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The Away Day Guide: West Ham United

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Tomorrow we head off on our second London trip of the season, but a first visit to West Ham United’s new gaff, The London Stadium - here’s our guide of where to drink, what to do and how to get there.

Getting There

As with most London trips many will be travelling by train. To get to the stadium from King’s Cross you need to get on either the Hammersmith and City, Circle or Bakerloo line to Liverpool Street and once there change to the Central Line. It’s only a couple of stops from Liverpool Street to Stratford where you’ll get off and walk approximately 15 minutes to The London Stadium.

If you’re driving it’s the A19 first before joining the A1(M) for the majority of your journey. Exit the A1(M) at junction 14 near Huntington to get onto the A14 and you’ll then need to join the M11 when prompted. That will take you down to London and onto the North Circular which you’ll be on briefly before getting onto the A12 which takes you to the Olympic Park. Closest parking to the stadium is in the nearby Westfield shopping centre and costs £9.50 for the whole day.

Pubs

As I just mentioned, if you’re travelling by train and are getting the tube from King Cross, you’ll need to change at Liverpool Street. As seasoned away travellers will know, Liverpool Street is an excellent location for a pint and given it’s only two stops away from the stadium, it’s even more handy for West Ham. There’s a Weatherspoons in the form of The Hamilton Hall if you want affordable drink and scran options whilst Dirty Dicks also offers food in different kind of setting.

Closer to the stadium you have another ‘Spoons, The Golden Grove. It welcomes both home and away supporters and is your standard Weatherspoons fare - no frills, but still decent and only a ten minute walk to the stadium. A more typical East End boozer is The Birkbeck Tavern, just slightly further away from the Olympic Park and is actually closer to Leyton Orient’s stadium. You can get sandwiches and pints for £3.80 here, there’s TV’s with Sky if you want to watch the early game and large beer garden which could be canny if the weather is alright. The nearest tube stop is Leyton if you’re coming from King’s Cross and it’s a fifteen minute stroll to the ground when the time comes.

If You’re At A Loose End

It’s London so if you’re staying over on either Friday or Saturday, you’re not going to be short of things to do. I recommended a few West End shows in the Spurs away day guide, most of which are still running, so have a check back to that if you fancy some entertainment that’s a little more cultured. If none of them take your fancy then The Book Of Mormon is still running at The Prince Of Wales Theatre and, although a bit on the expensive side, you can pick up a bargain from stand by sales close to the performance if there’s any available. If you didn’t know already, it’s a comedy musical created by Matt Stone & Trey Parker of South Park, so don’t expect a family friendly show. There’s performances on both Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm.

If you’re after something funny and a bit more off beat on Friday night then Alex Horne’s The Horne Section are doing a one off show at Shoreditch Town Hall. Joining 8 Out Of 10 Cats regular and Taskmaster co-host Alex will be comedian and poet Tim Key so you’ll be guaranteed a great evening of comedy & music. If not’s comedy you’re after on Friday then you can catch Punk legends and pioneers Buzzcocks at The Roundhouse, as they celebrate 40 years of fast paced, melodic, excellence.

The Turner Prize exhibition is also open for viewing from now until January at Tate Britain. Quite a contrast from going to watch West Ham vs. Sunderland but nothing here will manage to be as abstract and thought provoking as watching Papy Djilobodji try to defend. It’s only £10 to get in and is open Monday-Sunday from 10am until 6pm so you can have a look if you’re staying over pretty much any day/time. Grayson Perry has given his seal of approval to it and we all know he’s a massive lads fan, after his documentaries up here.

The Stadium

It’s unfamiliar territory for us as we pay our first visit to The London Stadium since West Ham moved from Upton Park. It is, of course, the former Olympic Stadium so whilst some may have visited previously, it was under much different circumstances. For starters, the capacity has been reduced from 80,000 to 60,000 with temporary seating installed to bring fans closer to the pitch. This enables the ground to still be used for it’s original purpose, hosting athletics events, when required.

The travelling fans are located just behind the goal in the south stand, in a fairly similar location to where the the away supporters used to be located in the Stadium of Light before their relocation to the North Stand Upper. Split across two tiers, the away section holds just under 3,000 and all tickets have sold out for our first trip to the Hammers new home.

Expect to pay a pretty hefty price for any food and drink inside the ground and, although it lacks the character of Upton Park, facilities inside the stadium are reportedly first class. Outside the ground has been a different matter though with disturbances occurring at most matches this season, especially when Middlesbrough travelled down just a few weeks ago. So keep your wits about you, stay with your mates and don’t act like too much of a gobshite, basically.

Safe journey there and back to everyone travelling and you never know, we might even bring back a point or three.