A Rough Guide To West Ham United
Monday, 24th Feb 2020 13:44
Our fourth visit to The London Stadium and it has to be said it's a fine view from outside but not so great inside watching the match, there are a few issues on the trains so read on for more info.
The London Stadium as the former Olympic Stadium is now called has had its fair share of teething problems since West Ham United moved in as tenants, most of these have been caused by the fact that it was not built as a football stadium and therefore is not geared up towards segregating rival fans both in and outside the ground and secondly because security had been the responsibility of the owners of the stadium and not the club itself, so again their experience is of Athletics meetings not football matches.
This term has been another bad one for the Hammers on the pitch, so the atmosphere off it will be a little intimidating and if they lose West Ham fans don't take defeat very well.
It is a quality stadium, however it was built for athletics so therefore it has an bowl design and is able to convert back to being used for athletics events, this means that supporters are some way from the pitch and the view is far from brilliant in this respect, so perhaps taking a pair of binoculars is needed.
If you want to drive, the easiest way, is to take the M25 round to junction 25 and head towards London on the A10, I would suggest perhaps looking to park around Hackney Wick and walk to the ground, although I do not know what parking is available in this area.
It should be noted that due to rail works there will be disruptions going from Southampton to London nect weekend, at this time it is unclear whether Eastleigh railstation will be open due to the works of this last weekend being completed, but to add to that possibilty, trains are having to go the long way round from Woking via Chertsey to Waterloo adding around 30 mins to the journey.
This means that the 9 am train will not arrive till 11am at Waterloo a journey time over 1/2 an hour longer than usual, it will be the same going home
One option could be to go via Reading, the 9.47 Cross Country service to Manchester goes to Reading change their and you can be in London Paddington by 11.11 a journey time of only 1 hr 20 mins, other timed trains are also available.
Several options from Waterloo, perhaps the most direct is the Jubilee line east to Stratford, the route takes about 20 mins and this is the designated rail hub for the stadium, it is likely to be very busy and is around 1 mile to the stadium itself, so leave yourself plenty of time.
After the match all fans that are wanting to go to Stratford Station, are sent on a long set route (this avoiding going into the shopping centre) and it is stop/started in places to regulate the flow of fans, before being finally met with huge queues for the trains themselves.
Another option would be to take the Northern Line to Camden, there are plenty of pubs there and you can then make the short walk to Camden Road station and take the London Overground to Hackney Wick,trains are every 10 minutes and take 15 minutes, again it is about a mile walk but should be less congested.
Coming back this route may be a little more difficult as although the station may be less congested, the previous stop is Stratford and the trains could be packed, however most West Ham fans will be going East rather than West, so it might be Ok.
The Away Section
Visiting supporters are housed in the lower and upper sections of the South West part of the stadium, the facilities are excellent with the toilets even being likened to those in a hotel as well as plenty of food and drink outlets, but we are talking Wembley prices here with a pie costing £4.20 and I a beer costing £5.20 a pint.
The main footballing issues have been segregation with only a waist high barrier separating home and away fans, a combination of readily available and cheap tickets has meant that a lot of old school West Ham fans have returned to the fold so to speak and there have been some unsavoury incidents both in and out of the ground, last season this was exasperated by West Ham's poor season and it's heading that way this..
This season has not seen reports of unrest on the scale of the first two seasons at the ground, however it is probably advisable to wear colours with caution if going to pubs etc.
Drinking Eating Etc
All reviews so far suggest you are far better eating and drinking away from the stadium, most of the nearby pubs etc are by Stratford Station, however they are mainly home fans only and you could find it hard to get into any of them.
My suggestion would be to go to Camden and have a few drinks there, if you take the overground to Hackney Wick allow a good 40 minutes to get to the stadium with the train taking 15 minutes followed by a 15 minute walk to the ground. Not ideal but there is little near the ground for away fans.
The Westfield shopping centre does of course have plenty of eating and drinking outlets, however it is unclear whether there are any restrictions on football fans.
Photo: Action Images
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