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YHA The YHA’s Rugby World Cup Travel Guide
    26/08/2015 10:42

The YHA’s Rugby World Cup Travel Guide

The YHA’s Rugby World Cup Travel Guide

With less than a month to go before the start of the Rugby World Cup, excitement is building as England prepares to host the world’s third largest sporting event. 2.45 million tickets have been sold for matches up and down the country and over 400,000 international visitors are expected to attend 48 thrilling matches in venues across England and Wales.

From group game encounters in Brighton and Newcastle to pivotal knock-out matches in London and Cardiff, most of the tournament’s most exciting match-ups will be played in venues situated very closely to some of our flagship hostels. We’ve therefore decided to home in on four of the tournament’s key locations and give you the rundown on what to watch, where to watch it and how to get the most out of your Rugby World Cup experience.

London

The capital is currently bracing itself for six weeks of rugby revelry as three stadiums across the city are preparing for some of the most anticipated games of the tournament.

Twickenham, English rugby’s HQ, will host all of England’s group games including the huge opening encounter with Fiji and crucial clashes between Australia and Wales. The venue will also play host to the important quarter final and semi-final fixtures as well as the all-important final. Meanwhile, Wembley will switch goal posts and feature a number of stand-out group games such as the key battle between New Zealand and Argentina, while the newest venue, the Olympic Stadium, will welcome fans of Ireland, Italy, South Africa and USA during the early stages of the tournament.

When it comes to grabbing a drink and soaking up the atmosphere before and after the games, fans will be spoilt for choice in London. Famous rugby pubs The Turk’s Head in Twickenham, and Walkabout Sports Bar in Temple, are sure to attract fans of all types, whilst Irish pubs such as Waxy O’Connors and Fleet Street’s The Tipperary will be pulling in the tournament’s lively Irish crowds. Twickenham’s Cabbage Patch Pub is usually a go-to venue for English fans during the Six Nations and Autumn Internationals, so is likely to be in full swing from mid-September.

To add to the excitement, tournament organisers are also setting up official Fanzones across the UK which will offer fans to watch the games on big screens and take part in rugby themed events, competitions and activities. London’s fanzones will be set up in city centres and within walking distance from most of the major stadiums with Wembley Park, Old Deer Park, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Trafalgar Square all expected to undergo huge rugby-themed transformations before the tournament kicks off.

YHA’s London hostels are conveniently located near the liveliest match-day venues, with YHA London Earls Court just a short journey from Twickenham, and YHA London Central, YHA London St. Paul’s and YHA London St. Pancras are just a tube-ride away from Wembley and the Olympic Park.

Cardiff Millenium Stadium, Chris Brown

Cardiff

Ideally situated in the centre of Cardiff, the Millennium Stadium is very much the home of Welsh rugby and will play host to a number of high profile group games and crucial qualifiers. Wales’ key clash with Fiji is sure to have the city rocking as well as the big head-to-head between France and Ireland.

The Cardiff Fanzone will be set up in Cardiff Arms Park opposite the Millennium Stadium which will no doubt add to the buzz on match-days. With an interior decked with rugby memorabilia, The Old Arcade in the city centre is Cardiff’s premier rugby pub, offering fans a perfect spot for pre- and post-match revelry. The City Arms and Prince of Wales are lively alternatives and have always been go-to destinations for supporters during the Six Nations and Autumn Internationals.

YHA Cardiff Central is in prime location for travelling fans and is within walking distance of the city’s match-day venues.

Brighton, Berlt Watkin

Brighton

Although the city has rarely been considered a historic rugby location, Brighton will be base for some of the tournament’s most exotic teams and will be welcoming rugby fans from countries as far as Japan and South Africa.

Brighton Community Stadium will open its door for rugby supporters for the first time and will feature exciting and unpredictable encounters between Samoa and the USA as well as South Africa’s tricky clash with Japan.

The UK’s vibrant coastal town is renowned for its edgy and vivacious nightlife and will offer fans some of the liveliest spots for post-match celebrations. The Queen’s Head, which lies within walking distance from Brighton train station, is likely to be buzzing during match days as well as more traditional haunts such as The Sussex Yeoman or The Islington Inn’s. The Fiddler’s Elbow will also be screening most of the action and will be a welcome retreat for Irish fans in the area.

You will find the fanzone on the seafront’s Madeira Drive where you can catch all the matches on huge screens and sample food and drink from pop-up stalls. Our centrally located Brighton hostel is positioned in the heart of the city meaning travelers won’t have to venture far to soak up the rugby fever.

St James Park, Newcastle

Newcastle

Newcastle will become one of the key Northern locations during the tournament and will play host to Scotland’s key tests against Samoa and South Africa (expect to see the Tartan Army in full swing). Newcastle Utd’s iconic St. James Park stadium will open its doors to rugby fans for the first time, and will welcome the majority of pacific island teams such as Tonga and Samoa. The city is renowned for its wild nightlife and clubbing scene, so is likely to see some of the liveliest post-match celebrations during the tournament. When it comes to match-day pubs, head to The Newcastle Arms or A Head of Steam to sample a wide selection of beers (including Newcastle’s famous brown ale). Newcastle’s fanzone is situated in Science Park and will be showing all the action on big screens and will also be staging rugby themed events throughout the tournament.

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