Vicarage Road

Capacity: 20,877 (all seated)
Address: Vicarage Road, Watford, WD18 0ER
Telephone: 01923 496 000
Ticket Office: 01923 223 023
Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards
Club Nickname: The Hornets
Year Ground Opened: 1922
Shirt Sponsors: 138
Kit Manufacturer: Puma
Home Kit: Yellow & Black With Red Trim
Away Kit: Black and White Stripes

Graham Taylor Stand
Graham Taylor Stand
Rookery End
Rookery End
Sir Elton John Stand
Sir Elton John Stand
Vicarage Road End
Vicarage Road End

The ground has seen some new investment recently, with the construction of a new stand on the Eastern side of the stadium. The Sir Elton John Stand as it has been named, opened in December 2014. This covered single tiered stand, which is set well back from the edge of the pitch, has a capacity of 3,100 seats. Unusually this new stand is raised above pitch level, meaning that spectators have to climb a small staircase at the front of it, to access the seating area. The team dug outs are also situated at the front. Although it is a fairly simple looking stand, its building has greatly improved the overall look of the stadium. In a further tribute to Sir Elton John, some lyrics from one of many hits; 'Your Song' are embossed in large letters across the back supporting wall.

Opposite to the new Sir Elton John Stand, is the Rous Stand, which was recently renamed the Graham Taylor Stand, after their former manager. This stand and was opened in 1986. It is a two-tiered stand that has an interesting roof design, with a number of semi-circular arches. Light is also able to penetrate through the roof aiding pitch growth. It also has a row of executive boxes running across the back.

The ground has had both ends re-developed during the 1990's along with the front of the Graham Taylor Stand. Both ends are similar looking large single tiered stands, with some strange looking floodlights perched on the roofs. Away fans are housed in one of these ends in the Vicarage Road Stand. Whilst opposite the Rookery Stand is larger, housing some 6,950 supporters. With construction of a large office block immediately behind the stadium, beyond the corner between the Rookery Stand and the Graham Taylor Stand, the Club embarked on internally 'filling in' this corner. However due to financial difficulties, the work has never completed leaving a somewhat ugly half finished shell.

The teams come out to the old theme tune of the old Police series Z-Cars, as Watford fan Robert Hill explains; 'this started in the 1963-64 season when Z Cars was at it’s height on television. It was a favourite programme of the then Manager Bill McGarry and he asked that it be played at Vicarage Road. That season turned out to be a successful one of the Hornets and it has been continued to be played at the ground'.

Keith Bruley informs me; 'The new Sir Elton John Stand The new stand has only been built down to about six feet above pitch level, due to the fact that the pitch slopes down about four feet from the North (Vicarage Road) End to the South End. If the Club ever get around to levelling the pitch then the stand will be finished down to pitch level. I also believe that the design of the stand also allows for it to be extended if necessary later by having a second tier added to it.  This would bring the capacity up to around 25,000.'

Away fans are housed in the Vicarage Road Stand at one end of the ground. This stand is normally shared with home supporters (with the obligatory 'no-mans land' comprised of empty seats covered in netting in-between). Around 2,200 visiting fans can be accommodated in this area. The stand has electronic turnstiles, meaning that you have to place your ticket into a bar code reader to gain entrance. You should also then expect to be searched by the stewards on the way in.

I've always found this club friendly and the stewarding relaxed on my four visits and have never had any hassle, although at times there can be a heavy police presence around the ground and in the town centre. My only real gripe is that the size of the concourse at the back of the stand is one of the tightest that I have come across and is wholly inadequate when there is a large away following. If you manage to get to the serving hatch, then you will find on offer the usual fayre available including; Pies (Chicken Balti, Steak and Ale, Bombay Vegetable) £3.30, Pasties £2.90, Jumbo Sausage Rolls £2.90 and Hot Dogs £3.80. Adam Hodson a visiting Stockport fan adds; 'I was very impressed with the ground and the modern facilities. There was plenty of leg room in the way end and a good atmosphere. However, the concourses are very small meaning that they easily get crowded'. There is also a betting outlet available. On the first occasion that I visited Vicarage Road, I met a Watford supporter in a pub who gave me a free ticket to that night's game against Luton. I was also impressed with this chap as at the time he had visited 91 League grounds with Watford. Perhaps he was in some part my inspiration for doing the '92'.

