Villa Park Stadium Guide | England Rugby Travel

Villa Park Stadium

Villa Park Stadium in Birmingham is one of the oldest and most famous stadiums in Europe. Opened in 1897, it has hosted World Cup, European Championship and other international football matches as well as more FA Cup semi-finals than any other venue. Athletics, cycling, boxing and rugby league have all taken place here over the years, and two rugby union touring sides have also run out onto its famous pitch.

The stadium was also the venue for the last ever European Cup Winners Cup final between Lazio and Real Mallorca in 1999. This famous venue has hosted international matches over three different centuries, the first senior international taking place in 1899. Villa Park hosted 3 matches during the 1966 World Cup and four matches during Euro '96. The stadium has hosted several rock concerts, including Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi.

Villa Park  hosted matches for Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Local Pubs

The Black Eagle on Factory Road is a popular place to head to for pre- and post-match drinks. They offer an excellent range of ever-changing guest ales as well as beers from two local family breweries, Bathams and Holdens. Best Bitter and Golden Glow are firm favourites with the locals. This award-winning traditional pub has been run by the same landlord for over 23 years which, along with the warm and friendly service, and excellent food and drink, is the reason behind its huge popularity.

The Bartons Arms on the High Street in Newton is a truly unique experience: coupling authentic Thai cuisine with hand-pulled Real Ales by the acclaimed Oakham Ales. The pub will transport you to a bygone era with its original Victorian interiors, beautiful architecture, magnificent tiled walls and stained glass windows.

Local Attractions

With its industrial legacy and chaotic road network, you may be forgiven in thinking that Birmingham isn’t a tourist hot-spot. But after years of gentrification and some serious money being pumped into the city, Birmingham has become a thriving and exciting city.

The Bullring is the glamorous heart of the city and boasts over 160 magnificent shops, including iconic department stores such as Selfridges and Debenhams. There is also an array of elegant arcades and covered markets which are always fun to explore.

The food scene in Birmingham is second to none, and at the last count, there were over 30 different cuisines on offer throughout the city. From award-winning city centre restaurants to authentic, family-run establishments in the Balti Triangle, no visit to Birmingham is complete without sampling the diverse flavours on offer.

If you are after a family day out, why not visit chocolate heaven, also known as Cadbury World. You’ll discover the origins of the cocoa bean amidst trees and waterfalls in the Aztec jungle, before jumping onboard the magical Cadabra ride and meeting the infamous Cadbury drumming gorilla! Full of heritage, fun and with complimentary chocolate to enjoy along the way, Cadbury World is a great addition to your Rugby World Cup visit to Birmingham with something for everyone.

Did You Know?

On 5th November 1887, America’s most famous cowboy Buffalo Bill visited Villa Park and presented his Wild West Show at Aston Lower Grounds. His show included a wealth of entertainment and animals including over two hundred horses, mules, buffalos, prairie elk, cowboys and Indians, and the famous Deadwood Stage.