Fulham

Craven Cottage

Capacity: 25,678 (all seated)
Address: Stevenage Road, London, SW6 6HH
Telephone: 0843 208 1222
Fax: 0207 384 4715
Ticket Office: 0843 208 1234
Pitch Size: 109 x 71 yards
Club Nickname: The Cottagers or The Whites
Year Ground Opened: 1896
Shirt Sponsors: Marathon bet
Kit Manufacturer: Addidas
Home Kit: White With Black Trim
Away Kit: Black and Red

Riverside Stand and Hammersmith End
Riverside Stand and Hammersmith End
Johnny Haynes Stand
Johnny Haynes Stand
Hammersmith End
Hammersmith End
Riverside Stand and Putney End
Riverside Stand and Putney End
"The Cottage"
Rear Of Stevenage Road Stand
Rear Of Stevenage Road Stand
Johnny Haynes Statue
Johnny Haynes Statue
Away and Neutral Fans Entrance
Away and Neutral Fans Entrance

On one side of the ground is the Stevenage Road Stand which has recently been renamed the Johnny Haynes Stand after the former Fulham great. It previously had terracing at the front, but this has now been made all seated. The stand was originally designed by Archibald Leitch (who designed a number of football grounds and stands in the early part of the 20th century) and was opened in 1905. Considering its age, it can be forgiven for having a number of supporting pillars and old wooden seating in its upper tier. It does though have a fine classic looking gable on its roof; labelled Fulham Football Club.

Opposite is the aptly named Riverside Stand. which sits on the banks of the River Thames. This all seated, covered stand was opened in 1972. It was slightly raised above pitch level, but at the beginning of the 2007/08 season additional rows of seating were installed at the front of it, bringing it down to the pitch side. It also has a row of executive boxes running across the back of it and also houses a television gantry. There are a couple of small windshields to either side, plus it has a couple of supporting pillars. Overlooking the ground from one corner, between the Johnny Haynes Stand and Putney End, is the unique Pavilion building, which many fans refer to as 'the Cottage' (although this is technically incorrect as the original cottage after which the ground is named, was demolished many years ago). This looks somewhat misplaced being more reminiscent of a small cricket pavilion, rather than something found at a football ground, but it does add to the overall character. 

Both ends which were previously terraced have now been replaced by two new large all seated, covered stands, that look fairly similar in design. They both though have some supporting pillars which is disappointing. The Hammersmith End has one large pillar towards the front and middle of the stand, whilst opposite the Putney End has a row of pillars running across the stand, about a third of the way down it. Attached to these stands in three corners of the ground are some three storey structures that are used to house corporate executive boxes. An unusual feature is that the teams enter the field from one corner of the ground, by the Cottage and then make their way up onto the pitch as it is raised. The only disappointment is that the fabulous old floodlights that the ground previously had, have been removed and replaced by a nondescript modern set. There is a small electric scoreboard situated above the Putney End. Outside the stadium alongside Stevenage Road is the Johnny Haynes Statue.

The Club have now received planning permission to redevelop the Riverside Stand. The new stand which will incorporate a riverside walkway behind it, will increase the capacity of Craven Cottage to 30,000. However, no firm time scales have been announced yet as to when this will take place.

Away fans are housed to one side of the Putney End Stand on the river side of the ground. This stand is shared with 'neutral' supporters, with away fans being allocated around 3,000 seats, which is just under half of the overall capacity of this stand. There are a couple of supporting pillars that could impede your view, but this only applies to certain seats in Row DD and above. The leg room is ample and as the rows of stand seem to have been constructed from metal and plywood, rather than concrete, fans can't resist making some noise, by stamping up and down on it. 

Food and drink are served from a number of outlets and stalls situated behind the stands. These areas although mostly covered are not enclosed, which is great in the Summer but can be rather cold in Winter. However if you go to the outlets around to the left of the stand then you can enjoy some nice views of the Thames, whilst having your beer. Cans of Tetleys, Guinness and plastic bottles of Carlsberg (500ml) are available at £4, plus small wine bottles (£4.50). Food inside includes a range of pies; Steak and Ale (£3.50), Chicken Balti (£3.50) Vegetable and Cottage Pies (£4.20), Cheeseburgers (£4.50) and Hot Dogs (£4). Generally there seems to be enough food and drink outlets available so that the queues were never too long (those located on the Thames side, hardly even had a queue at half time (even though on my last visit the away section was sold out). Around the concourses are flat screen televisions showing the game going on inside. 

