22 Sep AA Roadwatch RWC Guide to Wembley Stadium
Guide to Wembley Stadium
Wembley stadium is one of the better known stadiums in London and with a capacity of 90,000, it has been the top spot for major soccer games including the FA Cup Final and the England soccer team’s home games. Throughout the summer, this venue has seen the likes of pop sensation Ed Sheeran and rock legends AC/DC take to the stage.
The venue as we know it opened its doors in 2007. Before that, it was known as the Empire Stadium, and was built as the main focal point of a British Empire Exhibition at the end of the First World War. It has been the centre of a number of historic sporting events, including hosting the 1948 Olympic Games and also the final of EURO ’96.
Don’t forget, if you’re an AA Customer and you’re travelling to the Rugby World Cup we have a variety of AA Reward offers especially for the event itself; including ferry crossings, accommodation and food and drink. Click here to find out more.
The most straight-forward route to Wembley is via the A40/ M40. Take the Hanger Lane exit onto the A406 North Circular Rd, after which the stadium will be signposted for you.
Another alternative is to take the A1/ M1. Travelling southbound on this route, take the 3rd exit onto the A406 North Circular Rd at the M1/ A406 interchange.
There are three stations that are within a 20min walking distance of the stadium – Wembley Park, Wembley Central and Wembley Stadium. The stadium route will be signposted from these three stations but just in case, we’ve outlined the directions for you.
Wembley Park is served by the Underground’s Jubilee and Metropolitan lines. From this station, walk straight along Olympic Way, under the pedestrian walkway and enter the stadium via the main entrance.
Wembley Central is on the Bakerloo underground line and the London Overground line. From here, travel along High Rd and turn left towards Wembley Stadium Station. Cross White Horse Bridge and turn right up South Way until you reach the stadium, which will be on your right.
Wembley Stadium is on the Chiltern train line, which travels from the Midlands, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Wembley Stadium is approximately 740m from the Stadium. Exit the station via the lifts to street level. Turn right and access to the Stadium is possible via The White Horse Bridge.
The following bus routes run from Wembley Central and Wembley Park station to the Stadium: 18, 83, 92 and 224. On major event days it’s probably not the best idea to get the bus from these stations because the traffic towards the Stadium is likely to be highly congested and some roads closures will be in place, as outlined below.
Road Closures and Parking Restrictions
On match days, parking and road restrictions operate 8am to midnight on all main roads to the stadium and generally from 10am to midnight elsewhere outside controlled parking zones.
Anyone driving to the games in Wembley Stadium can book a parking space in the Official Wembley Stadium Car Parks. Make sure to book your spot as early as possible as with big games like this, they’re likely to sell out quickly!
As with any big event in Wembley Stadium, only vehicles with the appropriate resident or business event day permits will be allowed to park in the immediate area. Any other illegally parked vehicles are likely to be issued with large parking fines and towed away.
Another useful website to check out is Wembley Parking LTD.
Fixtures and other Big Games
Wembley Stadium hosts the first of its two Rugby World Cup 2015 fixtures on Sun 20th Sept at 4:45pm. This game sees the meeting of New Zealand and Argentina in this Pool C game with the 2011 holders looking for a repeat of their success.
A week later, our own boys in green take on Romania on Sunday 27th Sept with kick-off at 4:45pm. This game is the second fixture in Pool D and will be the fourth time Ireland have met Romania in the RWC series.
Tickets for both of those games can be purchased here.
Places to Watch the Match nearby
If you’re travelling from Wembley Central to the stadium, this’ll be your perfect stop-off. Nestled in the heart of the busy High St, JJ Moon’s is well-known for its reasonably priced (and quite tasty) food and drinks and of course, it’s unbeatable ambiance on match days. If you haven’t managed to get a ticket for the Romanian game, then the massive TV screens in this bustling bar will do just the trick.
The Green Man
If a buzzing and friendly match day atmosphere is top of your checklist, then The Green Man will tick all your boxes. Located just a 10 minute stroll away from the stadium, this bar is full of character and usually heaving with fans for all the major games at Wembley. It’s also well known for its tasty BBQs in the pub’s large beer garden on a sunny day.
Located about a 10 minute walk from the stadium on Bridge Rd, The Torch is the perfect sporting pub for a pre or post-match pint. The name comes from the time it was built – as the Olympic Torch was in the area at the time of the Games. It was later changed to simply, The Torch and today serves tasty, traditional pub grub.
Guide to London
Other than getting around London on foot, which is very much doable, the second easiest option is to use public transport as the city has quite an expansive network in place, whether that be via the bus, tube, train, Overground or on the bike.
Presuming you’re staying for more than two or three days, it’s worth purchasing an Oyster card. Like the Leap card here in Ireland, it’s a touch on/ touch off card that you can use across the bus and tube network with different travel zones resulting in different fares.
You can buy an Oyster Card at any Tube station for £5 and you then add money onto it. When you’re finishing up your trip to London, you can return your Oyster card at any Tube station and you will be refunded your £5 deposit as well as any cash you may have on your card.
If you don’t want to get an Oyster card you can also pay as you go and purchase tickets at a given station before boarding. You could also purchase a Day Travelcard which can be used for a whole day’s travel. More details can be found here.
There are discounts available for under 11s, 11-15 year olds and also 16-18 years. This is all explained on the official Transport for London website.
You can now also use Apple Pay to pay as you go on public transport around London. For more info, see here.
You can search how much it will set you back to travel between two points using the Transport for London site here.
