Top 5 Tips For Those Travelling To Wembley For Arsenal vs Man City Community Shield
Here are our top 5 tips for those supporters travelling to Wembley to watch the season opening Community Shield clash between Arsenal and Manchester City.
After a thrilling 2014 World Cup, our attention now turns to domestic matters as the 2014/15 Premier League campaign is set to get underway. As ever, the new season will kick off with the Community Shield which will see Premier League champions Manchester City take on FA Cup winners Arsenal at Wembley on August 10.
Here are our top 5 tips for those travelling to Wembley for the big game.
1. Don’t drive
Motorways are unpredictable and if there was to be an accident or if you hit heavy traffic, you could find yourself missing kick off. London is one of the most well connected city’s in the world and has some excellent public transport links, so travelling fans should take full advantage of this.
With the game kicking off at 3pm, those Man City fans heading down to London from up north will want to get a train from Manchester Piccadilly at around 8.30am. There are no direct routes on a Sunday, so the journey includes one stop and takes approximately 4 hours, so that will get you into the capital at around 12.30. You’ll then have plenty of time to grab a bite to eat and enjoy a few drinks before heading to Wembley for the match.
2. Stay overnight
As the Community Shield is on a Sunday, there will be limited trains running up north after the game. The last train to Manchester Piccadilly is at 19.35 which doesn’t arrive back in Manchester until 23.30, so to avoid a post-match rush, why not just stay the night.
London is jam packed with hotels offered at affordable prices, so take advantage and enjoy an evening out in the capital after the game without the worry of having to travel home until the morning. Here are some of the hotels we found that you might want to consider depending on which area of London you’d like to stay in:
Holiday Inn London Brent Cross – NW2 1LP – 17 minutes taxi drive away – closest to the stadium
Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum – SW7 4DN – 24 minute taxi drive away
Holiday Inn London Regent’s Park – W1W 5EE – 25 minutes taxi drive away
Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury – WC1N 1HT – 26 minutes taxi drive away
3. Buy an Oyster Card
For those who come to London for the weekend and plan to do more than just travel to and from Wembley and will be doing a bit of sightseeing, an Oyster Card is a must as it’s the cheapest way to get around the city.
Oyster Card holders are offered large discounts on their tickets for using the London Underground – which is probably going to be the transport of choice for the majority of fans.
Purchasing an Oyster Card couldn’t be easier. You can either choose to purchase it on the day at any London tube station, Oyster Ticket Shop or Travel Information Centre, or you could buy it online beforehand.
However, it’s important you DON’T get a visitor Oyster Card as you have to pre-top up these cards with money and pay a £3 activation fee (which is refundable). If you don’t spend the amount you put on to the card, you’ll have to apply for a refund which will be send out in a cheque. If possible, get a standard card!
4. Use the tube
For those Arsenal fans (or London-based City fans!) coming from London or the surrounding area, don’t even think about driving. The car parks are expensive and are a nightmare to get out of after the game.
London has one of the best tube networks in the world, so take advantage. Wembley is accessible via three train stations, Wembley Park Station is the most popular and is accessible via the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines and is a short walk to the stadium, but you could also use Wembley Stadium Station or Wembley Central Station.
You can use various apps to plan your route (such as Tube Map), or for the old school fans, simply use a paper map! The tube journey from Kings Cross on the Metropolitan line for example, should take no longer than 20 minutes.
5. Where to drink
Now on to the important part; where to drink. Perhaps surprisingly, there aren’t that many pubs close to Wembley stadium so it’s important to know where to go.
Often, certain pubs in and around the Wembley area are ‘designated’ to each club. So you’ll have ‘Arsenal pubs’ and ‘Manchester City pubs’ for the day. With a bit of research online in the week running up to the game, you’ll be able to find out which pub will be hosting your team this year and it’s probably best to find this out before hand to avoid any potential trouble.
That said, there are a few famous haunts close to the stadium that will always remain neutral and provide a welcoming atmosphere for those who want a sociable drink before or after the match. Here are a few of our top choices:
The Green Man – This place will be heaving several hours before kick off, so arrive early if possible. If the weather is nice, there is a beer garden outside to enjoy, and it’s right near the tube station and just a short 10 minute walk to the stadium.
J.J Moons – Another pub which is close to the tube, this Weatherspoons is popular as it’s cheap and convenient.
The Torch – Another pub which offers great outdoor space to enjoy a drink in the sun before or after the game, and also serves an array of hot food dishes.
So there are our top tips for those Arsenal and Manchester City fans who will be heading to Wembley on August 10 to enjoy the Community Shield. Hopefully you found it useful.
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