With 4,000 Lincoln fans set to contribute to our biggest league following on over 30 years, there are quite a few options for travelling. The trains will be rammed just as they were in the ‘football specials’ hey-day. Car parking will be at a premium around Meadow Lane, but perhaps there’s still a few coach spaces left?
If you haven’t decided as yet how you’re getting, why not consider travelling with former Imps player Warren Ward on one of his coaches? He’s still got a couple of spaces left, meeting in Lincoln at the Ritz Weatherspoons at 8.30am. I know it’s early, that’s the point. Warren’s coaches allow for ‘refreshment’ stops on the way, and this gives you some time for beer and breakfast before the 10am departure time.
Even better news if you’re Sleaford-based: There will be a special pick-up at the big roundabout there at 9.30am at no extra charge! The coach comes from the south of the county and will bring you to Lincoln FREE! The cost for adults is £13.50 for adults and £12.00 for under 14’s, and it marks the latest in a link-up between Warren and Weatherspoons pubs. I travelled with him to Ipswich, and we took in the delights of the Red Lion at Thetford there (pictured top). On route to Barnet we picked up The Railway Bell, another Weatherspoons. I love a Weatherspoons, nice familiar carpets, cheaper beer and standard menu, they’re just like being at home really!
So that is the Warren Weatherspoon Ward special, if you’re interested drop me a PM and I’ll give you his mobile number.
If you’re driving to the ground, or at least the vicinity of it, you’ll need the following post code for sat-nav: NG2 3HJ. We’ll come to parking shortly, but if you’re going by train, Meadow Lane is a 10-15 minute walk away from Nottingham Railway Station. As you come out of the main station entrance, Turn left from the station across the car park and then turn right at the traffic lights. The ground is about a 1/4 of a mile down the dual carriageway on the left.
Now, there is some street parking in the local area, but be aware as Nottingham City Council have recently introduced pay and display parking on roads close to the stadium which may differ from our last trip. There is a multi-story car park at Nottingham Railway Station which offers match day parking at £4 all day. This is also new and is entered via Queens Road.
There is a ‘Park and Ride’ scheme now in operation for those hoping to avoid the mad Nottingham traffic. By pumping NG2 4BE into your sat-nav you’ll be directed there, it’s on the east side of the city and only a short walk from the ground.
In terms of drinking, the nearest pub is the Southbank Bar just across the Trent. It serves food and has sport on the numerous televisions. There were three real ales on offer here last time we heard. If you (like Warren) like your Weatherspoons then you’re in luck. A little further on up from this pub near to the cricket ground is the Trent Bridge Inn which is a Wetherspoons pub.
If arriving by train then just across from the front of the station down Queensbridge Road is the Vat and Fiddle situated next door to the Castle Rock micro-brewery. It offers ten real ales, food and children are welcome’. It is also listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
If you have a bit of time on your hands, then I would suggest that you check out the Olde Trip To Jerusalem. This historic pub dates back to the 12th century and some of the rooms have been carved out of the rock that Nottingham Castle is situated upon. Add real ale, food and a small beer garden, then it is certainly worth a visit, and it is about a five-minute walk away from the train station. As you come out of the station turn right. At the top of the road turn left and then take the second right into Castle Road. Just tucked away on the left is the pub.
I would imagine our day will be kindly planned for us by the local constabulary though, so it might be better to wait for official advice before choosing a boozer.