London Skolars Fan Guide
A Skolar’s guide to Coventry, its’ Bears and other attractions
First of all, Skolars, a quick geography lesson……..
Most Rugby League is played in the North, and Coventry is definitely headed that way, but not too much so for the capital city’s travelling fans.
Indeed it’s a very quick train ride away from Euston, except on Good Friday, when Euston is closed and Virgin Trains start and finish at Harrow and Wealdstone! [Maybe try Chiltern Trains from Marylebone and change at Leamington?]
Anyway it’s still pretty handy up the M1 and then on our very own cuddly little M45, where as well as being the home of the Bears, Coventry is also designated as UK City of Culture for 2021, and we know Southern softies like that sort of thing.
And since Oxford and Hemel are no longer in this league, we are now your nearest neighbours.
So, you’re up for it and whether you’re arriving early, staying on for a beer or two afterwards, or maybe even making a weekend of it, we’ve put together a guide to point you in the right direction.
Coventry Bears and the Butts Park Arena
Our ground is very close to the city centre and has a 3,000 capacity stand along one side. There is a members’ bar at the top of the stand, and another large bar under the stand which has a great atmosphere after the match.
Before the game a suitable nearby watering hole, recommended by Bears fans, is the CAMRA acclaimed Broomfield Tavern.
Another Bears favourite before or after is Bayleylane Kitchen in the city centre.
We have a car park [£3], so that’s not a problem for drivers, [postcode CV1 3GE for Satnav by the way], while the stadium is only a 15-20 minute walk from the station if you can locate a train on Good Friday.
The BPA has a strangely ‘Northern industrial’ feel to it with a railway high up on an embankment overlooking the ground, but don’t worry, London is only 100 miles away.
We may appear to some folks like new kids on the block from the Midlands, but we have been around for twenty years, turning semi-pro five years ago. And now we are at the centre of a network of RL teams and initiatives from Merthyr to Loughborough, not dissimilar to the Skolars in our approach.
We also see ourselves as the proud descendants of a previous Rugby League team which played on this very spot from 1910 to 1913, before the First World War took its terrible toll.
Coventry-City of Culture 2021
The mantle of City of Culture is heading south, from Hull, one Rugby League city to another…. Coventry.
And we are also City of Sport 2019 too, and the home of an RL World cup venue, just like that London!!!
At which point we’ve put together a few things Skolars fans may want to see and do as well as watch the match……
Forget Westminster Abbey, we have an amazing Cathedral, or rather two Cathedrals. The first was almost destroyed in WW2 but was poignantly left in ruined state while a striking and iconic new cathedral was built in the 1960’s, along with much of Coventry’s City Centre.
We have a really good Transport Museum with free entry. And if you have ever wondered where London Taxis come from, the answer is……….Coventry.
We make them here and there’s a special exhibition called ‘Taxi; the story from A to B’ on at this museum until June.
And if transport is your bag, there’s also the Midland Air Museum and just down the road [A45 that is] there is the National Motorcycle Museum.
There is also a Music Museum, with a focus on the Ska, or two-tone, genre which hails from Coventry.
Around the City
Our mediaeval Spon Street is worth a visit. Other city centre highlights include an IKEA, some great examples of 60s architecture [if you like that sort of thing], and a ring road also harking from the great days of sixties town planning [first-time visitors often spend quite some time on this].
There’s also a nicely restored canal basin, and the canal network between London and Coventry is open at Easter, but we still don’t expect many Skolars fans to get here by this mode of Transport.
OK, so you’ve got the Tower of London and a few other historic buildings but If you are staying a little longer there’s two of Britain’s greatest castles on OUR doorstep;
Kenilworth Castle, English Heritage owned and possessing amazing Elizabethan gardens.
Warwick Castle, probably worth a whole day to itself it is so impressive and packed with attractions.
And did we mention Culture???
Culture vultures may wish to take in the Herbert Art Gallery where there is currently a Wildlife Photographer of the Year display [do they have any pics of Bears, or Cougars, Wolves and Rhinos for that matter?] and we have a Theatre and Arts Centre called the Belgrade [although it is not their team that recently played in the Challenge Cup].
And on Saturday 20th April, Ian Mc Kellan is presenting his new one man show there.
Just down the road is Stratford, birthplace of Shakespeare and rivalling Bicester Shopping Village as a destination for overseas tourists.
Where to stay
There’s plenty of accommodation available to suit all tastes and budgets. There’s a comfortable Premier Inn almost next door to the ground and very handy for the city centre too.
The staff, players and fans at Coventry Bears look forward to welcoming London Skolars and their fans for a great game and more.
To find out more visit;