I have been previously to Craven Cottage on a number of occasions and on a nice summer day, this is one of my favourite grounds. From the walk from the tube station through a park, to having a pint overlooking the River Thames, this can be quite an enjoyable experience and I have never had any problems there. The walk down Stevenage Road to the away entrance, gives you chance to admire the quaint red brick facade of the Johnny Haynes Stand, whilst inside you can enjoy modern facilities, and apart from the game, you can still catch glimpses of rowers making their away along the Thames.

I have to say the recent re-developments have made a great ground even better and there is now a superb blend of the new and the old, giving the ground great individuality and character. My only grumble has been sometimes the rather large police presence outside the ground (including mounted police and dog handlers), before and after the games that I have attended. One would have thought they were expecting a riot. On one of my visits the Birmingham Fans were chanting to the Fulham fans, "you only sing when you're rowing!"

One other item of interest is that Fulham is the only Club that I know of that has a designated area of the ground reserved for 'neutral supporters'. This is located on one side of the Putney End, adjacent to the away fans section. I guess that the original idea was to attract tourists to London to a game. However, for each game there seems to be a good mix, of home, away and neutral fans in this area. Both away fans and neutral supporters use the same entrance and both can access the same facilities at the back of the stand.

Near to the tube station is the 'Eight Bells' which is popular with away fans. James Merrick a visiting Ipswich Town fan adds; 'We arrived at the Eight Bells at 1pm, to find it was already full but was advised to head for the "The Temperance" which is only a few minutes walk away. From the Eight Bells walk up to the main road and turn right. The Temperance is across the road (Fulham High Street) on the corner. They have a round bar in the centre of their main room, there is ample seating and the football was being screened on a large projector with other tvs placed around the room. Prices were reasonable and the service excellent. There was also plenty of food on offer (burgers, hot dogs and chips etc..) again for reasonable prices. There was a mix of home and away fans in there, but there were no problems whatsoever, in fact we spent a bit of time talking to some very nice Fulham fans about the game and their season as a whole'.

David Frear recommends; 'The Crabtree on Rainville Road (10 minutes from the ground) welcomes all away supporters and as a Fulham season ticket holder I can tell you that as long as you don't watch your football at Loftus Road you can be assured of a warm welcome'. To find this pub go along Stevenage Road away from the Cottage and the away end. On reaching the home end of the ground, turn left along an alley which runs behind the stand. When you reach the River Thames turn right and walk along the riverside path. You will reach the Crabtree on your right. Alan Holmes a visiting Norwich City fan adds; 'The Eight Bells (before the game) had a wonderful atmosphere (home fans enjoying it as well) and there was even a backboard proclaiming "Run by football fans for football fans" and headed "Welcome to all Canaries fans!" The Crabtree (afterwards) was well worth the swim against the tide and when the weather is pleasant, the spacious beer garden is an added bonus. This pub is also just under 20 minutes walk from Hammersmith tube station. There was an excellent range of real ales in both pubs'.

From the North M1
At the end of the M1, turn right (west) onto the A406 (North Circular) and follow it towards Harrow for nearly 4.5 miles. Turn left (east) onto the A40 heading into London (passing close to Loftus Road and after a little over 4 miles turn right (west) onto the A402 for just about 350 yards. Here you turn left (south) along the A219 for a little over half a mile. This brings you into Hammersmith where you turn right onto the A315 and then after just 130 yards or so turn left (south) back onto the A219. Follow this road for a little over a mile, and the ground down the side streets off to your right. 

From The North M40 & West M25
Leave the M25 at Junction 15 and take the M4, which then becomes the A4, towards Central London. After around two miles branch off left into Hammersmith Broadway (before the flyover). Go around the ring road around central Hammersmith, keeping to the right. Then take the A219 Fulham Palace Road. Keep straight on this road, passing Charing Cross Hospital on your left. After about another half a mile, take one of the right hand turns for the ground. If you pass the Fulham Palace Garden Centre on your right, then you have gone too far. 

