Stranraer

Stair Park

Capacity: 5,600 (1,830 Seated)
Address: London Road, Stranraer, DG9 8BS
Telephone: 01776 889 514
Fax: 01776 889 514
Pitch Size: 110 x 70 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Blues
Year Ground Opened: 1907
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Royal Blue and White

Main Stand
Main Stand
Coo Shed
Coo Shed
Town End
Town End
East Terrace
East Terrace

Stair Park is situated in a picturesque park of the same name, hence the name of the ground. The Club have been playing in the park since in 1907, and the park itself even has a bandstand. The ground has seen a lot of improvements in recent years. In 1995 a new Main (South) Stand was constructed at one side of the pitch, built by Barr Construction, at a cost of £500,000. This smart looking covered all seater stand, runs for roughly half the length of the pitch and straddles the half way line. There is a small amount of terracing on each side of the stand. From the back of the Main Stand, you can enjoy good views of the surrounding area to the sea. On the other side is a small stand, that is affectionately known as the 'Coo Shed'. This is a small covered stand, that has open terracing on either side of it, as well as a standing area in front. In the rear of this stand, are a number of rows of wooden benches. There are also a couple of supporting pillars in this stand. 

The Town End at one end of the ground is a small covered terrace, whilst at the other end, there is a small open terrace. At the back of this terrace are a number of trees and bushes, which gives the ground a rural look and I noticed a couple of kids seemed to be permanently employed during the game retrieving match balls from the undergrowth (the forwards were not having a good day on my visit!). There is also a small club shop within the ground, at one side of the Town End. It is also worth mentioning that the pitch is somewhat uneven in places.

Fans are not normally segregated at Stair Park, but if required then away fans are given the Coo Shed and East Terrace, parts of the ground, where up to 2,000 fans can be accommodated. Away supporters tend to congregate in the Coo Shed as they can make themselves more vocally heard from this stand. The refreshment kiosks offer a selection of scotch pies and sausage rolls at 60p each as well as tea and coffee at 50p, per cup. I had an enjoyable afternoon out at Stair Park, however it is worth bearing in mind that when in winter, you should wrap up well as that wind can be biting, coming in off the sea. 

Derek Hall adds; 'Just a few words about Stranraer.  What a cracking little place. Nice pubs, nice chippie and nice guest houses. The best bit of the lot though is the friendly reception at the Stranraer FC Social Club - massively recommended'.

There is no club bar at the ground, however the ground is only a five minute walk away from the town centre where there are plenty of bars and eating establishments. As you leave Stair Park, turn left onto the main road to take you down to the town centre. The nearest bar is down on the right, in the Rudicot Hotel. This has a small quiet bar, which has a separate entrance on the side of the hotel. The bar serves a good pint of real ale (Deuchars IPA). If you continue down into the town centre then the next bar that you come to is 'The Pub' on the left hand side. This is a fair sized bar with TV's and a pool table. There is a chippy and cafe on the same side of the road. If you continue further on into Stranraer along the same main road then on your right you will reach the Grapes pub. This old pub is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Colin Ferguson adds; 'probably the best bet for a drink before the game, is the Stranraer FC Social Club which is situated in North Strand Street'.

From The North
Take the A77 from Glasgow down to Stranraer. This is not a particularly good road, so allow plenty of time for your journey. As you come into Stranraer either follow the road into the town centre and then turn left onto the A75 (Dumfries) and the ground and park are a short distance down this road on the right. Otherwise turn left from the A77, where the 'football traffic' is indicated by a sign. This takes you up to the A75 and again turn left and the ground and park are over on the right.

From The East
Follow the A75 into Stranraer. As you pass a school on your right, you will come to the ground and park on your left. 

Car Parking
There is free car parking in the park surrounding the ground, as well as nearby street parking.

Stranraer Railway Station is a fifteen minute walk away from Stair Park. From the railway station you should walk up to the ferry terminal building, opposite North West Castle Hotel. Turn left walk about 150 yards to the 'Craig n Elder' Hotel. Turn right onto Stair Drive. At the end of Stair Drive turn left. This takes you onto London Road walk for about 200 yards and Stair Park is on the right hand side actually inside the public park.

Thanks to J McCallum for providing the above 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:

Adults £15
Concessions £10
Children of secondary school age: £5

Official Programme £2.

Queen Of The South and Ayr United.

Stranraer FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website).

Record Attendance

6,500 v Rangers, 1948. 

Average Attendance
2017-2018: 444 (League One)
2016-2017: 409 (League One)
2015-2016: 507 (League One)

If you require hotel accommodation in Stranraer 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 Stranraer 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.

Booking.com

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.

Stranraer v Arbroath
Scottish League 1
Tuesday 20th February 2018, 7.45pm
Tony Smith (Doing the 134)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Stair Park?
 
