|What's The County
Don Rogers Stand (photo)
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Arkells Stand (photo)
Where To Drink?
Looking Towards The FastPlant Town End (photo)
Other Places Of Interest
How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
A Closer Look At The FastPlant Town End (photo)
Programme & Fanzine
Record & Average Attendance
Fans Ground Reviews
County Ground Location Map
|What's The County Ground Like?|
|A traditional looking ground, that has an interesting mix of stands. Both sides are large two-tiered covered affairs that tower above the two smaller ends. The Main Stand is the Arkells Stand on one side. Built in 1971 the stand is a fairly simple affair and has the players tunnel and team dugouts in front. It has windshields to either side and a few supporting pillars. Opposite is the smarter looking Don Rogers Stand. Opened in 1994, this stand has a cantilevered roof, allowing spectators to have an uninterrupted view of the playing action. It has a large upper tier, with a much smaller lower tier. The FastPlant Town End is a small covered stand, that is the traditional home end. Unfortunately it has a row of supporting pillars that run across the front of it. Oddly on one side, the base of one of the floodlight pylons is situated within the stand, with the pylon itself rising up through the roof of the stand. At the other end is the Stratton Bank Stand. This area is uncovered and open to the elements. It has a small electric scoreboard situated above it, next to which is a Rolex Clock. Apparently this is the only Rolex clock that can found within a football ground anywhere in the World. The ground also benefits by a striking set of four floodlight pylons.|
|What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?|
|Away fans are located in the Arkells
Stand at one side of the pitch, where up to 1,200
fans can be housed. This is an older stand with
facilities to match, but at least you are under
cover. If you are at the back of this stand there is
one supporting pillar which may impair your view of
the goal otherwise it is fine. You even get a view
of some of the rolling Marlborough Hills beyond one
corner of the ground! There is a small kiosk at the
back of stand serving amongst other things a range
of pies, but be careful when taking them back to
your seat. The entrances to the seating areas are
through large solid doors, and to compound matters
they open out towards you!
Teams with a larger away following can also be allocated the Stratton Bank End if required. A further 2,100 fans can be accommodated in this area, but the end has no cover and is open to the elements. Fine on a nice sunny day, but on a cold wet, winters day, it can be grim. This area was a former terrace that has had seating bolted onto it, which meant that the height between rows is not great. I found Swindon to be a relaxed and fairly friendly day out, although the size of Police presence on my last visit seemed excessive.
Food on offer inside includes Pies; Chicken Balti (£3.40), Steak & Ale (£3.40), Cheeseburgers (£3.50), Burgers (£3.50), Hot Dogs (£3.80), Sausage Rolls (£2.50), Beef Pasties (£3), plus Cheese & Onion Pasties (£2.50).
|Where To Drink?|
fans are treated to their own bar, called Bar 71,
which is located by the away turnstiles. However it is
quite small and tends to fill up quickly, with door
men preventing anyone else going in, so that it does
not become over crowded. The County Hotel right by the
ground, did not allow entrance to away supporters on
my last visit. Best to continue down County Road and
seek out the Cricket Club that sits behind the Arkells
Stand. As Mark Osborne from Swindon adds; 'On match
days home and away fans can
park on the cricket ground (for a small fee) and then
have access to a drink in the cricket club. This is a
very friendly (as well as cheap) club that always
welcomes away fans'. I would echo these comments but
also add that you can still get into the cricket club
(there is no charge) even if you have not parked
there. Please note though that the
Cricket Club facilities are not available for night
matches or when the Cricket Club is playing a match.
