Swindon Town

Energy Check County Ground

Capacity: 15,547 (all seated)
Address: County Road, Swindon, SN1 2ED
Telephone: 0871 876 1879
Fax: 0844 880 1112
Ticket Office: 0871 876 1993
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Robins
Year Ground Opened: 1896
Undersoil Heating: No
Shirt Sponsors: IMAGINE CRUISING
Kit Manufacturer: Puma
Home Kit: Red and White
Away Kit: Black and Red

Don Rogers Stand
Don Rogers Stand
Arkells Stand
Arkells Stand
Looking Towards The Town End
Looking Towards The Town End
Stratton Bank End
Stratton Bank End
Town End
Town End

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 from a striking set of four floodlight pylons.

In 2017 the stadium was renamed the Energy Check County Ground in a corporate sponsorship deal.

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).

Away 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 fixtures overlap.

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 recommend it'.

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.

The ground is well signposted in and around Swindon town centre. Just follow signs for 'The County Ground'.  

From M4 Junction 15
Follow the A4259 (Queens Drive) towards Swindon. Go across one roundabout and at the next take the first exit onto the A4312 (signposted Swindon/Football Traffic). You will see the floodlights of the County Ground over on the right, as you approach the large Magic Roundabout. The County Ground is on the corner of this roundabout.

From the North
A419 from Cricklade/Cirencester/M5:   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) which costs £5. 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 also parking available at the Merlin pub on Drove Road, which costs £2. There is some parking available at the County Ground itself at £10 per car.

Post Code for SAT NAV: SN1 2ED

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The County Ground is walkable from Swindon Railway 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.

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:

Home Fans 
Arkells Stand & Don Rogers Stands:
Adults £23 Over65's/Students £17 Under 21's £10, Under 18's £6, Under 11's £2*
Town End: 
Adults £19 Over65's/Students £15 Under 21's £10, Under 18's £6, Under 11's £2**

Away Fans
Arkells Stand:
Adults £23 Over65's/Students £17 Under 21's £10, Under 18's £6, Under 11's £2

In addition, the Club offers a number of Family Tickets (excluding the Town End).

* Under 11's can gain free entrance if they become Junior Club Members.

 

Official Programme: £3

Swindon Town FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

 Oxford United, Bristol Rovers and Bristol City.

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

Record Attendance

32,000 v Arsenal
FA Cup 3rd Round, 15th January 1972.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

14,924 v Chelsea
Capital One Cup, Round 3, 24th September 2013

Average Attendance

2017-2018: 6,380 (League One)
2016-2017: 7,026 (League One)
2015-2016: 7,409 (League One)

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!

If you require hotel accommodation in Swindon then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. 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 help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Swindon Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

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

Swindon Town v Tranmere Rovers
League 2
Saturday 18th August 2018, 3pm
Thomas Inglis (Visiting Dundee United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?
 
My first English ground visit of the new season and this was to be my eightieth English stadium visited overall.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I took an overnight Megabus from Dundee to London, then a train to Swindon for 9am. The County Ground is well signposted from the railway station and only about a 10 minute walk.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I picked up a ticket, which cost at the club shop, took a picture and a wander around outside of the ground. I also had a look around the town centre, shops, had a coffee and a bite to eat. Then for the first pint in the 'Savoy' and another couple of city centre pubs picking my football coupon. I then went to 'County Ground Pub' outside ground - great music and atmosphere, and friendly home fans.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the County Ground?
 
I was in the 'Town End' behind the goal with the more vociferous home fans. Two larger and much taller stands run the length of the pitch and a completely empty and uncovered stand behind the other goal. Overall an okay ground, fit for purpose.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
A whirlwind start, with Tranmere scoring through Smith and Norwood before 15 minutes. Tranmere's Harris was sent off on 18 minutes for a high challenge, and then Swindon getting back into the game on 20 minutes through Adebayo. The game settled a bit up to half time with Tranmere holding on to their lead. No issues with facilities or stewards, I had a pie at half time which was fine. Swindon made the extra man pay in the second half with goals from Richards and Romanski to give the home team a 3-2 win.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
No problem leaving the ground and watching teatime game in an Irish bar whose name escapes me.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I can't complain about a five goal game in August at a new ground and a new town to me.

