Whitehawk

The Enclosed Ground

Capacity: 2,000
Address: East Brighton, Sussex, BN2 5TS
Telephone: 01273 609736
Club Nickname: The Hawks
Year Ground Opened: 1890*
Home Kit: Red and White

Main Stand
Main Stand
North End
North End
South End
South End
East Side
East Side

The Enclosed Ground is rather picturesque, being in a rural setting, with the South Downs viewable beyond. It is only half a mile from the sea front and there are some great views to be had driving down towards it. It is an unusual ground in the respect that because it is built into a side of a hill, the East side of the stadium comprises of a large steep bank that is topped with a row of advertising panels. Unlike the Dripping Pan ground at nearby Lewes, which also has a similar feature, this area is not used for spectators. All that is on that side are the two team dugouts, which oddly are situated on the opposite side of the ground to the team dressing rooms and Main Stand.

The Main Stand is a small covered seated stand, which is set back from the pitch. There is a noticeable slope to the pitch at the ground running up from the South to the North End and having more of an incline from the half way line. The design of the Main Stand reflects this, having more rows of seating on the South side than the North. The stand only runs for around a quarter of the length of the pitch straddling the half way line. On the South side of this stand are some small buildings which house the club house and dressing rooms, whilst the North side of the stand has no spectator facilities, apart from a narrow pathway and perimeter fence.

To keep pace with the Club's rise up the League Pyramid, the capacity has been boosted by erecting temporary stands at either end of the ground. At the North End there are two banks of open seating, which were once in place at the Withdean Stadium when Brighton and Hove Albion played there. One section of seating is 11 rows high and has a capacity of just over 800 seats and extends from the East side to beyond the goalmouth. Then there is a gap, before another smaller bank of seating which is eight rows high and contains around 400 seats. The opposite end is at least covered but is much more of an untidy affair. It is again all seated and does extend the full width of the pitch. However as the ground also has a slope that runs up from the Main Stand side to the East Bank, then the temporary stand has been put together in four sections that are at different heights to one another. Still the main drawback to this area is that it has a large amount of small supporting pillars running across the front of it. The stadium has a set of six floodlights, three of which run down each side of the ground.

If fans are segregated inside the stadium, then part the North End of the ground is allocated to visiting supporters. This temporary all seated stand is situated behind the goal and extends over to the East side of the stadium and has a capacity of 800 seats. It is set back from the playing area and has no roof so hope that it doesn't rain. It is called the 'Sea End' by fans as you can actually see the sea from this area. However its elevated position means that the wind can be quite bracing at times, so wrap up well. Whitehawk is normally a welcoming club to visitors.

There is a small club house at the ground which admits away fans. Around a 15 minute walk away is the New Bush pub on Arundel Road. Also on the sea front is the Brighton Marina, where there are a number of bars and restaurants. There is also a traditional pub at the Marina, that serves real and is called the Master Mariner. The Marina also has a large free car park. To find the Marina and the New Bush pub, then from the entrance to the ground, turn left down Wilson Avenue, and continue all the way down to the sea front. Turn left for the Marina (which is well signposted) or turn right for the New Bush and then take the second right into Arundel Road.

If you require hotel accommodation in the area then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. 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 help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

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As the traffic into the centre Brighton on the A23 can be quite slow at times, the the route outlined below avoids this.

At the end of the M23, continue onto the A23, heading towards Brighton. At the roundabout which is the junction with the A27, take the A27 towards Lewes. After around four miles you will see the stadium on your right hand side. Leave at the A27 and take the slip road sign posted Falmer/Rottingdean (B2123). At the top of the slip road turn right, crossing back over the A27. Continue straight towards Rottingdean passing the Amex stadium on your right.

On reach a set of traffic lights which is the Woodingdean Junction, turn right by the Downs Hotel, towards the City Centre/Racecourse. At the next traffic lights turn left into Wilson Avenue (signposted East Brighton Park). After passing the entrance to the Stanley Leisure Centre, continue further down the hill and then take a left into a narrow road (signposted East Brighton Park/Camping). Follow the narrow road round, passing an entrance to a caravan park and the ground entrance, is around to the right.

There is a car park at the ground that holds 100 cars and the entrance road up to the ground is quite narrow. So it may be an idea to find one street parking on the residential streets off Wilson Avenue and walk over to the ground.

Brighton Central Railway Station is situated around two and half miles away from the ground. Either get a taxi or bus up to the ground.

To take a bus; then from the Stance B stop at the railway station, take the Brighton and Hove Bus Company No 7 (towards Brighton Marina) or 27 (towards Saltdean) to Roedean Road (ask the driver to drop you off on this road near the Marina). After being dropped off, walk up Roedean Road to the traffic lights (keeping the gas pylon on your right) and turn left into Wilson Avenue. Then take the next right into a narrow road (signposted East Brighton Park/Camping). Follow the narrow road round, passing an entrance to a caravan park and the ground entrance, is around to the right. Please take care along this road as it has no footpath and at night it is unlit. A Bus Timetable can be downloaded from the Brighton & Hove Bus website.

Thanks to Johh Atiken of the Wanderers Way Annual for the above information.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

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:

Adult £12
OAP's/Students £7
Under 17's £3
Under 12's Free

Official Matchday Programme £2.

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

Eastbourne Borough, Lewes and Bognor Regis Town.

Record Attendance
2,174 v Dagenham and Redbridge FA Cup Second Round Replay, 16th December 2015.

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 324 (National League South)
2014-2015: 258 (Conference South)

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

Special thanks to David Pillman for providing the photos of the Enclosed Ground.

Whitehawk v Lincoln City
FA Cup First Round
Sunday 8th November 2015, 2pm
Ian Howitt (Lincoln City fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Enclosed Ground?    

It was an intriguing tie against lower league opposition and a ground that I had not previously visited.

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

Due to sat nav - easy to find. Parking made easier by the opening of a nearby field.

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

Went to a nearby café that services the adjacent Sunday league and Rugby pitches. Awesome ham egg and chips - highly recommended.

What you thought on seeing the Enclosed Ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?    

I had been advised the place was a bit of a tip by several others who had been, and they were spot on. Temporary stands at either end, although the one on the away end afforded a good view. The Main Stand that was low slung and set way back from the pitch and one side that was inaccessible. The only refreshments and toilet facilities were of the portable variety, the toilets were poor to say the least.

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

The game was a cracker - finishing 5-3 to Whitehawk, who deserved their win. Atmosphere was strange as the home fans were down the far end and made a lot of noise but much of it was lost as the ground is very open. As stated the facilities left a lot to be desired. The Stewards were a friendly bunch and needed support from the local constabulary who had to step in to calm the Neanderthal behaviour of a handful of the visiting contingent. Another disappointment was the programmes sold out (Only 400 printed) despite being in the ground an hour prior to kick off. Subsequently changing hands for almost £20 on eBay.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Easily got away as I made a hasty exit from the ground on the whistle, and within minutes was heading out of town. However those who lingered would have taken ages to get back out on the road.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Cracking game but an abysmal venue. How this is a step two ground is beyond me. A case of hoards of cash being thrown at the team but not the facilities. A real shame as this part of Sussex has some lovely non league grounds, Lewes and Worthing to name just two. Glad to have done it, but wont be hurrying back.

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

* It was originally opened as a cricket ground for East Brighton Cricket Club.

Updated 25th September 2016

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