Linfield

Windsor Park

Capacity: 14,500 (All Seated)
Address: Donegal Avenue, Belfast, BT12 6LW
Telephone: 028 9024 4198
Fax: 028 9024 4198
Pitch Size: 110 x 75 yards
Club Nickname: The Blues
Year Ground Opened: 1905
Home Kit: Blue and White

North and West Stands
North and West Stands
South Stand
South Stand
Looking Towards The West Stand
Looking Towards The West Stand

Windsor Park is at last seeing some much needed investment with a £35m project well underway to transform the stadium. Only the North Stand on one side, remains of the old ground and even that stand has been refurbished and refitted. Two new stands have been built at the South side and at the East End, whilst a third is under construction at the West End. It is expected that this last stand will be open in the Autumn of 2016. The capacity of the stadium then will be around 18,000.

The new East Stand at one end is single tiered and extends around one corner of the stadium to the South Stand. It is quite smart looking in terms of design, with quite a high back wall, between the seated area below and the roof above. There is also some corporate hospitality areas located at the very back of this stand. The new South Stand on one side is a much larger affair, being taller, two tiered and having a more noticeable semi-circular roof. In-between the two tiers there is a row of corporate boxes.

The one older stand still remaining is on the North side. This covered all seated stand is two tiered and has a capacity of 6,862 seats. This stand is cantilevered meaning that fans enjoy unobstructed views across the playing area. This stand has undergone some refurbishment work and the seats have been replaced, with mostly green with a speckled white effect in the lower tier and in the upper tier, blue with the same effect. This seating effect has also been replicated in a similar way in the two new stands. To be honest I don't think this seating design looks very good at all. It seems as if someone has replaced all the seats with a single colour and then shaken their 'white paint brush over them'. 

People arriving at the ground by foot from the nearby Adelaide railway station will arrive at a tall and wide, dark green painted footbridge, where a beautiful collection of murals depicting former Northern Ireland players and famous quotes from managers and commentators adorn the walls, inside and outside. Sadly this bridge is also graffiti strewn, and has a cage of steel which blocks the elevated view of the ground and the hills in the distance.

Visitors are housed in part of the upper tier of the North Stand on one side of Windsor Park. The seating in this area offers an excellent unobstructed view of the pitch. However for Linfield games normally this stand is shared with home fans, albeit kept apart, whilst the other stands at the ground remain closed. Thus the average gate in the region of 2-2,500 fans, look out onto an empty stadium, which makes the experience a little surreal.

There are no pubs in the immediate vicinity of Windsor Park, however there are a number of food and drink shops within a short distance along Lisburn Road, and plenty to choose from in the city centre.

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From Portadown, Dungannon and the South
Windsor Park is located approximately 1.5 miles south-west of Belfast city centre. Exit M1 at  Junction 1 and take the second exit on the A12 Westlink roundabout., into Glenmachan Street.Take a sharp turn left into Donegall Road, then turn right into Donegall Avenue, which runs alongside the railway line.
 
From Antrim, Ballymena and the North
Take the M2 to North Belfast.Turn off into the A12 Westlink Road. This road leads onto the M1 Junction 1.Take the first left exit on the Junction 1 Roundabout into Glenmachan Street, then turn left into Donegall Road, then turn right into Donegall Avenue, which runs alongside the railway line.
 
From Bangor and Newtonards
Take the A2 Sydenham Bypass into East Belfast. Follow onto the M3,as the road passes over the river Lagan, take a left turn and join the A12 West Link. This road leads onto the M1 Junction 1.Take the first left exit on the Junction 1 Roundabout into Glenmachan Street, then  turn left into Donegall Road, then turn right into Donegall Avenue, which runs alongside the railway line.
  
Car Parking
The ground has a large car park to the rear of the West Stand, parking around the ground is residential, although there is a number of large industrial estates and retail parks to the south of the ground which has plenty of car parking spaces.

There are a number of Railway stations to the south of Belfast, all within 20 minutes walk of the ground. These are Belfast Central, City Hospital, Botanic and Great Victoria Street, with Adelaide Station being 2 minutes walk south of the ground. All slow train services from Portadown and Bangor stop at these stations, however the Enterprise Service from Belfast Central to Dublin Connolly only stop at Botanic.
 
Arriving At Victoria Street Railway Station/Europa Bus Station
The ground is around 20-30 minutes walk south of the station, however, for those that would like to visit Belfast City Centre before the game, when you come out of the bus station concourse/retail shops turn left, pass the opera house, and take a right turn into Howard Street. This will lead you towards City Hall and the shops and restaurants in the heart of the City.
 
There is not a direct service from the city centre to the ground, however Metro Bus 9 operates from Donegall Square East, next to Belfast City Hall. This bus runs along Lisburn Road with regular stops.If you sit on the bus upper deck and look out to the right hand side this will give you a good idea of when you are getting closer to the ground. Depart the bus as close as possible to Lower Windsor Avenue then take a 2 minute walk along to the end of the road, pass over the railway footbridge and 
into the ground.
 