From the South M25
Leave the M25 at Junction 10 and take the A3 towards Central London. After around eight miles, leave the A3 at the turn off for the A219. Take the A219 towards Putney. Continue straight on this road, down Putney High Street and across Putney Bridge. You will see the ground on your left. 

Car Parking

Parking close to the ground can be quite difficult as Jim Huegett informs me; 'please note that parking on the streets near to the ground is restricted to one hour 'pay & display' on matchdays. This isn't obvious from the parking meters and signage and the wardens are out in force on match day'. To compound matters these restrictions are also in place for Bank Holidays, Sundays and evenings up to 9.30pm, so it will be a case of finding some parking further away from the stadium.

Thanks to Robert Donaldson, a visiting Stockport County fan, for providing the directions.

Post Code for SAT NAV: SW6 6HH

The nearest London Underground station is Putney Bridge, which is on the District Line. The ground is about a fifteen minute walk. Turn left out of the station and then immediately turn right into a street called Ranelagh Gardens. As the road bends around to the right you will see the Eight Bells pub on your right. Turn left after the pub to take you up to the main road by Putney Bridge. Cross over to the other side of the main road and proceed up to the bridge and then on reaching the bridge turn right to enter into Bishops Park alongside the Thames. Just proceed through the park (keeping the Thames on your left) and you will reach the ground ahead.

An alternative route by tube, is to get the Piccadilly Line to Hammersmith from Central London or Heathrow. It is then around a 20 minute walk to the ground, going straight down Fulham Palace Road (passing Charing Cross Hospital). Further on you can then turn right into Crabtree Lane (for the pub of the same name) or carry on and turn right into Harbord Street for Craven Cottage.

Tony Baker adds; 'Those wishing to avoid the Tube can use the Putney National Rail station, which can be reached from Waterloo and Clapham Junction. Its about a 15 or 20 minute walk to the ground. Turn right upon leaving the station, and keep going straight, down Putney High Street and over Putney Bridge. You will meet the crowds from the Tube station here. Follow them along the river bank through Bishops Park and to the ground'.

For travelling across London by public transport I recommend planning your journey ahead with the use of the Travel For London Plan your journey website.

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

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can normally save.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Putney End: 

Adults £49 (B £40) (C £35)
Concessions £39 (B £30) (C £25)
Juniors £25 (B £20) (C £15)

Concessions apply to Over 65's and Under 21's. Juniors are under 17's.

In addition the Club sell a number of 'restricted view' tickets at a £2 discount on the above prices.

Official Programme: £3.50 
One F In Fulham Fanzine: £2.

Chelsea, QPR and Brentford.

Record Attendance:
49,335 v Millwall,
Division Two, October 8th, 1938. 

Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
25,700 v Arsenal
Premier League, September 26th, 2009. 

Average Attendance: 
2013-2014: 24,977 (Premier League)
2012-2013: 25,394 (Premier League)
2011-2012: 25,293 (Premier League)

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

The Club offer tours of Craven Cottage on most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Sunday tours are also combined with taking Sunday lunch at the ground. The cost of the normal tours are; Adults £8, Under 12's £5 and Under 5's are Free. There is also a Family Ticket available (2 Adults + 2 Children) for £21. Sunday tours with lunch cost Adults £38, Under 12's £19 and Under 5's £9.95. See the Fulham website for tour dates.

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

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. The Hotels listing also includes details of how far away the accommodation is located from Craven Cottage. 

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Fulham v Charlton Athletic
Championship League
Friday, October 24th, 2014, 7.45pm
James Butler (Charlton Athletic fan)

I always look forward to a trip to Cravern Cottage. It was the venue for my first away trip, a 1-1 draw back in the 1976-77 season. The Fulham side at the time featured Rodney Marsh and George Best.
 
A journey on a Friday night in the midst of rush hour on the London Tube was as busy as you would expect and consequently left us no time to visit our chosen restaurant on Putney High Street. There cannot however be many  grounds in the country so well provided for by Pubs and places to eat. We settled for a tiny Italian sandwich shop opposite Putney Bridge tube Station, the sandwich we enjoyed was superb, the couple running it were delightful, even though we could not get over to them that we supported Charlton and not Chelmsford????
 