A weather-related rearrangement offered me an unexpected midweek opportunity to visit another new ground but I was not looking forward to the travel. The AA advised three routes from my home with estimated 5.5 to 6 hours all ending on the A57 via Dumfries, some of which occupies land from a Dr Beeching savage cut of 73 rail-miles. I only however had circuitous train options available via Ayr taking over 9 hours (to a place now reachable by just 8 services a day). In the event, due to major signalling failures etc, it took 2 hours longer and even then I was lucky to arrive in total darkness at 6:50pm at what was once the ferry terminal (closed/moved 6 miles in 2011) and about 15 mins walk to Stair Park.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I’m sure there are several good fish and chip shops and pubs in town, although the ubiquitous Wetherspoons chain has yet to find the place, but I hurriedly dumped my bags at the hotel and was obliged to eat at the ground. I initially wandered into an empty room at the top of the Main Stand labelled the “1870 Lounge” but a friendly local directed me past the Portacabin club shop to the catering wagon/caravan. Although no tariff was displayed, I felt my steak pie, chips & tea was good value at £5 and this lifted my spirits in what turned out to be a ground/match I enjoyed. Burgers and various drinks were also on offer and seemed to be going down well.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Stair Park?
 
There does not seem too much space to widen three sides of the ground even if the 20 or more trees from the park were removed. However, the impressive Main Stand adjacent to the (just about operating) railway line makes up for that and on its own could probably cope with even the biggest likely crowds. The toilets were certainly spacious with paper towel rather than inefficient electric hand driers.
 
On this occasion, just 201 spectators made the effort and for £15 could stand or sit wherever they liked or vary that throughout the game. (In sharp contrast to somewhere like Wembley with the ridiculous range of £20 to £60 adult seats for the upcoming Checkatrade Trophy final). There seemed to be a few Arbroath fans but I cannot be sure and I salute any that did travel all the way from there. Justifiably/economically, the £2 programme was from the original (10th Feb) fixture with the addition of a team sheet. It had more editorial than many and helpfully for a neutral had pen-pics for both sides. The home mascot seemed to be in a Scooby Doo outfit which may have relevance but looked a bit random to the uninitiated.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Regardless of the one minute pre-match applause for a Dr Archie Downie, the former club and national team doctor, the referee inexplicably brought the teams out late resulting in a 7:51 pm kick-off. The officials however handled the game reasonably well, although the award of the decisive second penalty and third of four goals for the visitors looked a bit soft. The home side had scored first with perhaps the best goal of the game, a long range shot and were forced to make an early injury substitution. On a proper grass pitch Arbroath were however certainly the more impressive team and passed the ball fluidly, particularly to the right wing, and were thwarted by the home keeper several times too. The away team played in their traditional crimson (red lichties) kit numbered 1 to 11, whereas the home team blue had squad numbers and names. The front branding, “Stena Line” apparently represents an extremely long period of continuous sponsorship. It left me wandering if a modified freight container had ever been considered to house the club shop like they do at Braintree Town.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
After the relief that the travel had been worthwhile I walked back to my hotel (ten minutes) to ponder why the TV was tuned to BBC Scotland but ITV Granada, plus what was the difference between a Scottish or Irish breakfast? I never found out either and thankfully only took 9 (planned) hours to get home.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
Stranraer is geographically a bit isolated, the locals seem friendly and has a ground which deserves a successful team in their current league with better gates. (Localish rivals Ayr United helped attract over 1,000 to Stair Park in two visits this season and have the advantage of a bigger population but in my opinion a far worse ground). I did not have the time to explore the area nor tourist attractions including curling which is done at a rink in a local hotel and particularly relevant as the Winter Olympics are currently happening.

Stranraer v Livingston
Scottish League Cup Group Stage
Tuesday 25th July 2017, 7.45pm
Brian Scott (Neutral Ipswich Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Stair Park?
 
This was number three of my four games in six days in the first round of this cup. I was travelling around Scotland on a combined rail and bus p ass, so I wanted to make use of it for the long trip to the South West. I stayed in Stranraer for three nights.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
My journey down from Forfar on the Sunday morning was easy and relaxed. It had been raining in the Dundee area but was bright and sunny in Stranraer. My Bed &Breakfast was right on the front overlooking Loch Ryan and was a 15 minutes walk from Stair Park. I don't think anyone would have had a problem with car parking as the attendance was only 341.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
I had already eaten earlier on in a chip shop and restaurant in the main street in town which was basic but good value for money. On my first night in Stranraer I had eaten in Henrys in Ladies Road not far from the Stair Park ground.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of Stair Park?
 
I was hugely impressed with Stair Park. Having been at Forfar a few days earlier there is no comparison between the two. Everything was in a good state of repair and looked smart. I often judge a ground by the state of the toilets. I did my usual wander around the ground before the game and went into a toilet block in the North East corner of the ground. From the outside, it looked like a typical old brick built building. Inside it looked super-modern with excellent facilities. Other toilets in the Main Stand were excellent.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Plenty of goals in this game, but Stranraer kept up there losing start to the season. It started well for the home team going 1-0 up in the fifth minute, but Livingston equalised five minutes later. Both teams scored again in the first half, making it 2-2 at half time. Livingston showed their dominance in the second half scoring twice more.
 
Comment on getting away from Stair Park after the game:
 
Still in bright daylight, it was an easy 15 minute walk back to my Bed & Breakfast. However, overnight the weather changed and it poured with rain. The local Stranraer country show was happening on the Rugby ground adjacent to Stair Park. The pitches would be terribly cut up by the lorries, tractors, cars etc that had been driven on the grass.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
I enjoyed my three nights in Stranraer except for the fact that I was locked out of my Bed & Breakfast on two occasions! Not something you expect to happen.

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

Updated 13th September 2018

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