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Football London
28 Feb

Football in London

London is the undisputed world capital of football. No other city can boast as many professional football clubs, or such collection of large football stadiums. A London football trip is a must-do experience for any football fan.

Boasting 13 professional football teams, more than any other city in the world. So why not combine a visit to the capital with an afternoon watching your favourite team play?

You can even tour one of the city’s legendary football grounds, including the national stadium, Wembley.

London Football – getting around

Getting around London isn’t particularly hard with the excellent coverage that the underground network provides. Most London stadiums are near or at reasonable walking distance from a tube station, which makes getting to these stadiums an easy affair.

However, there are a few exceptions, even in London, and in these cases a train ride is generally required to get to the stadium. While perhaps not as frequent as the tube, the train system isn’t particularly hard to navigate either and trains still tend to run regularly and all London stadiums can be reached on your Oyster transport card so no need to buy separate tickets.

Of course, most stadiums are served by buses as well, though few visitors will end up using these unless you’re travelling local. If that’s the case, it’s worth checking on of the journey planner apps to see if a bus is quicker for you.

City-wide journey planners such as the Citymapper app, Google Maps, and the TFL website will help you with your journey. They do cover trains as well, but train journey planners such as nationalrail.co.uk and thetrainline.com might come in handy as well.

Get on the tube on a Saturday and you’re bound to bump into loads of different football fans travelling in, out, through, and around the city. The tube and trains rarely get too busy before a match, but schedule in a bit of queuing after the match if it’s one of the larger stadiums.

North West London

Wembley Stadium is as well-connected as you would expect: three tube lines, the Bakerloo, Jubilee, and Metropolitan line, all stop close to the stadium, though most will choose the quick Metropolitan. If it’s a sell-out, there’ll be a bit of queuing after the match, but crowd management is excellent.

A few stops further up the Jubilee line there’s Barnet’s The Hive Stadium. It’s a 10-minute walk from Canons Park station to the stadium, but it’s an easy journey.

Not officially in London, but still within the M25 ring road and in the London metro area, is Watford’s Vicarage Road. It’s still about just on the tube, at the end of the Metropolitan line, though catching a train from Marylebone is generally quicker.

North London

The Emirates Stadium is equally well connected with both the frequent Piccadilly and Victoria lines running past the ground. Again, there’ll likely be a bit of post-match queuing for the tube station.

Spurs’ White Hart Lane, however, isn’t on the tube unless you fancy the 30-minute walk from Seven Sisters station. For those who don’t, catching a bus from Seven Sisters or a quick train ride from Liverpool Street station is the way to go. Prepare for some post-match queues for the train station though.

East London

West Ham’s new London Stadium is located right next to one of London’s prime transport hubs: Stratford. You’ve got the choice between two frequent tube lines, the Central and Jubilee line, an overground line, the DLR, and many train and bus services.

Leyton Orient’s The Matchroom Stadium is only one stop beyond Stratford on the Central line: station Leytonstone. Very easy to reach, and no worries about queuing after the match.

South East London

South East London is train territory, though you can reach Millwall’s The Den by tube if you don’t mind a 20-minute walk from tube station Bermondsey on the Jubilee line. Otherwise, catch a train from London Bridge station.

No tube option for Charlton’s The Valley though, which can also be reached by train from London Bridge station.

South London

The train is also the only way to reach Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park. Catch a train from London Bridge (or Waterloo) station for the 15-minute journey.

It’s a slightly longer train journey to Wimbledon’s tiny Kingsmeadow stadium from Waterloo station, to which you need to add another 10 minutes walking.

West London

West London is back on the tube again, but it’s not always the quickest and highest frequency lines, for example in the case of Chelsea and Fulham, which are both on the District line, though the Piccadilly line offers an alternative for those willing to walk a bit more.