Christopher Harrison a visiting Middlesbrough fan recommends the 'Odd Fellows' in Fearnley Street 'It is only a couple of hundred yards from the ground and they even had a barbeque in the beer garden'. The bar is situated off Cassio Road and is clearly visible when taking the route to Vicarage Road from the town centre via Market Street. The pub is only a few minutes walk away from the away turnstiles. It has a large beer garden, with a covered area for smokers and offers from its barbecue, Burgers (£3) and Hot Dogs (£2.50). Even though it was very busy on my last visit, I was impressed with the service from behind the bar, getting served in reasonable time (even though it looked like you had no chance of getting near to the bar let alone being served!). 

Otherwise the ground is in walking distance of the town centre, where along the High Street you will find a few pubs including a large Wetherspoons outlet called the Moon Under Water, an O'Neils and a Walkabout. If you are feeling peckish then if you are walking to the ground from the town centre then there are a number of eating establishments enroute. Please note that alcohol is not sold in the away section.

From The North:

Leave the M1 at Junction 5 and take the A4008 into Watford. If on nearing the town centre you can't see the ground over on your left, just go left around the inner ring road (follow signs for Watford General Hospital as this is behind the ground) and you will soon spot it. 

From The South & West:

Leave the M25 at Junction 19 and take the A411 towards Watford (be wary of speed cameras along this road). On nearing the town centre you will reach two roundabouts in quick succession. Go straight across the first but at the second turn right onto the A412 towards Rickmansworth. Then take the second left into Merton Road (signposted Hospital). When the road forks then keep to the right and then at the traffic lights were the road forks again turn left into Vicarage Road (still heading towards the Hospital). The ground is down on the left.

Car Parking

There are also some private match day car parks available at some industrial units near the ground, as well as the Vicarage Road Girls School, which is close to the stadium and charges £7 per car. 

As Vicarage Road is situated near Watford town centre, then visiting fans can use a number of town centre car parks which are in reasonable walking distance. On most of my visits I have parked in the Church multi storey car park (which cost £2.70 for 4 hours and is located on the inner ring road). John Peake a visiting Bristol City fan tells me; 'We parked in the Church Car Park which is pay on exit. Although it is an easy 15 minute walk from the ground, there were lengthy queues to use the pay machines after the game and we had then queue again in our car to leave the car park. All in all it took us about 45 minutes to get out and back onto the road'. Iain Bell adds; 'There are some additional pay machines located outside the car park, by the High Street exit.' Richard Sheppard informs me; 'I parked in the Harlequin multi-storey, which cost £2.70 for four hours. It is approximately 15mins walk to the ground and was easy to get out after the game and back onto the M1'.

Post Code for SAT NAV: WD18 0ER

The nearest station is Watford High Street, a ten minute walk away from the ground. However you are likely to come into Watford Junction train station, which is about a 20 minute walk. Either get a train to Watford High Street from Watford Junction or if you have time to walk to the ground then:

Leave the station & take main road straight opposite (Clarendon Road) all the way (over Ring Road at lights) up to the High Street. Turn left and go past Wetherspoons (Moon under Water) on your right and then take the first right after 100 yards into Market Street. Continue along again crossing Ring Road to T junction & then left at an excellent chip shop. Vicarage Road is the next right turn. It should take around 15-20 minutes to walk. 

Watford also has its own London Underground tube station, which is on the Metropolitan Line and is situated just under one mile from Vicarage Road. However overland trains from London normally have a shorter journey time. Thanks to Albert Fuller for providing the above directions.

