work in islington day in, day out, all around so know the place like the back of my hand. been a north london boy all my life so feel qualified to make suggestions and recommendations on the areas. any other london lads feel free to chip in. important one for you - food the chinese opposite the emirates entrance is the fucking dogs danglys, for real. nicest chinese ive had in london, price is decent, meal will do you for a day and the chef is sound as, used to work in a top hotel restaurant. looks a shithole from outside, but trust me it's worth eating there. won't be open on sunday as no match day, doubt he will be open late on saturday unless ecl talk to him, so eat before 7pm sainsburys local <8mins walk, open to 11pm, on holloway road. great place to stock up on cheap, lasting food as well as drinks. subway on holloway road (about 9mins walk) greggs on corner of holloway road/drayton park (4mins walk) mcdonalds further down holloway road (about 10mins walk from emirates) nandos on stroud green road (about 20mins walk from emirates, open to midnight) avoid all small takeaways on holloway road, unless you like your food touched by rats or eating rats. seriously, plenty of grimey takeaways, stay away. areas - staying and nights out emirates is a great stadium but surrounding areas are a shithole - seriously. try not to stay in holloway (upper and lower) highbury finsbury and finsbury park eastwards from emirates towards dalston pretty much stay out of the red circles and north of the orange mark is too far up to be travelling to the venue unless you're a london commuter. http://i.imgur.com/2E83M.jpg no offence to anyone living in area i said to avoid not going to make out they are super dangerous but you are more likely to run into trouble there than anywhere else i recommend below. plus nights out in north part of islington are shit so 2 reasons not to stay close to the venue. whatever you do though, at night stay in groups and use common sense, be vigilant. if you're looking for a close place to the venue for a good night out, worlds end pub on stroud green road (next to finsbusy park station) is good on weekends, usually have live music there so good night for those who aren't looking to spend much or aren't into pubs. the only place in the area i've had a good night out. any gamblers may be interested to know some underground poker clubs run close to the venue - holloway snooker club runs a 16-20hours on fri and sat with 4x100NL tables and 1x200NL tables with decent rake %. come deep stacked though, not many fish and you can rarely hit and run there these days best idea is to either stay north/north west of that part of islington or go south towards cally road, kings cross, euston, angel (beware of c-charge on weekdays!), or even further into london. moving out up towards my neck of the woods you have tuffnel park and archway areas (south and s-west of them lead to camden town) which i would recommend avoiding. then you have the likes of highgate, golders green and hampstead heath, lovely areas but pretty expensive, good links to emirates by train though. even futher north you hit finchley areas where i live, about 20mins from where I am (N12) to kings cross by tube (so 35 mins on a decent run to holloway road), plenty of small B&Bs and guest houses so it's a great location to stay. finchley and whestone is a good night out with some great cheap pubs, little trouble and 2 good clubs - iBar in whetstone, open to 3am, and sutra, on N20 road. i reckon staying around finchley area would be cheaper than central london even with oyster costs, plus you'd be able to park where you stay (see below about parking) if you go into london for hotel be careful when driving of the congestion charge on the friday/monday. its £10 a day to drive in the area http://www.milesfaster.co.uk/images/images9/london-congestion-zone.gif be alert for the signs because some parts of london become 1 way in the centre and it can be easy to drive into the area. once clocked on cameras if you dont pay next day (£12 it goes up) then its a £60 fine in the post and a clamping within 2 weeks. if you stay central london it doesn't have to be expensive. plenty of b&bs and cheaper hotels (holiday inn or whatever), unless you want to stay somewhere nice. for nights out you have so many options, there are nights to suit everyone. id recommend camden, some great pubs and clubs. leicester square and picadilly have a good choice of clubs as does soho, so do plenty of research because any of you who like a good night out are going to be spoilt for choice. closer to the venue if you go around old street and angel and a bit further down to shoreditch you can have a good night out as well. really though with the tube and black cabs you could go anywhere you want. policing can be quite tough in central london now so be wary of that to, keep drinking and noise to the clubs because sometimes old bill love to nick someone for the sake of it around there. if you're looking south of the river to stay (dont recommend for journey times), someone else will have to weigh in. travelling as i mentioned, be wary of the congestion charge. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging/ forget buses in london, waaaaaay too slow, dirty and a waste of money. use the tube. the tube network looks very complicated, dont worry though its not half as bad as it looks http://www.afn.org/~alplatt/tubemap.gif get a map from any station and carry one in your bag. if in doubt, ask at any ticket office in a station or ask a londoner at the venue depending on where you stay journeys will have to be planned, tube is around 150 years old and they are doing major upgrades every weekend which disrupt a number of lines, namely victoria, circle, jubilee, district and metropolitan. another reason i recommend staying in some areas above is they are all on the northern line which avoids all the train engineering works and the line has a good reputation for uptime (trust me, avoid the jubilee, circle and district lines if you can!). overground has a lot of work going on to from finsbury park north although i think they may have it finished come ecl 4 time. for the venue, walking from finsbury park, holloway road, arsenal and drayton park is pretty much equal, so doesnt matter there, just dictated by upgrade works. get an oyster card. its a prepaid card that works in all train stations and buses and london, it works on PAYG unless you set up a travelcard (not needed for those coming to the event). costs £3 in any train station and most shops that charge oyster cards and will save you at least 50% compared to tickets from machines. on osyter you're looking at around £4 a day for zone 1-2 returns and £6.50 from zone 4 (where i am) to z1 return. may be less, cant remember how tfl treat off peak on weekends :$ driving well well, nightmare time. parking is a nightmare as you head towards central london, so many roads are permit only or pay& display with maximum stay of 4 hours. there are some good car parks around kings cross that charge reasonable rates (again beware of the congestion charge). DO NOT under any circumstances chance parking somewhere you shouldnt, big brother cctv will have a warden at your car slapping on a £60 fine. parking in london has gone mad in recent years so look up car parks. be sure to fill up outside of london because some of you will be crying at the 138.9 unleaded and 145.9 diesel in holloway (for real). avoid north circular at all costs, major road works going on around my end (henlys corner) and up towards southgate and palmers green, it's gridlocked pretty much in daylight hours. either take m1 into london or m25 and come off at potters bar or barnet and come down the a1000 through barnet, finchley, highgate, into holloway. sat nav can help with this. in short, if driving, plan ahead and dont be stingy on your petrol/parking charge to passengers. --------------- anything you want me to expand on, let me know. sorry for poor thread formatting, limited to 1 hand typing at the moment.