The walk to the ground from here takes about 10 minutes through the, even in the dark, delightful Bishops Park, passing on the way two or three stalls selling burgers off proper BBQ’s. None of you standard footie fare here, Fulham is way to upmarket for that. Indeed, surrounded by houses worth seven figure sums, is there a posher location for a football ground in the country?
 
This was my fourth trip to Craven Cottage so not many surprises were in store. On entry we were searched and sniffer dogs were looking for pyrotechnics. You then walk behind the Putney End to the away section beside the river. We had been given and had sold our 3,000 allocation, so there were plenty of fellow Addicts enjoying the eye wateringly expensive beer at £4.20 a pint, at least there was no queue.
 
We were shown very efficiently to our seats, a disappointing position in a corner, level with the dug outs. I felt like I was watching from outside the ground.
 
Eleven minutes into the game and frankly I wished we were outside. Fulham came flying out and raced into a 2-0 lead against a sleepy Charlton. I think it was past the bed time of our ridiculously young squad. Most of the first half we were under the cosh. Second half was a vast improvement, but the goal our play perhaps deserved, never came and Fulham topped of a good night for them with a third, a minute from time. Bit harsh? Maybe, but we deserved nothing from the game so what difference does it make? Our fans made good noise throughout, especially considering the performance from our team. The home fans were very quiet in the first half, a real surprise this considering the elegant and dominant football their team played. Towards the end of the match they became a little more vocal, but it was never deafening, to posh to sing? Stewards were on the whole very good. No problem with standing, which the whole away support did throughout the game. Having allowed this they were very officious about blocking the gang ways. That's fine, but they were almost obsessive about it. Still I suppose it must be a boring job.
 
After the game we trooped back through the dark park to the tube. You could tell the home fans straight away, they bring torches with them. Seriously it’s that dark, bear this in mind if your team plays Fulham in a night game.
 
Journey home was another pain. Signal failure at Mansion House district line was rubbish, we crawled to Earls Court where we transferred to the Piccadilly line to make our way back to Central London and the trains to South East London and Kent. It’s at times like this I feel for the fans of teams from outside London. Your knowledge of the London transport system may not be that great and you need to catch a train at a certain time from say Euston. How often does TFL (Transport for London) leave you high and dry? We spent the whole evening complaining about them, that’s when we weren’t moaning about the Charlton performance.

Fulham v Everton
Premier League
Sunday, March 30th, 2014, 1.30pm
Mark Woods (Everton fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

In the race for 4th place and living in London I was really looking forward to the game, as well as this it looks unlikely I will be going to Fulham next season due to their league position. I love the old classic ground and hold happy memories there. It was also the first time I was going to see Everton on my own.

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

Living near Wembley this journey was fairly routine with me. However both District and Piccadilly lines were suspended for the day, so I caught the Central line to White City. Then changed at Wood Lane for the Hammersmith and City line to Hammersmith and then walked the 15 minute journey from the underground station to Craven Cottage.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I arrived at the ground 45 minutes prior to kick off so just went straight inside. I had a reasonably priced pint inside the ground and then watched the players during the warm up. The Fulham fans seemed friendly enough and they were quite vocal in getting behind their team. I've been to this fixture for the last three years and I noticed that this was the loudest I've heard Fulham in a long time.

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

Interestingly I was surprised that there was no segregation line between the neutral and away sections in the Putney End, until I realised that the "neutral section" was about 90% blue! The ground maybe old and small by Premiership standards, but you feel really close to the players which is a lot better then being high up in the gods like at other grounds

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

The first half was pretty cagey and sluggish with few chances falling to either side. Everton started the second half a lot better due to the substitutes and fully deserved the eventual 3-1 win. I found the Fulham stewards helpful and friendly as well as the local police. Didn't taste the food but the toilets were clean and big enough to service the 3,000 fans.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the game I walked along the river bank back to Hammersmith Bridge to avoid the massive congestion outside the ground. I  got to Hammersmith in fairly quick time bearing in mind there seem to be a large amount of joggers in the area!

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day out made even better with three points, met some Fulham fans after the game and they were a really nice bunch, hope they stay up as would really like to return next year!

