The Wearside invasion of London is getting closer and to try and make it easier I thought I would use some of my experience in London following The Lads to give you some ideas and help for the day. Part 1 will look at those who are staying down for the weekend.
1. As soon as you get to London then get yourself an Oyster card and put £15 on it. This should cover you for all your travel on tube/bus all weekend. If you can't be bothered doing this then try and get hold of your travel cards before getting into London it will save a lot of queuing at the underground stations for tickets. If you get a weekend pass then Wembley is in zone 4. They are very hot on checking for tickets so to save any hassle I'd buy one.
2. Question marks remain over the chances of the party taking place in Trafalgar Square because of a Russian gathering. I would suggest still heading to the West End as I expect most will end up in Leicester Square or Covent Garden if Trafalgar Square remains out of action.
3. Depending on your time and where you're coming from I would suggest getting off at Holborn and starting your crawl to Covent Garden/Leicester Square/Trafalgar Square from there. It is on the same tube line as Kings Cross and also the Central Line so easy to get to. We will start off by walking down Kingsway and having a pint or two in the Wetherspoons before walking to Covent Garden.
4. Cross over the road and head down Great Queens Street stopping at the bookies to put the Saturday football bets on. Continue down the street and head into O’Neills to watch the 3pm games and scores come in.
5. If you can't be arsed with this then The Lowlander has plenty of choice of beers to get stuck into from almost a catalogue of options. If you prefer whiskey then The Coach and Horses down Drury Lane is a decent option. Last time I was in there bumped into some of the Drumaville consortium during their time at the club.
6. You are now in Covent Garden. I expect, if it happens here, the gathering to take place around Punch n Judy in the square. This is where it started in 98 so no reason not to think the same will happen again. Plenty of other pubs in the square and wine bars for those trying to be a bit posh! Even a nightclub called Roadhouse where Danny Graham, Dariusz Kubicki and John Kay could score. Fill your boots.
7. If want some grub just off Covent Garden there is a Nandos, a Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) and pizza place. There is also a Tescos if you need carry outs.
8. On the same road as the GBK/Pizza place is The Porterhouse which is a big pub on numerous floors and plenty of options of drinks to lubricate the vocal chords.
9. Continuing down this road takes you towards Trafalgar Square and past Chandos which is a cheap Sam Smiths pub brewing all their own beer. Turning left here takes you to Trafalgar Square or right up towards Leicester Square.
10. If you are heading to Trafalgar Square direct on the tube then the best station is Charing Cross. If you get the tube to Covent Garden then don't walk up the stairs. Take the lift.
11. On the Sunday morning Wee Phillie is taking up residency in Yates in Trafalgar Square which is easy to get to. I will be heading to Baker Street and drinking/having breakfast in the Metropolitan (Wetherspoons pub) before heading to Wembley. Baker Street is a great starting point for Wembley given that it has two tube lines that go to Wembley with The Metropolitan line much quicker. You can head to Wembley on the train from Marylebone but this is for the City end of the ground and you don't get to walk down Wembley Way.