So you’re going to London, are you? Going to see the mighty Chelsea F.C, play? GOOD! It’s about time you made it across the pond to visit the fortress known as Stamford Bridge and we’ve got some tips to help you if you’ve never been before:
I just landed, what’s next?
After landing and getting your luggage, we recommend stopping by one of the cell phone kiosks to buy a U.K. SIM card and data plan. The three of us purchased a 1-month unlimited data play from O2 for approximately $40 and we never had issues with signal or data throttling. Unlike in the U.S., these plans are pay-as-you-go so you don’t have to sign up for a contract or anything.
How do I get to my hotel?
With the recent legal issues with Uber, and because it’s unique to the U.K., we recommend grabbing a black cab when it’s time to head to your hotel — just tell them you’re going to the hotel at Stamford Bridge and they’ll drop you off literally INSIDE the gates. It’s one of the best first impressions of Stamford Bridge a fan can have after a long flight.
Black cabs also have lots of room for people and luggage unlike other taxis and ride sharing cars. You can use the app “myTaxi” to get a discount on your ride and schedule a pick up time as well: https://uk.mytaxi.com/welcome?erid=1510882146640640601.
One of our drivers was a Tottenham fan so we had a great conversation about the rivalry and players from each club as we made the long trek to Cobham to visit Chelsea’s training ground!
If you prefer to take the tube with all of your luggage, you can do that, but it’s not going to be easy…
NOTE: the stop you want to get to Stamford Bridge and the hotel is “Fulham Broadway tube station” which is in Zone 2: https://tfl.gov.uk/tube/stop/940GZZLUFBY/fulham-broadway-underground-station?lineId=district.
Welcome to the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels at Chelsea Football Club!
Yeah, that’s a long name, so from now on we’ll just refer to it as the Millennium Hotel. Once you’ve checked in and dropped your luggage off, if you’re not completely jet lagged and it’s light outside, start off by walking around outside of the stadium and check of those super touristy photos you know you want to take!
There’s a lot of free Chelsea sights outside of the hotel that are free and of course there’s the Chelsea Megastore too!
Is there any Chelsea history in the area?
Duh. Before our last trip we reached out to Rick Glanvill, Official Chelsea historian, who offered these places as perfect spots to visit, but first, show Rick some support by buying one of his books and following him on Twitter:
Buy Rick’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Rick-Glanvill/e/B001K84G2Y
Follow Rick on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rickglanvill
“The Rising Sun pub, now Butcher’s Hook, is the obvious landmark. The club was founded at an upstairs meeting there on 10 March 1905: http://www.thebutchershook.co.uk
Another pub, formerly the Britannia on the corner of Britannia Road/Fulham Road, is where the first fans’ organisation was formed in 1948: the Chelsea (Away) Supporters’ Club. They coordinated away travel on coaches etc and organised dances etc. It still exists: http://www.konakai.co.uk (definitely doesn’t resemble anything Chelsea anymore)
Not sure if you will gain access, but there is a tiny bit of wall down the east side of the Health Club that is the oldest wall on the entire site – it was built by the hospital that was on neighbouring land to prevent supporters traipsing through their grounds after games. The club wrote to request they rethink, adding, ‘Your doctors and nurses will no longer be able to play hockey on our pitch.’ (!)”
Brompton cemetery is also nearby which is the home of a Chelsea-related graves. http://www.chelseafc.com/the-club/history/style/brompton-cemetery-trail.html