Fulham v West Ham United
Premier League
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013, 7.45pm
Philip Pegram (West Ham United fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I was looking forward to the game as I love travelling away with West Ham and it just so happened to be my birthday. Plus it is always good to visit different grounds.

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

We travelled to Fulham by tube from London Stratford. Easy journey and got off at Putney Bridge and walked the rest. About 20 minute walk from tube station to the ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We had a full half day to waste before the evening Kick off. Coming from London Stratford plenty of places to stop in Central London for a few before the game. We ended up eating in Chinatown before getting the tube to Putney Bridge and having a couple of beers in the Eight Bells. The pub filled up very quickly and it wasn’t long before they stopped any more people coming in. All other pubs on way to ground were home fans only and wouldn’t let away supporters in. We ended up heading for the ground and having a couple of beers before the game started.

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

On first entering the ground I was very impressed. We actually had tickets in the neutral end, but it turned out to be almost an away section as three quarters of this end was full of West Ham Supporters. Great little ground and very good for away fans.

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

As for the ghe game itself, well West Ham lost 3 – 1. A very poor performance by West Ham but a cracking atmosphere. Away fans very noisy through out the game. The home fans remained very quiet unless a cheer for a goal. Facilities very good. Only time we had to queue for a beer was at the half time rush. Beer was £4 a pint with hot dogs being the same.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground wasn’t bad, we had the 25 minute walk to the tube station Just followed the crowds. Once on the platform didn’t have to wait long for a train to come.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: Game attended:

Ignoring the result we would with out a doubt would visit again. Great Stadium in a pleasant area and great away support.

Fulham v West Bromwich Albion Premier League Saturday, September 15th 2012, 3pm Greg Thompson (West Bromwich Albion fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I am always excited to see an away ground I haven’t been to before. Added to this, the way Albion had started the season meant I was going to the cottage with optimism despite us having an awful record there in the Premier League.

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

I headed down by car with four friends and we planned to park a good 25 minute walk away from the ground near Westfield’s shopping centre. This meant we could take in a bit of London before the game making it a great day out. Parking was £8, so between the five of us, very cheap. In this day and age finding the ground was very easy using the mapping on our mobile phones.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

Before the game we had some lunch at the Westfield’s centre. Also that day Chelsea were playing away at QPR so there was a great atmosphere around London with Chelsea and Rangers fans everywhere. Once we headed towards the Cottage, Fulham fans were great as we looked around the ground.

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

Craven Cottage grew on me immediately, just walking around the place, I love the old style ground whist the cottage had modern touches to it, the character of this classic stadium remained. The TV lorries and satellites all parked out on the road, I doubt there is another Premier League ground where this as to happen. They have worked it very well. Walking into the ground there are televisions everywhere and staff on the food courts are very helpful.

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

The game itself from a West Brom point of view was disappointing, with Peter Odemwingie getting sent off very early on for a ridiculous piece of retaliation. We then surrender our unbeaten start to the season losing 3-0 with little to shout about. Albion fans were loud throughout, home support is very quiet, they don’t really get excited about much.

The teams coming out at the start of the game:

Craven Cottage

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground wasn’t bad, we had the 25 minute walk back from the ground to the car park which gave us plenty of time to catch up on other results and have an in depth conversation about the game. The traffic seemed very heavy whist we were on foot, after all the cottage does have the river Thames one side with housing estate the other side. I would imagine if you park near the ground it would take some while to get going.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: Game attended:

Without taking the result into consideration it was a top day, there is something special about the cottage, it’s an ideal location and great compact small ground. I will defiantly be visiting the cottage again in the future, would also love to visit there for a night game.

Fulham v Swansea City
Premier League
Saturday, March 17th 2012, 2pm
Kate Brown (Neutral fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I’ve heard nice things about the stadium and being next to the Thames, I thought it would be a nice day out. I’m a Southampton fan but was able to borrow a ticket for the game and sat in the neutral section.

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

It was one of the easiest journeys to football I’ve ever had - we took the train from Basingstoke, changed at Clapham (if you get the direct train it’s the first stop, takes about 35 minutes) and it’s then two stops to Putney station. Turn right out of the station, along Putney High Street, over the bridge over the Thames and cut through the park on your left. It’s a good 15-20 minute walk which would have been lovely had it not been raining!

