Aston Villa – Saturday, 24th October 2015 at 15:00
Address: Villa Park, Trinity Road, Birmingham B6 6HE
Telephone: 0121 327 2299
Web Site: www.avfc.co.uk
3,000 away fans are in both tiers of the Doug Ellis Stand, which is thankfully on the side of the pitch rather than behind one of the goals. The concourse in the upper tier is small and gets easily crowded; the lower section is a bit better for space. There’s a fair choice of food; pies, burgers, fish, southern fried chicken, and curry sauce all served with chips and vegetable samosas. There are TVs on the concourse, showing past encounters between the teams before kick off, also a Ladbrokes outlet. Carlsberg and Somersby cider is only sold in the lower tier.
A visit to Villa Park is normally an enjoyable experience, with the stewards taking a relaxed and friendly attitude. With a very small area separating home and away fans it gives a good atmosphere.
The UK’s second largest city has hundreds of hotels and B&B’s and a multitude of eating and drinking places to suit every appetite. Ethnic food is highly popular and every part of Asian cuisine is represented. Birmingham has loads of museums, art galleries, and theatres.
Villa Park tours are £15 & £10 for U-16’s. On Sundays, lunch and tour is £30 & £20 for U-16’s. Book tours on 0800 612 0970.
For the little ones, Disney on Ice: Worlds of Enchantment is at the Barclaycard Arena (B1 2AA) from 21st October to 1st November. Tickets are £20 – £47.
For reggae fans, Morgan Heritage are at the O2 Academy (B1 1DB) the night of the game at 10pm; tickets are £20. Metal fans may enjoy A Born Disaster, the same night; tickets at £6. The following night, Ella Henderson is there, tickets are £23.50.
Birmingham has it all, from malls to shopping centres to independent shops. The Bullring (B5 4BU) is probably the best known and has over 160 shops on one site along with plenty of places to eat or drink.
Birmingham has a National Sea Life Centre (B1 2HL). Tickets bought on-line at www.visitsealife.com/birmingham/ are £12.50 (on the day £20.95), under 3’s free. Entry to the 4-D film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is included. It’s open 10am-6pm.
Cadbury World (B30 2LU) is worth a visit for any chocoholics. You can save 5% of the entry cost by booking on line at www.cadburyworld.co.uk.
Drayton Manor Theme Park is 15 miles from Villa Park and open 9:30-5pm. It’s a great day out and really good value with queues never as bad as Alton Towers or Thorpe Park. Rides and attractions are especially themed for Halloween for two weeks. It has its own hotel as well as many places to stay close by.
StarCity complex (B7 5SA) has a Vue cinema, ten pin bowling, mini golf, laser station, a football centre, gym, casino, a climbing centre. There are many combo deals, including mini golf, laser station and climbing for £15. There’s free parking and it’s a 1.5 mile walk to the ground.
Pubs and Grub
There are a number of pubs around Villa Park, but most are either members only or have bouncers on the door. ‘The Witton Arms’ (B6 6SN) charges £3 for entry and half the pub is for away fans (with a separate entrance for away fans). Its two minutes walk from the away entrance, on Witton Island. 15 minutes walk from the ground is the ‘Yew Tree’(B6 7AS) – £1 entry on the same road as ‘The Witton Arms’, pass it and carry straight on up the road, passing Witton Railway Station on your right. After half a mile you will see the pub on the right.
I’ve always gone to the ‘Ruskin Hall Social Club‘(B6 5HP). Its £1 to get in, and cheap beer means it’s worth it. Food is limited to a burger van and BBQ in the car park. It has 6 plasma screens and a large projector screen (Blackburn v Burnley on at 12:30). To park there its £5, but street parking is adjacent to the club if you get there early enough. It’s a 10 minute walk to the ground through Aston Park, and a really quick getaway after the match that avoids the congestion at the final whistle.
If you arrive a early the historic ‘Bartons Arms’ (B6 4UP), is a 15 minute walk away on High Street Aston (A34). This Grade 2 listed building, is one of Birmingham’s finest pubs, with superb Victorian decor, selling Oakham ales with Thai food on offer.
A mile and half’s walk from the ground is an entertainment complex called StarCity (B7 5SA). It’s just off the M6 at J6, going towards Villa Park. It has a free car park for 2400 cars, with plenty of food and drink outlets. Amongst others are KFC, Subway, Pizza Hut, Nando’s, Bella Italia, McDonalds and Harvester.
Mostly street parking, but be wary of residents only parking around the Witton roundabout area.
15 minute trip from Birmingham New Street are Aston or Witton stations. Witton is nearer the away end, just a few minutes walk away. Turn left out of the station and go down to a roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout into Witton Lane and the away entrance is down this road. Aston station is a 10 minute walk from the ground. On matchdays, extra trains are put on.
Trains leave Swansea at 07:28, 07:58, 08:28, 09:28 & 10:28 for the 3 hour 40 minute journey to Witton, coming back, the 17:17, 18:17 & 18:47 take 3 hours 33 minutes.
For the Travelling Jacks making the trip – Be Loud, Be Proud and Be Positive!