January 31, 2017
Despite being based in a region more renowned as a footballing hotbed than a rugby union heartland, Newcastle Falcons have done more than enough to make their mark on the game – and they have a history dating all the way back to 1877. First founded as Gosforth RFC, the Falcons’ first and so far only Premiership title came in 1998, but they’ve also won four Anglo-Welsh Cups and have had a string of internationals play for them over the years.
Incidentally, the club split in two in 1996 – the original amateur Gosforth Rugby Football Club, out of which the professional Newcastle Gosforth were born, play in the regional leagues. The pro Falcons now play their trade at Kingston Park, their home since 1990. A proper rugby venue that’s compact, full of character and with an electric atmosphere, a trip to Kingston Park for the rugby is always worthwhile. Here’s how you can make the most of yours.
Kingston Park has a maximum capacity of 10,200. The East Stand is the only one still standing from 1990 – it was the stadium’s sole stand when the Falcons first moved in. There’s some covered seating in the East Stand, flanked by uncovered terracing on either side. This stand also houses a ticket office, club shop, changing rooms and a bar (more on that later).
Standing opposite to the East Stand along the length of the pitch is the all-seater West Stand. While there’s a roof over the West Stand, it doesn’t totally cover some of the seating closest to the pitch – so if you’re sat here, you will be somewhat exposed to the elements. Behind the goalposts are the John Smith’s (South) Stand and the North Stand. The John Smith’s Stand has a large covered terrace while the North Stand is an uncovered terrace area.
Getting to Kingston Park
Kingston Park is located about four miles out of Newcastle city centre. Here’s how to get to the stadium with the minimum of fuss.
Kingston Park is less than five minutes off the A1. Take the exit towards Newcastle Airport, then follow the sign to Kingston Park at the roundabout. Go straight on over the next two roundabouts, then turn right into Brunton Road after the Metro rail bridge. The stadium is another 200 metres along, on the left-hand side.
The X47 runs from Grainger Street – next to Grey’s Monument – in central Newcastle to the shopping precinct at Kingston Park. It’ll get you there in about 20 minutes.
Newcastle Central is the city’s main railway station, and from there you can take a Metro light rail service towards Kingston Park. However, Kingston Park Metro station isn’t the closest to the ground – that’s Bank Foot, the next station along the line.
Newcastle Airport is a short journey from Kingston Park and the city itself. Flights to destinations including Paris, Dublin, Belfast, London and Cardiff operate from Newcastle. The airport has its own Metro station, so you can catch a service directly to Bank Foot (about five minutes away) or Newcastle Central (25 minutes).
Around the ground
Eating and Drinking
There are plenty of options in and around the stadium if you find yourself in need of some refreshments during your trip to Kingston Park.
Pubs and restaurants near Kingston Park
The Black Garter – Based in Newcastle’s city centre, this friendly pub is built on the historic Grainger market and offers visitors a selection of great drinks as well as plenty of entertainment to keep you more than content in this great city.
The Bridge Tavern – This brewpub and eatery is located between the stanchions of the famous Tyne Bridge. Serving seasonal British comfort food and bespoke beers from the on-site micro-brewery you will find a friendly and welcoming atmosphere here all day long.
The Broad Chare – A pub to make you feel at home, The Broad Chare serves home cooked British food and quality beers, ciders and whiskies. Drop in before or after the rugby match for a friendly welcome and a tasty meal.
Eating and drinking inside Kingston Park
- The main bar inside Kingston Park can be found in the West Stand. There’s often post-match entertainment after the game, so it’s worth sticking around for a while (and not just for the beer).
- The Hiding Place bar is located in the East Stand and also remains open after matches.
- The John Smith’s Stand also has its own bar. The only stand in Kingston Park without one is the North Stand.
Places to stay
If you’re thinking of making your visit to Kingston Park an overnight trip, then there are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation. There are Travelodges at Newcastle Airport and Gosforth, with a Marriott and a Holiday Inn at Gosforth Park. If you want to be in the thick of the local action, hotels in the city centre include a Jurys Inn, a Copthorne and a Premier Inn, with a Hilton hotel just over the river in Gateshead.
Other local attraction
Newcastle is well renowned for its lively nightlife, which centres around the city’s Bigg Market district. But there’s more to Newcastle than the local pubs and clubs – there’s various museums, the towering Grey’s Monument, St James’ Park football stadium, the Tyne Bridge and much more besides. The historic city of Durham is also only a 15-minute train journey away.