For most, February means Valentine’s Day. However, for many others it means the start of the Six Nations – the annual Rugby Union tournament between England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy to see who can lay claim to being the best team in Europe is. Now, the best atmosphere is obviously to be found in the stadiums, but for those who haven’t managed to snag a ticket, we have created a handy list of pubs for those who still want to soak up the magical atmosphere of match day in a host city and get a good view of the action.
Possibly the most famous rugby pub in the world, the Cabbage Patch boasts a plethora of rugby memorabilia on the walls and has played host to SKY TV for match day programmes in the past. Only a few minutes’ walk from Twickenham Stadium, this is a close as you can get to the action without being in the stadium and as such is filled with a roaring atmosphere during the match. Behind the bar, you’ll find a wide selection of beers and an extensive whisky collection, alongside serving gourmet pub food.
Tucked away in on a quiet street in Finsbury Park, North London, you could call the Faltering Fullback a hidden gem for Rugby fans. Even its name screams rugby. This Irish-themed pub has a selection of ales and serves reasonably priced and generously-portioned Thai food to fill any rumbling bellies. A cheerful and welcoming atmosphere can always be found here, especially on match days, and the multi-layered, hidden beer garden out the back is ever popular on sunny days.
The Old Arcade
The walls of this traditional sports pub, located in the heart of Cardiff city centre, are decorated with a whole host of rugby memorabilia, including many signed Welsh international shirts. The bar serves a variety of locally brewed Brains beers and good, solid pub food served by friendly and welcoming staff. The central location, within spitting distance of the castle, ensures that this pub is filled with an electric atmosphere on match day. If you’re wearing a Welsh jersey, and you’re lucky, you may even get your photo up on the ‘Wall of Fame’.
Yard Bar & Kitchen
Little more than a stone’s throw from the Millennium Stadium, this bar is the perfect place to experience the vibrant atmosphere of Cardiff on match day. A great variety of pub food comes from the kitchen, while the bar includes a large range of beers and drinks, including an incredibly popular cocktail menu. After the match, this bar keeps on giving with live music hosted every Friday and Saturday night to help you celebrate your team’s win or drown your sorrows after a loss.
A gothic, horror-themed bar with a German bierkeller in the cellar may not seem like the natural place to watch a Six Nation’s match, but this bar goes all out on match day during the Six Nations, including getting their resident Oompah band to play the national anthems. The bar serves a wide variety of beers and drinks, including specialist German beers in the bierkeller, whilst its city centre location – only a few minutes from the castle – ensures you can soak up the superb atmosphere of Edinburgh on match day.
The Three Sisters
Located in the heart of the city, The Three Sisters is ideal for immersing yourself in the buzzing match day atmosphere. The beer garden – which is in a heated marque, so no need to worry about a Scottish winter’s chill – holds a giant 225inch screen to ensure the best possible view of the action, while the bar serves a wide selection of beers, ciders and other drinks, as well as good food – including pizza from their own wood-fired oven.