Capacity: 10,243 (seated 1,549)
Address: Tryfield Place, Ayr, KA8 9NB
Telephone: 01292 263 435
Fax: 01292 281 314
Pitch Size: 110 x 72 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Honest Men
Year Ground Opened: 1896*
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: All White
Somerset Park is a classic traditional looking ground that is predominantly terracing. Only one side has a seating area, in the old Main Stand, part of which dates back to 1924. This stand is covered and the seated area is raised above pitch level. There are also a few supporting pillars which could impede your view. This stand was extended sideways in 1989. In front of the stand are some small sections of terracing, the team dugouts and a small conservatory type structure, that looked to be used by the Police. On the other side is a large open terrace that extends around the corners of the ground. This area is split between home and away fans, who are segregated by a large fence running down the middle of it. At the back of the home fans section is a strange concrete box like structure that looks to have been built behind the existing terrace. This appears to house a number of hospitality boxes that overlook the ground.
Both ends are quite similar looking, as they are of roughly the same size and both are covered terracing. The home end, the Somerset Road end is partly covered (to the rear) medium sized terrace, that has a row of supporting pillars running across the front of it. Away fans are located in the opposite end in the Railway Terrace. The ground is completed with a set of four modern floodlight pylons, one located at each corner of the ground.
For the majority of games away fans will be housed in the small standing enclosure in front of the Main Stand at one side of the pitch. For the bigger games against Partick Thistle & Morton then away fans will allocated the covered Railway End Terrace at one end of the ground, as well as some open terrace to either side of it. So visiting fans for these games have a choice as to whether to view the action from either an end or side of the pitch and unless there is a huge travelling support you will normally get a good view of the playing action. With the away end being covered, a relatively small number of away fans can really create some noise, adding to the atmosphere. There are two refreshment kiosks in the away section serving the usual array of pies, hot dogs & burgers. Unfortunately though there is only one set of toilets that are right by the entrance turnstiles to the away end. I would have to say that the mens urinals looked as if they dated back to when the ground opened. I did notice on my visit that parts of the open terrace had a fair few white blobs all over them, thanks to the large local population of seagulls. It may be an idea to make sure you wear a hat if you use the open terrace!
Simon Lyndsay a visiting Falkirk supporter adds; 'This is my favourite away game. It is a great old fashioned ground. With good pubs, pies, great fish and chips and I have never had a bit of bother there. The fans can have a go at one another during the game (loads of verbals), but walking away at the end, there never seems to be any hassle. An enthusiastic two thumbs up from me for Somerset Park'.
There are no bars in the immediate vicinity of the ground. So a ten minute walk to the town centre is required, where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Of note are four pubs that are listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, including the Abbotsford Hotel on Coursehill Road, Geordie's Byre on the Main Street, Wellingtons Bar on Wellington Square and the Glen Park Hotel on Racecourse Road. In addition there is a Wetherspoons oub, called the West Kirk on Sandgate
If you are arriving by train at Newton-On-Ayr, then there is the Wallace Bar at 6 Tams Brig.
From the A77 take the A719 (Whitletts Road) into Ayr. After passing the racecourse on your left, turn right at the next set of traffic lights for the ground, or turn left to take you down to an unofficial car park. Turning right will take you into Burnett Terrace, then left into Hawkhill Avenue and then right into Somerset Road. The ground is down on the left. There is a small car park at the ground adjacent to the Main Stand but this is for pass holders only. However, there is plenty of street parking to be found in the area around the stadium.
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Ayr Railway Station is a ten minute walk away from Somerset Park. Exit the station through the back entrance (to the left as you come off the platform, over the footbridge) and turn left once outside. Walk up to the roundabout at the fire station, and go straight ahead at the roundabout, past the left hand side of the Civic Theatre. continue up this road (Craigie Road) to the traffic lights at the top. Go straight across again at this junction, then take a left and a right and you're there. Away fans walk to the left, behind the Main Stand. Thanks to Ruaridh Watson for providing the directions.
Callum McCabe adds; 'Newton-On-Ayr station is closer to the ground than Ayr main station, although not as many trains stop there. Go up the hill from the station onto the main road (A79). Turn right along the road and cross over to the other side of the road. Continue for a short distance and just before the bridge (where the road crosses the railway), turn left into McCall's Avenue. Go all the way up this road until you cross a railway bridge, and then turn right into Somerset Road. The ground is at the bottom of this road on the right'.
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All areas of Somerset Park:
OAP's/Students and Under 22's £11
Under 18's £6
Disabled fans and their carer are admitted free of charge. Places must be booked in advance with the club.
Official Programme £2.50.
25,225 v Rangers, 1969.
2017-2018: 1,533 (League One)
2016-2017: 1,857 (Championship League)
2015-2016: 1,297 (League One)
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Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing some of the photos of Somerset Park Ayr United.
Ayr United v Queen of the South
Scottish Championship League
Saturday 22nd October 2016, 3pm
Stuart Edwards (Neutral fan)
Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Somerset Park?
I am (very slowly) trying to get to all 42 Scottish Premier and Football League grounds in Scotland.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Travelled to Ayr by car and parked in the town centre. Car parking wasn't expensive. Walked from the town centre to Somerset Park. This took about 20 minutes and was straight forward. It was a dry day - the walk wouldn't have been as pleasant if it had been raining!
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
I was with my wife and we spent the morning in the town centre shopping. We had our lunch in the café at Marks & Spencer.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Somerset Park?
The first sight of Somerset Park was of the outside of the Main Stand, which looked dated. It still looked dated when we got in!! However, despite there being a number of pillars the view was alright. The ground is very traditional, with covered ends and an open bank on the side opposite the stand. The pitch was in superb condition.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc.
The match was okay and the crowd of just over 1,800 generated a reasonable atmosphere. The club was celebrating Armed Forces Day so there events before the match and at half-time. The fans and stewards were pleasant. My wife commented very favourably on the cleanliness of the toilets.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Popped into the well stocked club shop after the game, then walked back into town. Some shops were still open - a real bonus!
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
I'd say that Somerset Park and Ayr itself was a hassle free very pleasant day out.
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* The present Somerset Park ground overlies part of the original Somerset Park ground which dates back to 1888.