Swindon Town v Mansfield Town
League 2
Saturday 10th February 2018, 3pm
Jack Richardson (Mansfield Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?
 
I hadn't visited the County Ground for 11 years and this game was a 'promotion six pointer' as both sides were situated in the top seven prior to kick off. We were on an eight game unbeaten run and had only lost once since Swindon beat us back in October.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
We opted to drive and left Mansfield around 10.15am. Around two hours and 30 minutes later we arrived in Swindon. We safely negotiated the 'Magic Roundabout' and parked in The Merlin pub, which cost £2 but all proceeds went to charity. Street parking was available within ten minutes of the ground and also at the local cricket club.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We dived straight in The Merlin as the weather wasn't great. It was full of Mansfield and Swindon supporters and around 20 Salisbury City fans whose game at Swindon Supermarine had been called off. The atmosphere in the pub was friendly and the Mansfield fans were in good voice. There were large television screens situated around the pub showed the early kick off and food was available.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the County Ground?
 
The County Ground is impressive ground and easily one of the best in League Two. The away section is showing it's age with a very tight concourse area and old plastic seats however views were good despite a large pillar. Away fans are to the side of the ground however the open end can be allocated for larger away followings.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
There was a fantastic atmosphere created in the away end and we started the better, having the best of an end to end opening 15 minutes however that was our lot. Swindon then got on the front foot and deservedly took a 1-0 lead into half time. Swindon cruised through the second half as we offered little and could have had more to show for their efforts. It finished 1-0 and our unbeaten run was over. The stewards were low key and friendly, pies seemed popular as well as the beer! The home fans were generally subdued, certainly one of the quieter grounds we've been to this season.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
A ten minute walk back to the car and we were away, a little bit of traffic on the way out and a dash back across the Magic Roundabout we arrived back into Mansfield for 7.30pm.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
An enjoyable day out despite the result, would happily return to Swindon next season.

Swindon Town v Mansfield Town
League 2
Saturday 10th February 2018, 3pm
Andrew Wood (Mansfield Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?
 
Had only visited the County Ground Swindon once before, for a friendly v Wimbledon in 1999, so this was almost a new ground for me, plus I've never visited the town centre either.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
It was a pretty straightforward train journey, the ground is only a 15 minute walk from the train station, and regularly signposted, unlike so many others. You can even see the floodlights from the bus station, so one of the easiest grounds in the country to find!
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
Wandered around the town centre. It was a very wet day, so headed to a Wetherspoons pub at the top end of the shopping area to dry out and get some food .Not sure if it was anything to do with football, but a noticeable police presence was in the shopping area. Most home fans on the walk to the ground were hurrying there just to get shelter from the rain.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the County Ground?
 
As all seater grounds go, the County Ground is pretty good! The away fans are housed in a large section of a stand alongside the pitch. Both areas behind each goal are different. A covered home end, and (rather unusually these days) an open seating area behind the other goal. Mercifully not in use this particular day. This end also houses an electronic scoreboard. Opposite the away seating is another large covered home stand. I really liked this ground!
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, ste wards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Mansfield have a terrible record at Swindon, last winning here in about nineteen-canteen! Much the same today, lots of possession in the first half, but few real chances. Swindon took one of their first half chances and won 1-0. Mansfield were poor in the second half, again, lots of possession, but even fewer proper chances. Our manager, Steve Evans felt we were unlucky to lose, but most of the Stags fans present felt we just didn't turn up. The atmosphere in the first half was excellent, loads of singing and a blue and yellow smoke bomb going off adding to the anticipation this was going to be a good day. Should have known better! Stewarding was ok, usual bag search and pat down before going through turnstiles. Good choice of pies and burgers, but I didn't have any, as I ate just prior to getting in the ground, and the queues in the small refreshment area at half time were huge. Alcoholic drinks were hugely overpriced at £3.60- £3.70 for a 500ml bottle of weak lager/cider/bitter. Sadly much the same price as at other league grounds.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Dead easy, a 15 minute walk back to the station. And it had stopped raining. Hooray!
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Both the weather and the Stags performance were extremely poor, but I really like Swindon's ground and will try to visit again, despite our awful record there, and hopefully when it's not tipping down. Both the town and the County Ground seem to have a bit of character, and there are not too many places you can say that about these days.

