Five days away from the football league for the 2022/23 season | Championship | League 1 | league two

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Finally, the Football League season returns this week and after a summer of kit leaks, transfer news and fixture announcements, football fans across the country will be making plans to get to that first match at the outside. It’s not the glitz and glamor of the Premier League, but the Football League offers some unique away days that you just have to try if you get the chance.

We narrowed it down to five you should check out this season.

Blackpool

Arguably the most popular away day in the entire Football League. If you have the right weather and manage to take a trip to the seaside in August or May rather than the depths of winter, then Blackpool really hits the spot differently. Stocking up on the seaside Manchester Pub and enjoying Pleasure Beach or the arcades on the pier is a truly unique way to spend a few hours in the build-up to a match, while in the event of a win or loss, Blackpool will take care of your needs.

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The stadium is decent, if a bit small for some of the bigger clubs in the Championship, and the statue of Jimmy Armfield outside is well worth seeing. It’s a cracking club with a rich history, but let’s be honest – the football will only be a sideshow to a cheap and happy weekend.

Town of Luton

Can you really call yourself a Football League fan unless you’ve made Luton disappear? It’s unique – but not in the same way as Blackpool. The pitch is tight and you’re only a few meters away from the pitch, but it’s all about getting into the stadium.

Unlike anywhere else in the EFL, your journey to the far end means you pass through a turnstile between two terraced houses and then up a metal staircase you get the best view over the gardens of these houses. It can’t be much fun to live there unless you’re a mad hatter, but it does offer the craziest experience of stepping into land through the 92. Then, given the awesome shape of Nathan Jones’ team, you’re probably watching your side get beaten, before trudging back to the streets of Luton.

Sunderland

The biggest stadium outside of the Premier League is well worth a visit with your Football League team. Sunderland are an absolutely giant club and have now moved from League One to the second tier. You can’t help but think they’re a returning club, and it won’t be long before they return to the Premier League – so check out the Stadium of Light while you can.

The ground offers a blend of two of the best features of a football stadium. It is close to the city center but also to an imposing and impressive stadium to see. The climb to the upper level of the far end may burn your thighs, but once up there you can take in the magnificence of this ancient stadium. Back in the Championship, it should bounce back once again.

Sheffield Wednesday

Opened in 1899, Hillsborough is truly one of the EFL’s greatest ‘old-school’ stadiums. It still carries dark overtones of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, when 97 Liverpool fans lost their lives and a memorial sits just outside the South Stand doors. A walk around the stadium is well worth it just to take in the scale of the events that took place there 33 years ago which led to a change in football stadiums across the UK.

Once inside, away fans are given a belt allowance behind goal at this stadium, which few would argue is now the best in League One, after promotion from Sunderland. After the match, it’s a tram or bus ride back to a stunning city center with wonderful history and thriving nightlife.

Green Forest Roads

A nightmare to reach and a small pitch for visiting fans – but there is something special about Forest Green Rovers. Perhaps it’s because the club is based in the tiny Cotswold village of Nailsworth – which doesn’t even have a train station – that makes this pilgrimage a memorable one for away fans.

Then we have the vegan aspect of travel. FGR is still the only club in the EFL not to serve meat on the ground, meaning you can enjoy a Quorn pie or veggie burger to go with your chips. They have a new wooden pitch on the horizon, but the new lawn is still worth seeing. As for vegetarian food – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

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