How Do I Get There?
Is there anything that screams “GOOD FRIDAY!” more than an afternoon’s drive on our nation’s great highway to the East Midlands? You’re damn right there’s not. It’s a relatively straightforward jaunt to Derby with the usual shift of A1 (M) down to junction 35 near Doncaster. From there it’s an M18, M1 job until junction 28 where you join the A38 heading towards Derby, follow the signs for Pride Park Stadium and - hey presto - you’re there.
There is a designated away fans car park next to the Derby Conference Centre, just off the A6. Parking costs £5 and you have to get a ticket from the lovely people at the Conference Centre Reception.
Since it’s the start of a four-day holy holiday bonanza, why not get the train? Derby railway station is about a 15-minute walk from the ground is surrounded by a multitude of delightful pubs. Although, enjoy your sprint back on the final whistle to catch that 21:46 to the north east.
A Love Supreme coaches leave the Stadium of Light at 1pm with fares costing £28 return. Book your place here.
Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?
Look at you on your Easter weekend away watching The Lads. Look at you stumbling bleary-eyed from the train station in the springtime afternoon air. You’ve spotted a pub of note, it’s got a nice selection of ale on the handpull, you fancy a light, hoppy IPA you keep telling anyone will listen. “What percentage is that, love?”, “can you top it up”, “I used to work in a bar, so I know the pressure you’re under but could you wipe down our table”.
Yeah, don’t worry I’ve seen you. You’re a mess, mate.
For those of you inclined, you will be pleased to know that Derby is somewhat of a real ale lover’s ‘Mecca’ with no less than 16 establishments listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Outside the train station there is the trio of the Victoria Inn, the Merry Widows and the Waterfall which are all decent choices but you may be met with the always popular “no away fans” craic.
Another excellent pub is The Brunswick Inn on Railway Terrace, which has a huge range of local ales and even has a dartboard. If you venture into the city centre, swing by Blacksmiths Lounge on Sadler Gate for a cocktail, enjoy a lovely malt in The Last Post on Uttoxeter Old Road or give up completely and go to the Wetherspoons: The Babington Arms on Babington Lane.
If you’re stuck with drinking near the ground then have fun queuing up for ages and supping Fosters from a plastic glass in the Harvester.
I’m Staying Owa, Is There Owt To Do?
It’s Friday and you don’t have to be in work again until Tuesday, how could you resist the temptation by spending your evening in the warm climes of Derby? Especially when you could leg it from the match to catch the “number one Guns ‘N’ Roses’ tribute in the country”? Storm out of Pride Park and hit The Flowerpot to catch Guns 2 Roses for just £10.
This isn’t just any tribute band. This is a tribute band that has sold out Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club two nights in a row - take THAT Beatles! The very concept of tribute bands really does fascinate me. I mean, why put in the incredible amount of work and effort to form and tour as a band just to pretend you’re Axl Rose every night?
If you’re ready to get back on it on Saturday afternoon then stop by the Gin & Rum Festival at The Roundhouse. There are over 60 gins and 60 rums on offer as well as seven themed bars, street food and a free satchel bag. Tickets are £7.50-£10 and can be purchased here.
And since it’s Easter, why not take the bairns to nearby Chatsworth House where there’s git load of Easter activities going on across the weekend.
What’s The Ground Like?
Hey, have you ever stood in the Riverside Stadium and thought “see I like this place but I’d prefer if all the seats were black”? Well, if you have, then you’re in luck as that is exactly what Pride Park is. You see when I’m in fashionable wines bars of the north of England, I like to stun my gaggle of friends, well-wishers and clingers-on with my fascinating insight that Pride Park was actually based on Middlesbrough’s home.
As the guests look on in awe before letting a brief chuckle of disbelief, I hit them with another fact that since its creation Sunderland have only lost once in these surroundings. And with that comes another gasp of wonderment, as usual I have become the life and soul of the party.
However, with great knowledge comes great overbearing responsibility so I am now passing on this dynamite information on to you. You are free to use this on your next work’s social, Tinder date, family gathering or even to make illuminating conversation on public transport. This is my gift to you, you’re welcome.
Tickets are £20 and our lot are plopped in the corner of the East and South Stands so, as always, have fun everyone.