Swindon Town v Notts County
League Two
Saturday 30th December 2017, 3pm
Michael Jordan (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?
 
The County Ground Swindon Town had been a ground I've tried to visit for many years but something always stopped me. So on my way back from Devon, an attractive looking fixture against Notts County was a great opportunity.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
Parking at the ground itself was necessary as my wife had had a recent hip displacement staff very helpful guiding us to a parking area for an early exit if required.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We had a drink in the club house fans and staff were friendly and the staff helpful.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the County Ground?
 
The first impressions of the County Ground were positive, giving you a feeling of an old fashion football stadia but without the old rundown amenities
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
I cannot praise the staff friendliness highly enough from the car parking to the ticket office and stewards. The game was spoilt by the blustery conditions but I think Swindon's 1-0 was just about deserved.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Getting away wasn't a problem even the 'magic roundabout' was kind to us.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
A great day out and will always remember my visit to Swindon with fond memories.

Coventry City v Swindon Town
Football League Two
Tuesday 26th September 2017, 7.45pm
Frank Alsop (Coventry City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?
 
I had visited The County Ground before but had to go in the main home supporters stand. This time I was looking forward to sitting in with our own supporters.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
The journey was very good - going across country from Nuneaton. The County Ground was very easy to find - be careful of the 'Magic Roundabout' though!. Parking was easy as I parked at the nearby Cricket Club. It cost £5 and was very friendly.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I went for a meal in the Merlin pub. Inside there was a mixture of home and away fans, with no problems at all.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the County Ground?
 
The away end is to the side of one of the stands. The view was very good and atmosphere excellent.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
It was a good game with the right result. I have to say the standard of refereeing in this league is very poor. The Pies were edible. Whilst the Stewards very efficient and friendly.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
Held up for about ten minutes getting out of the cricket ground but plain sailing after that.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I thoroughly enjoyed the evening at the County Ground (obviously the result was a bonus).

Swindon Town v Exeter City
Football League Two
Saturday 12th August 2017, 3pm
Ryan Pugh (Exeter City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?
 
It was the first away game of the season, against one of the favourites for the League. So it looked that it would be a hard fought game between two teams going for promotion this season. Additionally, this was my first visit to the County Ground.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I caught the train down and the journey took around two hours and arrived in Swindon around 12.30. Upon arrival, there were a few police who took us away from the town centre, as there had been some trouble between some of the fans. Eventually, the walk to the County Ground from the Merlin pub where we went for a drink was a simple ten minute walk.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We all went to the Merlin pub, where inside there was a mix of Exeter and Swindon fans. There were plenty of people inside, watching the live football, and having food and drink. I didn't get a chance to talk to any home fans.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the County Ground?
 
The County Ground itself is quite big, well for League Two at least. The Stratton Bank away end was closed, as it always is unless the away allocation is sold out. We had the end of the Arkells Stand, with a decent view. The stand opposite was quite big, but there were plenty of empty seats.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
We weren't allowed to bring in a drum, or any flags, so it was harder to make an atmosphere. Even so, we sung all game, and probably outsung the home fans, who we barely heard. We went 1-0 up deservedly and should've gone 2-0 up when the linesman didn't give us a goal, when the ball was clearly over the line (even the Swindon fans admitted it). I bought a steak pie at half time, thought it was good value at £3.40, and was a good one too. As for the second half, Swindon took more control of the game, and managed an equaliser, through their number 22 (making his debut) who looked a constant threat. Then came on Jack Sparkes, making his debut for us, at 17, within ten minutes of coming on, he unleashed a 30 yard shot against the post. All in all, I would've taken a point before the match, and I'll take it now.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
No problems getting out, went straight back to the railway station, with ten minutes to spare before our train.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a class day out and I would definitely go back to the County Ground, especially as it's only two hours away.