The latter doesn't happen often but can do towards
the beginning and end of the football season, when
Audrey MacDonald a visiting Hartlepool United
fan, recommends 'The Merlin' on
Drove Road, near to the magic roundabout. 'Away
fans are welcome and
they have Sky Sports showing on 12 television screens and even in the gents (according to my husband)'. Derek
Shaw a Wolverhampton Wanderers fan agrees; 'The
Merlin pub is friendly and welcoming to away
supporters. It's a decent size pub which serves
meals and has a number of TV screens installed. On
my visit there were a couple of bouncers and two
policeman outside but there was no sign of any
trouble, either inside or outside. I enjoyed the
atmosphere in the Merlin which is less than ten
minutes away from the County Ground and would
Alcohol is available within the ground to away fans in the Arkells Stand (but not in the open Stratton Bank End), otherwise if you arrive early Swindon town centre is a 15 minute walk away.
|Other Places Of Interest|
Located near one corner of the ground is the 'Magic Roundabout'. Whoever designed this must have been on something. It is a large island surrounded by five mini roundabouts, which effectively means that traffic can go round the main roundabout the wrong way! Confused? I was!
Thanks to Chris King for providing the image of the Magic Roundabout above and the directions below. Chris suggests that visiting supporters, with the aide of the diagram, can perhaps practice in their back garden prior to visiting Swindon! If you want further information then visit the Magic Roundabout page of the Swindon Web.
|How To Get There By Car & Where To Park|
ground is well signposted in and around Swindon town
centre. Just follow signs for 'The County
From M4 Junction 15:
Continue on the A419 until reaching the top of the new 3 lane stretch of dual-carriageway, which runs uphill. (I would advise to stay in the inside lane on this climb as the exit approaches quickly). Take the exit at the top of the hill (Lady Lane Junction). At the lights go right, then almost immediately at the next set of lights go left. Follow this road through the next set of traffic lights (passing the Motorola building to the right), then branch left onto the A4311. From here follow this road, following signs for Town Centre. At Transfer Bridges roundabouts turn left at the first and then straight over the second. The County Ground is on the left after the mini-roundabout. The County Ground is one of the few remaining football stadiums you can notice from a fair distance, due to the striking floodlights. Thanks to Robin Sharpe for supplying the directions.
If you survive the Magic Roundabout then there is some street parking. Otherwise park at the cricket club (take County Road off the Magic Roundabout, go past the County Hotel on your right, you will see a small sign further down on your right for football parking, just before the mini roundabout). Steve Pollott a visiting Wolverhampton Wanderers fan adds; ' We parked at the St Joseph Catholic college in Ocotal Way. It cost £5 per car and was only a ten minute walk away from the ground. However, it was bit slow getting out at the end of the game, but it was well run.' There is some parking available at the ground itself for a cost of £10.
showing the location of the County
Ground (at the bottom of this page).
Post Code for SAT NAV: SN1 2ED
|The ground is walkable from Swindon
train station and will take you around 10-15 minutes.
Leave the station, cross the road and proceed up the
road between the two pubs (Great Western and Queen's
Tap), continue to end of road. Turn left,
proceed along Manchester Road, through traffic lights
as far as you can go. At the junction turn
right. The County Ground is about 300 yards up this
road on the left. Thanks to John Bishop for providing
me with the 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
|Oxford United, Bristol Rovers & Bristol City.|
|Official Programme: £3|
details of disabled facilities and club contact at the
ground please visit the relevant page on the
Level Playing Field website.
|Swindon Town FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)|
|Record & Average Attendance|
FA Cup 3rd Round, January 15th, 1972.
Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
14,924 v Chelsea
Capital One Cup, Round 3, September 24th 2013
2012-2013: 8,963 (League One)
2011-2012: 8,411 (League Two)
2010-2011: 8,458 (League One)
|Fans Reviews Of The County Ground|
(Oldham Athletic) 30/3/13
Joe Cooper (Preston North End) 23/2/13
Stuart Jackson (Yeovil Town) 17/11/12
Paul Willott (Doing The 92) 25/2/12
Diana Bowden (Crewe Alexandra) 6/8/11
James Spring (Notts County) 2/4/11
Tino Hernandez (Bournemouth) 1/1/11
|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 Swindon Guest Houses and Hotels page.
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 the UK or abroad.
|Map showing the location of the County Ground, railway station and listed pubs|
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