Address: St. James’ Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. NE1 4ST
Telephone: 0191 201 8400
Web Site: http://www.nufc.co.uk
What’s It Like
Swans fans are in the North West corner of the top tier on the far side of the Sir John Hall Stand. It’s a climb of 14 flights of stairs and you’re mega far from the pitch. Anyone who is scared of heights – beware; also binoculars may be an idea. Leg room and height between rows are similar to the Liberty and the facilities are pretty good. The concourse is big with a fair choice of pies, with burgers and hot dogs. There are TVs, showing the game being played, with separate refreshment areas which serve alcohol.
The atmosphere in St James’ Park can be electric and is one of the best stadiums in the country. The Geordies are knowledgeable about their football, and are friendly and helpful. Combine it with a night on the Toon, and you’ll be guaranteed a good trip.
If you’re going to do a footy weekend, there’s no better place than Newcastle, and a good number of hotels makes this possible. Loads of restaurants, pubs and clubs make Newcastle a party destination, where you’re bound to encounter countless hen and stag parties. Many, many hotels are in the city centre.
The Club offers stadium tours at 11:30, 12:30 and 14:30. On matchdays only at 10:30. Cost is £15, Concessions £12, Under u-16 £8, u-5 Free. Tours must be pre-booked by calling 0844 372 1892; entry to the club museum is also included.
The Newcastle Metro Radio Arena (NE4 7NA) has Jeff Lynn’s ELO on the Thursday (contact venue for return tickets), Little Mix on the night of the game, tickets are £28-£109. On the Monday its 5 Seconds of Summer, tickets are also £28-£39. The Wednesday after its WWE Wrestlemania Revenge, tickets are from £29-£400.
Sting is at the Sage Gateshead (NE8 2JR) on the Friday and Saturday night. Only return tickets are available, contact the ticket office on 0191 443 4661. On the Monday, Hawkwind play at the same venue, tickets are £26.50.
Hotels near the stadium
Pubs and Grub
The ground is smack in the middle of the city. There are plenty of pubs to choose from, but most away fans use pubs around the trains station. The ‘Head Of Steam’ (NE1 5EN) ‘The Lounge’ (NE1 5EN) and ‘O’Neills’ (NE1 5DF) are all recommended, but some will only admit fans if colours are covered and none admit children. Nearby is ‘The Union Rooms’ (NE1 1TT), a Wetherspoons pub. I’ve had meals and a good few pints in there, and it’s massive, and a good place. Alternatively there is Idols on Newgate Street (NE1 5RB) which has strippers and is obviously popular with home and away fans.
There’s the ‘Bodega’ on Westgate Road (NE1 4AG); it’s in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and has a friendly atmosphere. Closer to the ground and round the corner from China Town is ‘The Newcastle Arms’ (NE1 5SE). Unless you arrive very early and have no colours you’re unlikely to get in.
By Air, by Train & Parking
Newcastle Airport is 7 miles from the city centre. The easiest way in is by Metro. The airport has a Metro station next to the terminal. There are regular trains with journey time of 23 minutes, £3.40 for a single or £4.60 for a day saver ticket giving unlimited travel on the Metro system for one day. Change at Monument Metro Station for a Metro to St James Park.
Eastern Airways run flights from Cardiff to Newcastle but not a cheap option with a flight up on the Friday and back on the Sunday way over £200. Somewhat cheaper is easyjet from Bristol at £145.
For parking, avoid the city centre at all costs. There are loads of pay and display car parks around, including the Royal Victoria Infirmary (NE1 4LP). Parking here is in a multi storey and allows a quick getaway after the game. You can head for Heworth, near Gateshead adjacent to the A184. It has a Metro Station and a long term car park where you can park your car for £1.40, then catch the metro to the stadium.
Only three trains get you there before kick off, leaving Swansea at 05:55, 06:55 and 07:24 for the near 7 hour journey. There are no train back to Swansea that night.
The train station is half a mile from the ground and takes 10 minutes to walk. Come out of the station, cross the zebra crossings and go up Pink Lane. Cross Westgate Road, go up Bath Lane with the old city walls on your right. Turn right onto Stowell Street (Chinatown). At the end, bear left up St Andrews Street by Rosie’s Bar, under the ornate Chinese arch then left up Gallowgate. The ground is on the right. Buses about £1.50, numbers 36, 36B, 71, 87 or 88 go from Berwick Street (across the road from station), up to the ground.
For the Travelling Jacks making the trip – Be Loud, Be Proud and Be Positive!