Swindon Town v Sheffield United
Football League One
Tuesday 14th March 2017, 7.45pm
Felix McHugh (Sheffield United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?

The Sheffield United section at the ground was already sold out in advance, but there was a late announcement that the Club were also to now open up the Stratton Bank End to Blades fans and that you could pay on the gate. So with that in mind I set off for the County Ground.

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

Don't ask! I thought I'd found a perfect parking space and came out afterwards to find I'd been given a ticket. Don't the traffic wardens sleep in Swindon?

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

We called at Cirencester on the way down. A really pretty town but not many places to eat in the early evening. Swindon's fans we encountered near to the ground were perfectly friendly.

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

Most of the Blades fans were in the Arkells Stand which cost £25, whilst I was in the Stratton Bank End at a cost of £19. This basic former terrace has had seats bolted onto its steps (as I believe the opposite Town End has), but both the side stands looked pretty good.

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

It was the classic game of two halves. The Blades were so much on top in the first half that I was wondering whether we'd finish up winning 6-0 or 7-0. After half time Swindon came out like tigers and within seven minutes had scored two long range goals to make it 2-2. We were on the back foot now, only for the Swindon goalie to drop a shocking clanger and put us back in the lead. Swindon were still the better side though, and when the ref added five minutes on at the end I was worried, but we got a penalty to make it 4-2.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

I got lost afterwards but that's usual, for me. Got home at 2am, tired but satisfied.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

It's a long way home on a Tuesday night with motorway closures and on a foggy night, but it was all worth it. Promotion is looking almost guaranteed for United now and it's good to be there to see it happen.

Swindon Town v Bolton Wanderers
Football League One
Saturday 8th October 2016, 1pm
Matthew Bowling (Bolton Wanderers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?

I was looking forward to ticking another away ground of my list, and another chance to follow Bolton away from home.

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

The journey down from Lancaster was fine until we reached Swindon when we hit traffic as per usual, it's hard getting round the 'Magic' roundabout near the ground but we made it! After about 15 minutes of driving round looking for a parking space we were allowed to park with the away coaches outside the away end.

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

When we arrived I went straight into the ground because I wanted to find somewhere to hang my flag up. Before the game I just walked round to check the stand out from different view points.

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

The stadium looked okay from the outside, but when you got inside, it looked liked the stand that holds the away fans was built many years ago. It has a very old feel about it similar to Port Vale The seats were made from wood so it was lucky that I was able to stand throughout the game. The open end behind the goal which holds the extra away fans, did have more modern seats, but is open to the elements.

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

Bolton bossed the game from the first to the last whistle, missing about four 1-on-1's which frustrated the Bolton fans. The stadium that afternoon was a virtual library among the home fans, with all the atmosphere being generated by the away support. The facilities were okay. The food and drink prices were pretty good. The stewards were friendly and they allowed us to put flags in the stand behind the goal which was good. Bolton got the only goal of the game, with a calamitous own goal from the Swindon left back which was fantastic. For once we had luck with us rather than against us.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

As always it's hard getting away from an football ground and it was no different today. But once we got away from Swindon the journey back up north was as easy as the journey down.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good away day with the day out and the result and I would definitely be going to Swindon again if we face them again.

Swindon Town v Bristol Rovers
Football League One
Saturday 27th August 2016, 1.30pm
Peter Ford (Bristol Rovers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?

This was a Local Derby and so one not to be missed. Plus it had been five seasons since we had last played them in the League.

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

Very easy journey. The County Ground is in plain sight from the Town Centre. Parked at the nearby Cricket Club at a cost of £5. I noticed that parking at the County Ground itself cost £10.

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

I guess as it was a local derby then that was the reason we were not allowed into the Cricket Club bar. Instead we were directed by the Cricket Club Stewards to 71 Bar at the ground itself. There we had to queue outside for a while until there was room inside and the doormen then allowed us in. Very spacious, £3.60 for pint of cider which I thought was reasonable. Only Football Ground Bar I have ever encountered where the Staff had time to wipe down the Bar and ask if anyone wanted serving! They could have allowed at least a few more fans in.

What you thought o n seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the County Ground?

