How Do I Get There?
Where better to spend an August bank holiday than on the sunlit streets of Barnsley. Home of Mick McCarthy, Dickie Bird, Michael Parkinson and snuff; you could not find anywhere more quintessentially Yorkshire than this if you tried.
Better still, it’s well easy to get there! Those of you being total legends and driving the lads and lasses down hit that sweet, sweet A1 (M) until Wetherby where you join the M1. Take this bad boy to junction 37 and turn off for Barnsley taking the A628 and following the signs for the ground. There’s plenty of car parking around Oakwell and the MetroDome (lol) costing £4 for cars and £8 for mini buses.
For the big dawgs getting the train, you’ll most likely have to change at Leeds for the glorious Northern Rail service to Barnsley. The station is slap bang in the middle of the town with Oakwell a 10-minute walk away - perrrrrrrrrrrrfect.
A Love Supreme coaches are available from the Stadium of Light departing at 10am with fares costing £25. Book a place here.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
When doing my research on the towns of the Championship I like to do a bit of Google Map-ing to really get a sense of what kind of culture I will be soaking up on the weekend. Imagine my delight that when virtually wandering the mean streets of Barnsley, every pub I surveyed had an assortment of bald blokes in leather jackets, boot cut denim and white Hi-Tec trainers smoking roll-ups stood outside.
More research was necessary to get this sesh train well and truly underway. Away fans tends to be directed into the MetroDome (LOL) next to the ground. Unless you really, really enjoy drinking in the bar of a swimming baths I would recommend venturing into the town centre. Also, we’re bringing over 4,000 fans so I can guarantee this place will be HEAVING.
While the reviews of Barnsley are mixed to stay the least there are a couple of pubs within easy reach of the train station. Both The Court House and The Joseph Bramah offer a cheap pint but my recommendation is Arcade Alehouse close to Barnsley Market. It’s a CAMRA pub with a slew of awards to its name and serves a massive selection of ales, lagers and ciders - ideal.
If you want the full South Yorkshire experience, pitch up at the Barnsley East Dene Working Mens Club on Doncaster Road for an ale and, hopefully, a meat raffle.
I’m Staying Owa, Is There Owt To Do?
While all you losers are in the pub singing about Aiden McGeady, catch me down the Wool Couture Studio & Makery for the group’s How to Arm-Knit Workshop. Yeh, you heard me. For just £50 (FIFTY ENGLISH POUNDS) I’ll be perfecting the fine art of weaving yarn from my arm into some absolutely siiiiiiiick scarves for the match.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never so much as cross-stitched in your life because the guys and gals at Wool Couture Studio are going to turn you into a bonafide crocheter by the end of it. Bring your own lunch or buy one while you’re there, they don’t mind. Oh, and there’s some absolute FIRE coffee, tea and biscuits on offer.
Get your tickets (while you can) here.
If that wasn’t enough, get your arses down to Barnsley Woolley Miners Cricket Club on Sunday for Woolstock. Where else could you see the UK’s best tributes to Adele, U2 and Meatloaf for £15? Nowhere, that’s where. Add in a BBQ, bouncy castle and outdoor bar and you have got yourself one hell of a Bank Holiday, my friend.
Oh, and Leeds Festival is going on as well over the weekend if that takes your fancy.
What’s The Ground Like?
It has been over a decade since these red and white hordes have occupied the terraces of Oakwell and in that time, nothing has changed! The Tykes’ home since 1887 is a conventional affair housing just over 23,000 supporters.
In classic Championship team-style, it has three modern stands and one remnant of a bygone era. The West Stand dates back to the 1900s and has only been upgraded to include seats in the 1990s when Barnsley went on that mad run that took them to the Premier League.
Us lot will be in the Palmer Cons. Ltd North Stand which can hold over 6,000, but (according to Sunderland Supporter Liaison Officer and all-round big dawg Chris Waters) this season is being restricted to 4,600. It’s not a bad view, no obstructing pillars or any of that malarkey so you’ll get an excellent vantage point to watch us smash some jobbers.