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Cans & Megabus Away Guide: EVERYTHING that Sunderland fans need to know about their trip to Accrington

Yes, it’s time to go to Accrington again. Bring your coat, bring your waterproofs and bring £10 in cash because we’ve got the lowdown of everything you need to know about our trip to the Crown Ground.

Who Are These Jobbers?

Here at Cans & Megabus we’re well versed at flogging a dead horse. We consider ourselves experts in the practice. We can recommend the same pub over and over again without anyone noticing. Yes, the names may sound the same but you’ve already been drawn in by the illuminating content that has you so excited for visiting some backwater destination in the UK.

It is why we are barely able to contain our joy at being able to tell you all about Accrington for the fourth time in nine months. We now feel that we are somehow a part of the Lancashire town, that we could walk in and everyone knows our name, every street is recalled at a second’s notice and, boy, that football team, ey?

We know how hungry you are for more Accrington content as you were here, here, and here. So like the ravenous, bloody-thirsty hounds that you are, open your mushes wide and let us cram more and more meaty Accrington chunks down your awaiting gullet.

What can I say about Accrington in a short, snappy sentence that really encapsulates every aspect of this football club?

Owner loves them being tinpot, they’re not very good, the ground’s tiny, the away end has no roof and if there’s anything about us we should murder them. Have fun.

Bristol Rovers v Accrington Stanley - Sky Bet League One - Memorial Stadium Photo by Steven Paston/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images

What’s The Ground Like?

The transformative renovation carried out on the Crown Ground over the summer seems to have yielded a large security barrier behind the goal of the Coppice Terrace. While Stanley did not see fit to install something useful like, I dunno, a roof on the exposed visiting supporters section, they are making damn sure you aren’t encroaching on their brand new pitch.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “please stop going on about the lack of a roof on the away stand”, so I will relent. To Accrington’s credit, the facilities in this homely stadium are quite good for visiting fans, with a couple of bars behind the stand selling beers for £2 a go and enough PortaKabins for when you need a little light relief.

Given the large allocation, Sunderland fans will also be housed in the seated Eric Whalley Stand along the side of the pitch which...has... you guessed it, a ro…[LET IT GO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD].

Accrington Stanley v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

How Do I Get There?

For those Sunderland supporters that have yet to make the trip to Accrington (both of you), it is a relatively straightforward journey to this quaint hamlet.

If you’re an utter legend driving the lads and lasses of Wearside down, you’re going to want to take the A19 and A61 to Harrogate before heading west on the A59. Follow this across the Pennines before dropping down into Lancashire and join the A671 and subsequent A680 following the signs for Accrington.

The ground is well signposted and while there is no parking in the immediate vicinity there is plenty of street parking nearby. If you get lost wallop BB5 5BX into your sat nav.

Hopping on the train? What a big dawg you are. Accrington railway station is served by routes from Leeds and Manchester and is right in the centre of town. Soak up the culture before taking the 20-minute walk to the ground.

Accrington Stanley v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Where Can I Get The Sesh Started?

If there is one consolation of relentlessly having to visit Accrington, it’s that the hospitality can suit every budget. As always, Stanley will be hosting its own fanzone at the Redz Bar marquee outside the Crown Ground. Akin to the Phoenix Family Fun Day, you can sup on achingly cheap beverages, chow down on local cuisine and be entertained with live music - the fun begins at 12.30pm.

A short walk from the away stand you’ll find The Crown on Whalley Road while The Grey Horse Hotel is also a 10-minute walk away. For those that want to treat themselves to a cultural tour around Accrington, you can find liquid refreshment and stonebaked pizza in the charming Grants Bar on Manchester Road.

Opt for rustic surroundings in The Abbey Hotel on Bank Street or air your views on Brexit in a classic Wetherspoons setting at The Commercial Hotel on Church Street. The Castle at the bottom of Whalley Road also does a fantastic light ale.

Is There Anything To Do Around Here?

Regular readers of this column (again, I truly appreciate the love and support the pair of you show the Cans & Megabus cause) will know that I seemingly dismissed outright anything of note to do in Accrington on a Tuesday night. Well, that all changes because in the daylight, there are TWO things to do in this corner of Lancashire.

Learn about the region’s role in the Industrial Revolution by stopping by Oswaldtwistle Mills where you can immerse yourself in an “inspirational shopping experience”. Over 100 retailers are crammed into these former weaving sheds and, amazingly, it has garnered 19 ‘terrible’ reviews on TripAdvisor (mainly moaning about Christmas trees).

Carry on your knowledge-fest of Accrington by embarking on the Accrington Acorn Trail which takes you from the Town Hall and to the oldest part of the town, which is apparently on Warner Street. And, if it’s nice, explore the countryside which, in fairness, is pretty damn good.

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