For some time now, it’s been a dream of mine to lead a soccer tour of England. And that will be happening this holiday season; here’s an update.
First, the dates will be the evening of December 28 through the afternoon of January 6. We will see everything from a really big Premier League game to something down in League One or League Two. Our overnight locations will be London and either Manchester or (less likely) Liverpool.
Approximate cost: $2,500. Still working on that.
But here’s the thing: You don’t have to do all of it! You can drop in or out as you like, maybe just doing the London portion or the Manchester portion. You can stay in a different hotel and just meet for the games and any other activities, and so on. This is a grass-roots, “travel with friends” kind of tour.
Here is where things stand with the critical question: Which games are we going to see?
We will be there for three rounds of games. The actual dates and kickoff times won’t be known until at least October 12, but here are the three rounds.
Games of December 29
These games could actually happen anywhere from December 28 to 30, but we will be in London and go to two, perhaps three, of:
- Huddersfield Town at Fulham
- Chelsea at Crystal Palace
- Nottingham Forest at Millwall
- Reading at Queens Park Rangers
- Cardiff City at Leicester City
- Wolverhampton Wanderers at Tottenham Hotspur
- Newcastle United at Watford
Of those, Tottenham is the highest priority, if they are in their new stadium. That is very much in doubt as of this writing. Otherwise, I’d look at Millwall, Palace and QPR as the best choices. Leicester would be also be fun, and it’s only an hour from London by train, so we wouldn’t have to spend the night.
Games of January 1
Again, these games could happen January 1, 2 or 3. After traveling up from London on New Year’s Eve, we will stay in Manchester and see two or three of:
- Liverpool at Manchester City — this is the anchor of the whole trip, the one game I am going to make sure we see. Our seats will be in the 93:20 hospitality package.
- Leicester City at Everton
- Burnley at Huddersfield Town
- Crystal Palace at Wolverhampton
- West Bromwich Albion at Blackburn Rovers
Of these, the absolute No. 1 priority is City-Liverpool. We will build our whole Manchester itinerary around that game. Otherwise, we will simply wait to see on TV fixtures in October. Any of these would be fun.
Games of January 5
Here is where things get even more up-in-the-air. I know the League One and League Two schedule right now, but the Championship and Premier League clubs will be playing in the FA Cup, and we won’t know those fixtures until December! What I do know is, we will almost certainly be back in London and see one of these and/or an FA Cup game or two.
- Sunderland at Charlton Athletic
- Barnsley at Oxford United
- Fleetwood Town at Wimbledon
Here, the priority is probably Charlton-Sunderland, just because it’s an easy game, in London, and there will be a bunch of rowdy Sunderland folks there. And if there is a good FA Cup tie someplace an hour or so from London (like Sheffield or Leicester, for example), we’ll go there.
What Else Will We Be Doing?
When not at games, we will hit up stadium and city tours, relax, and possibly have non-soccer activities like a hike or some other kind of tour. Or we’ll just go our own separate ways for a while.
What’s Included in the Cost?
The cost will include game tickets, stadium tours, intercity train tickets, group taxis if we take them and hotel rooms if you choose to stay with us. (I use three-star hotels around $100 per night). You can share a room if somebody else wants to and save a little there, as well.
Not included: Meals, local train/bus tickets and passes.
Interested? Get in Touch!
If you want some more information, just shoot me an email using the Contact Page.