The Premiership adventure starts in less than a fortnight. For London Welsh supporters it is a chance to enjoy a change of scenery and visit new grounds. In the first of a series of articles Dragons' Den brings you a brief guide to Quins, Sale and Wasps and we hope that the home supporters will add their comments and tips on making each of these journeys a great day out.
The Twickenham Stoop needs little introduction with it being so close to our spiritual home of Old Deer Park and also where London Welsh played Harlequins away and then home in the 2005/06 season.
It is almost 50 years since Quins acquired The Stoop Memorial Ground and in that time it is not only the name that has changed. Recent developments have taken capacity up to almost 15,000 with possible further expansion if the demand for tickets continues to increase.
Heading southbound on the A316, parking is available immediately after the entrance to the stadium. For those preferring to let the train take the strain then The Stoop is less than a 15 minute walk from Twickenham Station.
Ticket prices range from £22 - £45 with discounts for Students, over 65s and children available in some categories of seating. Ticket availability for the match on Friday 7th September is already limited in many sections of the stadium and early booking is advised.
Much of the talk over the summer centred around the facilities provided by Premiership clubs but Sale Sharks were one of those making efforts to ensure they had a modern stadium lined up for the 2012/13 season. To achieve this they have moved from Edgeley Park to the City of Salford Stadium, a 12,000 seat arena that that will share with Rugby League team Salford Reds.
The stadium is nestled next to junction 11 of the M60, convenient for those travelling by road. Train travellers need to negotiate the local bus or tram services out from Manchester city centre.
Adult ticket prices start at £5 for terraces ranging up to £37 for top category seats. Discounted prices are available for concessions in all but the best seats and tickets for Juniors are priced at either £5 or £10.
By the time we visit London Wasps on 28th October London Welsh supporters should be getting used to the idea that the club’s name doesn’t give any indication as to its location! Wasps share Adams Park with Wycombe Wanderers FC and although road links to the stadium are excellent it does become very congested on match days. Wasps therefore advise using the free park and ride or train and ride services and have produced the following page that gives excellent travel advice: http://www.wasps.co.uk/AdamsPark.ink
Adams Park Hillbottom Road High Wycombe Bucks HP12 4HJ
It is an interesting experience using other clubs' websites. So far I have encountered a blurred stand layout for Stoop (it's not the drink talking); a schematic representation of quite where is the Salford City Stadium (a bizarre naming given it is scarcely in or even near Salford); and a Scarlets site which did not seem to enable online booking of the preseason friendly. Bath's site seemed OK. Seeing a website through stranger eyes is revealing, so someone in the club office should seek actively some feedback on the LW site. It would help to receive our membership packs soon, ideally before the seasn starts. I don't as yet know quite where in Kassam my seat will be, and if I don't like my neighbour (or they me, which is at least as likely) how easy is it to change? A notable feature for many clubs seems to be the weekday hours of their offices, which rather presumes either that supporters don't go to work or, if they do, that they have time on their hands and liberty to misuse their firm's computer (my own employer would not have welcomed me exploring Llanelli online during working hours, taxpayers' money etc.). Still, generally, websites are on the up.
The Harlequins website is a bit chaotic, but here's a reasonable representation of the ground
Away fans ticket allocation is usually in the North Stand.
There's no public bar in the North or West Stand. There's a real ale bar behind the South Stand (but service is patchy). There's a large and a small public bar in the East stand. There's usually bars in the South West and North West corners. There's usually the guys wandering round with backpacks dispensing lager.
If you're lucky there's a hog roast in the North Stand car park, thoroughly recommended. There's burgers in the North West side. There's curry in the South West side. I think its burgers in the North East.
Make sure which ever way you come to the Stoop you head round to behind the North Stand (the one on the A316 side) and go to the Jolly Hog and Sausage before going through the turnstiles. Run by our 2nd row Olly Kohn and his brother Max, the hog roast and the sausages are far better than inside the ground - expect to queue.
