Address: Emirates Stadium, Highbury House, London, N5 1BU
Telephone: 0207 619 5003
What’s It Like
Swans fans are in the lower tier of the South East corner. Fans have big padded seats but it’s quite shallow, so the view is not as good as you’d expect from a new stadium. Away fans are very close to the home fans, which gives a good atmosphere. The stadium oozes quality; it looks and feels that there has been no expense spared. Entry to the stadium is by a ‘smart ticket’, the bar code is read by a ticket reader.
The concourse inside is not that spacious, but has a good choice of (pricey) food on offer, including fish & chips, cheeseburger, hot dog, meat or vegetarian pies, and slices of pizza, but there are usually large queues at the kiosks. There are plenty of TVs on the concourse and a Ladbroke outlet. Alcohol (Fosters, John Smiths’ & Strongbow) is served.
Shows on in London include The Lion King, Wicked, Thriller, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, The Book of Mormon, Motown – The Musical, Les Misérables and Matilda, plus many, many more.
For more info and theatre tickets go to London Theatre Direct.
Wembley Arena (HA9 0AA) has on the night of the game a Steel Panthers gig. Fans of the heavy metal band can get tickets for £30. The Monday after the game with doors open at 18:00; has Nickelback performing. Tickets are £40.50-£43.50.
The O2 (SE10 0DX) has Justin Bieber on the Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are £45-£65, but sold are out, contact the box office on 0208 463 2000 for returns.
Pubs and Grub
The ‘Drayton Arms’ (N5 1ND) is the traditional pub for away fans; near Arsenal tube station and Drayton Park railway station. I go there each time we play Arsenal, and the pub overlooks the stadium and only a few minutes walk. Get there really early, as it gets mega busy on matchdays, with drinkers using the pavements too.
‘The Twelve Pins’ (N4 2DE) is near Finsbury Park tube station. Home and away fans mix in there and it’s a 10-minute walk from the ground.
‘The Blackstock’ (N4 2DL) opposite The Twelve Pins, also welcomes away fans, and has a big screen showing Sky Sports.
For pie fans, on Gillespie Road between Arsenal Tube Station and the Emirates, is Piebury Corner. Although it’s in someone’s front garden, the range of pies is excellent, priced £3.50 – £5.
There’s not much parking at the stadium or nearby and residents only parking around the stadium. It’s not worth trying to find street parking with traffic wardens on the rampage on match days. Best to park near a tube station such as Cockfosters and tube to the ground.
Cockfosters is best for fans coming from north; it’s 4 miles south of the M25. It has its own car park but is full by over 2 hours before kick off. It can be difficult to exit after the game, with most drivers crossing the main road to go north.
The nearest tube station is Holloway Road (Piccadilly line), but it’s closed on matchdays, as it has lifts, not escalators; fans should head for Arsenal tube station, it’s only a few minutes walk to the stadium. Leaving the station, turn right and follow Drayton Park Road to the left, take one of the large bridges over the railway line to the stadium.
Other tube stations that can be walked are Finsbury Park (Piccadilly line) and Highbury & Islington (Victoria line). Overland trains to Finsbury Park Railway Station are from London Kings Cross. It’s a 10 to 15 minute walk to the stadium. After the game, loads of tube stations are shut due to overcrowding so a long walk to find one open. Sometimes the police recommend taking the train into Kings Cross, to get to central London.
After the game you’re better off walking to Finsbury Park than wait in the long queues at Arsenal tube. To get to Finsbury Park, walk past Arsenal tube station on your left and take a left into St Thomas’s Road. The station is at the end of the road.
Plenty of train to Paddington for the 4 hour journey (the extra hour is due to maintenance work) leaving at 06:58, 07:58, 08:43 & 09:53.
Trains back to Swansea from Paddington after the game are at 18:05, 19:05 & 20:05.
For the Travelling Jacks making the trip – Be Loud, Be Proud and Be Positive!