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The 'All New' Headingley Ground Guide
Posted by southstander on June 01 2005 - 07:17:05

Headquarters
by Andy Gilderdale

With the massive increase in visitors to the World famous Headingley to watch the World Champions, we thought it was time to give our visitors a bit of a guide to HQ to assist them in getting the best out of their trip.

We commissioned (in the loosest sense of the word) local boy, Andy Gilderdale, to give visitors the low-down and highlights for their trip to help make their time in Leeds as pleasant as possible.

Ladies, Gentlemen and Saints supporters...we bring you the new Headingley Ground Guide!

The Stadium

The rugby stadium at Headingley goes back to the beginnings of the complex. In January 1889 the Leeds Cricket, Football and Athletic Co under the Chairmanship of Lord Hawke bought lot 17A of the Cardigan Estate with the vision of creating one of the greatest venues in world sport. They paid ÂŁ20,000 for the land and originally incorporated the cricket and rugby pitches along with tennis courts, a bowling green, as well as cycling and athletics around the cricket pitch.

Capacity has fluctuated over recent years with various modernisation projects and changes in the safety certificate, and currently stands at 21,225. The spectator areas of the stadium can be divided into four major parts. The North Stand, which is all seater including the seats in the paddock area at the front was rebuilt following a fire on Good Friday 1932 which completely destroyed the previous structure. Following further renovation in 1991, it now incorporates the dressing rooms and tunnel.

The Eastern Terrace is an uncovered standing area, with six hospitality boxes to the rear, and the Western Terrace end incorporates one of the first electronic scoreboards in British rugby league. It is also uncovered, with a ginnel at the rear that links Kirkstall Lane and St Michaels Lane.

The heart of the ground is the South Stand, the original structure of which dates back to 1938. It is a covered terracing area and has above it the broadcast gantries used by Sky, the BBC and our very own John_D and Super Oldham Rhino. Please be aware that for the remainder of the 2005 season, admission to the South Stand is by advance purchase South Stand ticket, or South Stand season ticket only. A ticket for other areas of the ground will not get you into the South Stand.

Click here for a panoramic view of the ground from the North Stand

Click here for a panoramic view of the ground from the South Stand

Click here for an overhead plan view of the facilities at Headingley

Directions

Leeds is well served by a number of road, air and rail links with a busy train station close to City Square and a National Express station adjoining the bus station. As one of the major student areas of Leeds, Headingley is has frequent public transport from the city centre, with numerous bus routes and two train stations close to the ground.

If you’re intending to travel by car, please be aware that parking around the ground is limited in the main to on street. If you’re going to bring the car, please be sure to park responsibly. There may come a time when we need the goodwill of local residents for planning applications, so don’t tick them off by parking across their drive.

By Road

If you’re coming into Leeds from the M1/M621, leave at junction 2, which will be signposted Headingley Stadium. Follow the signs for A643 (A58) Wetherby and at the next roundabout take the City Centre/Wetherby A58 exit. Almost immediately, bear left to Ilkley (A65) and the airport. This should take you on a bridge over the canal.

At the next lights (TGI Friday is on the left), turn left into Kirkstall Road A65. Go straight on for about half a mile (Yorkshire Television is on the right), and as the road splits into three lanes, keep to the right.

There is a sign at the traffic lights showing "Headingley 1.5 miles. Turn right and go up the hill to another set of traffic lights at the crossroads. Carry straight on up Cardigan Road (Co-op is on the left). After the second set of pedestrian lights and bus stop turn left into St Michael's Lane. The ground is on your right-hand side.

From the A1 Southbound, exit at J47 and take the third exit onto the A59. After a couple of miles you’ll come to a roundabout where you take the second exit to join the A658. Take the first exit at the roundabout for A61 Swindon Lane, and on to the A62 Harrogate Road. Join the A6120 Ring Road heading for Moortown, and at the roundabout take the A660 Otley Road towards Leeds. Pass the Arndale Shopping Centre on your left, and turn right at the crossroads. Pass the Headingley Taps pub, straight on at the next lights and the cricket ground is on your left. Now all you have to do is find somewhere to park!

By Rail

Trains run from Leeds Station to both Burley Park and Headingley. Approximate journey time is around 5 minutes, and both stations are within walking distance of the ground. For details on times, see here.

By Bus

Numerous services run from the city centre to within walking distance of the ground, including the 1, 28, 56, 57, 93 and 96. For more details on times and departure points, click here.

Accommodation

Recent years have seen a rise in the availability of hotel accommodation in and around Leeds, and the city is now served by most of the major chains such as Novotel, Ibis, Hilton, Radisson, Holiday Inn (and Holiday Inn Express) as well as Comfort Inn and Travel Inn style premises.

Around the Headingley area there are several bed and breakfast type establishments, including a row of them along Cardigan Road where it backs onto the cricket ground.

For the ultimate match day experience however (and the shortest walk back to your room) you should consider the Headingley Lodge. Built into the new East Stand of the cricket ground and opened in 2002, the Lodge has 36 comfortable rooms starting from just ÂŁ42 per night, including twin, double and family rooms. For more details on the Lodge and how to book, click here.

To get an idea of the range of accommodation available in Leeds, try here.

Food and Drink

As I’ve previously mentioned, this area has probably the highest concentration of students anywhere in Leeds. As a result, there’s no shortage of places to eat and drink.

If it’s good nosh you’re after, then you can eat your way around the world without going more than a couple of miles from the ground. There’s good old fish and chips at places like Bretts and Bryan’s, Italian at Pietro’s and Salvo’s, Indian at Tariq’s and the Sheesh Mahal on Kirkstall Road (a personal favourite, Thai at Sala Thai and Mexican at the Caliente Café (plug for my brother in law who works there). For those with a culinary sense of adventure that’s gone on holiday, Headingley also has a Subway and a KFC. More details on some of those establishments mentioned above can be found here.

You want bars? As with any student area, Headingley’s got bars aplenty, of all sorts of shapes and sizes. If it’s 'proper' pubs you’re after, then within walking distance of the ground you’ve got both The Original Oak and The Skyrack, both of which have outdoor areas for the two weeks of British summer we get every year. The Headingley Taps is more spacious while still managing to be a pub rather than a bar, and along Otley Road there are a number of pubs such as The Three Horseshoes, Woodies and The New Inn. For those who wouldn’t be seen dead in somewhere that serves mild, and want to go a little more upmarket before heading into Leeds later, then The Box, Trio and Arc are probably more for you. Before the game, why not join some of your Southstander.com colleagues in the Rugby Club (or the Fine Ales Emporium, to give it the more commonly used title). Situated in the car park behind the South Stand, you can expect a warm welcome from mine host and former Leeds legend Graham Eccles, reasonably priced beer and a 30-minute queue for the bar (if you’re stuck behind McLaren Field anyway).

If you’re up for a bit of a walk and are looking for something a little different, then why not take a walk down to Warner Village on Kirkstall Road. There’s the Hollywood Bowl for ten-pin bowling complete with an attached arcade, a cinema, bar and various eating establishments such as Pizza Hut and Frankie & Bennys.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy yourself but please remember that Headingley is a primarily residential area. Please act responsibly and don’t give the locals chance to get mad at the club, we may need them at some point.

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