I went to Wimbledon, and it was unlike any sporting event I've ever seen

Last week I visited the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to go to Wimbledon for the first time.

Having never watched professional tennis live, let alone attended a major tournament, I had no idea what to expect. But Wimbledon still surpassed my wildest expectations.

Between the tradition, pageantry, revelry, and history, Wimbledon is unlike any other sporting event in the world.

Here’s why.

Getting into Wimbledon is no small feat. If you do not have a ticket to one of the show courts (which can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars) you must get to the grounds early and wait in a long line, which the Brits refer to as the queue.

When I arrived at around 7am, the queue was already 3,000 people long. Many people camp out overnight to be first in the queue the following day.

Fortunately for me, the first 8,000 people are guaranteed access to the grounds.

But the line was LONG.

And kept going...

And going...

And going.

But finally, at about 11am, the queue ended at a ticket office where I purchased a £20 ticket and was ushered into Wimbledon.

But for all the people who can't get into Wimbledon, there are viewing parties held all over London during the tournament, like this one on the South Bank.

The first thing you notice when you enter the grounds is the big board laying out the day's schedule of matches. The schedule is jam-packed with most courts hosting two or three matches a day.

The grounds at Wimbledon are a tennis fan's dream. There are 19 tournament grass courts, including two major show courts, where the biggest names play.

This ivy-clad building is Centre Court, which seats about 15,000 people and hosts the biggest matches in the tournament. On the day I attended (men's quarterfinals day), Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic had matches on Centre Court and William and Kate Middleton were in attendance.

This slightly smaller stadium (11,500 seats) next to Centre Court is Court 1, where the big names who can't get onto Centre Court play. On the day I attended, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka were playing on Court 1.

Behind Court 1 is Henman Hill. Nicknamed after beloved English tennis player Tim Henman, this hill is where most people who gain access to the grounds congregate to watch the major matches inside Centre Court and Court 1.

Outside the major courts, there are numerous other courts that host lesser matches. When I arrived, Andy Murray was using one of these courts to warm up for his match against Vasek Pospisil.

As you can see, on the smaller courts you can get right up to the edge of the grass to watch the action.

These courts host numerous types of matches, including men's doubles...

Men's junior doubles...

Woman's singles...

And mixed doubles.

And as part of Wimbledon tradition, everybody wears white.

The gift shop is more like a fashionable department store.

Polo makes a whole line of Wimbledon attire, including hats and blazers...

Polo shirts...

And sweaters bags and shorts.

The ball boys and girls are decked out in Wimbledon gear.

Most of them are 16 and younger. Their job is to stand in attention during play, and then sprint around the court to collect loose balls during breaks in the action.

But the ball boys and girls aren't the only ones looking posh at Wimbledon. People get dressed up to visit the All England Club.

Purple and green are the colours of Wimbledon...

And the foliage serves as a constant reminder of that.

And it also helps add to the unique beauty of Wimbledon.

In terms of food, you can choose from three restaurants on the Wimbledon grounds, including the Conservatory Kitchen attached to Court 1.

Or chow down on some fish and chips at the food court.

As for dessert...

You can't get more Wimbledon than strawberries and cream.

Wash it all down with some champagne.

Just be wary of the prices.

If you want to have a true Wimbledon experience, sit back on Henman Hill and crack open a Pimm's, a traditional summer English cocktail that is a mixture of gin and lemonade or ginger ale.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to Court 1.

Where I was treated to heavyweight bout between No. 2 Roger Federer...

And No. 11 Gilles Simon.

During rallies the crowd is dead silent, but erupts in cheers when somebody wins a point.

Play is stopped at the first sign of inclement weather.

In the end Federer beat Simon in straight sets, much to the crowd's delight.

On my way out of Wimbledon I stopped in the tunnel beneath Centre Court to brush up on my Wimbledon history (there is also a Wimbledon museum on the grounds)

You can see every man and woman who has won Wimbledon since the tournament's inception in 1877.

Soon a new banner will be added next to this one to honour the 2015 winners Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.

And last but not least is the Fred Perry statue, honouring the Englishmen who won Wimbledon three times in his career.

Until next time Wimbledon...

Now see the fabulous life of the 2015 Wimbledon men's champion

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.