Directions To The Stadium From Great Victoria Street Railway Station/Europa Bus Station
Exit the bus station concourse/retail shops and turn right, following the Great Victoria Street Road. At the Bradbury Place junction take a right turn into the A1 Lisburn Road. Follow this road and take a right turn into Lower Windsor Avenue. The ground is visible at the far end of the road. Once at the end of the road, cross the railway footbridge. The ground is directly ahead. 
   
Directions To The Stadium From Adelaide Railway Station
Adelaide Railway Halt is a 2 minute walk south of the ground. This can be reached by catching the Portadown/Newry slow train from Central Station, Botanic,City Hospital or Great Victoria Street stations. Once at Adelaide Halt turn left and a two minute walk will take you to the railway footbridge and into the ground.

Adults: £10
OAPS/Under 18's: £6

Official Matchday Programme £2.

Linfields's biggest rivalry is with East Belfast club Glentoran. But there is also rivalry with Crusaders and Cliftonville from North Belfast.

2015-2016: 2,304 (Premier League)

Northern Ireland Premier league 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.

Access their Belfast Hotels pages.

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 Northern Ireland or elsewhere.

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

Special thanks to Linfield FC for providing the photos of Windsor Park, Belfast.

Linfield v Crusaders
NIFL Premiership
Saturday 30th December 2017, 3pm
DMac (Crusaders fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Windsor Park?
 
Crusaders v Linfield is always a huge game, so we were looking forward to another feisty game!
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Driving from From North Belfast (Newtownabbey) the journey is about 20 minutes. Traffic can be quite heavy approaching the stadium, especially on match days, and because the Lisburn Road is generally quite a busy area for shops/cafes etc. When parking you are able to find a space in the little terraced side streets that surround the ground, however I would recommend parking slightly further away and walking to the ground, as the streets are very narrow and small. Plus it makes it easier when getting away after the game!
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
The burger vans in the away end at Windsor Park (now officially known as the National Stadium) are extremely overpriced. A burger would cost £4 or more, and are not that nice. I tend to eat at home before the game due to their high prices for drinks etc. No interaction with the home fans, (thankfully).
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Windsor Park?
 
I have visited Windsor Park many times. The new stadium looks fantastic and very modern, however for Irish League football it is just simply too big. When you are walking into and around the ground etc. everything is about the Northern Ireland national team, and nothing to identify Linfield. In my opinion Linfield would be better building a smaller ground of their own (like Seaview or Mourneview Park). It is hard to generate an atmosphere in the ground, as it is so big and both stands behind each end are closed. Don’t get me wrong, the stadium is very impressive and views are fantastic, but for Irish league games I just don’t think it’s a good fit.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
A great win for Crusaders again. The atmosphere suffers a bit due to the size of the stadium.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
The traffic can be quite heavy as you will be leaving around the same time a lot of shoppers etc. will be heading home, so allow a little extra time when getting away.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Another BIG win and an important three points! A great day out!

Linfield v Ards
NIFL Premier Division
Saturday 28th October 2017, 3pm
Steve Porter (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Windsor Park?
 
I've been a regular visitor to Windsor Park as a Northern Ireland fan but this was the first time since the completion of the major renovation of the stadium and it's also a totally different place for a League game.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
By public transport, the best route from Belfast City Centre is take the 525 bus (destination Knockmore) from the Europa Bus Station, which leaves at 12.15pm. It only takes five minutes to get to Windsor Avenue and the ground is just a six minute walk from there. Lisburn Road is the upmarket shopping part of Belfast, dotted with trendy cafes and bars. There's a Tesco at the bus stop too for the sandwich and coke folk. By car you can park in the little terraced side streets that surround the ground and the car should be quite safe.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We went into the Tesco cafe on the Lisburn Road. If you fancy a beer, Cuckoo is the nearest and decent pub. It's full of Northern Ireland fans on International nights but not especially full for Linfield games
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Windsor Park?
 
How totally different Windsor Park, or to give it it's new name, the National Stadium is from the traditional Irish League Ground. The whole scale of the matchday experience is up a notch from the Traditional Irish League laid-back approach. Professional stewarding is in place and you are in a proper concourse behind the stand, akin to a League One experience. Windsor Park is far too big for Irish League Football in truth but might as well enjoy the trappings the stadium offers when it's available. The new bar that overlooks the pitch is excellent and I wish I'd stayed to see if I'd be allowed to watch the game from it's viewing gallery but didn't think until it was too late. The ground has been virtually rebuilt in the last three years with the only old stand being totally refitted to be in keeping with the rest of the stadium. Three sides of the Stadium are closed for Linfield match days so both sets of fans sit in the South Stand, which is more than capable of accommodating the average 2,000 attendances.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
As mentioned, the stadium is too big for Linfield but it's their ground and not Northern Ireland's. Generating an atmosphere is really tough with such a small crowd in these surroundings but there are plusses. smaller queues for the top quality facilities of a big matchday experience.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
There is only around 2,000 people exiting the stadium so getting out of the ground is easy. Traffic merges with the Saturday shopping traffic but isn't too bad.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Windsor Park is a very enjoyable day out at a game with a relaxed atmosphere.

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

Updated 17th February 2018

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