Monday, July 12

Oxford United ticket, travel, hotel and pub guide

Oxford United
Kassam Stadium
Pre-season friendly
Tuesday July 27, kick off 19:45

After friendlies at Dunfermline and Yeovil, a United XI squad will play in Oxford four days before the lads hit the road again, heading for St Johnstone.

It will be another opportunity for younger lads and reserve-team players to show what they can and gain a place in the first-team squad in the new season.

Despite suffering a great deal of turmoil in their recent history, Oxford are on a high after winning promotion from the Conference to League Two last season. More than 33,000 Oxford fans travelled to Wembley to see them beat York on May 16.

Of course, they had been a top-flight team (then the First Division) until 1988 before suffering an 18-year decline, the worst coming in 2006 when they were relegated to the Conference.

But the high play-off final following and even a 10,613 crowd at a home match against Luton last September shows there is a mood of resurgence among Chris Wilder's men.

The United match will no doubt be a pre-season moral boost for the Us.

The 12,500 stadium has three sides – it is missing one end behind a goal.

Fans attending a United XI match v Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford on July 27 can now by tickets.

Reds have been allocated all of the all-seater North Stand (pictured), which is on the half way line and has a capacity of 5,026.

If you buy in advance, they cost £15 for adults, £11.50 for students and £9 for over 65s and under 16s.

If you buy on the day, they cost £17 for adults, £13 for students and £10 for over 65s and under 16s.

The cheapest tickets are in the Oxford Mail Stand - in the home end behind the goal.

If you buy in advance, they cost £14 for adults, £11 for students, and £7.50 for over 65s and under 16s.

If you buy on the day, they cost £16 for adults, £12.50 for students, and £8.50 for over 65s and under 16s.

All students must carry NUS cards.

Get tickets
here or from the ticket office during business hours on 01865 337 533.


Summary: It's a five-hour round trip by car and there are no train or coach options that are convenient. So either go by car or stay overnight and travel home the next day.

Car - £50
If you've got a satnav, use the destination postcode OX4 4XP if you're heading right to the stadium.

The journey takes two-and-a-half hours and costs about £25 in petrol each way.

The basic route is M6, M42, M40 and A4074.

Parking – free
The stadium is one of a few to offer free parking at the club. There are 2,000 spaces offered on a first come, first served basis.

If that gets full, there's an overflow car park with 400 more spaces next door where the Ozone Bowlplex is. Cars that park on grass verges will get ticketed.

If you still can't find a space, set your satnav for OX4 6DG, which is for Knight Road, a street away from the ground. There are no parking restrictions and there will be hardly any congestion after the game.

Train - £25.50 one way, £42.50 return
There are lots of services there, but no realistic ones home (though it is possible).

There are two stations near the ground: Radley which is 2.4 miles away and Oxford which is 3.6 miles away. It's a lot easier to get off at Oxford.

On the way there
Make sure you leave Manchester after 10:00 because it's a weekday, so pre 10:00 prices are way more expensive than afterwards.

From 10:27, direct trains leave Manchester Piccadilly platform 4 at 27 past every hour.

Those trains take 2 hours and 45 minutes, so the last one you can catch leaves at 16:27 and arrives at 19:14.

There is an indirect route, which requires two changes at Crewe and Birmingham New Street.

From 10:30, services leave Manchester Piccadilly playform 8 at 30 minutes past every hour.

That route takes three hours and 10 minutes, so the last one you can catch leaves at 15:30 and arrives at 18:40.

From Oxford Stration, you can get a taxi for about £10 (see taxi numbers below).

Or, outside the train station, go to bus stop R2 and get on the number 5 service (pictured)

Ask to get off at Knights Road in Blackbird Leys. Buses leave every 10 minutes or less throughout weekdays and the journey takes half an hour.
Here is the timetable.

Leave the bus at the Pegasus Road end of Knight Road and walk down to the end of Knights Road, turn left and follow the footpath to the stadium.

On the way back
Buses leave Knights Road to the train station every 10 minutes until 23:05 and, with the game due to finish at 21:30, you should reach the train station by 22:15.

But the problem is that the last service of the night leaves Oxford (pictured) at 21:36 - about the same time as the full-time whistle will be blown.

Leave Oxford: 21:36
Arrive Coventry: 22:22
Leave: 22:31
Arrive Rugby: 22:42
Leave: 22:54
Arrive Manchester Piccadilly: 00:35

If you want to go one way, it will cost £25.60 in advance if you buy from National Rail and £56.50 on the day.

