Ordinarily, an FA Cup away game doesn’t get the Cans & Megabus juices flowing but the good lord has granted not just a great tie but possibly the best away trip you could wish for. Fulham is the holy grail of “having a nice time in the pub before and after a football match” and having been deprived of this excellent adventure for five years, it’s high time we enjoy it to the fullest, or Fulham-est if you will.
How Do I Get There?
Driving all the way to West London is a very silly idea, but if you absolutely must we should probably give you the directions. Take the A1(M) and M1 to junction 1 just outside of London then take the North Circular Road west before joining the A40. Head on to the B408 through Hammersmith and then Fulham Palace Road following the signs for the ground. I have absolutely no idea where you can park, like.
Sat nav losers: SW6 6HH
For those of you on the train, you’re in luck because this week there isn’t a rail strike on. The nearest tube station from Craven Cottage is Putney Bridge, so you can take the Victoria line from King’s Cross to Victoria and change for the District line heading towards Wimbledon and get off there.
Alternatively, you can get off at Parsons Green and enjoy the plethora of lovely pubs on the way.
What’s the Ground Like?
Mate, it’s well nice. Walk through the leafy Bishops Park and you’ll find Craven Cottage perched on the banks of the River Thames. The perfect blend of a “proper football ground” yet with an away stand you can actually see the pitch from. Since our last visit, Fulham have renovated the Riverside Stand, which is now massive.
Sunderland fans are housed in the Putney End Stand, which is hilariously a “neutral” stand. However, given our big allocation for this game, it’s reasonable to say it’ll be 80% Sunderland supporters.
Where to even begin, this corner is simply awash with excellent for you to quench your thirst. The traditional watering hole for away fans heading to Fulham is The Eight Bells just off Putney Bridge station but Temperance and The Golden Lion nearby are also decent options. If you enjoy a Wetherspoons pint with a side of planespotting, you can head over the bridge to The Rocket, which sits on the bank of the Thames and immediately on the flight path into Heathrow Airport.
For the thinking patrons among you, get off a stop early at Parsons Green and head to The White Horse, a pub once regularly frequented by Sunderland legend Ellis Short. Alternatively, The Brown Cow and The Durrell Arms (both on Fulham Road) are delicious choices for a few pre-match scoops. Whatever you choose, you’ll have a lovely, old time.
What’s happening in London?
Well, it’s London on a Saturday so unless you like drinking in pubs past 11pm, there’s something for you to do post-match. Why not go and watch whatever’s left of Black Flag at O2 Forum in Kentish Town or whatever’s left of Dr Feelgood at the 100 Club. Carl Barat is also playing at The Amersham Arms if that’s your bag.