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:

Home fans:

Graham Taylor Stand (Upper tier): Adults £31, Concessions £18, Under 16's £13
Graham Taylor Stand (Lower tier): Adults £26, Concessions £15, Under 16's £10
Rookery Stand: Adults £26, Concessions £15, Under 16's £10
Vicarage Road Stand: Adults £26, Concessions £15, Under 16's £10

Away fans:

Vicarage Road Stand: Adults £26, Concessions £15, Under 16's £10

Concessions apply to those aged 65 and over, Under 20's and Students aged under 25.

Luton Town.

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

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

Official Programme £3.

Record Attendance:
34,099 v Manchester United,
FA Cup 4th Round Replay, February 3rd, 1969.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
21,590 v Sunderland
Division One, November 27th, 1999.

Average Attendance:
2013-2014: 15,512 (Championship League)
2012-2013: 13.454 (Championship League)
2011-2012: 12,704 (Championship League)

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 the football ground.

Access their Watford Hotels and Guest Houses page. 

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Watford v Norwich City
Championship League
Saturday, February 21st 2015, 3pm
Mike McCarthy (Norwich City fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground?

I had travelled over from Ireland to follow the Canaries, my first time since since 2007, so I was itching to just see them again.

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

I stayed in Kings Cross London and got an underground train from there to Euston. From Euston  we got an overground train to Watford High Street (trains run every 15 mins with every second train being a fast one). Our train was a 'slow' one and took 40 minutes. Upon exiting the train station it is quite clearly signposted how to get to Vicarage Road.

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

After reading the Football Ground Guide we tried a pub called 'Oddfellows' on Fearnley Street. It is only 100 yards from the away end. Upon entry it was quite clearly an Irish pub with only away fans in attendance before the match which suited me on both counts! Plenty of banter, singing etc.. and it got fairly wild at times but nothing troublesome and the bar staff were pretty laid back. It was though hard to get a drink as it was that jam packed. For the people who prefer the peace and quiet there is a beer garden at the back. It even had a screen showing the early kick off with plenty seating etc.  I also noticed that there are plenty of food outlets around the ground as well.

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

My first impressions of Vicarage Road was that it looked old from the outside. The away end concourse is tiny and with a large away following it was thronged. Also no alcohol being served in the away end is a bit of let down. The new Sir Elton John Stand on one side of the stadium looks much better than the old stands that it replaced. The rest of the ground looked good particularly the Graham Taylor Stand with its curvy roof.

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

A 3-0 away win was the perfect result for a fan who doesn’t get to see much of his team! The game itself was poor (until our three goals flew in!) which probably reflected on the atmosphere of the home fans although I thought the Watford fans did little to try and get it going. The sold out away end did most of the singing. I didn’t sample any food or drink in there as the queues were massive due to the small concourse. Stewards were very relaxed in the away end.

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

Away fans leave the ground and walk same direction as home fans to get to coaches etc.. We returned to the Oddfellows pub to find it was full of Watford fans with only a few Norwich fans calling for a quick beer before the journey home. In no way intimidating for an away fan after the game I thought. The home fans were friendly and seemed to take the 3-0 defeat on the chin.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The result made it a great day out plus the banter in the bar beforehand. Vicarage Road is very accessible.

Watford v  Derby County
Championship League
Saturday January 15th, 2011, 3pm
Mark Cooper (Neutral fan)

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

I had heard how unique in some ways Vicarage Road iss, and living in Cambridge (who were away at Alfreton) and seeing that Derby were there on the Saturday I got my brother to get some tickets for the Derby section. I was also intrigued as to how the ground was, especially the much talked about East Stand.

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

Journey was about 80 minutes from Cambridge, no problems at all even with the nightmare that is the ring road, possibly allow time if your driving is patchy! We parked in the Harlequin Shopping Centre though probably wouldn't again as it seemed a bit archaic  in there. 