Ramshackle development. We were in the open end and lived to regret it as the game was abandoned after sixty minutes due to a waterlogged pitch! Thank Goodness it was August! Had to drive home in underwear!

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

Lucky to survive first half, improved in the fifteen minutes we saw of the second half. No pies taken, no problem with Stewards. Wiltshire Police always seem to take a heavy handed approach to this game, yet they were nowhere to be seen in the downpour following the abandonment of the match!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No problems as we were first in the queue out of the Car Park listening to the radio report of the Referee's Inspection!

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Not bad but disappointed to learn that Full Price will have to be paid by all except Season Ticket Holders to watch the rematch! Apparently due to 'high policing costs' - the logic of this defies me!

Swindon Town v Port Vale
Football League One
Saturday 20th August 2016, 3pm
A Blakemore (Port Vale fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?

This was to be my fourth visit to the County Ground. The main reason for going this game was that the Vale were on the back of two wins and a draw at the beginning of this new season

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

The journey was fine, down the M6, M5 and across the A417/A419 with scenic views on our journey. Took around 2hrs 20 minutes from Stoke-on-Trent with traffic which was pretty good on a Saturday. The fact that the County Ground still has the old fashioned floodlights helped no end in finding it, as well as the signs for the nearby and infamous Magic Roundabout (which for anyone who has never visited Swindon has to experience to say the least) Car Parking was a major issue as aside from on the ground parking, it was few and far between. Some streets were not actually resident permit parking but then other streets were already coned off by the Police to ensure people didn't park. Not the easiest place to park if you want to find a free space and to be close to the ground.

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

Given that its August and we are in England, then of course it had to rain. So rather than wandering around, so we opted for the Away Bar that Swindon provide. Its very simple, with only one person serving, but it does have Sky Sports, the quality of drinks available however was somewhat to be desired. The Merlin pub is a short walk away which I have visited before, again with Sky and BT Sports and a better selection of food and drink.

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

I was glad that we were seated on one side of the County Ground and not behind the goal. As Swindon still after all these years has an open-ended away end (with seats). It's quite a mismatch of a ground with The Don Rogers Stand being the most impressive. The other three need some work, but it kind of adds to the old fashioned four sided ground feel.

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

Well we lost, which is never a surprise for Swindon away, but only narrowly this time round. The game was an average affair which could have gone in Vale's favour had we been more clinical in the first half. The atmosphere was pretty flat all round, as both teams didn't really give their fans much to get behind them about. Stewards were friendly and even wished me a safe trip home as I left the ground. Facilities were basic in a small concourse as well, but the food selection and quality was worthwhile.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Parking on the official car park has some perks as you are straight onto the Magic Roundabout to then get away. However, the club seems to wait until every single fan has left the County Ground before they let cars go, which was frustrating and added to our journey time, especially when we still had a 2 hour 20 journey home in front of us.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Good journey down, hit and miss weather, disappointing result. Always put off by the ticket prices at Swindon, but for once it wasn't the usual £25. It's one I wouldn't visit annually (mainly as we never win) but after eight years of not visiting its worth a once in a while to go.

Swindon Town v Wigan Athletic
Football League One
Friday 25th March 2016. 5.30pm
David Burke (Wigan Athletic fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground?

As a Wigan Athletic fan this game was important as we were flying high for promotion at the time. Plus I've never been to Swindon FC.

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

Journey down from the North was dreadful because of the Bank Holiday traffic but, worst of all, the roadworks left to simmer for such an important weekend to most. I stayed at a Premier Inn in Swindon and walked to the County Ground. It took about 25 minutes each way.

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

Checked into hotel; had a beer on the way to the ground; no problems with chatting to home fans on the way.

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

The County Ground is a compact but of a fair size, with one modern stand opposite to where we were located in the away section. We were in one corner but the view was only interrupted by one stanchion near the halfway line. Looks a ground worthy of better things.

