Away Days - Travel Guide: Aston Villa vs. Cardiff City
The away end will be sold out on Tuesday when the Bluebirds take on Aston Villa, live on Sky Sports Football.
The journey by car or coach from stadium-to-stadium will take approximately two and a half hours, using the M50, M5 and A41. This route will take you directly past the stadium of fellow West Midlands side, West Bromwich Albion. Unfortunately, there is no matchday parking available at the ground for travelling supporters, although free parking for away coaches is available opposite Villa Park in the Away Coach Park. Alternatively, Parking for minibuses is available at Brookvale, the staff parking site on the junction of Witton Road and Tame Road, charged £12 per minibus. If you organise away coach or minibus travel to Villa Park please notify the West Midlands Police Football Liaison Department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those using the train, the journey from Cardiff Central to Birmingham New Street will take 2 hours, with some direct services and others that change at Bristol Parkway. Upon arrival at New Street Station, City fans should continue their journey by train to either Witton or Aston stations. Aston Station is approximately 15 minutes on foot from Villa Park, whilst Witton Station is approximately a 5-minute walk. Alternatively, the number 7 and 11 buses service the ground.
With many unique and iconic features, Villa Park is one of the largest stadiums in the Championship this season – it has an overall capacity of 42,790, second only to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light in terms of size. The club’s matchday programme, The Villa News and Record is available from kiosks on Witton Lane, priced at £3.50.
City fans will be located in the Doug Ellis Stand, in the northern corner of the stadium. Both tiers of seating have sold out, and as previously mentioned there are no more away tickets available for this fixture. Travelling Bluebirds should enter the ground from Witton Lane; for the Upper Tier (Block P) use turnstiles P87, P88 or P89. From ground level there are several flights of stairs to reach the upper concourse area (64 steps in total). For the Lower tier (Block Q), use turnstiles Q91 to Q96.
Pies and Pints
Please note that alcohol is unavailable at all times in the Upper Tier (Block P). In the Lower Tier (Block Q), alcohol will be on sale before the match kicks off but will not be available at half-time. The usual range of food will be available, which at Villa Park includes Pukka Pies and Pasties for £3.60, Cheeseburgers for £4.20 and Hot Dogs for £4, with chips and curry sauce priced at £3.50. Soft and hot drinks will also be available for purchase.
Whilst some pubs close the ground only admit home fans, there are several ‘away fan friendly’ venues. These include The Witton Arms, which has a designated entrance and area for away fans, and the Yew Tree which is slightly further away from the stadium. For those arriving in the City Centre ahead of kick off, there are plenty of neutral venues for you to visit close to New Street Station, including Shakespeare’s and the Sun on the Hill.
Food for Thought
Just outside the stadium, try out the Witton Baguette Bar or the Classic Fish Bar for a pre or post-match bite to eat. Alternatively, check out the historic Bartons Arms, located on the A34, approximately 15 minutes walk from the stadium. Ranked as one of Birmingham’s finest pubs, this highly recommended eatery has a superb Victorian design, with a range of award winning ales and tasty Thai food.
In the City Centre there is a huge variety of restaurants, cafes and pubs, especially in the food quarter of Birmingham’s Bullring Shopping Centre. Chain brands are popular here, but there are several independent restaurants including the Handmade Burger Co. and the award winning Mexican restaurant, Bodega.
Birmingham has plenty to offer in terms of tourist attractions, with a wide range of activities. If you have a sweet tooth, check out the Cadbury World museum in Bourneville for an interesting and tasty trip. The National Sea Life Centre is another popular attraction, especially with the kids.
There is also plenty to do for fans of other sports. Anyone with an interest in motorbikes should head for the National Motorbike Museum, whilst any Cardiff cricket fans should check out Edgbaston Stadium, home of Warwickshire CCC and Birmingham Bears.