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Eccleshall 5th November - Travel and Pub Guide

Eccleshall 5th November - Travel and Pub Guide

On the face of it there is the proverbial "Pub on every corner" in Stafford, however get closer and a lot of them are either shut or the lease is up for grabs. So if you are in the market to run a pub now is your chance to do some Public House Hunting!

Map showing where the ground is - if you zoom in you can pick out the routes mentioned below

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=392126&y=324507&z=3&sv=392126,324507&st=4&tl=Grid+Location+392126,324507&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf

Getting there by Train

Trains are replaced by buses from Manchester Piccadilly to Stockport leaving Picc every hour on the hour.

The Train from Stockport then leaves at 34 minutes past each hour and is a 50 minute direct journey to Stafford

Alternatively if you miss that replacement bus service you can get a train at 16 minutes past the hour changing at Warrington Bank Quay for Stafford, journey time for both options is about the same (1 and half hours)

Stafford station is a 20 minute walk to the ground. When you get out of the Station the first Pub you will see to your left is THE STAFFORD ARMS; recently re-opened and dead handy for the station. New Landlady was really good and said FC United fans will be more than welcome and singing is obligatory - she wants to learn the words. They serve around 4 real ales (Bombadier, Speckled Hen etc) and the prices are reasonable too; should be a good meeting point for those getting of and on the trains before and after the game. You then have a couple of options - head into the town centre where there are literally loads of places, Weatherspoons, Litten Tree, plus locals boozers - for this guide I will concentrate on the routes to the ground.

Heading directly away with the Station at your back you will come to a major roundabout at which you need to take the exit signed Sandon B5066 this is called Gaol Road. You will see the large wall on your right, don’t try to scale it because it is Stafford Prison, you will see almost immediately on your left a Funeral Directors, tucked just behind that is THE GREYHOUND. Decent recommendations from all in Stafford and very Football Friendly - Landlord is from errrr East of the Pennines but by all accounts is a decent sort! The road then Forks and there are two pub-route options to the ground from here, I will start with what seemed the best option.

Marston Rd route

The Four Crosses is a big corner pub and for anyone who knows it reminded me of The Southern in Chorlton (How it used to be) This would be a good point to meet up before deciding whether to do the Marston Rd route or the Sandon Rd Route.

If you take the left fork down Marston Road you come to the Joiners, looked a small locals’ pub but might be worth a swift one if you’re intent on doing the full crawl. There is then The Irish Club where a good pint of Guinness awaits and some colourful banter with the locals (if it’s still open!) You then can nip in the Shepherds Bushes another few yards on your left and try a scoop in there. Another 5 Mins further up Marston Rd and you reach the ALBION. Right next to the ground but not the turnstiles this would be my 3rd recommendation on route from the station. Again seems only recently re-opened but a really decent landlady and a friendly pub dog - a big function room that she will open for us and she said she would be laying cobs on for us (!) Definitely deserves some custom and considering it is so close to the Ground an alternative to the Social Club will also be OK for kids in the function room. Again if you fancy giving the old vocal chords a stretch I am sure a sing song will be welcomed in the function room.

Sandon Rd Route

If you take the right fork at the Four Crosses you will go down Sandon Road, the first pub you reach on the left is called The Hop Pole (I swear it says "local pub for local people" on the sign outside) Although I am sure it has its merits the lounge has actually got a Hole covered by plastic sheeting where some unfinished building work is in progress. You then come to the Princess Royal on the left. Again a "TO LET" sign is up at the front but they seem to run a bar at the back of the building. A few parking spaces outside so might be worth a punt if you just want a couple. Just before the ground you then reach the Tap and Spile which has been mentioned on the message boards; on our visit this also had a ’To Let’ sign outside and looked very shut (later confirmed that it is in the process of changing hands).

Social Club

Will be open from 12 and the entrance is from Astonfields Road which joins Marston and Sandon Rd mentioned above, at the time of writing entrance is on a ’first come first served’ basis.

Some other points to note

Use J14 from the M6 there are then loads of pubs between the motorway and the town if you are looking for food and need somewhere that is also child-friendly there is the Shire Horse (Chef & Brewer though).

Stafford retains some traditional aspects to its pubs, mostly good, as always we should look to have a good time and respect the town we visit and its people.

On the A34 Stone Road, roughly parallel to the ground, there is an establishment for ahem later night drinking called the Most Wanted Gentlemen’s Club open from 8pm - couldn’t possibly say what goes on in there.

Finally thanks to the Stafford lads for guidance and thanks to the driver who put up with me trying to send him down one way streets to find the above watering holes Stafford and Sydney are a tad different eh mate?

Have fun, should be a great day out at a very tidy ground.............next up Accrington!

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First Posted ~ 09:25 Fri 28 Oct 2005
News ID ~ 119
Last Updated ~ 19:14 Tue 1 Mar 2011