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

Well what can I say.....Wigan won 4-1! Obviously the atmosphere among Wigan fans was electric and, although they got hammered, the ardent few Swindon fans kept singing.....credit to them! Bar 71 is for the away fans but one pint cost me £4.30! This is extortion! Something should be done about the treatment and pricing of bars and food for away fans at every ground! It costs enough to get there! This was the only blight on the day.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Because of the result most of the Swindon fans had already left and my route back to the Hotel was past the home end. I was wearing my colours and walked the 25 minutes along a busy main road with no bother at all.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Wish I could have seen more of Swindon (which I was planning to do the next day but the weather put the kibosh on that one) but, alas, it may be some time unless they get into the play-off's and get promoted along with the mighty Wigan!

Swindon Town v Millwall
Football League One
Saturday 12th March 2016, 3pm
Jack Pittman (Millwall fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the County Ground? 

I was looking forward to ticking another ground off the list and hopefully seeing The Lions continue their fantastic away form. Also with the ease of which we beat Swindon earlier in the season I was fairly confident of a win.

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

I took the train from London Paddington. It only took an hour to reach Swindon, which was simple enough. The ground is visible when pulling into the station. From there its only a 20 minute walk.

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

We met up with a friend of my Father's who supports Swindon and we went for a few drinks in a nearby pub and watched a bit of the early match. Getting to the ground itself was a bit of hassle as Swindon fans and Millwall fans almost clashed, which led to some heavy handed stewarding. I was jostled by stewards three times that was just innocently trying to buy a programme!

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

The County Ground itself is a bit of a mish-mash of a stadium, in all honesty. On one side you have the tidy Dan Rogers Stand, while opposite there is the Arkells Stand, where away fans are situated and the Town End behind the goal, which have seen better days. Behind one goal is the uncovered Stratton Bank End, which offers extra seating for larger away followings. The view from the Arkells Stand is decent although if seated high enough then there is one supporting pillar that impedes your view when looking toward The Town End goal.

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

Inside the stadium the facilities are very cramped. At half time this meant that it was a tough moving around even getting to the toilet! I tucked into the usual chicken balti pie, which was very nice and after being hassled a bit more by the over the top stewarding we finally made it to our seat. Some of the joys of following Millwall!

As for the game itself it was eventful to say the least! After racing into a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes we seemed to be cruising to another awayday win, which would close the gap between us and second place Wigan. However with a little help from the referee, a harsh penalty and a late late Swindon equaliser in the 94th minute we were pegged back to 2-2. A gutting result but credit to Swindon they were much improved after our last encounter.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of the ground and back to the station wasn't without its troubles. Millwall and Swindon fans clashed outside the stadium and objects flew either way. Me and my Father walked away from the handbags but the clashes continued as we walked towards the station.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall if your team has a larger following then a trip to The County Ground isn't the easiest of trips as the stewarding/policing is over the top and the facilities aren't great But in terms of a stadium its a decent place to watch football and a good atmosphere can be made.

Swindon Town v Southend United
Fottball League One
Saturday 9th January 2016, 3pm
John and Stephen Spooner (Southend United fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the County Ground?    

This was our first visit to the County Ground in Swindon. Also with Southend in 7th place in the League and nine points clear of Swindon we hoped for a positive result after successive losses at home. Martin Ling ex-Southend United had left his Swindon Mangers' job due to medical reasons and with Swindon having to let on-loan players return to their home clubs, then the Robins were set to play a youthful side. In fact on the say Southend made six changes to their team. We were also enjoying our season so far after being promoted last May. It was also an opportunity to see forward Tyrone Barnett make his loanee debut for Southend.

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

We live in North Wales so it was a relatively easy 340 mile round trip via A5, M54, M5 and A419 following the sat nav. The floodlights soon appear on entering Swindon. As we had arrived early, we parked for free on Shrivenden Road, adjacent to the County Ground.

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

Had lunch in car and got a Matchday Programme to read, which cost £3. We got wet feet trying to take a short cut through a small park that leads to the away end. The path was flooded and grass was too muddy so trekked right round the stadium. Didn't meet any home fans, but no signs of any unpleasantness. Met up with four relatives in away bar located outside the Arkells stand at the away end. Had a good chat and discussed Southend's recent demise.

What you thought on seeing the County Ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?    

