Wednesday, October 29

Readers' questions - Villareal

Q. We're going to Villareal and are flying back from Barcelona Girona at 5pm the day after the game - Wednesday November 26. We're also hoping to stay in Valencia on Monday night and Tuesday night. Can you tell us how to get to the airport on time?

A. For a start, don't stay in Valencia. Valencia is divided into the beach area and the city, which are an hour apart.

Staying by the beach would mean so much travelling that it'd only be worth it if you hired a car and staying in the city isn't worth it.

I recommend that, you stay in Barcelona on the Monday, book a hotel in Castellon on Tuesday and the make your way up to your airport on Wednesday, using the service I've highlighted in bold.

There are the following trains on Wednesday November 26 from Castellon to Barcelona Sants.
Leave: 06:06 Arrive: 09:27 Cost: e28.30
Leave: 07:17 Arrive: 09:47 Cost: e34.40
Leave: 09:18 Arrive: 11:42 Cost: e34.40
Leave: 10:43 Arrive: 13:41 Cost: e30.90
Leave: 11:44 Arrive: 14:41 Cost: e34.40

Once at Sants, you need to get the Metro across town to Barcelona Estacio Del Nord bus station. It will take you about 20 minutes.

Take the Green Line two stops east to Espanya and then take the Red Line six stops north to Arc de Triomf and walk over the road to the bus station. Here’s a map of the Metro. It costs e1.20 for a single ticket.

From there, get the Segales coach service to the airport. Services are very regular throughout the day.

It takes 70 minutes. Here's the timetable, but I recommend you catch the 14:30 service, getting you into the airport at 15:40.

It's best to check in online and print off your boarding pass in advance, you won't need to check in at the airport and as long as you clear security, you'll be fine.

Friday, October 24

Ryanair scrap Valencia flights

Reds travelling to Valencia on a Ryanair flight not from London Stansted will have to make other plans to get to the Villareal game after the airline cancelled all flights leaving after November 4.

Passengers travelling on Ryanair from Liverpool Airport or East Midlands after that date will get a full refund, a Ryanair spokesman has said.

It follows a dispute between the company and Valencia's local government officials over how the region should be promoted to tourists.

A Ryanair spokesman said: "Ryanair will continue to operate a limited service to Valencia on a London Stansted-based aircraft.

"Passengers who were due to travel on affected flights to and from London Stansted may be able to transfer to one of our London-based services or can receive a full refund.

"Passengers due to travel on all other cancelled Valencia-based services, will receive a full refund from Ryanair."

Other flights from the UK to Valencia are touching £150 for a return on the week of the match, which takes place on November 25.

Alternative routes to Villareal are from: Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham to Alicante, Reus, Barcelona International and Girona.

See the in-depth travel guide below for the best flights.
All passengers should receive an email giving details of how to get their money back.
If you need to contact Ryanair, you can only do so by mail or fax. Its refunds address is: For Ryanair Refunds Dept, PO Box 11451, Swords, Co Dublin, Ireland. Fax is: +353 1 8121676.

More Villa news - tickets

Following on from yesterday's train tip, United today released ticket application news for the November 22 trip to Villa Park.

We will get 2,800 tickets priced £35 for adults and £15 for under 16s and over 65s.

Execs can apply from 8am on Monday October 27 to 8pm on Friday October 31 by calling 0161 868 8000 and selecting option 1.

Then, season ticket holders who went to home games against Villareal, Middlesbrough and Celtic can apply from 8am on Monday November 3 to 8am on Wednesday November 5 online or using the same telephone number

Applicants can find out if they have been successful through the usual channels on Thursday November 6.

Thursday, October 23

Villa trains

In what is usually one of the best aways of the season, United travel to Birmingham to face Aston Villa on November 22, with a 5.30pm kick off.

Ticket information isn't out yet, but Virgin Trains has just released it's cheap single tickets between Manchester and Birmingham for that date.

If you bought your ticket on the day, it would cost £30.30, but if you buy now, you'll pay just £14.

Travel on the 09.15 train from Piccadilly, which gets to New Street at 10.56 for £8.50 single and get the 20:20 service home for £5.50.

Monday, October 20

Reader's question

Q: I am off to Villarreal and wondered if you knew any of the following.

Is it really possible to get the train from Valencia as there only seem to be two trains - 5pm from city centre which I will not make as my flight gets in at 3.15 to Valencia, and 8pm which gets in after kick off?

Also, will there be a train back after the match to Valencia?

There are rumours of a football special but no trains are scheduled and maybe specials are only to Castellon?

A: When your flight lands, get the Metro Red Line from the airport to Valencia Nord station. With luck, you'll be at Valencia Nord by 4pm.

From there, board the 16:05 train to Castellon and it will be in Castellon by 16:55. It's a Euromed train though and will set you back e17 one way.

But if you miss that train, don't panic. Others leave at 16:55, 17:00, 17:15 and 18:05.
At the worst, you'll be in Castellon at 18:43 - two hours before kick off, and Castellon is only five miles from the ground.

If your flight is delayed and you really are left in the shit, a taxi to Castellon would cost about e100 and take about an hour depending on traffic, so split between four people, it's not that bad.

As for the way back, the match ends at 22.30, so with luck you will be back in Castellon to catch the only available train back to Valencia - the 23:59 train which costs e14 one way. That'll get you back into Valencia by 00:49. The next one is at 06:50.

Friday, October 10

Arsenal away ticket information

United face Arsenal on Saturday November 8 with a 12.45pm kick off and will have 2,900 tickets priced at £48 for adults and £24 for over 65s and under 16s.