Cheapest place to drink before the match is the William Webb Ellis in Twickenham, and unlike other Wetherspoons it is pleasant (if busy), alternatively I would expect you lot to have a pint in Richmond and head over the river...
As DOK says, a Greene King bar behind the South Stand. Guest beer usually OK, queues too long and price a bit steep.
DanFW3, I think the blurred layout of the Stoop might just indicate that you need to update your flash player. But the 3D image posted above is certainly a better representation.
Most key points are covered below, but to add my two pennth:
- The beers at the main bars at the Stoop are all Greene king (sponsor) and Guinness (plus the usual lagers and whatnot).
- There are several good Fullers pubs nearby. If you intend to arrive a little early then in addition to Twickenham itself, Twickenham Green (just south of the ground) is well worth a visit (three good pubs in close proximity which will be full of rugby supporters).
- Avoid the burgers at the Stoop (average and very expensive): the Jolly Hog (by far), Curry and Fish & Chips are all better.
- I assume that some of you aren't travelling very far, but please ignore any suggestions about parking in residential streets around the ground. People's information on where you can and cant park is often out of date and it just p's off the locals. From Richmond a train to Twickenham, or any one of several buses to Twickenham or Twickenham Green will get you close, then just follow the quartered shirts.
As posted already on the Sale board the best way to drive to the Salford City Stadium is to come up the M6 and leave at J21 onto the A57. There is huge traffic congestion on the M60. Parking is available at Barton Airport and other sites on the west side of the ground - away from the congestion before and after the game.
I am only now updating our "Waspie Welcome" to Adams Park
which no longer automatically shows "links" in blue. You
will discover plenty all the way down, but I've not reached
that far - yet !
If you are visiting by car, there are many great pubs
in our surrounding villages for Sunday lunch/good beer.
nb Official matchday arrangements
are usually confirmed about 3 days
before the match - I have entered
the "usual" times for the first/last
free supporters shuttle buses and
opening of stadium/bars/shop etc
giving you an opportunity to make
your initial plan before confirming
using the OFFICIAL announcement
later in the week.
"The Bootlegger" [opposite the railway station] offers 7+ cask ales
plus a selection of around 300 bottled ales, largers and ciders
the Bootlegger opposite the Rail Station NB strictly NO U21s
/football colours/music makes any pre-match or post match
bus waiting - enjoyable !
an un-official DW Waspie Welcome
to Adams Park's visiting supporters
LONDON WASPS v LONDON WELSH
SUNDAY 28th OCTOBER 2012
......... Adams Park, Hillbottom Road, Sands,
High Wycombe, Bucks. HP12 4HJ
NB : Just 19 kms beyond the 1,600 sq kms of Great London, it takes no longer, to travel to High
Wycombe from central London - than to Twickenham.
[London Marylebone to High Wycombe - fast trains now 23 minutes - taxi to stadium gates 12mins]
ADAMS PARK STADIUM
Surrounded by wooded Chiltern hills and tucked into a valley bottom, the beauty of the setting
[ see photo album AP in the green] only spoilt by 200m of Hillbottom Road,
the access road through the business park.
At approx 127m above sea level Adams Park is the 10th highest professional football stadium
in England and [probably] the highest professional rugby stadium in the UK
In 2002 £500,000 was spent to install a Desso pitch and under-pitch heating at AP
and in 2009 - a further £100,000 in 2009 to maintain/upgrade it.
nb : Altitude 127m/412ft - England's highest pro. rugby union stadium
HIGH WYCOMBE, ADAMS PARK AND WASPS
Adams Park is 4.5 km from High Wycombe town centre.
There is a pub "The Hourglass" 10-15 mins from AP
where shuttle buses [may]stop - it has often been
a meeting place for visiting supporters but is rarely
mentioned by Wasps supporters as a meeting place.
"The Hour Glass, Sands, High Wycombe
Wasp supporters prefer to meet, eat/drink at the ground.