The ground is an older type, with very narrow turnstiles and then a series of steps, to take you up into one side of the all seater Main Stand, that was allocated to away fans. The seats were old fashioned, being the wooden tip up variety, but comfortable enough and good leg room. The open away end was closed off but the opposite stand was impressive with a smaller stand behind the home goal. The pitch was wet from heavy rain and looked large.

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

The game wasps a mixed bag with Southend scoring within five minutes from Tyrone Barnett on his debut. An Adam Thompson header saw Southend go two up with less than 15 minutes played. Swindon then started pressing us back and had drew level to make it 2-2 by half time.

Pies were £3.40, facilities good standard and stewards amenable, allowing fans to sit where they chose.

In persistent rain and a cold cross wind, Swindon continued to press in the second half and deservedly made it 3-2 and with Southend trying to get back into the game, Swindon broke away to make it 4-2.  The 620 Southend fans out of the 7,162 attendance had gone from elation to misery. This was a third successive loss for Southend Manager Phil Bowen to ponder and he kept the team in the dressing room for two hours after the game had ended!

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A short walk back to the car followed by a nervy navigation of the Magic Roundabout and we were soon back on the motorways heading North and worrying how the rest of the season was going to pan out.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day out, apart from the heavy defeat. The County Ground is a pleasant ground to visit despite the cold wind and rain. The bar for away fans before you enter the ground is a great idea, with plenty of seats and a large screen television and drinks if required. Avoid the short cut through the park if rainy weather. Southend had dropped to eigth and missed chance of making a playoff place but just over half way through this season and still hoping as always!

Swindon Town v Oldham Athletic  
League One
Saturday March 30th 2013, 3pm
Pete Callan (Oldham Athletic fan)

It's been a few years since I have been to the County Ground but due to where I live its one of the easier fixtures to get to. Being just a couple of hours easy drive from the Isle of Wight ferry terminal in Portsmouth

The County ground is a very easy place to find. Easily reached from the motorway network. The famous "Magic Roundabout" fills drivers with fear but as long as you follow the arrows then its easy to negotiate. The ground is next to it so its a case of aiming for the right roundabout exits. Car parking at the ground itself is a shocking £10, but if you are sensible then you will set off early and park on Shrivenham Road next to the stadium which is residential. All the houses have their own
garages/driveways so they don't seem to mind you parking on street -Best of all its FREE and no more than two minutes walk from the County Ground.

I travelled to this game with my grandson and we stopped at a service area just outside Newbury. There does not seem to be much in the way of cafes near the ground altho there are one or two pubs around. Around the ground there are the usual trailer snack cabins serving burgers and chips at a moderate price.

What I do love about Swindon is the fact that the fans are so welcoming. Several smiled at us, chatted and debated everything from De Canio's departure to the prospects of their promotion and our relegation. What was really nice was a lady who almost dragged us into the "Robins Nest" which is a great little club for junior Swindon fans which is open prior to the game and welcomes junior away fans. My grandson had a great time playing the Wii, table tennis, table football etc. That allowed me more time to drink coffee at £1 ago and banter with older Swindon fans.

The County ground is a good old traditional box ground that is very visible as soon as you come anywhere near it. The floodlights stand tall, there is a lot of open space. While the County ground may well not have become one of the many goldfish bowl grounds of the modern era it is well maintained. It's quite smart and spacious and access to all parts of the ground is very easy - Away fans do have to walk through a little park and along a path but its really not hard work. views are un
restricted and as away fans are somewhat elevated above what was at one time terracing below -The views really are excellent all over the pitch.

This was Lee Johnsons first real challenge since taking over as Manager. Being in the bottom four and playing against a team lying second in the table ould not get much tougher. However for the first hour we played very well, a little bit of luck, good defending and a new found spirit and desire lead to Lee Barnard putting us ahead in the second half. The lead didn't last long and after sustained pressure Swindon equalised with an overhead kick that Bouzanis never even saw. Swindon had enough to wrap it up in the closing stages but it was an excellent hard fought point for us.

With over 10,000 in the ground including around 500 of us Oldham fans who were located in the Arkells stand. Reasonable seats with good leg room and excellent views of the action. There was a good solid atmosphere generated by both sets of fans all the way through the game. Stewards were friendly and chatty and when we did stand used common sense by just ensuring there was no danger or people blocking gangways.

