Capacity: 2,100 (Seats 274)
Address: Hartsdown Road, Margate, CT9 5QZ
Telephone: 01843 221769
Pitch Size: To be advised
Pitch Type: Artificial 3G
Club Nickname: The Gate
Year Ground Opened: 1929
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Blue and White
Hartsdown Road is quite a small ground, with only one permanent structure at one end. This is partly due to the fact that over ten years ago, some of the ground (including the Main Stand and terracing) was demolished in preparation for the building of new structures. However the new stands failed to materialise (although the Club still have ambitions that at some point that they will, resulting in a modern 5,000 capacity stadium) and so in the meantime we are left with of a bit of 'make-shift' basic ground.
At the Hartsdown Road End is the only structure remaining from the old ground. This is quite unusual looking, as although it has a few steps of open terrace at the front, behind it has an enclosed small covered terrace, which is sandwiched between the Clubhouse bar and other club buildings, including the Club Shop. There are some supporting pillars running across the front of this small terrace, which could impede your view, but at least it does offer some cover. One one side of the ground are a couple of temporary stands. They are situated either side of the half way and are all seated and covered. However, they are quite small being only four rows high. The opposite side is dominated by four portacabin type structures that are located in the middle with some flat standing areas on either side. These contain the team dressing rooms and the team dugouts are located out front. The remaining Tivoli Park End (known locally as the 'Coffin End'), has a very small covered terrace that is located directly behind the goal. To either side of this small temporary structure are flat standing areas that are uncovered. The stadium is completed by a set of four modern floodlights.
During 2017 a new artificial 3G pitch was installed at the ground.
Most matches at Hartsdown Park are not segregated, however, if segregation is put in force then away fans are allocated the Tivoli Park End. This has a very small covered terrace which is only around six rows high, with flat open standing areas to either side. If demand requires it then in addition part of the Main Stand can be given over to visiting supporters. A mobile catering unit is brought in for these bigger games for away fans to use. If segregation is not in force then you can access the club catering which sells; Cheeseburgers (£3.20), Burgers (£3), Hot Dogs (£3), Pies (£2.70) and Chips (£1.70). The Club also offer a meal deal of either Burger or Hot Dog or Pie, with chips and a hot or cold drink for £5. The ground is located on the edge of the park, so there is plenty of greenery and trees surrounding it. However it is quite an elevated position, so make sure you wrap up in winter as that sea breeze can go right through you.
There is a Clubhouse bar at the ground that admits visiting supporters. It is also shows televised sports. Otherwise Margate Town Centre is around a 15 minute walk away, where there are plenty of pubs to be found. On Marine Terrace there is a Wetherspoons pub called the Mechanical Engine. Whilst if you also like your real ale then the Northern Belle pub on Mansion Street has been listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for a number of years now. Also of note is the Lifeboat pub on Market Street, which also has a wide range of real ales and ciders.
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From Junction 2 of the M25 take the A2 and then the M2 towards Dover. On reaching the end of the M2 take the A299 towards Margate.
Stay on the A299 for sixteen miles, until you reach a roundabout which is the junction with the A28. At the roundabout take the second exit onto the A28 continuing towards Margate. After around four miles you will pass the Margate town boundary sign. The road at this point is dual carriageway but becomes two way. After passing a BP garage on your right and then the Hussar pub, also on the right, you will pass through a set of traffic lights. Take the second right onto the George V Avenue (sign posted Ramsgate A254) and follow this road up and around to the left (passing the Hartsdown Academy School on your right). At the end of the road you will reach a T-Junction where you turn right into Hartsdown Road. The entrance to the ground is further down on the left.
There is a small car park at the ground, but as you would expect this fills up rather quickly. Otherwise there is plenty of surrounding street parking available.
Margate Railway Station is located just under a mile from Hartsdown Park and is around a ten minute walk. It is served by trains from London St Pancras International, London Charing Cross and a slower route from London Victoria. Margate is unusual in that trains leave for London from both ends of the station. As you come out of the main station entrance, bear right and walk up the station approach. At the roundabout turn right into All Saints Avenue and go under the railway bridge. Turn left into Tivoli Park Avenue and cross the road to walk alongside the park. After 350 yards turn right down a surfaced footpath. The floodlights of the ground can be seen to the right. The path leads directly to the turnstiles at the South East corner of the ground on Hartsdown Road.
Booking train tickets in advance will normally save you money! Find train times, prices and book tickets with Trainline. Visit the website below to see how much you can save on the price of your tickets:
Under 18's £5
Under 11's Free (When accompanied by a paying adult, maximum one Free Under 11, per paying adult).
* Includes free burger and soft or hot drink. NUS card must be shown.
Official Matchday Programme: £2
Ramsgate, Dover and Maidstone United.
14,169 v Tottenham Hotspur, FA Cup 3rd Round, 13th January 1973.
2015-2016: 688 (National League South)
2014-2015: 683 (Isthmian Premier League)
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Special thanks to Russell Cox for providing the photos of Hartsdown Park. Visit his Wycombe Wanderer ground hopping blog.
Margate v Gosport Borough
National League South
Saturday 11th March 2017, 3pm
Brian Scott (Neutral fan)
Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Hartsdown Park?
I hadn't intended to visit Margate this year, but as they seem doomed to relegation I decided to go this season.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
I had an easy train journey from Stowmarket to Kings Cross via Cambridge and then a short walk to St Pancras and a direct train to Margate. I could see the floodlights of the ground from the train as it came in from the Ashford direction.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
I met a friend at the railway station and we went for a coffee and a chat before he dropped me off at the ground. He did not wish to join me. Once at the ground I researched the best and shortest walking route back to the station by pacing out two alternatives and doing timings.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Hartsdown Park?
Hartsdown Park is very disappointing indeed with only the one proper stand and the odd cover at the south end. I found out that there are now only 274 seats. I didn't find the locals as friendly as I am normally accustomed to at lower league games, but one local did chat for a minute or so! I wonder what some visiting teams must think of the portacabin changing rooms with the doors that lead directly out onto the pitch. The local who would talk told me that there are grand plans to re-develop that side of the ground, but there is little chance of anything happening after relegation this season. He hinted at some bad management with the decision to demolish the old stand. The pitch however was in very good condition. The PA system in the seated area is awful and I could hear comments from other people, however when I left the seats I could hear it loud and clear. Before the game when I had been walking through the park I thought that I heard a parrot in the tree but couldn't see it. However, towards the end of the game when I was near the exit I saw two green parakeets sitting on a part of the stand, obviously able to fly free. I discovered later that there are a number of them that live around the park surrounding the ground.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
Margate were awarded a penalty after ten minutes and the kick was sent high over the crossbar. Later in the first half Gosport had a shot on target which was going in, but inexplicably a Gosport player intercepted it and diverted the shot onto the crossbar, so doing an unnecessary goal line clearance. I've never seen anything like that before. It was looking very much like a stalemate until Margate managed to score twice in the final minutes, to win 2-0. Regarding stewarding, a quite elderly steward shouted at a young lad to sit down in the seats. The boy had been doing a one person chant for a lot of the time!
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
I had a quick 10 minute walk back to the railway station to catch a train back to St Pancras for my homeward journey.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
It was a dry day and relatively mild for the time of the year. Not the best game or lower league ground to visit I must say! I think that there are better grounds in the Ryman Premier League.