If you want to go both ways, it will cost £42.50 in advance if you buy from National Rail and £56.70 on the day.

Coach - £34.90
It's the same story with National Express.

There are five routes going, but no realistic ones on the way back, unless you are happy to arrive in Manchester at 07:35, spending two hours in Milton Keynes in the process.

Coaches leave Chorlton Street at 07:00, 09:05 and 12:00 changing at Birmingham and arriving in Oxford at 12:50, 14:20 and 17:10.

Coaches also leave Chorlton Street at 09:30 and 11:00, changing at Milton Keynes and arriving in Oxford at 15:25 and 16:55.

The coach station is in George Street in the city centre. If you head towards Hythe Bridge Street and walk for five minutes, you'll reach Oxford Train Station, from where you can catch the bus to the stadium (see the train section above).

On the way home, the coach leaves Oxford at 22:05 and arrives in Manchester at 07:35.
If you buy in advance from National Express, a singe costs £30.70 and a return costs £34.90.

Again, with Megabus, there's a way of getting there, but not back. Leave Shudehill Interchange at 07:00 and arrive Water Eaton Park and Ride in Oxford at 11:55. The one-way fare is £10.

Hotels (all prices are per person, per night for a twin or double room)

Bargain - £31

The three-star Eurobar and Cafe Hotel, at 38 George Street, is right next to the bus station and five minutes from the station, so it's a perfect place to relax after a long train journey...and sleep in before the trip home.

It's comfortable and stylish and the only downside is that you have to share a bathroom.

Value and convenience - £42.50

The Express By Holiday Inn
(pictured) is a three-star hotel right next door to the you can go straight from the match to the bar and then climb the stairs to sleep it off. It's a big 160-room hotel and all rooms have power showers and Sky. It's free parking for all guests too.

Luxury - £69.50
Staying at The Macdonald Randolph Hotel in Beaumont Street might actually beat the game as the highlight of your trip!

It's a classy four-star joint right at the heart of the city centre with a top-class restaurant, a bar so brilliant that is a tourist draw in its own right, a spa, a jacuzzi and a gym.

You can book any of these hotels at and can cancel at no cost up to 24 hours before you arrive. You will be charged when you arrive at the hotel.

There are dozens of pubs to choose from in the city centre, though our favourite is The Swan and Castle (pictured) in Castle Street.

It's a Wetherspoons pub and offers good, decently priced food and relaxed atmosphere. It opened in December.

The Priory is behind the car park at the end of the ground that doesn't have a stand. It welcome both home and away fans, especially for a friendly match like this.

But if that gets too crowded, there is a decent bar at the above-mentioned Express By Holiday Inn, the hotel opposite the ground, which you can't miss. The staff there are happy for football fans to call in.

Other than that, there's a smaller and quieter bar within the Ozone Bowlplex bowling alley.

City Taxis on 01865 201 201
Radio Taxis on 01865 2 42 42 4
Royal Cars 01865 777 333


Jet said...

Great posting.
There is also a village called Sandford on Thames which a 10 minute walk to the Kassam which has a pub called the Catherine Wheel which is a decent place for a drink. The postcode is OX4 4YP‎.
Also you can park in the village.
As vitty100 pointed out, don't park on the grass verges near the ground or in the village as you will get a ticket! A couple of years ago they had a field day.
See you in the North Stand

boris said...

Your excellent report is incorrect in just one detail: you can't park on Knights Road in Blackbird Leys. They have event parking restrictions that come into force for every home game (including friendlies) so if you don't have a residents parking permit you will get ticketed. As Jet says, if the car parks are full (and for crowds of 6,000+ they get full by around an hour before kick off) then park in Sandford or along Grenoble Road (if you can find a spot).

Jet said...

Just over 6,000 total attendance at the Oxford game, I'd say Man Utd had about 800 to 1,000 supporters there. Utd dominated posession first half and should have been 1-0 up after Magnus had a penalty saved. Utd scored just before half time with a cracking free kick tucked under the wall (Ronaldino like). Oxford hit straight back though scoring with the last kick of the first half. Second half and Oxford looked a differant team. This time they dominated the ball and the Utd youngsters were on the back foot. Oxford were a little unlucky not to get a penalty but it was Utd who took the honours with a late goal.
Really enjoyable game. The hard core Utd fans sang all the way through both halfs.