OffBeat Spots to Visit in the U.K. During the Premier League Season
By Harry Pearson
For the die-hard soccer fan it's hard to believe there are people who don't share our passion. Yet there are. Luckily for these non-believers there are substitute attractions available around the biggest English Premier League stadiums.
Buying tickets for English Premier League matches is a simple matter of clicking on the club website. Though tickets may be hard to come by for 'derby matches' against local rivals (Liverpool against Everton, for example) or between clubs competing for the title, they are readily available for most other games, even at the best supported teams.
Attending English football is not just entertainment, it's an experience. The crowd swerves from wild jubilation to indignant fury in a heartbeat; sings signature songs that date back centuries; taunts rival fans and insults match officials in terms that are colourful and often very funny. The vocabulary, it should be noted, is not the kind you hear on Downton Abbey.
For those who remain unconvinced of the merits of watching 22 men chasing a piece of leather, a few suggestions on how to fill game time around England's top football grounds.
Chelsea (Stamford Bridge, West London)
The Chelsea Physic Garden Established in 1673 and home to over 5000 species of plants, (and a very nice café) this wonderful garden is an oasis of calm in the heart of the city https://www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk/
The Surprise is a classy, comfortable and cozy gastro pub with good beer from Young's Brewery, an expertly chosen wine list and high quality traditional British grub served in tapas size portions. http://www.thesurprisechelsea.co.uk/
Tottenham Hotspur (The Tottenham Stadium, North London)
The Alexandra Palace This marvellous (and massive) glass and stone structure - built in 1873 – has great views across London and is home to an ever changing range of events from world championship darts to contemporary art shows. https://www.alexandrapalace.com/
The Pure Nest Cafe Fine breakfasts and scrumptious gluten and dairy free cakes. Allergy free cooking doesn't get any better than this. https://www.purenestcafe.com/
Arsenal (The Emirates Stadium, North London)
Highbury Fields Surrounded by terraces of elegant Georgian and Victorian house this open green space is one of the most elegant and attractive in the English capital. https://www.islington.gov.uk/sports-parks-and-trees/parks-and-green-space/your-local-parks/highbury-...
Finks Salt & Sweet - A great neighbourhood deli in an attractive retail neighbourhood amongst quirky independent shops selling old-fashioned bicycles, vintage clothes and retro furnishings. https://www.finks.co.uk/
West Ham United (London Stadium, East London)
ArcelorMittal Orbit You get spectacular views across London from the top of Anish Kapoor's monumental modern artwork. The bold can slide back down to earth through the helter-skelter in the middle of it. http://arcelormittalorbit.com/
The Sawmill Delightful family owned café serving terrific home-made cakes, good coffee and great value lunches. https://www.sawmillcafe.co.uk/
Liverpool and Everton (Anfield and Goodison Park)
Williamson Tunnels An extraordinary warren of vaulted tunnels built between 1810 and 1840 by Liverpudlian tobacco merchant John Williamson, one of the city's most eccentric and colourful characters. http://www.williamsontunnels.co.uk/
Oktopus Easy going modern British restaurant serving an eclectic seasonal menu of great locally sourced dishes and fine beer. https://www.oktopus-restaurant.com/
Manchester United and Manchester City (Old Trafford and The Etihad Stadium)
Manchester Craft and Design Centre In the heart of the city's cool Northern Quarter this Victorian former-fish market offers two floors of contemporary art and design studios and stores. https://www.craftanddesign.com/
Pie and Ale Nothing goes better with British football/soccer than beer and pies and this is one of the places in the UK to find both at their very best. https://www.pieandale.com/
Newcastle United (St James' Park, Newcastle)
The Side Gallery Tucked down an alleyway close to the bustling Quayside and home to stunning, regularly changing exhibitions of documentary photography. https://www.amber-online.com/side-gallery/
The Crown Posada is a gem of a Victorian pub with wonderful original tilework and stained glass windows. Great cask-conditioned ale from local breweries such as Hadrian & Border and Wylam. http://sjf.co.uk/our-pubs/crown-posada/
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Harry Pearson and is for informational purposes only. Barclays takes no position as to the views, and makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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