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

I’d been recommended a burger stand outside the church by the park near to the ground. It’s run by the church and helps ex-servicemen retrain when they leave the forces. Burgers are a fiver but they’re huge and well worth it!

The club shop was quite nice, although a bit small (I’ve since been told that there’s another one, on Putney High Street, that’s bigger) and sells the usual stuff as well as some novelty gifts I’ve never seen before like Fulham tea bags!

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

The ground is really nice and it’s got a lot of character. The corners aren’t filled in, which gives you the opportunity to see outside the ground, both into the residential areas and across the river. We were in row UU but still felt like we had a good view. There are steel supports that might be an issue for some in the stadium although I don’t remember thinking they were a problem at the time.

View from the neutral section:

Craven Cottage Fulham FC

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

The game itself was pretty one-sided with Swansea being 3-0 winners. The atmosphere was quite quiet (apart from the Swansea fans). Being in the neutral end there were fans of both sides as well as a lot of neutrals, so there wasn’t very much singing or clapping. The home fans in the other stands were very quiet for most of the game.

The toilets were different to most toilet facilities in stadiums – the toilets were individual rooms, each with a sink and hand dryer, rather than cubicles in a toilet block. It was almost laid out like stables.

I’d been told the food wasn’t that great so I didn’t buy anything except a bag of maltesers – I thought they were expensive at £3.50 a bag but we needed something for half time! I wouldn’t recommend taking bottle of drink (water, juice, etc) into the stadium as the bottle tops are confiscated by the stewards on the way in.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Quite a lot of people left the ground early so there wasn’t a mad rush to get out. We had something to eat in the High Street and let the crowds disperse before getting back on the train. It was just as easy to get home as it was to get to the stadium.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It was a great day out, I’d recommend it for anyone, no matter who you support. It’s a lovely stadium and surrounding area and I’d love to go back, although next time I’d like to be there with Saints!

Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Premier League
Sunday, March 4th 2012, 2pm
Thomas Sperrink (Wolves fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to the game?

I had heard great things from fans of other clubs about Craven Cottage and as I often struggle to get to games in London it was an opportunity to visit a ground I had not been to before.

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

We got the train into Euston and despite the Victoria line being closed it was easy to get to via the Northern and District lines (change at Embankment).  When we arrived we made the mistake of not walking through the park which is far quicker than walking down the main road.  It seems all the roads around the ground are closed off on match day and I saw little places to park so tube seems to be the best way in.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We had a look at the pubs around the tube station but although the Eight Bells let away fans in it was packed and the other pubs around all required fans to be “Fulham card holders” and as we were wearing colours we couldn’t even blag it. We decided to walk beyond the ground to The Crabtree, as I had seen the recommendation on this fine site, and again found that our return journey walking along the river is quicker than along the streets. The beer was excellent (Doombar) and the queue at the bar was short as there were adequate staff and they were very helpful and efficient. It was pouring with rain so the beer garden wasn’t fully used as people huddled under covered terrace but I imagine it is lovely when a bit warmer and drier with views of the river.  There were a good mix of home and away fans and although we just chatted between ourselves the atmosphere was friendly.

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

We arrived 15 minutes before kick-off and it was quick and easy to get into the ground. 
We took our seats and despite the roof extending well in front of the stand and us being back in Row U, we still got soaked as the wind whistled around the stadium. In fairness the home fans didn’t fare any better as the roofs didn’t even reach the edges of their stands.  Otherwise the view was good, the seating spacious although I found the atmosphere a little odd with so many neutral fans scattered within the away following.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game itself was a shocker for Wolves, we were totally outplayed and deservedly battered 5-0 with Dempsey and Pogrebnyak tearing us to pieces. The atmosphere was pretty poor, despite the hefty win Fulham were virtually silent and only self-deprecating songs from Wolves fans punctuated the silence. The stewards attempted to get people to sit down but as with all grounds (Anfield and St James’ Park to name a few) they didn’t seem to understand that the people at the front need to sit down before fans at the back can.

