Here are a few trips for your trip to the UK and to see Chelsea:
• Getting Around London
• Credit Cards
• Electric Adapters
• Getting To Stamford Bridge
• Stadium Tour
• London Things To Do
• Away Games
• Travelling to Away Game
• Transport - The Tube and Double-Decker Buses:
London Transit is an affordable and easy way to get around and see the town. With a bit of pre-planning you can get almost anywhere without needing a car (really expensive idea) or using taxi's (expensive now that Uber has been banned.
1) Your smart phone makes this easier than ever. Download the LTA web site here.
2) Get a VISITORS OYSTER CARD before you go. This enables you to jump on and off the tube and buses for the absolute minimum of cost, including single day cap of charges. If for some reason you do run short of funds on the Oyster Card (travel to the outer parts of London costs more) they are also easy to replenish.
3) From Heathrow: It is 45 min/£5.70 on the tube to Earl's Court. You then can begin taking a variety of options from Earl's Court and beyond. Or, you can take the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station, which is just 15 minutes for £25 each. The other immediate option is Gatwick, which is a smaller area airport but much more expensive and complicated commute into the city.
4) Late at night: A good portion of the London tube system shuts down just after midnight. You can still get the night buses and taxis.
• Taxis are plentiful, safe and expensive. This situation got worse in Fall 2017 when the London Council temporarily banned Uber in September, 2017. Uber is presently on a month to month basis with their license in UK for admin and political reasons. Check before your trip to see current status. Uber is available in most other UK cities, except York and Brighton.
• Cars are a terrible idea inside London. Few places to park and traffic is terrible. Many "zone" fees for driving within the City that get quietly charged to your rental and will be awaiting you when you leave. If you are travelling outside London it is fairly easy to drive once your get out of the city. Recommend waiting to get your car until you need it.
• Heathrow Immigration has greatly improved for US travellers; you'll likely be through long before your bags come out (which can take an hour). Then allow an hour into the City. So if you are trying to arrive and get to Stamford Bridge on the same day, we strongly suggest allowing 3 hours (or more depending on your hotel location) in your planning.
1) Let your card companies know you are travelling so they don't block your first charge.
2) VISA or MASTERCARD at bars and restaurants. Most hotels take AMEX but many pubs/shops do not.
3) ATM Card must have a FOUR DIGIT password to work.
4) Most payments at bars/restaurants can be made using contactless. Apple Pay or the equivalent will save you time and from having to sign receipts.
We all live on our phones and lap tops now. Pick up the UK adapter (or two) before your travel to make life easy and cheaper. The power is the same as the US. They just use different plugs.
So many options. Aside from the hotel at Stamford Bridge (Millenium and Copethorne), there are countless options in the two mile area around Earl's Court and Gloucester tube stops. You have both modern US type options with big beds and smaller historic UK hotels that tend to be small rooms but more affordable. AirBnb is also an option many members have had success with.
While many love staying near Stamford Bridge, the Fulham area can be a bit sleepy in the evening. Most pubs and restaurants close at 12am. Central London is 'much much livelier' at night so don't shy area from staying in other areas and using the tube/buses to get to The Bridge as needed.
Getting To Stamford Bridge:
• The bus drops literally at the Chelsea Football Club stop on Fulham Road via the 14 or night time 414. Always a great photo op. Other options include buses going down Kings Road just two blocks away.
• Fulham Broadway is the closest tube stop off the District Line. ** It's a one block walk on Fulham Road.
• West Brompton is also close off the District Line ** and the London Overground. West Brompton is a 1 mile walk either through or around the cemetery.
• Earl's Court is the major hub nearby at just over 1 mile/pleasant 20 min walk if you desire.
** - To reach Fulham Broadway or West Brompton on the District Line from city centre, you must be on the District train headed toward Wimbledon. The District Line has several tentacles so pay attention. If you happen to be on the wrong line, all District Line trains pass through Earl's Court and you can change for free.
• Check TFL updates on potential closures for bus/tube stations around Stamford Bridge. A few times a year, they are not operating due to constructions or holiday closures.
Very much worth it and one option also includes the Museum. For parties of 4+ we recommend the private tour, which provides a not-rushed experience with a private guide and lunch at Frankie's Bar outside the Shed entrance after. Subject to change given COVID rules and new ownership.
Plenty of pubs still surround the Stamford Bridge area (though a number have closed in recent years). Despite a number closing recently, there are still more pubs immediately around Stamford Bridge than any other ground in the UK. Be sure the pre-game pub culture in your game day experience.
Keep in mind that most pubs check your ticket on match day to determine if you are a home or away supporter. Away supporters or those in away colors are turned away except at certain 'away' pubs. Often if you don't have a ticket they will turn you away also as the do not want non-ticketed away hooligans causing trouble. The same rules apply in reverse for away games.
Post game: Lastly, we do not recommend wearing your kit or colors for more than an hour after the game as many pubs and restaurants will ask you to leave as they transition away from the football business.
London Things To Do:
Where does this list start and end? London is one of the most historic cities in the world and even the non-historic sites are fun. From Parliament and the London Eye to the Tower of London/London Bridge, from Leicester Square theater district, China Town and the Covent Garden. Walk and bus as much as you can.
Also consider trips just out of London to Hampton Court, Windsor Castle, Oxford or Cambridge.
London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Enjoy the great food from virtually any area of the world. You have countless top level theater options. And the beer is fantastic.
Inside tips: Perhaps grab a pint at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, off Fleet Street near St. Paul's Cathedral. 'Rebuilt' in 1666 after the Great Fire, this pub stretches three levels downstairs and was regularly frequented by Charles Dickens. It's on a side street off Fleet Street so use the GPS.
Unique pub crawl: Just a few tube stops from Stamford Bridge, we highly recommend an excellent historic pub crawl along the Thames (near the Hammersmith station). The Blue Anchor, The Rutland, The Dover, The Old Ship and The Black Lion all within a couple blocks. This crawl was suggested by Chris Axon and is an outstanding collection of pubs built in the 1700's along the river. You may even see the Cambridge and Oxford crew squads training. The Fuller Brewery is also nearby but reservations are required.
Usually one or two pubs in the area welcome away supporters. If unsure, ask us beforehand and we will help track down an answer.
We do not recommend wearing Chelsea colors to away games. Best safe than sorry.
For certain games, like Tottenham at White Hart Lane, it is even more dicey in the area so be prepared to walk a bit to a tube station further away in order to avoid heckling and trouble from the home hardcore. Even the Chelsea UK supporters will drink and walk a few stations away (20+ minutes) at White Hart Lane.
Having said all this, away matches are spectacular as you are part of the Chelsea hard core supporters who really know the club and the passion.
Travelling to Away Games:
Trains are much easier than flights and cars in most cases. You'll see the country and save money. Most CFC supporters take trains. As an example, a train from Euston Station to Liverpool takes as little as 2:15 while driving is closer to 4 hours. Be adventurous if you have the time. Make sure to book train fares early as prices rise quickly when fixtures are announced and bookings increase.
However, check all your options. Train service has reduced since COVID so we hear more and more being forced to grab buses.
Do your research. Once your arrive to an away city most will be local buses or local trains to get you close to the away grounds once you get to the away train station. The UK does public transportation pretty well.
The club also offers select coach bus service to away matches throughout the season for a nominal fee.