I’ve found in the past that relating travel and parking experiences here always seems to be useful to people, so here’s another one, this time relating to parking at Stanmore for Wembley Stadium events. This was something we tried in July 2015, for the AC/DC concert, on the recommendation of several people. Parking at or near Wembley Stadium is possible, but expensive and slow to escape afterwards, so parking a few stops away on the tube is a reasonable alternative. Don’t think it’ll save you that much time though – after the event, it’ll take you at least half an hour (probably more) to get down Wembley Way, into the station and on to a train, and another 15 minutes to get to Stanmore and to your car. Queueing for an hour to get out of the Wembley car park might not seem so bad in comparison.
If you’re looking elsewhere, Stanmore station would seem to make sense on a weekend, as it has a large car park designed for just this. (On a weekday I can’t imagine you’d stand any chance of finding a spot there). However, on arriving at 4.30pm (the concert began at 7.15pm), we found Stanmore station car park to be full up already. There were many cars just going round and round waiting for a space to become free, but almost nobody arriving back on the tube and leaving a space in the car park. So that was a waste of time – do not bank on it.
However, just the other side of Stanmore station (the car park is on the east side), there was an office block car park being offered as a car park for £10. More than the station, it’s true, but if you like your car put away somewhere safe, a decent-enough option which we took. What’s more, the people running it were around when we got back, and very helpful in pointing out a route out of the area which avoided the busy traffic.
You could also park on the streets in the area around the station, if you’re happy to do that, as parking restrictions end at 4pm. I never like to rely on finding a space on the streets though. Also, we had a nice pizza in Stanmore (there’s a Prezzo and a Pizza Express 5 minutes from the station), whereas you’d be hard pushed to find much around Wembley Stadium.
One last option: as the tube train approached Canons Park, the first of the four stops between Stanmore and Wembley Park, I noticed the small car park there had plenty of empty space. This could be your best bet of all, and one which I’ll try first next time. It’s no distance from Stanmore. Canons Park station car park is down a small lane immediately to the east of the station.
Finally, I should mention cost: if you’re not a regular tube user, the price of paper tube tickets bought on the day will stagger you. Make sure you use a contactless credit card if you have one (just tap it on the card reader). The cash fare from Stanmore to Wembley Park seems to be about a fiver (contactless is a fraction of this), so unless you’re on your own, it would probably be cheaper to stump up £30 to park at the stadium.
Parking at Stanmore – street parking free, station parking cheap, private office parking £10. Return tube fare to Wembley Park £3 with contactless credit card, probably twice this without. 20-30 minutes to get to the stadium, 30-60 minutes to get back. Parking at Canons Park similar cost and time to parking at Stanmore station parking but may be more availability.
Parking at Wembley Stadium – takes a bit longer to get there and parked, costs around £30, needs booking in advance. No tube cost. 5-10 minutes to get to the stadium, unknown time (30-120 minutes?) to get away afterwards.
An alternative which might be worth investigating is coach travel: National Express often puts on special coaches from major towns and cities for big events.
If you have any experiences to share, or further thoughts, do please add them in the comments below. I’d particularly welcome an update on the tube fares you might have paid, because I can’t work them out from the TFL website.