Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The longest round-trip in the Football League

Fans poring over the Sky Bet Football League's 2015/16 fixture list on Wednesday morning to plan their away-days for the new season should spare a thought for Carlisle supporters.

The Cumbrians are well versed in the logistics involved in following their club up and down the country, of course, but have little time to prepare or save for the Football League's longest round trip of them all - a day out on the south coast at Plymouth.

Only this time it is not a day out - more a mini holiday.

Carlisle, who launch their new campaign at Mansfield on August 8, take on Cambridge in their first home game the following Saturday and then head to Plymouth for their first midweek fixture on Tuesday, August 18.

If they choose to go by car, fans must set off early Tuesday morning as, traffic-permitting, they face a six-hour, 33-minute drive just to get there.

When they hit the M6 at the Rosehill roundabout in Penrith they face a 390-mile journey to get to Home Park in time for the 7.45pm kick-off.

If they are lucky they could be home in time for work the next day, arriving at 4.30am having covered a total of 780 miles at a fuel cost of around £70.

For those who opt not to drive, a coach trip is out of the question.

The first National Express coach is scheduled to leave Carlisle at 10am on the Tuesday morning and, after an 11-hour, 15-minute trip, will not get you into Bretonside Bus Station in Plymouth until 9.15pm.

If non-driving die-hards insist on making the trip, they will have to find a bed for the night as the first coach back to Carlisle is on Wednesday at 5.15am. That would get you back to Carlisle at 3.40pm at a cost of £75.50.

The alternative option is by train, but will leave a fan with little change out of £200 for the return ticket alone.

According to, the earliest train pulls out of Carlisle at 11.11am on Tuesday morning and will get you to Plymouth in good time for kick-off at 5.42pm, at a cost of £183.30.

Should you wish to make a short break of it and stay overnight after the match to explore 'Britain's Ocean City', an open return ticket would cost £378.80.

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