The village that becomes a 'festival' during Wimbledon tennis causing families to move out

Susan Cusack poses for photos in Wimbledon ahead of the tennis championships starting in 2024
-Credit: (Image: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon)

Wimbledon Village is gearing up for another great summer of tennis and residents say the anticipation in the otherwise sleepy neighbourhood is ‘electric’. The South London neighbourhood is already awash with purple, white and green ahead of the world's most famous tennis tournament starting on Monday (July 1).

In what is anticipated to be Andy Murray's final year playing Wimbledon, if he's fit enough to play his first round match on Tuesday (July 2) or join up with brother Jamie in the doubles, local businesses are going above and beyond by adorning their windows with strawberries, rackets and balls. Mariana Walsh, who has lived in Wimbledon for a few years, said: “I know some people don’t like it because it gets crowded but we enjoy the vibes, the party atmosphere.

"Sometimes when the sun is out it reminds me of being on holiday. We are planning to go, it creates this feeling of belonging. I don’t even know how to describe it. In the evening it will be crazy as all the youngsters will be out. The pub down the road, there will be live music. It’s like a festival.”

READ MORE: Wimbledon's iconic strawberries and cream prices and rules for bringing your own drinks

Another resident, Debbie Knight, added: “I love it, I think it’s great. It’s really buzzy and busy, everyone seems to be excited and make a bit more of an effort.”

A woman walks past Thai Tho restaurant in Wimbledon Village which is decorated for the tennis tournament
Shops and restaurants in Wimbledon Village always decorate for the tennis tournament -Credit:Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon

While many households embrace being in the spotlight of living next to, and attending, tennis’ most famous venue- formally known as the All England Club - just how busy Wimbledon becomes isn't for everyone, with some families taking the opportunity to escape for two weeks. Susan Cusack, an avid member of the Save Wimbledon Park Campaign Group, said: “A lot of locals rent out their houses and move away, but I like the buzz and I will be going to Wimbledon.”

Pubs and local shops expect big profits and increased footfall, with some even being able to extend their venues to keep up with demand. Phillip Daly, manager of the Dog and Fox Hotel & Pub, told MyLondon they’ve added two new bars, an additional outdoor kitchen, and a new seafood menu on the back of yearly successes of being a destination for people attending the tennis.

Phillip Daly, manager of the Dog and Fox Hotel & Pub, sat inside the pub with a dog next to him
Phillip Daly, manager of the Dog and Fox Hotel & Pub, said the venue has been able to expand on the back of just how busy it gets during Wimbledon each year -Credit:Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon

He said: “Wimbledon is what? The biggest sports event that has the most spectators coming from abroad so yeah, it’s great. It’s great to have that many people and be busy, busy, busy. It’s a great boost for us and the economy. Pubs have been having a hard time of it lately so it’s a welcome change.”

The manager of a nearby card shop, Steffania Janes, echoed this sentiment, saying: “There is an increase in footfall in this store, in any of the stores. Here, in particular, I have to say over the years there has been an increase of football during Wimbledon. It seems like the village lives for this event. It’s very electric. Everyone cannot wait for this.”

The Wimbledon Championship main draw gets underway on Monday, July 1, with the finals set for the weekend of July 13 and 14.

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