IT’S FOOTBALL SEASON! I can hardly contain my excitement. For the next few months, every single week, some men and some other men will play sports really hard against each other, and one group will sports better than the other, and everyone will either cheer with joy or weep desolate tears of utter despair. What a time to be alive!
If you are one of the cheerers/criers (or their football widow/er), and planning to make your way to the home grounds of one of the Premier League teams, why not make a whole day of it and see something other than the inside of a football stadium/pub?! Here are our top picks for things to do in each Premier League club’s area:
You’re in Bournemouth. You go to Bournemouth beach. Obviously.
Highgate cemetery is the burial place of Karl Marx and Douglas Adams, and is famous for its fantastic funerary architecture. Guided tours are available, and it’s well worth a visit. Particularly apt if your team is dead and buried after the game.
Brighton and Hove Albion are newcomers to the premiership, and their stadium is on the edge of one of the UK’s best seaside cities. If you like fairground rides and candy floss, head for the East Pier.
If you prefer amazing architecture and fascinating history, take a tour of the Pavilion. If the sun is shining, do neither and just hit the beach.
Just ten minutes from Turf Moor Stadium is the Singing Ringing Tree, a wind-powered sound sculpture that’s worth a gander. Please note, if you’re wondering whether it plays any Burnley FC anthems, the answer is No. Nay. Never.
If watching newly promoted Cardiff wasn't exciting enough, head down to Cardiff International White Water for some thrills. They have white water rafting, canoeing, kayaking and even have an indoor wave that you can hop on a surfboard and ride.
London Cru is London’s only winery and it’s a hop, skip and a jump from Stamford Bridge. A wine tasting is the perfect way to toast success (or drown sorrows). If you’re not a Chelsea supporter, you are likely to be drowning your sorrows.
No, these are not the heads of the FA – Crystal Palace Park is a lovely open space (technically a ‘Victorian pleasure ground’, which sounds a lot dirtier than it is), that’s just minutes from Selhurst Park. It’s home to some full size dinosaurs.
When in Liverpool… Do the Beatles Fab Four Taxi Tour. We cannot guarantee that it will be this guy doing the tour, sadly.
Fulham is one of the most interesting places in London. The club used to have a statue of Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage because the King of Pop went to see them play once in 1999.
But if you're in Fulham, pop down to North End Road Market. It's a traditional English market with a buzzing atmosphere that would rival any Premier League ground.
The Standedge Tunnel is a pretty fascinating feat of engineering, and good fun to explore – and it’s just half an hour from John Smith Stadium.
Top tip: If you were going to bet that Huddersfield will win the league, you could save time and just leave your money down here instead.
Leicester City had an amazing underdog win in 2016. They offer their fans the cheapest match day tickets out of all premiership clubs.
The National Space Centre is a must when you’re in Leicester. Just make sure you do it after the game, or you might not go to the match at all.
Liverpool has one of the UK’s best live music scenes. Go and see the next big thing. If your side loses, at least nobody will hear you cry over the band.
Head for the Northern Quarter. It’s 15 minutes away and a very cool place to have pints and see amazing street art.
Old Trafford is right beside Manchester’s shiny new Salford Quays development. Head here for post-match atmosphere, pints and food.
Go and see the Angel of The North. No, not Alan Shearer… it’s a huge Isis-esque sculpture in Gateshead, just outside the city. And don’t forget to get your kebab at the airport on the way home…
Get out on the solent with a Seadogz RIB Charter. Leave the pits for afterwards, it can be a bumpy ride!
London Designer Outlet is about 7 minute’s walk away from the stadium. Go find deals on designer garms.
Get in line for the Harry Potter Studio Tour and see where all the magic happens. Shuttle buses connect Watford Junction Station to the Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden (about 4km from the town centre).
This is so easy…. you’re in the Olympic Park, which is home to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, which is the longest, tallest tunnel slide the world. Make sure you book in advance.
When it comes to retail therapy, Birmingham is beyond any shopper’s wildest dreams. From high-end luxury such as the Mailbox and Selfridges, to the city’s historic markets and world-famous Bullring.
The shops in Birmingham offer you everything you could ever want in an attractive and compact space, with plenty of great cafes, bars and restaurants to keep you going.
- Dee Murray