Execs can apply from 8am on Monday until 8am on Friday. Season ticket holders will them be able to apply from 8am on October 20 for two full days.

Applicants can find out if they have tickets on October 23.

Apply online or call 0161 868 8000 and choose option 1.

The official club coach to the game costs £30 per person and leaves the N2 car park at Old Trafford at 8.30am, returning by 9.15pm. Call the number above to book.

Thursday, October 9

Goodison Park
Saturday October 25, 2008.
Kick off noon

Goodison Park has a capacity of 40,157. United fans have got approximately 3,000 of those in the Bullens Road End of the ground.

They are priced at £33 to £39 for adults, £16 to £19 under 16s and £20 to £21 for over 65s.

All tickets are sold out and everyone who applied can find out of they have been successful through the usual channels. The going rate for touted tickets online is £150 in the away end.


Train - £9.20

The best ticket to get is a cheap day return, which will cost £9.20 for adults and £4.60 for under 16s.

With it being a noon kick off, there aren't that many trains to choose from. Here are the departure times from Manchester Piccadilly to Liverpool Lime Street.

Add on six minutes if you're getting it from Manchester Oxford Road. Total journey time from Piccadilly is 50 minutes:

09:07, 09:37, 09:49, 10:37 and 10:49.

Any later than that and you'll struggle to meet kick off.

For such early starts, it's always good to meet at Barracuda in the Circus on the corner of Oxford Road and Portland Street, which opens at 9am, for an early-morning fry up and pint.

That would be ideal for the 09:49 Piccadilly departure, which stops at Oxford Road at 10:55.

Once at Lime Street, it's a two-mile to the stadium (follow road signs for Anfield) or it's roughly £7 in a black cab - there's a cab rank to the side of the station

And, on the way back from Lime Street to Piccadilly:

15:14, 15:22, 15:52, 16:14, 16:22, 16:52, 17:09, 17:22, 17:52, 18:14, 18:22, 18:52, 19:22. Quite why you'd want to stay there past half seven, fuck knows.

Official coach - £16

United are running coaches from Old Trafford priced at £16 per person. They leave the N2 car park at 10am and due to return at 3.30pm. Call 0161 868 8000 to reserve your place.

General coach - £7 return

National Express run coaches between Chorlton Street and Liverpool Coach Station on Norton Street at £7 for a day return.

Journeys take 55 minutes. Departure times from Manchester are at 45 minutes past the hour every hour starting at 07:45.

Departure times from Liverpool are at:15:00, 15:30, 16:15, 17:00, 17:15, 17:54, 18:30 and 19:30.

Megabus does not run a service between Manchester and Liverpool.

Car - £7.92

If you're using a route planner, use the postcode: L4 4EL to get directions to the stadium.
Petrol works out as £3.96 each way and the journey takes 47 minutes.

Drive down the M62 and exit Junction 6 onto the M57. Go to the end of the motorway and then left onto the A59 Ormskirk Road. Continue along as the road becomes Rice Lane, and over the roundabout into County Road.

Three quarters of a mile along County Road, turn left into Spellow Lane, and then left into Goodison Road. Goodison Park is on the right. Parking is available in Stanley Park.

Pub guide

Best to stick to the pubs in the city centre. Other visiting fans tend to nip over to the Arkles or the Flat Iron on the other side of Stanley Park, but needless to say, I doubt we'd be made very welcome.

Wednesday, October 8

Celtic deadline today

SUPPORTERS wishing to apply for tickets for United's trip to Celtic on November 5 have until 8pm today to do so.

Tickets are priced at £40 and, for restricted view tickets, £37. There is no mention on United's website of concession tickets being made available.

Executive members, season ticket holders and One United members who got tickets for and went to previous Champions League away games at:

Rome in the group stage
Rome in the quarter final

and also applied for


will be given priority.

Applicants should call 0161 868 8000 after October 15 to see if they have been successful. As well as the ticket price, they must also pay £4.45 to have their tickets sent to them by special delivery.
Quite why collection at the ground or £1 recorded delivery won't do is beyond me, but don't be surprised if that becomes a regular feature, financial markets being as they are.
United expects to be heavily oversubscribed for this game, though about 400 people have already secured their tickets by buying their coach places up to Glasgow on MU Travel.
All coach places are sold out, but you can still go on MU Travel by train or plane and get a ticket automatically.
The normal flight trip costs £199, the 'executive' flight costs £322 (apparently, the only difference is you get fussed over a bit more and you get a three-course meal along the way).
Or you can on an overnight trip by train first class from Preston to Glasgow, which includes one night at the Adobe Hotel. The price is yet to be confirmed.
The price of a match ticket and travel insurance is not included in the price you pay to MU Travel.
Meanwhile, those who applied for tickets for the Everton away game in two weeks' time can find out if they have got them tomorrow through the usual channels.

Monday, October 6

Early shout - Arsenal away

British Airways and bmi are offering return flights to London on Saturday November 8 - the day we play Arsenal - for £92.20.
It might sound a lot, but the match kicks off at 12.45pm, which would mean a very early start by coach, car or train.
On BA, Manchester to Gatwick flights leave at 06.30, 08.30 and 10:00. Each one-way journey costs £48.20.
Again on BA, the Gatwick to Manchester flight leaves at 20:25 and costs £45.60 for a one-way ticket.
On bmi, the Heathrow to Manchester flights leave at 18:20 and 20:50 and cost £44 for a one-way ticket.

Wednesday, October 1

Aalborg pictures

Sorry about the poor picture quality. The top photo is from Monday night's training session in the stadium and the photos above and to the left are from the match itself - a decent noise made by such a small away end.