Hockey In London – Where To Get Your Pre-Christmas Fix
So the nights are drawing in and the clocks are falling back, winter is on its way and well it’s the time the perfect time to go and see a game or two. I live in London so I’m just giving a small guide on where you can catch a few games.
Alexandra Palace – Haringey Racers
Coming from London, you would think that everything was easy to access. London is large, bright and it has so much happening. So much so things can pass you by which happen in your own backyard. So I would like to point your in the direction of some hockey for those of us who live in and around London.
Alexandra Palace, the historic old building, a place where I believe you still get one of the best views of London. This iconic building is where the Haringey Racers play, the venue itself lends to the appeal of the team; although dated, there is a buzz that you get when walking up to it.
Haringey Racers play in the National Ice Hockey League South 2, which is below the Elite league, the English Premier Ice Hockey League and the NIHL S1. If you’re a fan of hockey you will notice the difference in standard, but for the newcomer or layman, you won’t notice the difference until you become acclimatised with the game. I myself enjoy the games even at this level and find it thoroughly entertaining.
The arena itself is classed as having 600 seats, although I have been to games with over a thousand people, with the majority of people standing around the rink. There is no perspex glass, the netting can give you a panic if the puck comes your way, but it’s a small price to pay to be up and close to the action.
Once inside there is small stand set up for merchandise, I’ve purchased a few things and they are good quality – I have a few hats. To the side of the rink is the bar area and ice café; this area also has some games machines for people to play on, normally air hockey, a few shooting games and driving games. On the colder nights, this area is lovely retreat to warm up in during periods.
Most of the games will start at around 5.30pm on weekends. This is an area which I think needs to be highlighted because that timing gives you time to see some of the other parts of the area. Although the palace is at the top of a hill, there is a lot to do in the area and getting there early you can catch some daylight and have a wonder around. There is a lot to see and do to make an afternoon and night of it.
There is a large parkland to walk around, there is a small deer enclosure (with a small herd of Fallow deer), a skate park, the bar and kitchen which has a lovely beer garden, pitch and putt golf and a small boating lake. Obviously the weather will have an impact on what you can do. You can check the Alexandra Palace website to see what is on in the other halls; there are segway rallies, beer festivals and other festivals happening regularly. A trip to the palace can be a lovely family day topped off with some great entertainment on the ice, or it can be sitting and having a few relaxing pints in the bar first, which is something I tend to do.
One warning though, if you come by train, be ready for the walk up the hill.
The prices are very reasonable, often with deals on Wowcher, Groupon or Amazon Local, check the Racers’ website for information, but the standard prices are £8 for an adult and up to 2 children under 16 being free; tickets are available at the door. Visiting the racers is a really good experience; with a little more information provided and/or knowledge of the local area it can turn into an affordable fun day and evening out.
Haringey Racers Home Fixtures:
- Lee Valley Lions 24.10.15 17:30
- Peterborough Islanders 14.11.15 17:30
- Chelmsford Warriors 21.11.15 17:30
- Bristol Pitbulls 12.12.15 17:30
I obviously have been to Alexandra Palace quite a few times, it’s my local team who play here, but it’s not the only hockey in town and it’s only fair to let you know where the other hockey will be played in 2015. So I thought I would give some information on some of the other games in and around London. So go along, catch a few games during the winter and bring your friends and family along, you will enjoy it.
The West of London M4 corridor
Bracknell Bees Home Fixtures:
- Telford Tigers 24.10.15 18.00
- Manchester Phoenix 25.10.15 18.30
- Guildford Flames 28.10.15 19:30
- Peterborough Phantoms 31.10.15, 18:00
- MK Lightning 15.11.15 18:00
- Swindon Wildcats 22.11.15 18:00
- Sheffield Steeldogs 29.11.15 18:00
- Sheffield Steeldogs Sun 06.12.15 18:00
- Basingstoke Bison 20.12.15 18:00
- Guildford Flames 26.12.15 18:00
Slough Jets Home Fixtures:
- Swindon Wildcats 24.10.15 18:30
- Invicta Mustangs 31.10.15 18:30
- Chelmsford Warriors 7.11.15 18:30
- Peterborough Islanders 21.11.15 18.30
- Invicta Mustangs 5.12.15 18:30
Streatham Redskins Home Fixtures:
- Oxford City Stars 1.11.15 18.45
- Invicta Dynamos 7.11.15 17.30
- London Raiders 15.11.15 18.45
North East London
London Raiders Home Fixtures
- Bracknell Hornets 24.10.15 17:30
- MK Thunder 31.10.15 17:30
- Cardiff Devils 14.11.15 17:30
- Wightlink Raiders 21.11.15 17:30
- Oxford City Stars 28.11.15 17:30
- Invicta Dynamos 12.12.15 17:30
- Streatham Redskins 19.12.15 17:30
- Bracknell Hornets 27.12.15 17:30
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