Here’s how you can eat, sleep and breathe football. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the FA this month, our friends at VisitEngland have come up with some fantastic footie-themed hotels, events and exhibitions including a tribute to David Beckham.
Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent: When you need some time on the bench from the game we call life, ‘head’er for the Hilton at St George’s Park. Set in the National Forest, the hotel is part of the FA’s National Football Centre, a world-class training venue with state-of-the-art conferencing, sport and medical facilities. The hotel draws inspiration from the game with prints of famous plays displayed throughout its bedrooms and public areas. For those that want to brush up on their ball skills, the National Football Centre offers guests a chance to put on an England shirt, feel the pride and train with the best of the best with their inspiring England Experience (costs £158 per person). Room prices vary. For more information or to book, visit www.hilton.com/SGP.
West Ham United Hotel, Upton Park: If you’re passionate about football, this hotel offers a radical departure from conventional accommodation. Offering guest spaces more like a VIP box than hotel room, the hotel is uniquely set within Upton Park, meaning you can wake up to views of the pitch. A Hammers fan or not, you won’t want to close the curtains, especially if a match is in session. Rooms from £65 per night. For more information or to book, visit www.westhamhotel.co.uk
NEW: Hotel Football, Manchester – opening October 2014: Checking next year’s fixture list for the hottest new hotel openings, Hotel Football’s kick off is the most eagerly awaited. This innovative hotel concept will feature a functioning rooftop football pitch and subtle references to the game throughout its sophisticated décor. Set to open its doors in October 2014, the hotel will be located on the doorstep of the iconic Old Trafford football stadium, the perfect position to tackle all that Manchester has to offer, for both avid football fans and occasional followers. For more information, visit www.hotelfootball.com
Café Sports England, Liverpool: Owned by Liverpudlian defender Jamie Carragher and rising star Jonathan Flanagan, Café Sports is sure to get fans dribbling. Footie foodies can get their fill amongst collections of memorabilia, heralding local legends in Liverpool’s own Hall of Fame; over 50 LCD TVs for watching live games; two bars over two floors and an open kitchen plan to keep an eye on your fresh pizza, pasta and grilled meats as they cook. For more information, visit www.cafesportsengland.com
NEW: Café Football, Westfield Shopping Centre, London – Opening November: Michelin-starred chef Michael Wignall is predicted to score big wins with his ‘goal’-o-rious grub at Café Football when it opens at Westfield Shopping Centre next month. The interior of Café Football has been conceptualised to provide an energetic dining experience that captures authentic football culture in a classic family environment. For more information, visit www.cafe-football.com.
David Beckham Exhibition at Manchester United Museum: A special temporary exhibition has been unveiled at Manchester United Museum to honour one of football’s most famous names, David Beckham. Signed as a schoolboy at the age of 14, Beckham’s career journey is illustrated in this exhibition which includes some of his winner’s medals and commemorative shirts. Just as famous off the pitch as he is on it, ‘Becks’ is also well known for his changing hairstyle and visitors can relive some of these via an interchangeable portrait of his famous face. The exhibition will be on display for the next 12 months. Tickets cost £18 for adults and £12 for children. For more information or to book, visit www.manutd.com/museum.
Legend Tours of Old Trafford: Home to the most famous football club in the world, Old Trafford is a mecca for Manchester United fans. Make your visit to Old Trafford extra special by booking one of the venue’s Unique Tours. Opt for a Legends Tour to truly enter the Theatre of Dreams as you journey through the venue in the company of an iconic player. You’ll be transported back to the club’s biggest victories and most exciting moments, told through the words of those who lived, breathed and created them. The next Legends Tours is scheduled for Sunday, 20 October with former goalkeeper, Alex Stepney and costs £120 per person. For more information, visit www.manutd.com
National Football Museum, Manchester: The Football League also has cause for celebration this year as 2013 marks its 125th year. Formed in Manchester in 1888, the League has witnessed many game changers over the years that have moulded the sport we all love today. Discover more about the major players who served to shape modern day football, from visionary William McGregor to superstar George Best, in this new exhibition at the National Football Museum. Free entry. For more information, visit www.nationalfootballmuseum.com.
Football Commentary Workshop, Soccerdome Derby: On 24 May 2014, broadcast your commentary away from the living room and into the microphone as you train to become a football commentator for the day with Football Commentary Workshop. The course kicks-off is at 10.30am at Soccerdome Derby, when you will have a chance to hear from the experts and sit in on an exclusive interview with ITV commentator, Clive Tyldesley. You’ll then be given an insight into how to become a commentator and valuable tips on how to get yourself noticed in the world of broadcast. Workshops take place on selected dates. Tickets cost £50 per person. For more information or to book, visit www.footballcommentator.co.uk
For more sporting holiday ideas, visit www.visitengland.com