Over Land and Sea to... Newcastle United
Premier League, St James’ Park, Sunday 15 August 2021, 2pm
‘Newcastle United away’ is always one of the first games the Claret and Blue Army looks for when the new fixture list is announced, and this time around West Ham United supporters did not need to look too far!
For the third time in nine seasons, the Hammers head for St James’ Park in August, meaning travelling fans can enjoy a few beers in the sunshine (we hope!) on the banks of the River Tyne.
For those choosing to make a weekend of it, there is plenty to do in Newcastle upon Tyne and the surrounding area, and dozens of restaurants and bars to choose from on Saturday evening.
How to get there…
With no unreserved car parking on matchdays and traffic restrictions galore, Newcastle United ‘strongly recommend’ that supporters use public transport to reach St James’ Park.
If you do opt to drive to the North East, the Magpies operate Park and Ride from two sites close to the A1 motorway – one at Newcastle Great Park and the other at the Metrocentre in Gateshead.
It’s probably more relaxing to let the train take the strain, with East Coast Mainline services from London Kings Cross stopping at Newcastle Central, just a signposted ten-minute walk from the stadium. Alternatively, you can take a taxi. Book your train tickets at lner.co.uk.
If you prefer, you can take a coach, National Express will deliver you to Newcastle Coach Station on St James’ Boulevard, while Megabus operates from outside Newcastle Central railway station.
Where to stay…
As a regional hub for the North East and a major tourist destination, Newcastle upon Tyne has literally hundreds of options ranging from two to five-star hotels to traditional bed and breakfasts to hostels.
You could opt to stay in or near the city centre or, if you wanted something different, you could stay in the seaside resort of Whitley Bay a few miles to the north west, or in the historic Cathedral city of Durham, 20 miles to the south and one stop away on the train.
What to do…
Arguably, St James’ Park is Newcastle’s No1 tourist attraction and, COVID restrictions notwithstanding, is open for stadium tours!
However, since you’ll be visiting St James’ Park for the match, you will probably want to do something else to fill your free time.
In addition to the hundreds of restaurants and bars, Newcastle’s major landmarks are worth a visit, including the Quayside on the north bank of the River Tyne, the iconic Tyne Bridge and Newcastle Castle.
Those seeking something different could descend into the Victoria Tunnel, a 19th century subterranean wagonway which carried coal down to the River Tyne. To book tickets, visit ouseburntrust.org.uk/visit-vt.
For more information about things to do, visit newcastlegateshead.com.
What’s happened there before…
We’ve had mixed results at St James’ Park since returning to the Premier League a decade ago, winning there twice, in 2012/13 and 2018/19, drawing twice and losing on four occasions.
In fact, our 3-0 win at Newcastle United in December 2018, with Chicharito (pictured, above) and Felipe Anderson sharing the goals, equalled our most emphatic victory on Tyneside, matching the Premier League win in October 1998 and Second Division success in August 1978.
Travelling fans would no doubt enjoy a repeat of those scorelines. However, the Claret and Blue Army might not welcome a repeat of the drama of December 1960, when the Hammers led 4-1 and 5-2 before being pegged back by three Newcastle goals in the final 12 minutes!