You can download Tube maps here as well as pick them up at any station. There are also some very good apps on Android and iPhone which are handy to have so you can always glance at your phone to check when your next stop is, or what route to take, instead of fussing about with a large map.
Trains run from 5:30am to approx. 1am. Keep in mind that the trains are very busy during rush hour so give yourself plenty of time if travelling from 7am to 10am and again between around 4pm and 7pm.
With over 700 bus routes around London, there won’t be many areas you can’t get to on the bus. Services run between 5:30am and 12:30am. After this, there are over 100 routes which run overnight. They usually run at a minimum of every 30 minutes but some run every five minutes. If you have a Day Travelcard, it is still valid on these buses up until 4am.
Generally speaking, most visitors to London probably won’t end up using the services, you may still find using a mixture of the train and the tube results in a quicker journey time. Most services don’t actually run through London City Centre with the Thameslink being the exception, running from north to south. Most stations are on the periphery of the city centre but the Tube’s Circle Line connects with most of National Rail services around London. You will be able to use your Oyster card on National Rail services as long as it’s within travel zones 1-6. Keep in mind it is a little more expensive using the train than the tube or bus.
There are also Airport Express Rail services which run to Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Stansted.
DLR (Docklands Light Railway)
DLR is another rail network which operates in East London. Operating much like The Tube in terms of frequency, it also operates above ground.
While many people may refer to the “normal” train as the Overground, there is actually a dedicated Overground service which runs in north London. It’s much like the Underground and features on the Tube maps as the Orange line.
The London equivalent of the public bike schemes in Limerick, Cork, Galway and Dublin, the public cycling scheme is “Santander Cycles”, although most people refer to them as “Borris Bikes”. Like in Ireland, you rent the bikes from one bike station and return them to another.
Like here, there are cycling lanes but they can be patchy and, again, like here, there is a little angst between cyclists and motorists. You can find all the info you need for cycling around London here.
If you’ve decided to drive around London for the World Cup but you’re renting a car instead of bringing your own, don’t forget that you can rent a car with The AA. You can book it online here, and it is available at almost every airport, city or ferry port worldwide, and it searches various companies which offers car rental.
For that extra piece of mind, make sure you have breakdown cover. For more information on European Breakdown cover, see our website here. Also, if you do break down in the UK, you can call the AA on 0800-88-77-66.
6 Things to Do in London
From musicals to galleries, historic walks to beer tasting and all things royal family, you’ll never be short of things to do in London; all tastes are catered for. We’ve picked a handful of highlights to give you a flavour of what’s on offer in good old London town.
Keep in mind that if it’s your first time in London, it’s worthwhile doing a bus tour to give you an overview of the city, its history and what it has to offer. It’s always helpful to do this and you can then go back to any particular sights that tickled your fancy.
1. The London Eye
Tube Stop: Waterloo
Quite an impressive feat of engineering, the London Eye offers some very impressive views across the city. A ride in one of the 32 pods lasts 30 minutes and isn’t a bad introduction to the city and what it has to offer on an architectural level. It’s cheaper to book in advance online. Tickets cost £20.70 for an adult and £14 for children. Children under 4 are free.
2. Tower of London
Tube Stop: Tower Hill
A look at the somewhat gruesome history of the United Kingdom is on offer at the Tower of London. While primarily used as a residence for royalty up until the 16th century, it then became more famous for being a prison and saw the death of two kings and three queens. These days, you can wander around the impressive structures with plenty of historic artefacts along the way, with the highlight being the Crown Jewels. There are very good one hour tours which you can take and they’re free so that’s always a bonus.
3. Camden Markets
Tube Stop: Camden Town
According to Lonely Planet, around 10 million people visit Camden Market each year and it’s easy to see why. With four main markets (Buck St Market, Lock Market, Canal Market and Stables Market), there’s sure to be some something that will catch your eye. From arts and clothing to bags, jewellery and shoes, the list is endless. A great place to people watch; you can also grab a bite to eat and a drink from one of the many food and drink outlets in the area and enjoy it by the canal. There are hipsters galore pottering around. You’ve been warned.
4. British Museum
Tube Stop: Holborn
Rated the top thing to do in London on Tripadvisor, the British Museum is one of the world’s top museums and is a must for look back at the world’s history. Collections from around the globe filled the vast space at the museum, which architecturally is also quite impressive. One of the favourites sections for many is the Egyptian mummies and the Rosetta Stone. Bear in mind that it is a very popular spot so gets quite busy at times and your day out there may involve some queuing. Other museums and galleries worth visiting include the National Gallery, National History Museum, the Tate Modern and also the Science Museum.
5. The West End
Tube Stop: Various
If you can, you should try and squeeze in a show on the West End. While tickets can be expensive, the productions are top notch. Some of the top shows include:
- The Lion King – Fun for all ages and a very impressive production.
- The Book of Mormon – Very risqué but hilariously funny. From the minds of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone so you can guess the type of humour.
- Mamma Mia – Obligatory nod. You will almost definitely see people dancing in the isles by the end of the show.
- Wicked – It defies gravity… see what we did there?!
- Billy Elliot – Worth a look even if not a fan of the film (who isn’t?).
6. Hamleys and Harrod's
Two very well-known stores, both are handy places to go if you’ve got kids in tow as they both have plenty to keep the little ones entertained. Harrod’s has quite an impressive toys department too. If getting the Tube, for Hamleys it’s Oxford Circus while for Harrod’s, it’s Knightsbridge.