If I had one real gripe it was that were not anywhere enough refreshment kiosks. The queues were so long that it was clear the game would be well into the second half if we waited in line. The loos were fine, clean and better than i have seen at many grounds.

Getting away from the ground after was a doddle...2/3 mins walk along Shrivenham Road and within 5 mins we were heading towards the M4/A34 

This is a really friendly club whose fans are welcoming, hospitable and feel part of Swindon Town FC. Without doubt one of the nicest places I have been too in forty years of watching Oldham. Nice touches such as Swindon players joking and chatting to stewards and programme sellers. This is a family club and you do feel like an invited guest. My third visit with hopefully several more to come in the years ahead.

Swindon Town v Preston North End
League One
Saturday, February 23rd 2013, 3pm
Joe Cooper (Preston North End fan)

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

I was looking forward to this match due the drama that had been going on at both clubs in the weeks prior to the fixture. The recent departure of Graham Westley meant Simon Grayson was to take the helm for the first time against a managerless Swindon, after Paulo Di Canio had walked away from Swindon under a cloud of controversy. Swindon were also top of the league and with North End knocking Bournemouth off the top spot a week before I was hoping for another upset!

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

I’m friends with a fellow North Ender who lives in Bath so I caught a train down on the Friday afternoon. Bath is only two stops prior to Swindon so I pretty much did the journey 24 hours before kick-off (Frankie Fryer style). It took me about 4 hours with two changes, one at Birmingham New Street and the other at Bristol Temple Meads. If I had done the journey in full I reckon it would have taken about a 4 and a half hours, so in all it was quite a journey despite the trains running smoothly.

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

We set off for Bath Train station at about midday on Saturday, and we were in Swindon for roughly 1.30pm. Upon leaving Swindon railway station we saw a pub across the road in which the police had chosen to harbour a rather large number of Preston supporters. It wasn’t immediately obvious which direction the ground was so we asked one of the police officers to point us in the right direction. Because there were only two of us he was quite happy to let us find our own way to the ground.  After following the road the copper had directed us down we soon picked up the signs for the stadium. On reaching the County Ground we asked some Swindon fans where the away entrance was and we were politely told where to head for.  We were on the concourse for 2pm.

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

When seeing the ground from the outside it looked like your typical League One ground. I always enjoy seeing those old standing traditional floodlights as they have become a bit of rarity now, but the County Ground have four of them standing proudly in each corner of the ground. The concourse was quite small so I can imagine it being quite congested for the bigger following, I didn’t go down at half time but my mate said it was a bit of nightmare. The ground, despite looking quite dated, was quite neat and tidy with all the necessities, such as leg room being adequate enough. The view of the 18 yard box at one end was slightly impeded by a pillar but it didn’t cause too much of a problem.

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

I had a cheese burger and a bottle of water before the game which came to just over a fiver. The burger was cold and I didn’t really enjoy but I was hungry so I ate it anyway. Myself and the 900 odd North Enders were making a lot of noise before and during the game, resulting in a good atmosphere in the away end. There was a bit of noise coming from the Swindon Fans in the first five minutes but very little after that. The stewards were pretty much unnoticeable. The only rule they seemed to enforce was keeping the closest block to the home fans reserved for family groups. 

In the first half Swindon seemed to be using a lot of the possession, forcing a couple of good saves out of our keeper, we soaked up the pressure well and made it half time with score still goalless. After the break Preston looked a little bit more dangerous in the form of counter attacks, which ultimately paid off when 18 year old Prestonian Will Hayhurst scored his first ever professional goal to put the lilywhites ahead. Swindon kept piling on the pressure and the Preston defence eventually cracked after Rooney latched on to a poor back pass from David Buchannan. The game finished 1-1 which in my opinion was a fair result.

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

We were back at the train station on a train within 40 minutes of the final whistle.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All in all a nice day out. Pleasant fans and a pleasant ground, however I saw it had very little by the way of good pubs to drink in before the game.

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

Updated 1st September 2018

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