RWC Venue Guide: Newcastle

Date published: August 12 2015

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Ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, we explore the highlights in each of the host cities and venues.

NEWCASTLE

Fixtures:
Saturday, October 3: South Africa v Scotland
Friday, October 9: New Zealand v Tonga
Saturday, October 10: Samoa v Scotland

City highlights:
If the notorious North-East weather is behaving itself, and it’s a big if, then a walk down to the Quayside is an absolute must. If you’re hopping off Monument Metro station, take a walk down the picturesque Grey and Dean streets en route to your Quayside destination – with Grey Street voted the best street in Britain by BBC Radio 4 listeners.

You’ll walk past the Theatre Royal – which has hosted some of the finest West End shows – as well as a number of bars and restaurants. When you arrive at the iconic Tyne Bridge, there are even more watering holes for you to enjoy.

You can even go on a stadium tour of the impressive St James' Park which gives you a glimpse into the life of a Premier League footballer. You’ll see the changing rooms, the media suite and the dugouts for £15, with child tickets priced at £8.

Where and what to eat:
In the shadows of St James’ Park is Stowell Street, otherwise known as Chinatown.

A popular destination for Newcastle United fans on matchday, you'll have a choice of seven Chinese restaurants in the space of 200 yards. Lau's offers an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for £7.50, and they give you the option to sample over 80 dishes – with a 10 percent discount for OAPs.

If you fancy something a little more high-brow, then visit King Neptune which offers some of the finest Oriental cuisine in Newcastle but as you’ll find in the Toon, the prices are still somewhat affordable.

Pre-match drink:
Due to Newcastle’s compact size, you can drink across the entire city and still be within a relatively easy distance to the ground. On Grey Street, there is a very chic gastropub called Barluga which offers a variety of drinks, while Pilgrim Street's Popolo offers some of the finest cocktails in the city.

Directly opposite St James' Park is the famous Strawberry pub, which is jam-packed on matchday. Pun not intended. Inside, the Strawberry unsurprisingly boasts an impressive amount of Newcastle United memorabilia, while offering a great selection of drinks.

Post-match nightlife:
There are number of nightclubs on Collingwood Street, which is otherwise known as the Diamond Strip. Most places have a smart-casual dress code and the prices are a little higher than usual bars in Newcastle, but the majority of venues offer an impressive selection of drinks – all within a two-minute walk of Central Station.

Stadium: St James’ Park:
The third biggest football ground in England, the home of Newcastle United has hosted some top sporting events in recent history.

Chosen as one of the venues to host some football games in the 2012 Olympics, the ground was also used as the venue for the Super League’s Magic Weekend in May 2015. 

The England national team played World Cup qualifying games in Newcastle in 2001 and 2006 while the new Wembley was being developed, and it also hosted three games during the Euro ’96 tournament. 

There are not many stadiums in the UK that have a city centre location, so make the most of it while you can!

Getting there:
From the main Central Station, it’s a 10-minute walk to the ground. The locals are known to be a friendly bunch, so don’t hesitate to ask for directions if you do get lost.

From Newcastle airport, you can get a 25-minute Metro straight into the city centre, with the trains every 12 minutes from approximately 5.44am (Sundays 6.27am) to 11.58pm.

Capacity/atmosphere:
St James' Park boast a capacity of 52,000 and has the potential to generate an electric atmosphere, due to the immense size of the ground.

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