Where to watch the Rugby World Cup 2015
The kick off of the Rugby World Cup is a mere matter of days away, and it's safe to say England is pretty excited to be playing host. The countdown has started and an air of giddy anticipation is spreading throughout the country, with fanzones popping up in each of the hosting cities. As we edge towards the 18th September, when England will take on Fiji in what we hope will be an explosive first match to set the precedent for the coming weeks, we couldn't help but get our organisational hats on.
With so many places across the country to catch the rugby, we've rounded up the top five locations, with nothing but gloriously cold beer, epic screens and even immersive rugby experiences on our minds. Here goes...
1. Fanzones : Nationwide
If watching the rugby just isn't quite enough to satisfy your love for the sport, you may be better off visiting one of the official Rugby World Cup fanzones. With epic outdoor screens, food and drink, scrums, inflatable rugby pitches, kicking simulators and just about anything else you can think of, these zones are atmospheric, lively and excellent fun.
2. Proud Secret Garden, London
Perhaps an unexpected place to catch the rugby, this one's made it onto our list because it offers one of the best atmospheres in London. Plus they've nailed all the practical requirements for catching the rugby, with a giant HD screen, a great variety of beers and (this might be the best bit) an outdoor barbeque. The secret garden is both charming and comfortable, with shelter to keep you dry and heating to keep you toasty-warm should the weather take an autumnal turn.
3. The Bierkeller, Manchester
Things can get pretty lairy in Manchester's answer to a Bavarian beer tent, which may be just your cup of tea for a proper rugby-watching experience. This lively bierkeller is one of Manchester's busiest bars, and certainly not for the faint hearted. Expect rows of benches filled with merry folk, over-flowing steins and perhaps even the odd friendly scrum. You won't want to be driving home after a night in the bierkeller, so be sure to check out hotels in Manchester if you're coming from afar.
4. The Three Sisters, Edinburgh
For lively crowds, a 200 inch outdoor LED screen, and a beer garden that ticks all the boxes, head to The Three Sisters in Edinburgh for the Rugby World Cup. And if the crowds outside prove too much, you can head upstairs to the pub's 'beer hall' - a zone dedicated solely to sports fans. With multiple HD screens, a projector and surround sound, it's fully equipped togive you the ultimate rugby experience. While you're there, be sure to try their 'Man Plank' - literally a plank covered in tasty grub to keep you going through the match, complete with a two-pint stein.
5.The Original Oak, Leeds
The Original Oak boasts one of the biggest (if not the biggest) beer gardens in Leeds, which is always fully equipped with two gigantic screens for big games. And if the weather doesn't permit, it's got a good number of screens indoors too. With a friendly northern atmosphere, cheap beer on tap and a menu filled with pub grub classics, this one's for the laid back Luke who wants to watch the game in traditional, comfortable surroundings.
So if you're yet to make a plan for the event of the year, be sure to check out one of the above locations to soak up all of the glorious atmosphere on offer. And here's hoping that glory is what we get.