QPR’s Loftus Road is one of the most central stadiums and easy to reach with the Central Line or Hammersmith & City / Circle Line, but Brentford’ Griffin Park, further west, is a bit more of a challenge with a train journey from Waterloo or a significant walk (or bus) from South Ealing station on the Piccadilly Line.

Outside London

Obviously, if you’re travelling outside of London a train journey is always needed, which can be a quick one or a slower one. Depending on where the stadium is located you may then need to add a short walk, a long walk, or a bus ride to your journey.

In the case of Gillingham, Luton, and Southend it’s only a short walk from the station, in the case of Crawley and Stevenage either a longer walk or a short bus ride are needed, but in the case of Reading and Wycombe you’ll need to add a (shuttle) bus ride to your train journey.

In all cases, within and outside London, always make sure to check your journey beforehand as there are regularly changes to the service on the weekends due to maintenance works.

London Football – how to get tickets

Getting tickets for one of the London clubs can be very easy or ridiculously hard depending on the club. If the club doesn’t play in the Premier League, you can nearly always just show up on the day and buy your tickets at the stadium before the match, though if it’s an important match or a local derby it’s always better to buy in advance plus it saves you some possible queuing at the ticket office before the match.

The one exception here is Wimbledon. Kingsmeadow is a small stadium, and while Wimbledon don’t sell out every match, they do occasionally, so for any high-profile match it’s recommended to buy in advance.

If it’s a Premier League match though, getting tickets might be harder. In all cases, you’ve got to buy in advance as most London Premier League clubs tend to sell out regularly.

The easiest to get tickets for are normally Watford and West Ham, unless one of the top teams comes to visit. It is still necessary to buy (well) in advance for a regular Premier League match, preferably when they go on general sale, but if you do you’ll normally be able to get some tickets.

Getting tickets for Spurs didn’t use to be too difficult either, but it’s their last season at White Hart Lane so demand is up. It will likely be easier again if they move to the much-larger Wembley next season.

There’s a catch with Crystal Palace as they only sell tickets to club members so you need to buy a membership on top of your tickets to get to the match. Once you’ve got that done, it’s not too hard to get a ticket for a regular league match if bought in advance, but of course it adds to the price if it’s a one-off visit.

The toughest ones are Arsenal and Chelsea, who both sell out every match. Just because demand is so high, you’ll need to buy a club membership to be able to get tickets as all tickets tend to sell before they go on general sale. You may be luckier with an early round Cup match or low-profile Champions League match, but if you really want to attend a match of these two, you’ve got to invest in a club membership. Once done, make sure you buy your tickets directly when the tickets go on sale for your membership level.

All clubs sell their tickets online, which is the best way to buy your tickets if you do so in advance. Most websites are rather easy to use and they ship your tickets or you’ll be able to pick them up from the ticket office on the day of the match.

Tickets for the England National team aren’t generally too hard to get either. Few qualifying matches and friendlies sell out, but make sure you buy in advance online.

England National Team Tickets | Arsenal Tickets | Chelsea Tickets | Tottenham Hotspur Tickets | West Ham Tickets | Crystal Palace Tickets | Watford Tickets | Fulham Tickets | Queens Park Rangers Tickets | Brentford Tickets | Reading Tickets | Charlton Athletic Tickets | Millwall Tickets | Wimbledon Tickets | Leyton Orient Tickets | Southend United Tickets | Gillingham Tickets | Wycombe Wanderers Tickets | Stevenage Tickets | Crawley Town Tickets | Luton Town Tickets | Barnet Tickets

London Football – where to stay

It’s easy to find your way around London so in general there’s no need to stay close to the match you’re attending. Most people will therefore decide to pick any hotel in London that they consider good value and fits within their budget, and from there make their way to the match and back.

Of course, you may have a reason to want to stay particularly close to a stadium, perhaps to be back at your hotel quickly if it’s an evening game, or just because you like the idea. In some cases that’s pretty easy, in others a bit of a challenge.

New Cross Inn Hostel welcomes Football Fans from around the world.

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See original article on Stadium Guide