Friday, February 27

Newcastle travel, pub and hotel guide

St James's Park
Wednesday March 4, kick off 7.45pm


Out of a capacity of 52,387, United fans have got 2,757 in Level 7 of the Sir John Hall Stand at the north end of the stadium.

For the first time, the away end is directly behind the goal (the purple blocks in the stadium plan below).

It's a long way up, but there are lifts for disabled supporters.

Tickets are priced at £40 adults, £32 for over 65s and £22 for under 16s.

All tickets have been sold and tickets have been posted out. It is worth checking with United's ticket office for returns on 0161 868 8000.

World Ticket Shop is selling tickets for £130.50 each.

Home end tickets are on general sale now priced from £35 to £45. (The £35 Leazes Corner tickets are in the Newcastle singing/standing section though it is right next to the United end).

See all prices here. Call the Newcastle ticket office on (0191) 2611571.


The match isn't on TV, but it will be shown online in a few places. Check here four hours before the game for links. For the best viewing, download the Sopcast player.


Car - £36.
If you're using a sat nav or a routeplanner, the stadium postcode is NE1 4ST. The Life Centre car park postcode is NE1 4EP.

The basic route is M62, M1, A1, A184. It takes about two-and-half-hours. There is one set of roadworks in the Harrogate area of the A1 and, if you're travelling at rush hour, expect a build up around Leeds at J27 of the M62.

Petrol will cost roughly £18 each way.

Parking – free

There are three options option to you.

Pay up to a tenner for parking right outside the ground. But it is absolutely rammed getting out after the game and you're still a good distance from the A1 escape route.

Pay £1 per hour to park at the Life Centre (pictured left) car park, which is next to the train station and a 10-minute walk to the ground through the city centre.

The brilliance of this is that it will take you about five minutes to get back onto the motorway after the game.

To reach it, leave the A1 for the A184 (signposted Newcastle City Centre). Then go over the Tyne Bridge and take the first left, a left at the roundabout and then next left.

You'll see the car park on your right. When you leave, take three more lefts and you'll be on the bridge heading onto the A1.

If you can be bothered to walk an extra five minutes, you can find free street parking spaces in the industrial area right by the Life Centre car park. There aren't many reports of break ins, but park at your own risk.

Train - £35
An off-peak return from Manchester to Newcastle Central Station (pictured right), which you can buy on the day, costs £61. But you can save £26 if you buy in advance.

An advance one-way ticket restricts you to travelling on a particular train and you must buy it in advance:

10:27 - £24
11:27 - £24
12:27 - £21.50
13:27 - £24

21:47 - £13.50.

Getting there is no problem, getting back is. Unless you make the 21:47 train (which is possible, but I wouldn't bank on it) then you will be reaching Piccadilly at 04:10.

Though a request has been made to First/Transpennine Express to delay the departure of the 21:47 train by 20 minutes for the benefit of fans.

Manchester to Newcastle

Don't leave before 10am as prices are much more expensive before that time.
Journey time is between two hours and 30 minutes and two hours and 45 minutes. (D = direct, Y = change at York)

Departing Piccadilly
10:07Y, 10.27D 10:57Y, 11:07Y, 11:27D, 11:57, Y, 12:07Y, 12:27D,

12:57Y, 13:27D, 13:57Y, 14:07Y, 14:27Y, 15:07Y, 15:27D, 15:57Y,

16:07Y, 16:56Y.

Once at the station, cross the road and head up the alleyway past Greggs.

Keep going until you come to a road with an off-licence on the corner.

Walk up past the off-licence and then along the castle wall path.

The path bends to the right past China Town and then bends to the left. The stadium is right in front of you from there, but the away end is at the furthest end.

Newcastle to Manchester
Leave Newcastle: 21:47
Arrive: Piccadilly: 00:54

Leave Newcastle: 22:46
Arrive York: 00:16
Leave: 01:46
Arrive Piccadilly: 04:10

Coach - £21
United are running coaches to the game with places priced at £21 per person. They leave from the Old Trafford W2 car park at 3pm. Book here.

Megabus doesn't run coaches between Manchester and Newcastle and

National Express doesn't have any coaches returning after the game.

But if you're staying over, you can book now and get the 7am coach from Newcastle Coach Station to Manchester Chorlton Street for £1 one way.

There are also National Express coaches home leaving at 9.15, 11.10, 13:35 and 14:45 all taking about five hours and 15 minutes.

On the way there, coaches take between five and six hours and leave Chorlton Street at 08:30, 10:30 and 12:30. One way tickets cost £20.

Raffertys (pictured left), in Pink Lane, is my personal favourite boozer en route to St James's Park.

If you leave the train station and head straight up the alley past Gregg's you'll find it about 50 yards on your right.

And, on leaving, if you keep going up that alley and follow the pedestrian route across the road, you'll reach the stadium in five minutes.

Rafferty's is divided into two rooms. The one on the left (as you walk in) is a standing-room-only room on matchdays and the one on the right has more seating.

There are TVs dotted about the place, bar service is fast and prices are low. It's a home fans' pub, but you won't get any trouble if you behave.

If you're coming by car and you park at the Life Centre multi-storey car park, a decent place to stop off for a pint on the way to the ground is Twist Bar in Times Square.

It's supposed to be a gay pub, as is the Baron and Baroness next door (though that's closed on Wednesdays) but you wouldn't notice that unless you already knew.

It serves good food and is pretty spacious, so it's a good place to relax if you have half an hour before the game.

Walking up towards the ground from Times Square, you'll pass the Dog and Parrot and At Bar One.

They both offer cheap pints and good food, but are far enough away from the matchday crowds to be served fast.

If you really are pushed for time, you could call into The Strawberry (pictured above). which is right opposite the stadium's South Stand (though the United end is at the far end of the stadium).

It's strictly a home fans' pub and is rammed on match day, but it offers a wide selection of lager at a decent price.

Budget - £15 pp pn
Roselodge House (pictured left), in Benwell Lane, Benwell, is a former church offering comfy accommodation.

It is two miles from the ground (£5 in a taxi) and offers rooms for £15 per person per night, based on two people sharing a twin room. It's got a living room, parking spaces and is open 24 hours. Book here.

Value £25.50pp pn.
The Jurys Inn and the Holiday Inn are both sold out on the night of the game, so try the Travelodge Gateshead in Forster Street, which is three miles from the ground – about £8 in a taxi. It will cost £51 for a twin room, so that's £25.50 each. Book here.

Luxury - £101 pp pn
If you want to round off a good night on the town in style, head to the four-star Hilton Newcastle Gateshead (pictured right) in Bottle Bank, Gateshead, and get a twin executive room.

The hotel offers a whole host of mod cons including a gym and a heated indoor swimming pool. Make sure you book through Expedia, else you'll pay £20 more.

No comments: