Matthew Williams is a reader of this site and last month, once the Motherwell friendly game had been arranged, Mathew sent me this detailed information for Newcastle fans traveling to the game.
NUFC Fans Travel Guide – Motherwell FC 16/07/2013
The Magpies travel to Scotland to face Scottish Premier League runners-up Motherwell in the first of two pre-season clashes North of the Border. A strong NUFC side is expected to travel to Fir Park for the fixture and a healthy crowd is expected from both the Toon Army and Steelmen alike. Here is the definitive guide for travelling support visiting Motherwell, written by a Motherwell based Newcastle United fan.
1 Getting there.
Travel to Motherwell from the North-East is fairly straightforward, with the town being ideally located within the Central Belt of Scotland and a stone-throw away from one of the two major roads linking Scotland & England. Motherwell is served by two train-stations, Motherwell and Airbles. Airbles is ideal for those going straight to the match, Motherwell is better for those who will be in Town for a while. Walking to Fir Park from Motherwell Town Centre takes roughly 10 minutes and is a straight forward route.
Travelling from Newcastle, pick up the west bound A69 to Carlisle and follow until you reach the M6, turn onto the north-bound M6 road and follow until you reach Scotland, where the M6 becomes the M74. Keep following the M76 until you see a sign-post for Junction 6 ‘Hamilton/Motherwell’. Take the exit and Junction 6 and keep a right into Motherwell. Follow this road for about 1 minute and turn RIGHT at the traffic lights, onto Airbles road (sign-posted “Football Traffic”). Follow Airbles road for about 3 minutes, through 2 roundabouts. You should be able to see Fir Park on your right as you approach the third roundabout. At this roundabout, take a right onto Adele Street and take the second right onto Edward Street. Fir Park is directly ahead, with numerous parking available (additional parking located through-out Motherwell, see below in ‘Parking).
National Express run regular services from Newcastle to both Glasgow and Hamilton, if using this service, it is best to alight the coach at Hamilton where possible, as the town is a mere 3 miles from Motherwell and has a direct access to Fir Park. When alighting the Coach at Hamilton Bus Station, you should see the Hamilton Central Train Station within the same complex. A train service runs every half an hour from Hamilton Central into Motherwell, with stops at Airbles and Motherwell. Airbles 5 minutes’ walk from Fir Park and Motherwell train station serves the Town Centre. Both are about a 5 minute train ride from Hamilton Central.
If travelling by train, some services between Newcastle and Glasgow Central service Motherwell Train Station, however they are few and far between. Some services between Edinburgh and Glasgow stop off at Motherwell as well. However, if your route is direct to Glasgow, a train departing Glasgow Central Low Level, Platform 17 serves Motherwell. There are 4 services every hour, 2 serving Airbles and Motherwell, 2 serving only Motherwell. Both services take roughly half an hour and a return ticket costs about £5.
2 Eating and Drinking.
Motherwell has a healthy number of pubs and bars for NUFC fans to wet their whistle. Most of the bars are located within the Town Centre, however a few are located ideally around Fir Park. It would take far too much space to list all the pubs, but here I have listed a few of the best;
a) The Electric Bar. Ideally located right next door to Airbles train station (the station serving Fir Park) and a stone-throw from Fir Park, The Electric Bar hosts a vibrant and friendly atmosphere at affordable prices. The venue serves both food and alcoholic drinks at reasonable prices. I also have it on good authority from the owner that they will be running a “Beer & a Burger” deal at £5 a go with a number of drinks promotions available on the day. The club boasts a pool table, a large beer garden, a spacious bar area, music and television sets. (The owner has agreed to accept requests for any particular DVD’s to be played, I have recommended 1000 Premier League goals for our viewing pleasure). I highly recommend this pub, bookings are also available, contact 01698 268393 to book.
b) The Brandon Works. Located on the edge of Motherwell Town Centre, the Brandon Works is your typical JD Wetherspoon pub with standard drinks available. There is no music as is usual in Wetherspoons and there is no beer garden. The pub is decently sized though and offers decent prices for food and drink.
c) The Railway Tavern. Located within Motherwell Town Centre a few minutes’ walk from Motherwell Train Station (turn left just before McDonalds. The Railway Tavern is a friendly pub and enjoys a good mixture of home and visiting supporters, they play music often having live bands and have reasonably priced drinks and television sets. They enjoy a limited but adequate food menu and small beer garden in the back. The pub however is small. Recommended as a stop-off point if you are in Motherwell itself and don’t mind being in a packed bar.
d) New Century Bar. Located on Brandon Street en route to Fir Park from the Town Centre this spacious pub is well-situated on the street. The pub is reasonable priced and has a decent atmosphere. It has live television and music and is a good place to stop off for a drink.
There are other good pubs along the way such as the Horseshoe Bar (near M’well train station), Daziell Arms (on Brandon Street), The Burns Tavern (Merry St, just outside the Town Centre) and The Windmill Tavern (beside New Century Bar, Brandon St.) however, I would avoid the Brandon Bar (Brandon Street) as it often packed with the less-favourable element of the Motherwell support and is unreasonably over-priced for what it offers. It’s one saving grace is a pool table that is awkwardly packed into the pub, only enter this place if you feel up too it.
Eating out in Motherwell is limited, it is restricted to a handful of pubs offering food, McDonalds, Subway, Greggs and a take-aways. There is a Chinese buffet restaurant on Merry St however they do not serve alcohol (you are allowed to bring your own in with you). There is also an Italian restaurant on Brandon Street (Toni Macaroni’s), however they have an unclear policy on football colours. There is also an open carvery at Strathclyde Park, Toby Carvery. Note however, that this is a long walk from Fir Park.
There is limited on-site parking at Fir Park, however there are numerous car parks scattered through-out Motherwell close to Fir Park, the most sizeable being Brandon Street Car Park in the Town Centre. Parking is free for this place and most other Car Parks, however some Car Parks near Fir Park charge a fee.
4. Things To Do.
Just in case you’re in Motherwell for the day, there is M&D’s Theme Park at Strathclyde National Park in Motherwell, Scotland’s Largest Theme Park. See their website for details.
If you are stopping overnight in Motherwell there is the Moorings Hotel, The Old Mill Hotel and a few B&B’s around the Town, an Express Holiday Inn and an Innkeepers Lodge at Strathclyde Park. There is also a Holiday Inn in the neighbouring Hamilton, and a Premier Inn a few miles outside of Motherwell.
I hope you enjoy visiting this humble little town and have a memorable trip.
HOWAY THE LADS!
Thanks to Matthew for putting that information together, and to Newcastle fans traveling to Motherwell today, remember you are representing Newcastle United, so please take care and behave.
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