Sunday, September 20

Stoke travel and pub guide


Stoke
Britannia Stadium
Saturday, September 26, kick off 15:00


Tickets

Stoke’s stadium holds 28,383, United have got 2,861 tickets in the South Stand (pictured right) priced at £35 adults, £24 for over 65s, £20 for under 17s and £17 for under 11s.

Those are the same prices as last season, when United got an allocation of 2,800.

All tickets have been sold and you can find out if you have one by checking your online booking history or by calling 0161 868 8000. You can get an away end ticket for £90 here from the United Ticket Agency.

Home end tickets are still on sale, but you can only get one if you also buy tickets for two other Stoke home games – against Wigan on December 12 and Fulham three days later. Call the box office on 0871 663 2008 for details.

TV
The match will not be shown live on TV in the UK, but will be shown live on the internet. We will provide you with a list of links for live video streams on Saturday at 13:00

Weather
According to holiday-weather.com, we're looking at similar weather to the Manchester derby – clear skies and sunshine. Probably about 17C /63F during the game.


Travel

Advice on getting to the Britannia Stadium can be found here where a downloadable map and leaflet is available.


Car – £17.00
If you’re using a sat nav or a routeplanner, use the postcode ST4 4EG.

The journey takes 55 minutes, which is 48 miles and should cost about £8.50 in petrol in each direction.

The standard route is south on the M6, exit at junction 16, then take the A500 and the A50.

Parking at the stadium is pretty difficult as, in a similar way to Bolton’s Reebok Stadium it’s in the middle of nowhere, only there are few surrounding streets in which to park.

All fans are asked to note that cars parked illegally on grass verges surrounding the football stadium will be towed away with owners having to pay around £150 to get their vehicle back.

So you can either:

1. Park in the city centre and do the 15-minute walk to and from the stadium

2. Buy a parking pass for £4 from Stoke for the South and Trent Car Parks in advance on 0871 663 2007.

You can’t pay for parking on the day. Access these car parks via the A50 or Trentham Road.

3. Park on the large open car park next to the stadium. It's £5 and you can pay on the day. It's a two-minute walk from the ground.

To get there, follow the signs for the stadium. Pass the ground and turn off the A50 onto Gordon Banks Drive and follow the road right down to the bottom. The large car park is on your right.

4. Park on the Power League complex in between the stadium and the academy tent.

There are only a few hundred places, priced at £4, so arrive early. It’s a pay and display car park.

5. Park at Heron Cross School and Bowling Club. There a few hundred spaces priced at £1.50.

It is on the other side of the A50 to the stadium, next to the footbridge.

To get to it, pass the stadium on your right and come off at the slip road signposted Heron Cross. Turn left and you will come to some traffic lights.

At those lights, turn left (following signs for Stoke) and half a mile down the road you can turn right into this car park.


Train - £8

Outbound
Manchester Piccadilly to Stoke
From 07:07, trains leave at 07, 15, 27, 35 and 48 past the hour.

The journey takes 37 minutes in the vast majority of cases.

The last one you can catch to make kick off leaves at 13:35.

Stoke to the ground

There are three options
1. Walk two minutes to the Ember Lounge - Staffordshire University Students' Union - and get the designated United bus to the ground. This costs £2 one way or £3 return and takes 15 minutes.

To get to the SU, come out of the station, turn left onto Station Road and take the next right onto College Road.
2. From outside the station, get on the home fans match day bus (though you won't be allowed on if you're wearing colours or if it's obvious you're a red).

The buses leave at 14:07 and 14:27. They also call at St Peter's Church, in Church Street, just round the corner, but nearer pubs. They leave at 14:10 and 14:30 and take 15 minutes. Details here.

3. Walk to the stadium. This takes about an hour.

Walk via Leek Road, City Road, Christchurch Street, Station Bridge Road, Heron Street and the A50 footway.

Homebound
Stoke are laying on buses specifically for United fans outside the away end taking them back to the train station.

These cost £2 one way or £3 return. It takes about 15 minutes.

Or you can come out of the away fans' area, turn left and walk five minutes round the ground to the home fans' bus area.

Again, it costs £2 one way or £3 return.

Noone with colours or who is obviously a red will be allowed on. Expect to queue for about 15 minutes. The journey time is 15 minutes or so.

Stoke to Manchester Piccadilly
From, 18:18 until 21:18, trains leave at 18, 25, 48, 55 and 58 past the hour. The journey takes roughly 45 minutes.

You can either pay £13 on the day for an off-peak return, or you can buy your tickets in advance here and, providing you book for particular services in advance, you can get a return for just £8.

Coaches

United official coach
As of noon on Monday, United had only one place left on their coach, costing £19. Call 0161 868 8000 to see if an extra coach is to be laid on.

Others
The Betty Bus leaves Manchester Chorlton Street at 10am and places cost £15 per person. To book, email your name, address and phone number to redsaway@hotmail.co.uk

Red Army Travel is running a coach with places costing £18 per person. It leaves from the Spread Eagle Pub in Royal Green Road, Northenden. To book or for more details, go here.

National Express is running five coaches from Manchester Chorlton Street to Charles Street in Stoke on the day of the game and four coaches back. The journey takes about 90 minutes each way.

Outbound coaches leave at 07:15, 08:00, 09:45, 10:10 and 12:50.
Homebound coaches leave at 17:30, 18:45, 20:35 and 23:30, A return costs £7.30.

For details of how to get to and from the ground from the coach station, which is right in the town centre, see the trains section.

Megabus does not serve Stoke.


Pubs

Any reds arriving by train at Stoke station will be 'encouraged' by Staffordshire Police officers to go to the Ember Lounge - Staffordshire University Students' Union – which is virtually opposite the station.

The SU will be serving alcohol and showing the Portsmouth v Everton 12:45 kick off and there will be buses taking United fans to the game from outside (see the trains section).

The Ember Lounge is pretty big and has two bars, so the queues shouldn't be that long. It's a decent place to get a no-hassle pre-match pint.

If you prefer a walk into town, be careful. It's dodgy enough for away fans on a normal match day in the city centre – let alone when United are in town.

If you wear colours in the town centre, you may attract trouble.

And you certainly won't be allowed into any bar at all and the vast majority of town-centre boozers have bouncers on matchday. Avoid The Whitestar and the Famous Lion in particular, as they are staunch home-fan pubs.

But if you're a bit more subtle, you might want to try a couple of these suggestions.

The only Wetherspoons pub in town is called The Wheatsheaf (pictured right), at 84 Church Street – the main high street in town.

Now in its 10th year, it's a typical Wetherspoons joint, on one level, with decent, cheap food and a good-value pint. Plus, it's right by the bus stop (outside the church) where you can catch the stadium bus.

If you walk up from Wetherspoons on Church Street and onto Hartshill Road, you'll see the Famous Lion on the other side of the road. Walk past that and, a couple of doors down, you'll find another modern-looking pub which is both spacious and relaxing.

There are sofas as well as tables and they do cracking meat and cheese and onion pies for £1 on matchdays.

A the ground itself, a cracking place to enjoy a pre-match pint is The Harvester, which is two-minute walk from the away end, in Tony Waddington Place.

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