Sunderland v Portsmouth: where are the best pubs? How do I get there from Newcastle?
Pompey travel to Sunderland for a promotion showdown at the Stadium of Light (SR5 1SU) on Saturday (3pm).
Members of the Fratton faithful will make the longest away trip of the season (676-mile round trip) of the season to Wearside.
The Black Cats moved from Roker Park to the Stadium of Light in 1997.
The stadium has a capacity of 49,000 all seated and Blues Fans will be in the upper tier of the North Stand at one end of the stadium. YThe away fan turnstiles are numbers 69-72.
Please bear in mind that Sunderland has a no swearing policy inside the stadium and may find yourself being ejected.
Pompey’s allocation of just over 3,000 tickets has sold out, so there will be no tickets on sale on the day.
Getting to the Stadium of Light
Exit the A1 at Junction 62, the Durham/Sunderland exit and take the A690 towards Sunderland.
After about eight miles you will reach a roundabout at the junction with the A19. Turn left there onto the A19, signposted Tyne Tunnel. Stay in the left-hand lane and take the second slip road towards Sunderland, signposted Stadium of Light/A1231 Sunderland.
This takes you onto a bridge over the River Wear. Turn right onto the A1231 following the signs for Sunderland.
Go straight over four roundabouts into Sunderland then then go through two sets of traffic lights (keeping in the left-hand lane at the second set, going straight on towards Roker rather than the city centre) and you will see the stadium car park on your right about a mile after the traffic lights.
Parking at the stadium is mostly for those with passes and the car park will be closed for 30 minutes after the final whistle.
There are residents only parking restrictions in more than 60 streets surrounding the stadium and these are heavily enforced, so best to check the lamp posts for warning signs to avoid a hefty fine.
You are recommended to use the park and ride facility on Wessington Way (A1231). This is clearly signposted from the A19.
Buses will pick up from the permanent bus stops on Sunderland Enterprise Park while pick up points at the stadium are to the north of Keir Hardie Way.
Buses run every five minutes before the game, from 90 minutes prior to kick-off and regularly after the game until all fans have been transported back to their cars.
Parking is also available at two sites at the University of Sunderland on the A183 Chester Road. Both are clearly signposted.
There is also parking at the Stadium of Light Metro station for a charge. Alternately you could find parking in the city centre and walk to the ground. Traffic does get very heavy on match day, so allow plenty of time.
Journey from Portsmouth to Sunderland will take just more than six hours and will require a change in London.
There is a direct train to Sunderland departing from London Kings Cross at 08.05, returning at 17.29.
Otherwise you will have to travel from London Kings Cross via Newcastle and use the metro. All train details can be found at nationalrail.co.uk
Sunderland railway station is less than a mile from the Stadium of Light and approximately a 15-minute walk.
You will exit the station opposite Greggs, turn right out of the station, head north and you will soon see the stadium. Cross over the Wearmouth Bridge and turn left into Millennium Way opposite the Wheatsheaf pub. The away turnstiles are located on the side of the ground straight ahead of you.
The Tyne and Wear metro provides rapid, regular transport from Newcastle and serves the stadium via both the Stadium of Light and St Peter’s stations, both are only a few minutes walk from the stadium.
After the match if you are travelling back to Newcastle you will need to use the Stadium of Light station. St Peter’s is reserved for those travelling towards South Hylton. Metro information can be found on nexus.org.uk/metro
Eating and Drinking
The club has opened a Fan Zone which is located outside the south east part of the stadium. The area has entertainment and large screens, plus food and drink outlets. It opens three hours before kick-off and for an hour after the game.
There are two social clubs nearby, The Sunderland Companions Club and the New Democratic Club, both on North Bridge Street, SR5 1AH (the road approaching the Wearmouth Bridge) about five minutes walk from the stadium.
The Albion, Victor Street, SR6 0EN, is a five-minute walk from the stadium. There is a chip shop nearby.
The Wheatsheaf, Roker Avenue, SR6 0BN, is another pub not far from the stadium.
The Avenue, Zetland Street, SR6 0EQ is near the Stadium of Light metro station and about 10 minutes from the stadium. The pub serves real ale and cider and has some car parking.
In the town centre there is a Wetherspoons, The William Jameson, Fawcett Street, SR1 1RH. There are also pubs down towards the sea front.
Alternately, if you are travelling via Newcastle, or staying the weekend there, then it may be best to find somewhere in Newcastle to eat and drink before travelling to Sunderland.
At the stadium the club offers fish and chips and a choice of pies, pasties and sausage rolls. Please note that alcohol is not always on sale inside the ground.