A Rough Guide To Newcastle
Wednesday, 7th Mar 2018 09:10
The last time we played in Newcastle was back in 2015 only days after our trip to Holland in the Europa League, a lot of water has passed under the bridge both Itchen and Tyne since then.
St James Park or whatever they have called it this season stands a five minute walk north of the centre of Newcastle and also has its own metro station, its a funny old ground Saints, as Jimmy Greaves almost used to say, one half of it is a multi tiered skyscraper of stands, whilst the other two stands are much lower, giving those in the two high stand tiers the feeling that they aren't quite in the ground but watching it from a hovering helicopter.
Take the routes north and then on the M1 follow signs for the A1M to the North East and Newcastle, follow signs into the City Centre and the ground.
Newcastle Central Station is only about half a mile from the ground and a 5-10 minute walk straight through the City Centre, you can get the metro from the station to St James Park station, although to be honest by the time you have changed trains at Monument its probably a lot quicker to walk.
Being fairly central there are plenty of car parks in the City Centre a short walk from St James Park, alternatively you can find street parking if you go past the ground and away from the City Centre.
The Away End
Ever fancied watching two teams of ants (Thats the insects not two teams of smug Geordie television presenters) play football), you are now going to get your chance, in many respects Newcastle is stuck in a 1980's timewarp so we will get to see Adam & The Ants, but first you need to wear your mountineering gear as you will need to scale the north face of the Sir John Hall stand to reach the top tier 14 flights of stairs up Im told.
As mentioned the view from the seats up there feels as if you are not in the ground at all, but sort of watching proceedings from on high, you have great views across the roofs of the two stands opposite and of Newcastle City centre but making out which player is which isn't quite so easy.
Be careful of standing up as well, the North East police are pretty hot on this and revel in throwing out any one who offends after a warning or indeed without warning.
Apart from the climb and the feeling of detachment the view is OK though with good enclosed facilities underneath, with the usual fare including alcohol and plenty of TV's.
Drinking Eating etc
The proximity to Newcastle City centre means that there are plenty of pubs withing a five minute walk of the ground, The Strawberry behind the end nearest the town or toon centre is very much home territory and some pubs will only let in home fans but there are more than enough pubs in the area to make being turned away from one of them a minor irritation rather than meaning you wont get a drink, near to the station there are plenty of good pubs.
Near to the station is a former Wetherspoons pub called the Union Rooms, which is now is now under new ownership, that is away fan and family friendly.
A bit nearer the ground on Percy Street is the Percy Arms that has live sports etc.
For those staying up there the nightlife is legendary, the Bigg Market is well know and so are the bars down on the Quayside, but there is a lot more than that, Geordies are well known for their hospitality and as long as you are friendly to them they are generally nice back albeit in a language that you wont understand.
The trick is just to nod and say how much AC/DC improved after recruiting the former singer of legendary local band from the 1970's the imaginably entitled "Geordie" who for the record were a sort of north eastern Slade (Those under 55 ask your dads or grand parents)
Lager is sold in few hostelries in the City centre or the rest of the city for that matter, at best you can get an IPA, even bitter isnt that common, the only beer for the locals is Newcastle Brown Ale which is sold in buckets rather than pint glasses, asking for a lager will get you some strange looks and at best a friendly local will quietly suggest that perhaps the pubs in Durham would better suit your requirements, at worst you may be physically assaulted or be on the end of a rant about "soft southerners " and told in no certain terms that the aforementioned "Geordie" were the greatest hard rock band in history whilst the drumming on Coldplay songs is out of time and effeminate.
Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
St James' Park
Official Web Site: www.nufc.co.uk
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Photo: Action Images
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