Capability Brown's work in Wimbledon Park for Earl Spencer in the 1760s has left us with a very beautiful and pleasant valley. In terms of sporting opportunities, I can't think of a more concentrated area which offers such a diverse selection of sport that the public may take part in. Each of the clubs, perhaps excepting the All England unless you are a world class tennis player, are available for membership. Both the Golf Club and Wimbledon Club may require you to demonstrate your skill in their sport before offering membership, but both are quite approachable and welcoming.
The public park managed by the London Borough of Merton has no such requirement. Just come and enjoy what the park has to offer. As an aid toward ensuring you do have an enjoyable visit, here are a few things to keep in mind, while the key to a happy visit is being polite to everybody and looking after your litter.
* Cyclists: The official Sustrans cycle route through Wimbledon Part goes from the Wimbledon Park Road entrance to Revelstoke Road and then along the north side of the tennis courts and up the ramp to the Home Park Road entrance. The cycle path is also a pedestrian path with the pedestrians having the priority, so please cycle slowly through the park and when you see pedestrians, please use your bell to let them know you are headed for them. If the path is perhaps full with a family all walking together, please take that extra time to dismount and walk your bike past them. Courtesy is catching!
* Dog walkers: Please look after any deposits your dog may leave in the park. People are regularly walking over all of the grassy areas, and there is nothing more annoying than stepping into something messy left by a dog. Please also respect the kids play areas which are Dog Free Zones and where there are a lot of people, please keep your dog on a lead. When walking on the cycle route, please keep your dog on a tight lead so that you and your dog don't interfere with the cyclists. If a cyclist approaches and you and your friends are taking up all of the path, please make room so the cyclist may pass through. Courtesy is catching!
* Main Kid's play area and the Elisabeth Pool: This water play area is really for the under nines. There is no naked bathing allowed in the pool which is really to protect children from the attention of undesirable adults. We do have a lot of trouble from sand being brought from the sand box into the pool, with the result that the sand gets into the pumping system, so if you can help by keeping the sand in the sand box that would be really appreciated. This is a Dog Free Zone and it is best to leave bicycles outside as well, particularly as there are so many very young children running around.
* Small barbeques: These little barbeques are quite popular but do cause their own problems, so please think about having something under the barbeque so that the grass won't be effected and also ensure that the coals have fully cooled, ideally drenched in water, before depositing the tray in a litter bin.
* Litter remains one of the most expensive things to deal with in the park. You can help by ensuring your litter is deposited in the bins, and please pick up any stray litter you see and put it in the bins. A litter free Wimbledon Park is quite a lot more attractive for everybody and really adds to the enjoyment of any visit.
* Car parks: The car parks in Wimbledon Park are for park visitors only. Revelstoke Road car park is the car park of choice for most visitors because it is closest to the main park activities, but if it is full, then please use the car park at the Wimbledon Park Road entrance to the park. To get there, take the first left out of the Revelstoke Road car park and continue to Replingham Road, then left to the traffic lights by Southfield's underground station. Then left again into Wimbledon Park Road. You will find the entrance to Wimbledon Park after about half a mile on your left.
So, whether you come to the park for sport or just to relax, please be nice to everybody and look after your litter and enjoy this wonderful space.