Six Nations, Six Top Destinations!

As the final stages of the Six Nations approaches, fans continue their tour of the venues but have you ever thought “wouldn’t it be nice to see a bit of the place whilst I’m there too?”. Here is the dealchecker guide to helping you make the most of your rugby weekends.

Stadio Flaminio, Rome. Italy v France 14.30 12th March

Colosseum at Dusk – Photo by rmlowe

With the stadium handily placed on the Metro line you’re ideally situated to see some of the Eternal City before and after the match. The Colosseum (metro: Colosseo) is where gladiatorial fights took place and although some of it has lazily been used to build some of Rome’s newer monuments it’s still a very impressive feat of engineering. For some post-match revelry you can’t beat the area around the Spanish Steps (metro: Spagna), one of the popular meeting points within the city; there are plenty of restaurants and a lively atmosphere to keep your evening going.

Millenium Stadium, Cardiff. Wales v Ireland 17.00 12th March

Cardiff Castle – Photo by Dan Kamminga

The Millenium Stadium is right in the heart of Cardiff just a few minutes’ walk from the train station. The nearby Bute Park has plenty of space for a picnic or for a chuck-about if you want to get in on the action, and Cardiff Castle nestles in the corner if defence is more your thing. Afterwards, party the night away or drown your sorrows in the nearby town centre where a whole host of bars are waiting. The morning after the night before you can blow away the cobwebs by taking a quick train ride to Cardiff Bay where there are plenty of gastropubs waiting to fill your belly.

Twickenham, London. England v Scotland 15.00 13th March

Richmond Park – Photo by JChris007

The stadium is located out in West London and it can be tricky enough just to get there but there are some rewarding places to go to around the area that might just help ease the road rage. Richmond Park is right next to the stadium, and is a great place to stretch your legs or eat your lunch. The more adventurous can climb to the highest point in the park, King Henry VIII’s Mound, and get views over London to the London Eye, as well as the Gherkin and Tower 42, with The Shard coming into view too. The tube runs straight from Richmond into the West End if you want a big night out afterwards.

Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Scotland v Italy 14.30 19th March

Leith in Edinburgh – Photo by photojenni

The first match of the final day and it could be the wooden spoon decider. Heading out to the stadium on the bus might be all you can manage before kick off but afterwards the whole of Edinburgh awaits. The Leith area, in north-east Edinburgh has been revamped into a great place for an evening of revelry with plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants to keep you fed and watered. The next morning, a refreshing walk in Holyrood Park might be just the ticket and you can even climb Arthur’s Seat, a defunct volcano, to get the best views of the city if you’re up for a challenge

New Landsdowne Road (Aviva Stadium), Dublin. Ireland v England 17.00 19th March

Oliver St. John Gogarty Pub in Temple Bar – Photo by UggBoy♥UggGirl [ PHOTO : WORLD : SENSE ]

It’s the last match of the triple crown and depending on the previous weekend’s events either team could be within a shot of winning it. Temple Bar is the place to hang out before the match, around the area by Wellington Quay. The medieval winding streets have a cool vibe and are filled with bars and pub, plus it’s just a short stumble to the DART line at Tara Street. After the match why not head for the Docklands area on the commuter line and take advantage of the stylish new gastropubs and bars that have sprung up there.

Stade de France, Paris. France v Wales 19.45 19th March

Pompidou Centre – Photo by Al Ianni

The final match of the Six Nations for 2011 is in North Paris, and it would be a shame to head there without seeing any of the city. The Stade de France is on the RER line and connects with Châtelet in the heart of the City. The crazy stylings of the Pompidou Centre are this side of the river, and street performers fill the square on weekends. Alternatively, head south to the Île de la Cité to see Notre Dame and eat Onion Soup in one of the most famous (and gold) venues in the city, Les Deux Palais on Boulevard du Palais.

Top photo by bixentro