Murrayfield, the Home of Scottish Rugby
As I write this post, Scotland is preparing for the 2010 Six Nations tournament, the annual championship of European rugby. The home matches (in 2010 hosting France and bitter rivals England) are played at one of the great stadiums of Scotland, and one of the great rugby parks anywhere – Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, the home of the Scotland national rugby union side.
Murrayfield first opened its doors in 1925, a special year in the history of Scotland rugby. The first visitors were England, who the Scots beat 14-11 to seal our first Grand Slam of rugby, one of only three times Scotland has taken that honor. Over the years since, several important matches have taken place here, and Murrayfield has also been home to more than just rugby. When World War II enveloped Europe, the stadium became an important supply depot. Even during the war, Murrayfield still ended up hosting a few matches between English and Scottish servicemen, providing an important bit of relief and recreation for the troops.
Murrayfield has occasionally been used for football, hosting a few European matches for local Scottish Premier League side Hearts, and even played host to some American football during the short lifetime of NFL Europa and its Edinburgh franchise, the Claymores.
The largest stadium in Scotland, Murrayfield has an official capacity of 67,130.
As you can see on the map above, Murrayfield is located in the West End of Edinburgh, along Corstorphine Road. There are buses virtually right to the stadium door, but if you are taking a train to the match, make sure to leave a little time for a walk, because the nearest station (Haymarket) is nearly a mile away.
Places to Stay
There are several hotels in Edinburgh that will serve you well for a visit to Murrayfield, because again, the bus service is excellent. But if you want to stay nice and close, the best choice is the aptly named Murrayfield Hotel and Lodge, just across the street (the blue hotel marker on the above map).