Basingstoke Town

Ark Cancer Charity Stadium

Capacity: 2,500 (Seats 650)
Address: Western Way, Basingstoke, RG22 6EZ
Telephone: 01256 327575
Fax: 01256 326346
Club Nickname: Dragons or Stoke
Year Ground Opened: 1946
Home Kit: Blue and Yellow

Main Stand
Main Stand
Side Terrace
Side Terrace
East Terrace
East Terrace
West Terrace
West Terrace

The Ark Cancer Charity Stadium is a largely open ground, which is dominated by the Main Stand on one side. This stand is quite tall with the seating area quite well elevated above pitch level. This means that spectators have to climb a small staircase to access it. This stand is covered and has three supporting pillars for the roof running across its front. It runs in length for about a third of the length of the pitch, situated by the half way line. It has a capacity of 650 seats. On one side of this stand is a small covered standing area, whilst the other side is unused. The team dugouts are located on this side of the pitch, as well as a row of four floodlight pylons, one of which is located in front of the Main Stand. Both ends are very small largely open terraces, although the East End does have a very small covered area. The remaining side is an odd affair, being a deep hard standing area with a small covered area situated quite far back from the pitch. A second set of four floodlight pylons runs along the front of this area.

For the 2016/17 Season the Club have agreed to rename the Camrose Ground, the Ark Cancer Charity Stadium, in support of fund raising for a local cancer treatment centre.

The Club had signalled its intention to leave the Camrose Ground by putting forward proposals to build a new stadium at a site called the 'Old Common' which is located near to Junction 6 of the M3. However the proposals were firmly rejected by the Local Council in January 2016, leaving the Club to go back to the 'drawing board.' The scheme was to be funded by the re-development of the Camrose Ground as a Retail Park.

Usually a warm welcome awaits visiting fans to the Camrose Stadium, although some of the facilities inside are begriming to show their age. Fans have not been segregated at the ground for some years, so fans from each club tend to congregate at the end towards which their side is kicking towards, swapping over at half time. The East Terrace at one end does have a little bit of cover and helps at times to amplify any singing, whilst the West Terrace is open. Food on offer inside the ground includes; Cheeseburgers (£4), Burgers (£3.50), Hot Pork Baps £4.50) and chips (£2.50). 

One 'interesting fact' about the Club is that they have the Latin motto 'Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum' included on their Club Badge, which apparently translates to 'No Retreat.' Also if there is a bit of a 'daredevil' in you, then just over a mile away from the Camrose Stadium, is AirKix, where you can go indoor skydiving!

There is a large supporters club located in the car park, which welcomes visiting supporters. Inside the Club there are a number of screens showing BT and Sky Sports channels. Otherwise there didn’t seem to be too much else around the ground in terms of pubs. There is a Corals Bookmakers also located in the car park, if you fancy a flutter.

Leave the M3 at Junction 6 and take the A339 towards Basingstoke. At the large roundabout with the A30, turn left onto the A30 Ringway South. At the next roundabout bear left continuing along the A30. You should now pass the stadium over on your right. At the next roundabout take the 5th exit onto Western Way. At the mini roundabout turn right into the club car park entrance, the cost of which is £1 per car.

Basingstoke Station is situated around a mile and half away from the ground. It is served by trains from London Waterloo & Southampton.

Kieran McGovern informs me; 'If you leave Basingstoke station by the main exit, you'll be opposite the entrance to the shopping centre. If you go into the centre and keep walking in a straight line through it and then straight through the indoor area, called Festival Place, you will reach the exit at the far end. This brings you out onto the pedestrianised Wote Street. Walk up this street passing the infamous "Wote Street Willy" statue and you'll arrive at the Market Square, with a McDonalds located directly in front of you. Turn right at McDonalds and at the end of the pedestrianised street, you'll arrive at a junction with traffic lights. Going straight across this junction and just after passing the Wheatsheaf Pub on your right, turn left into Winchester Road. Walking straight along Winchester Road you will eventually end up at the ground on your right. It should take about half an hour to walk'

Kieran continues; 'Alternatively, you can then catch a bus from outside the shopping centre to either Brighton Hill (Service No:1) or South Ham (Service No:3), either of which will take you to within a few minutes walk of the ground, dropping off either at the retail park (Bus Number 1) on Winchester Road, or on Western Way (Bus 3). A return fare costs around £3.40'. You can view timetables for these services on the Stagecoach website.

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Terrace
Adults: £12 Concessions: £8 Under 16's: £2 Family Ticket 2 Adults + 2 Children: £24

Seating
A further £1 transfer fee is payable inside the ground.

Official Programme £2.

Basingstoke Town FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Andover, Farnborough Town, Maidenhead United and Woking.

Record Attendance 
5,085 v Wycombe Wanderers FA Cup First Round Replay, 25th November 1997. 

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 502 (National League South)
2014-2015: 602  (National League South)

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will go to help with the running costs of keeping the Guide going.

Access their Basingstoke Hotels and Guest Houses page.

Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Basingstoke Town v Maidenhead United
Conference National League South
Saturday 20th February 2016, 3pm
Shay Bottomley (Maidenhead United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Camrose Stadium?

It was my first National League South away game in a while, and it was the closest ground other than the game against Hayes and Yeading, who also play at York Road. It was also interesting to see the Camrose Stadium for the first time.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I used public transport to get to the ground, meaning I took the train to Basingstoke, before getting the bus. I would recommend walking to the ground and catching the number 1 bus, which runs right past the stadium every ten minutes.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

There were facilities in the ground itself, but there was also a social club just outside, which I believe served both home and away fans. Home fans seemed friendly, and many Maidenhead and Basingstoke fans stood in close proximity inside the stadium due to the rain without hassle.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Camrose Stadium?

As it was Non-League, there were no designated sections for certain fans. However, the stadium looked like it was starting to show signs of wear and tear, with the radio towers and seating area looking like they could do with a renovation. There was covered terracing around the majority of the ground, so it was easy to find shelter from the rain.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was good for any neutrals and Basingstoke supporters, as the result (a 2-1 win to Basingstoke) was completely unexpected. Stewarding was present, but there were only a few stewards, as trouble was not expected. I could not see any toilets in the ground, but I presume there are some in the social club.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

As mentioned earlier, I took the number 1 bus, which cost £2.10 and goes directly to the train station. I left about 10 minutes early, as I wanted to be home for 6pm, so it was fairly easy to get away from the ground.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a pleasant day out in general. We may have lost, but the home fans were friendly, and it was only my third away game, so I was more than happy with how the day went.

Basingstoke v Havant & Waterlooville
Conference South League
Saturday, April 18th, 2015, 3pm
Myles Munsey (Groundhopper)

Reason for going:
It just so happens that Basingstoke, as the crow flies, is the nearest ground in this guide from where I live, being just a fraction closer than Reading. My friend from Portsmouth goers to Havant quite a bit so a chance to see them play away from home for a change. So after the Bromley game we pencilled this in for a further football fix. With both sides guaranteed a play-off place (and each with very slim chance of the title) it looked like a promising encounter. It wasn’t, but more of that later. 

Getting there:
Very easy from Newbury with a change of train at Reading West followed by a no.1 bus that will drop you near the ground on Winchester Road.  

First impressions:
A rather strange ground I thought. One of those stadiums where one stand looms over everything else (like Woking). Certainly not an unpleasant ground, but I looked hard for distinguishing features. Like Bromley the ground was set in a residential area and sitting in the main stand commanded a wide view of the edge of town leafy suburban landscape. Large areas of the enclosure were given over to car parking so you need to be on the alert for moving vehicles. There was a nice atmosphere in the supporters club bar where incidentally you buy your programme. There were a couple of noteworthy details. Firstly the depth of the North Terrace was immense. Part of this was a concreted and covered area but in front was a large flat and uncovered area that seemed impossibly wide. Secondly all eight floodlights are placed at the pitch surround. Meaning that they slightly impede one’s view. Not annoying but an odd place to have them I thought. 

North Terrace

North Terrace

Before the game:
We ate in Basingstoke’s shopping centre at Guardino’s Italian café – very nice – before making our way to the bus station. No.1 bus is very frequent – about every 10 minutes and will drop you a stone’s throw from the ground.

A quick peek into the supporters club bar where they sell programmes as well as beer. My friend was able to meet up with a few H&W fans that he knew from cricket scoring duties from long ago so that was nice. I did my customary tour of the ground chatting to players, officials and stewards before settling into a seat in the Main Stand. A few seats along from us was Andy Awford the former Portsmouth Manager whose son was playing for Havant. There was one catering outlet along from the Main Stand. 

Sample prices:
Small portion of chips £2
Large portion of chips £2.50
Burger £3.50
Cheeseburger £4
Hot Pork Roast Roll £4.50
Egg, Bacon and sausage Roll £5
Tea, or coffee £1
Cappuccino, hot chocolate £1.50.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off for former Basingstoke keeper Ken Hargreaves who passed away in March. Impeccably observed.

The game:
Sometimes you just get an inkling, that a game is not going to be a good one and 15 minutes into this encounter, the writing, I’m afraid was on the wall. With both teams assured of a play-off spot and on a sunny, warm and cloudless afternoon this was a very soporific encounter with both teams frankly going through the motions. That may sound harsh but neither keeper was really troubled and goal action was minimal. I may well be that they will meet each other again the play-offs, where a bit more energy will definitely be required, but this game was a dead rubber if ever there was one. 0-0

Getting away:
We had just exited the station when a no.1 bus drove into view. Perfect timing! I made my train back to Reading West comfortably whereas my friend gained an hour on his schedule back to Cosham.   Overall:  I suppose for an end of season encounter the result was all too predictable given that both sides no doubt were saving themselves for the two play-off games. Not the ideal way to end my reporting for the season. Despite that, it was an enjoyable afternoon and it will be interesting to see who goes up to Conference Premier. 

Why not write your own review of the Camrose Stadium and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 30th September 2016

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