|LFW Travel Guides - Sunderland, Stadium of Light|
Tue 13th Nov 2012 22:57 by Clive Whittingham
The phrase 'only the brave' comes to mind as the Rangers faithful prepare for a Tuesday night trip up to Sunderland . If you're an idiot and planning on making this trip, here's the usual hints and tips.
Ground Name: Stadium of Light
Address: Stadium Of Light, Sunderland , SR5 1SU
Main Number: 0871 911 1200
Box Office: 0871 911 1973
Longest trip of the season this one – 277 miles and five hours seven minutes at the speed limit from Loftus Road. Either take the M1 up to the M18 and then onto the A1, or the A1 all the way, depending on which part of London you’re coming from. Exit the A1 at junction 62 for Durham and Sunderland and follow the A690 towards Sunderland . After eight miles, at a roundabout, turn left onto the A19 signposted Tyne Tunnel. Stay in the left lane and take the second slip road towards Sunderland signposted Stadium of Light. From there, following signs for the ground, go over four roundabouts, two sets of lights and the bridge over the River Wear and the ground should become visible as you follow the A1231.
Click the map to zoom in and tour around.
Parking: Parking at the ground is limited but it is within walking distance of the city centre which has plenty of pay and display options. Failing that try the park and ride which is signposted off the A1231 at the Sunderland Enterprise Park . Buses run every five minutes for 90 minutes before kick off and as long as necessary afterwards and apparently it’s free.
Train: Inevitably with this being a night match a train journey will require an overnight stay. There are three direct trains to Sunderland a day to and from London with Grand Central, but in all likelihood you're going to be going on the East Coast service to Newcastle and changing there onto the Metro or local services.
On the Tuesday there is an 11.23 direct service to Sunderland arriving at 14.50 available for £25.60, and coming back the day after it leaves Sunderland at 12.28 and arrives London at 16.09 for £33. If you want to go to Newcastle and change then the cheapest East Coast tickets remaining are £36.40 one way (£72.80 return) leaving London at 0930 or 13.30 on Tuesday for a 12.41 or 16.43 arrival, and 10.25 on Wednesday arriving 13.43. Try splitting the trip at Newark , Doncaster or York for discounts but really it's quite late in the day now and you're unlikely to do better.
Worth bearing in mind that the away end at the Stadium of Light has moved. QPR fans will now be housed at the opposite end of the ground to previous visits, in the upper tier, which means the Stadium of Light Metro stop is now closer to the away end than the St Peters one as in previous seasons. However, this being the UK , two stations built to serve the football stadium are likely to be closed after the match incase they get over crowded. The Germans would consider making them big enough to cope with the crowds in the first place and running extra trains – but we just don't do things like that.
Coach: The official coach leaves Loftus Road at 11.30am with a noon pick up at the Target Roundabout. The coach is priced £36 adults, £24 seniors and young adults, £22 for under 16s with the usual season ticket discount. The LSA coach is leaving The Springbok at 1pm priced £30 with £20 concessions. Call Gary on 07506 028 189 to book.
Pubs: Personally I’ve always drunk in Newcastle beforehand and got the Metro over later on so these recommendations come from the guide rather than me. The Wetherspoons in the centre of town, the William Jameson, seems to be the popular haunt for away fans but the guide also recommends The Albion on Roker Street and closer to the ground The Sunderland Companions club, and the New Democratic Club which get crowded but dow welcome away fans. Alcohol is served in the ground.
Tickets: QPR have been allocated 1,500 seats in the North Stand priced £29 adults, £10 under 16s and £19 seniors. Rangers have six wheelchair spaces and 20 ambulant disabled tickets priced as above with a free carer ticket if required. The club has also received five disabled parking passes available on a first come first served basis. These tickets are now on general sale and, given that it's unlikely to go anywhere close to selling out, will be available on the night.
Pictures – Action Images