There are various outlets for hog-roast, burgers, coffee,
Guinness and cask Greene King IPA etc adjacent to our
large beer/entertainment marquee in the supporters village
- open to all, before/after the game
AP has a permanent week-round sports bar "Scores"
[but this season is sometimes used by hospitality]
The Vere Suite accomodates 400+ of Wasps 2500+
season-ticket holders exclusively per-match - but is often
in practice, open to all-comers post-match - there is a
supporters bar/a large marquee -4-600 capacity and a small
supporters village with food and drink outlets.
Unlike city-centre clubs where home/away supporters
only need to go to the ground for the game, AP [4.5kms
from HW] has to provide pre/post match facilities and
can accomodate 15%+ of the stadium's 10k capacity
in hospitality, the Vere Suite, "Scores", "Wasps Nest"
etc + considerably more in the open village area in good weather.
Pre and Post-match Q & As
Before and after AP games - 20 min. Q & A sessions
are held in hospitality/the Vere Suite/ and often
in the Wasps Nest [the marquee] when the presenter
questions - two players/coaches/directors etc about
themselves - the game and Wasps issues.
AP seating/standing terrace are ALL COVERED stands
HIGH WYCOMBE TOURIST INFORMATION
Many visiting supporters prefer to stay in London,
travelling to High Wycombe for the game by rail
London Marylebone - HW = 23-36mins or by car
For greater choice Wasps supporters often recommend
eating in one of the many excellent small Chiltern
village pubs around HW. or possibly one of the nearby
attractive Thames-side towns [Marlow, Henley-on-Thames etc]
ROAD TRAVEL ADVICE
If you are driving to AP - plan to arrive at least 60 minutes
before KO to avoid the congestion/parking problems that
sometimes build-up - AND - delay leaving post-match for
about 45 mins. for a trouble-free exit.
CAR PARKING : alternatives
There is parking in the stadium, on the access road to the stadium, in HW town centre,
near "The Hour Glass" pub [Millbrook School] and at Cressex Park, near the M40 Junction 4 [see info]
AdamsPark Official Parking info
FREE PARK AND RIDE : Cressex - bus service for supporters using the Cressex car parking area
[follow signs from M40 Junction 4]
buses depart - from Cressex to Adams Park :12.00 until 15mins before KO
buses return - from bottom of Hillbottom Road [200m] AP access road : until 7.00pm
FREE SHUTTLE BUS : parking HW town centre - for supporters parking in HW town centre -
buses leave from rail /bus station : 2.00pm until 15 mins. before KO to the
bottom of our access road - Hillbottom Road. Buses also return from the end of AP access road
[200m walk] Hillbottom Road : 7.00pm
RAIL TRAVEL : CHILTERN RAILWAY
Rail travel : Marylebone [400m walk from Baker St] - High Wycombe
journey takes 23-36 mins. on Chiltern Railways [every 20-30 mins]
for Chiltern Railway TT Chltern Rail TT
Rail travel DISCOUNTS on Chiltern Railways
4 can ask for "group travel" = travel for the price of 2
match-ticket holders showing match tickets = 20% reduction.
FREE SHUTTLE BUSES from Rail Station
buses leave High Wycombe Rail/bus stations 12.00
until 15 mins. before KO time
may stop on request at the "The Hour Glass" [10/15min walk from AP]
but carry supporters to bottom of AP access
road, Hillbottom Road- a 200m walk to Adams Park stadium
Buses return to bus/rail stations from bottom of the AP access road
[200m walk] Hillbottom Road [nb. LAST BUS depts stadium] : 7.00pm
the last bus [for Cressex/bus/rail station] leaves from Adams Park gates
BOOKER AIRPORT /Wycombe Air Park - light aircraft / helicopter
to/from Adams Park entrance from HW rail station
Neales Taxis tel 01494 522555 or 01494 463399
take four passengers directly to AP for approx £8 .
They also hire mini-buses and coaches given notice.
There is a phone in the AP Vere Suite entrance to
phone book a returning post-match taxis.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2012:10:15:17:28:17 by dixiewasp.
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