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
Went to the Wetherspoons in town for a fry up and to soak in the previous nights excess. Home and Away fans were in there and no bother at all. Then visited the Odd Fellows pub, as recommended on this website. Good, quick and friendly service and a large space outside for smokers. The outside BBQ smelt lovely.

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

Approaching the ground I had never really seen an outside of a ground like it, we saw the half demolished East stand and therefore had a peek through one of the gaps. Its clear this ground is older then what my Brother is used too at Pride Park though I thought this had far more character. Had a good view of the game from the Vicarage Road end and the other three sides of the ground looked decent, I definitely prefer grounds like this when you see all the shiny new identigrounds cropping up. Asking staff outside for directions to the club shop and away pubs were met with polite and friendly answers.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..
The game as a neutral wasn't the best, the pitch (thanks egg chasers) made for a lack of quality in the opening 30 minutes until Derby's defending became a bit of a comedy of errors, this led to goals from Buckley, Graham and Sordell to make it 3-0 at half time. Fair play to the (long suffering) Derby support who sang throughout and were noticeably nosier then the home fans. Didn't bother going down into concourse seeing as how tight it was though the prices are no better or worse then most Championship grounds. The Stewards seemed pleasant enough and didn't seem too picky, let us stand throughout. The match petered out a bit in second half and ended 3-0 which to be fair was fair reflection on the game.  

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

Getting away was straightforward enough (despite other drivers not being able to grasp the ring road concept) and a 5.15 departure had us back just before 7 which isn't too shabby considering the usual post match traffic.  

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Was all in all quite enjoyable, good pubs nearby, Watford seems a nice atmosphere to enjoy a game (probably gives it its reputation as a good family club). I will definitely go back every now and again. Especially worth a visit if you enjoy your grounds traditional.

Watford v Reading
Championship League
Saturday November 20th, 2010, 3pm
Will O'Shea (Reading fan)

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

Given the unpredictability of recent Reading results and a positive start for Watford, I knew that this trip to Vicarage Road was not going to be an easy one. However, there is always that lingering spark of optimism ahead of most games for the Royals, knowing that on their day, they can beat pretty much anyone in the Championship. Surely the ingredients for a top game.

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

The relatively short trip from the Madejski to Vicarage Road was a fairly easy one. We took the M4 and until turning off at M25 and following this to Junction 18. Follow signs for Rickmansworth and then Watford, and the ground is easy to find. Parking permits do restrict parking close to the ground, but there is parking 15 minutes walk from the ground, adjacent to Watford Grammar. 

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

Before the encounter, we stopped off in the local chippy. Service and quality is of an average standard but to be fair prices do reflect this. All in all, the standard, stereotypical pre match meal.

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

The away end, to my surprise was actually fairly accommodating. I had heard negative tales of an old fashioned, run down stand but giving Watford their due, the stand was one of the best I have experienced away with the Royals. On the left of the away stand it has to be said, a lot is left to be desired. This undeveloped side of the ground gave one a glimpse of what terracing life used to be like before the change to all-seater stadiums. This offered very little to the aesthetics of the ground, but did give the stadium that quaint and old fashioned feel.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

Now given the build up and Reading with the ability to score at will but also the ability to concede with consummate ease, a high scoring affair had to be on the cards. The atmosphere, it has to be said was very dismal from the Watford fans. The occasional chant from the North stand drifted our way, upon a Watford corner or long range effort, but that was it. After a fairly dry first 10, the game came alive for a brief moment as a ball from Ian Harte found its way over the top of Watford’s defence and Long pounced, took it to the by line before crossing for a potent Noel Hunt to tuck away in the 15th minute. The game returned to the doldrums after this brief interlude. However a dubious free kick was awarded to Watford, the resulting cross then led to a corner. Sure enough from the corner a leaping Deeney, out jumped all the ball watching Royals defenders to head home, 1-1. The second half meandered along, without real incident, the final whistle blew, and the game was drawn. It had to be admitted this was a fair result.

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

Leaving the road was very quick and the return journey home was also fairly swift.

Updated 16th March 2015