December 27 2005
The Harlequins' Match Day experience is second to none: we're lucky enough to be one of the few clubs who enjoy a stadium designed for rugby, and a Saturday afternoon at the Stoop has to much to offer for old hands, and newcomers alike. Here's everything a visitor needs to know.
Thinking of visiting the Stoop? Before you read the rest of this article you might like to browse around an ambitious project that Come All Within regulars took part in on 25 Oct 2003 we worked together to try and capture in pictures the full variety and texture of a Match-Day at the Stoop. Altogether over 400 pictures were submitted, all taken on the same day, and the best of them are displayed here: A Life In A Day at the Stoop
Hopefully that's whetted your appetite, so here's some practical advice:
How to get there
The address of the Stoop is The Twickenham Stoop Stadium, Langhorn Drive, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW2 7SX.
It's very easy to get to:
By Rail: The nearest station is Twickenham, about 10 minutes walk away. Twickenham is on the Reading to Waterloo line, and The National Rail website will enable you to plan your journey.
On Foot: Here's a map which also shows Twickenham Station.
By Bike: There are the fabled 'Tony Copsey Memorial' Bike Racks in the car park behind the North Stand.
By Boat: The Duke of Northumberland's River runs behind the LV Stand, although it may be possible to row to The Stoop the chances of doing it without getting tetanus are small!
By Car: Getting to the Stoop from outside London is very straightforward:
For door to door driving directions from wherever you live try Google Maps, and key in TW2 7SX as your destination.
By Air: The closest airport is London Heathrow. From Heathrow you can get a cab (about 25 mins, £15-£20) or more cheaply get take the Shuttle-Bus to Feltham Station, which is two stops from Twickenham.
London Gatwick and London Stansted are a good deal further, and you'd want to travel to Twickenham by rail - use the site above to check the connections to Twickenham Station
By Helicopter: Harlequins Rugby Club is the only landing site within the Twickenham/Richmond area, further details
Where to sit
There is a plan of the Stadium here on the official site
Your best options are the Etihad (east) Stand or the newer LV (west) Stand, they are both covered and run the length of the pitch.
The Etihad and LV Stands are long - blocks AA & AJ (Etihad) and FA & FJ (LV) reach out beyond the try-line but are still OK seats - especially higher up. Prices vary, being more expensive nearer the centre of course. The Eithad Stand contains the main public bar whereas the LV Stand contains the smaller Members' Clubhouse so if you are likely to need regular liquid refreshment and you're not a member then the Etihad is probably the stand for you.
Warning: Avoid the first four rows A-D, sold as 'restricted view'. The Etihad Stand is separated from the pitch by a walkway, and the low seats are suffer from people walking in front of you fetching beers and so on, the problem isn't as bad in the west because the walkway is much more narrow and the gates by the tunnel are closed for parts of the game.
The North & South Stands. Are behind the goal and covered. Entry is from beneath the stand so you won't get people walking in front of you and blocking your view.
If you have young children then there is the Mighty Quins Village (also see below). The MQV is in the south-west corner so seats in the South Stand are probably best.
How to buy tickets
You can order tickets online with an excellent system that allows you to view a plan and select your own seats. If you prefer human contact see the Official Site for contact details for the ticket office
The ticket collection point is a portacabin by the turnstyles in the south-east corner of the ground.
Quins invest very heavily in making the Stoop a family friendly place.
Mighty Quins Village A marquee with bouncy castle, face paints, entertainers, art materials and supervisors who play with the kids. This place is fantastic and easily entertains a small child for half the game. It's open from about 1pm until about 10 mins before the end of the game.
Access at the Stoop is excellent - the Etihad (east) stand bar has level access to the front and rear so nipping out for a burger is not a problem.
There is disabled parking behind the Etihad stand but get there early as the spaces fill up pretty quick.
There are wheelchair spaces in the Etihad stand but be warned you will probably have people walking around in front of you. The LV (west) Stand has a wheelchair platform at a high level towards the north end of the stand, access is by lift at the back of the stand.
There are two disabled toilets in the Etihad and LV stands.
All in all, the wheelies at Quins will tell you that the facilities at the Stoop are second only to Twickenham in terms of facilities for the disabled user in Europe.
The East Stand bar beneath the stand runs the length of the Stand and is one of the nicest bars you'll find in any club. Before the game there are TVs that show the live match on Sky, and occasionally video of last week's Quins game. After the game there is a live band. At the left end of the main bar (as you face it) you'll find the four-pint jug always a great offer.
The Quins' Head - There is the Premiership's only real ale bar behind the South Stand where you can get hand pulled IPA, Abbott and guest ales every game. There aren't any other drinks sold here so you'll have to buy other drinks from the other bars.
There is no smoking in the stands or walkways, but the decking area outside the Quins' Head is a designated smoking area, otherwise you'll have to go out of the ground to smoke.
There are various outlets around the ground and there is also a food bar in the Members' Bar serving pies, pizza etc. If you want a proper meal and there's a group of 10 or more you can always book the Carvery.
There is also a fantastic saugage stand in the car park behind the North Stand (outside the ground) called the Jolly Sausage Company which is run by Olly Kohn and his brother that provides fantastic food.
Tea & Coffee
All the food stands sell the regular tea/coffee, but this season there are also are a couple of coffee stalls in the ground this season selling espresso and Cappuccino (and every variation thereof...).
After the game
There is a live band in the East Stand bar after a game: wear your dancing shoes!
Where to Stay
If you are staying over, here's three convenient and quite different suggestions
Alternatively, you could also stay in Richmond which is nearby and has many hotels. Richmond is 5 mins on the train or 30 minutes beautiful walk along the river.
Before the game, look out for the Quinssa table in the East Stand Bar.
The Stoop changed its name from The Stoop Memorial Ground to The Twickenham Stoop Stadium in the 2005/6 season, details of the press conference can be found here.
Post your questions - or suggestions for this page - one the message boards using the handy box below.
Thanks for the additional notes/suggestions from regulars - especially RobShew.
Come on You Quins!
Glad to see you've included details of the Helipad!
For what it's worth The Pope's Grotto is en route to being renamed The Alexander this month (though signs are already up....). God only knows why they feel the need to change the name but there you go....
Quote:Are they going to re-name the surrounding streets too? Alexander Grove etc???
Is there anything I've missed out?