|Planes, Trains and Automobiles - Sheffield, Hillsborough
Sunday, 7th Dec 2008 19:56
QPR fans face a long trip north on Tuesday night as Paulo Sousa's men face Sheffield Wednesday. Here are the usual travel tips and hints for those making the trip.
Ground Name: Hillsborough
Capacity: 39 812 (all seated)
Address: Hillsborough, Sheffield, S6 1SW
Main Telephone No: 0870 999 1867
Ticket Office: 0871 230 1867
Straight up the M1 for this one so watch out for the dreaded average speed checks in the roadworks at Luton and Nottingham. Traffic in rush hour is particularly bad through both sections and you may well hit Nottingham at just the wrong time when heading for a 7.45pm kick off here. There are two ways o get to the ground once in the Sheffield area. The easiest way, but longest, is to go up the M1 past Sheffield to junction 36 and then follow the A61 into Sheffield, sign posted ‘Sheffield North’. This will bring you directly to the ground and avoid all the nonsense in the middle of town, but it’s a good 15 miles longer than option two which is junction 34 at Meadowhall then the A6178 signposted for Sheffield.
Go straight on past TGI Fridays on your left and the shopping centre on your right until you reach arena square with Sheffield Arena on your left and some chain pub or other on your right. Follow signs for the city centre, taking a right turn over the humped river bridge by the forge mill. At the next roundabout/traffic light junction go straight on following signs for the Northern General Hospital, under the railway on the A6102. Stay on the 6102 through the traffic light junction at the hospital as it becomes Herries Road and then winds it’s way up a hill and through a housing estate. After five miles or so it heads down under a viaduct and the ground is directly ahead of you – there is street parking and businesses offering their car parks up at a charge usually around £3 all around this area. If I’ve made that sound complicated it’s really not!
Option three is to park at Meadowhall for free and get a yellow line tram from there towards Middlewood, that stops at Leppings Lane which is right behind the away end but will take a good 40 minutes. Trams leave every ten minutes.
Click on the map to visit the multi map site and move around.
No official car parking at the ground but with plenty of street parking, businesses offering their car parks, and the nearby greyhound stadium and casino having an amble car park as well you should not really be struggling. As I said earlier if you want to park by the M1 and ride in then leave your car for free at Meadowhall and get a yellow line tram heading towards Middlewood as far as Leppings Lane. Beware the happy Christmas shoppers though – that hell hole is likely to be much busier at this time of year.
East Midlands Trains from London St Pancras serve Sheffield, although it is worth checking National Express from Kings Cross via Doncaster as there are sometimes better deals on one than the other – there doesn’t seem to be an exact science to it though and Young North and myself end up doing an equal amount of journeys both ways over the course of the season as we attempt to prevent the rail companies ripping us off. Obviously with this being a midweek match there are no trains back to the smoke afterwards, the last train leaves at 2115 and goes back via Doncaster where the last London train leaves just after 10pm. Unless we’re 5-0 down at half time, you won’t make either of those. The station is a good half hour from the ground however you do it – QPR fans every year make the mistake of expecting to get cab back there only to find that they are quite hard to come by after a match at Hillsborough.
There are £36 return tickets around based on travelling Tuesday and staying overnight but you will have to shop around to find them. The trains that leave each end between 11am and noon are the least busy and therefore the cheapest as a general rule. I can often be found on those before and after our midweek games.
A lot of the pubs around the ground are away fan unfriendly but if you are coming in from junction 36 down the A61 try the New Bridge Inn which is a decent place. Most QPR fans drink in the city centre before these games and get a tram out later – the pubs on West Street are pretty poor and mostly packed with students, avoid the Cavendish, it’s a hell hole, but on the adjacent Division Street you’ll find the excellent Frog and Parrott and then across the green is the Devonshire Cat with a wide selection of real ale. The standard Wetherspoons, RSVP, Lloyds etc are all at the end of Division Street near John Lewis.
Rangers have 3800 tickets remaining here and are unlikely to sell more than about 300 of those! They are quite reasonably priced at £23 adults and £13 for juniors and seniors. These increase by £1 when bought on the night and will be on sale at Loftus Road until noon on Monday.
Detailed fans' guide to Hillsborough
Photo: Action Images
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