Wimbledon Common, Windmill Rd, Wimbledon Common
If you’ve never spent quality time at the Wimbledon Common, you’re missing out. The 460-hectare oasis has something for everyone, with large open areas, ponds, a nature trail, windmill and the Windmill Cafe. Picnic, walk your dog, ride your horse, play frisbee, go for a run – just try not to get lost (also, watch out for high-speed golf balls).
5. Enjoy the perfect English high tea
Where: Cannizaro House, West Side Common
Cannizaro House is a 300-year-old country house hotel, reputed to have hosted Oscar Wilde, Henry James and Alfred Lord Tennyson, among others. Explore the mansion, manicured lawns and immaculate flowerbeds or dine at the Orangerie Restaurant, which offers a wonderful afternoon tea menu.
Where: Wimbledon Village Stables, 24A/B Wimbledon High Street
With its rich history, Wimbledon Stables has been offering horse riding for more than 100 years. The stables are home to 25 happy and well-trained horses and ponies and a team of friendly riding instructors. Take riding lessons or equestrian courses, or simply enjoy a ride through the Wimbledon Common trails.
Where: Wimbledon Park Watersports Centre (entrances on Revelstoke Road in the east and Wimbledon Park Road in the north)
This centre offers a huge range of activities including sailing, kayaking and canoeing. There are also several courses including navigational, first aid, sailing and Nordic walking courses. For those who prefer land, there’s a 7m climbing tower with automatic and manual belay, as well as a 7m flat traverse wall.