Having had a couple before the game and broken the seal too early I had to use the toilets a couple of times and they were pretty good, clean and no queues.  The food and drink on the other hand was a bit of a farce, the two main bars were packed at the start of the game so we went to the vendors at the far end which are quieter.  I had a beef pie and my dad a chicken pie, they were both absolutely vile and as we didn’t fancy lager couldn’t get anything else without going to the main bar. We braved the main bars at half time but gave up on the ridiculous queues then when I nipped back during the second half they closed one meaning the only bar open had the same huge queues. 

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game: 

Getting away from the ground was fine as we followed home fans back through the park and jumped on the tube.  We arrived at Euston earlier than expected so nipped to the Bree Louise pub (on Euston Street, head out of Euston past the Subway and it’s on the side street opposite) for a bite to eat.  I had fish and chips my dad had haggis pie and both the food and drink was excellent (CAMRA pub).

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

The weather and the result put a dampener on things but even had both been better I feel Craven Cottage is over hyped.  Maybe for Champions League chasing clubs this may seem quaint and different but personally having been to smaller grounds on a regular basis in the lower divisions it just seemed pokey and poorly laid out. I also found the mix of neutrals and tourists created a muted atmosphere, I’m sure there were Fulham die-hards but I didn’t come across any.

In an effort to finish on a positive note the two pubs we went in were fantastic and the tube links were great also the plans for the expansion of the Riverside Stand look really impressive.


Fulham v Blackpool
Sunday, April 3rd 2011, 4pm
Premier League
Dean Williamson (Blackpool fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be): 

I have visited all but two of the London grounds so I was looking forward to crossing another off. Added to the fact Fulham were unveiling a Michael Jackson statue the day was bound to be surreal from the start.

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

As with most London stadia reaching each ground is accessible via the tube network. Given the lack of car park spaces I would advise commuting to the outskirts of London and travelling in via a rail service. The ground is a 10-15minute walk from Putney Bridge tube station. Simply turn left then your first right and continue straight on to the ground. The walk itself is very scenic with a walkway directly adjacent to the river Thames or if it's raining make your way through the leafy Bishops Park which is located between the tube station and the football ground.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

As we arrived 10 minutes before kick off we didn’t have time to check out any local pubs on the way but there are a couple of vendors along the way such as the Eight Bells pub which is located on your way to the ground. There is also a chippy along the way and a café in Bishops Park where you can use the toilets if needs be. The Fulham fans are very hospitable and are very respectful before, during and after the game. This is a refreshing change and you almost don't feel as bad if you lose there given the lack of baiting or fans trying to wind you up.

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

Craven Cottage is an old school ground in every sense and is a welcome respite from the newer 'soulless bowls' you find in the top two leagues in English football. The ground itself holds around 27,000 and is a tightly packed stadium with boxes on each corner and the famous cottage situated in one corner of the ground, giving the impression that this could be a cricket ground. The seats in the ground are evenly spaced but each stand is still compact so you can create a lot of noise once inside. The away stand is split up into a home, neutral and away section. Fulham look to capitalise on a lot of tourists visiting and this is the reasoning behind the neutral section which if you miss out on the away tickets is quite handy should you still wish to visit the ground. Both home and away fans who are in the Riverside stands can enjoy a pint at half time whilst looking over the River Thames which adds to the family friendly and relaxed nature of this stadium.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Today's game was a relegation '6 pointer' and Blackpool enjoyed very little chances in the first half with Fulham clinical from the start going into a 2-0 half time lead. The second faired better for us but we didn’t capitalise on the periods where Fulham took their foot off the gas. The game ended 3-0 and you couldn't really argue with that. Surprisingly the Fulham supporters only really got behind their team when the score was still 0-0 and it was left to the Blackpool fans to create the atmosphere towards the end. The facilities of the ground are top notch with as many toilets, beer and food stands as you can count. On offer there are hot dogs, pies (both £3.80 and PIPING hot) and chocolate bars. You could get a pint of Carlsberg but for a steep £4.00. Finally, the stewards took a back step all game and help to ease any tension you get at a lot of grounds.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game: 

On a nice day as it was today the stroll back to the station is pleasant and there are several routes the home supporters take on getting away from the ground and thus making it a quick exit either on foot or via tube away from the ground.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out: 

Aside from the result this was one of my favourite away days this season as is a must for anyone 'doing the 92'. I would visit here every season provided we don't get relegated!

Updated 9th March 2015

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