Bristol City

Ashton Gate

Capacity: 27,000 (all seated)
Address: Ashton Road, Bristol, BS3 2EJ
Telephone: 0117 963 0600
Fax: 0117 963 0700
Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Robins
Year Ground Opened: 1904
Undersoil Heating: Yes
Shirt Sponsors: Lancer Scott
Kit Manufacturer: Bristol Sport
Home Kit: Red and White
Away Kit: Purple and Lime

Lansdown Stand
Lansdown Stand
Dolman and South Stands
Dolman and South Stands
Looking Towards The Atyeo Stand
Looking Towards The Atyeo Stand
South Stand
South Stand
The Atyeo Stand
The Atyeo Stand
John Atyeo Stand
John Atyeo Stand

Lansdown Stand External ViewAshton Gate Stadium has undergone some major transformation recently with the building of two new stands and the refurbishment of a third. The most recent and largest edition is the new Lansdown Stand on the West side of the ground. Opened in August 2016 this huge stand has a capacity of around 11,000, spread over two tiers. It has a large lower tier, with a smaller one above, whilst in-between the tiers there is row of corporate boxes stretching across its middle. The stand has quite a high roof with a strip of perspex running across the top of the upper tier just below, to allow more light to get to the pitch. The upper tier also has large transparent windshields to either side. At one end is another new stand. The South Stand, was opened in August 2015 and has replaced the former Wedlock End. This new South Stand is a good sized single tiered stand, having a capacity of just over 6,000 seats. It extends around both corners of this end of the stadium. It has perspex panels built into the front of the roof, to allow more sunlight onto the playing surface. 

Of the remaining parts of the ground, then the Atyeo Stand at one end of Ashton Gate is a handsome, covered all seated single tiered stand, albeit now the smallest stand at Ashton Gate. It was opened in 1994 and is named after former playing legend John Atyeo. On the remaining side is the Dolman Stand which was opened in 1970. It is a two tiered all seated stand that has a large upper tier and a smaller lower tier. As part of the development works at the ground, its roof was further extended to meet the new stand in the South East corner and the stand itself was refurbished. Ashton Gate Stadium is shared with Bristol Rugby Club.

Ashton Gate Sign

Away fans are housed at one end of the stadium in the Atyeo Stand, where around 4,200  fans can be accommodated. The stand is free of supporting pillars and offers good views of the playing action. The stand is also located quite close to the pitch and with good stand acoustics a good atmosphere can be created.

Entrance to the ground is gained through the use of electronic turnstiles, whereby your ticket needs to be inserted into a bar code reader. Normally fans are searched on entry. Unless there is a large following then the seats are unreserved, so if you want a particular view then make sure you get into the ground early. Inside the stand the facilities are adequate. Although don’t make the mistake that some fans do and queue at the first refreshment kiosk located inside the turnstiles. If you proceed up the stairs and through the double doors, then this leads to a larger area that has a number of refreshment outlets.Refreshments available include; Steak & Ale Pies (£3.70), Cheese & Onion Pasties (£3.70), Steak Pasties (£3.70) and Sausage Rolls (£3).

There are also a number of food stalls dotted around the outside of the stadium, but mostly behind the home end (the Rude Hot Dogs Stall has been well recommended to me). There is also a KFC outlet located just outside the main entrance to Ashton Gate.

Alex Webber recommends the Nova Scotia for away supporters by the waterfront, but adds that pubs nearer to the ground such as the Hen & Chicken and the BS3 Bar should be given a wide berth. Chris Gill a visiting Leeds United fan adds; 'Near Temple Meads station there is the Knights Templar pub, a Wetherspoons outlet, that seems friendly enough. It’s a two minute walk straight ahead from the station into the Temple area and off to the left in the square'. Scott Grimwood a visiting Ipswich Town fan informs me; ' The Cottage in Baltic Wharf, is a nice pub situated on the river front and has good real ale (from the Butcombe Brewery). On my visits both set's of fan's mixed pleasantly'.  Domenic Brunetti a visiting Nottingham Forest fan informs me; 'Before kick off we were directed by a club steward to the 'Tobacco House' bar which is a five minute walk from the road behind the Atyeo stand next door to an Aldi store. On route we passed several pubs which clearly have signs saying Home Fans only. When we got in the Tobacco House we found the bar friendly and trouble free and the food was good too.'

Matt Greenslade recommends; 'The Orchard pub is about a ten minute walk from the ground at Hanover Place on Harbourside. At one time it was voted Britain's top cider pub and has a huge sampling of local brews for anyone who wants to try the infamous cloudy stuff'. This pub is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and apart from having a number of ales on offer, it also has up to 24 different ciders available. The question is though, if you visit this pub before the game, will you still make the kick off? 

Nick Prince a visiting Peterborough United fan informs me; 'Visiting supporters are welcome at the Bedminster Cricket Club, which is located about a 15 minute walk away from Ashton Gate, on Clanage Road (A369). There is a bar there and you can also park at a cost of £5 per car.' Alternatively, alcohol is made available to away fans inside the ground. Brands available include; Heineken (£4.50), Fosters (£4), John Smiths (£4), Butcombe Bitter (£4), Guinness (£4.50) and Thatchers Cider (£4).

King Street Brew House

King Street Brew House LogoThe King Street Brew House is a city centre pub & microbrewery located on the cobbled street corner of King Street and Welsh Back waterside. It is handily placed if you are arriving at Bristol Temple Meads railway station or going into the city centre before or after the game. The bar has up to 18 different beers on tap, some of which are produced on site & serves food from lunch time until late. In addition, the pub is family friendly, shows Sky/BT sports & has lots of space inside and out. 
Address: King Street Brew House, Welsh Back, Bristol, BS1 4RR 
Tel: 01174 058 948. Location Map
Website: King Street Brew House

If you require hotel accommodation in Bristol 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 Bristol 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

Leave the M5 at Junction 18 and travel along the Portway (A4) following signs for the Bristol Airport/Taunton (A38). As you go over the swing bridge (Brunel Way), branch left into Winterstoke Road, and you will see the ground on your left. 

Parking at the ground is for permit holders only. Mitch Ford informs me; 'Parking around Ashton Gate has been severely hindered recently in that many streets now have double yellow lines. There is the Bedminster Cricket club on Clanage Road (A369) that offers parking at a cost of £5 per car. It is then around a 5-10 minute walk to the stadium'. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near Aston Gate via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.​ Otherwise it is a case of finding some street parking.

Post Code for SAT NAV: BS3 2EJ

The nearest railway station is Parson Street which about a mile away from Ashton Gate, or a twenty minute walk away. Normally there is an hourly service from Bristol Temple Meads mainline station, but on Saturday afternoons for a couple of hours before kick off, the frequency is increased to two per hour. It is then only a four minute journey to Parson Street.

Bristol Temple Meads station itself is at least two miles from the ground and hence too far to walk, so best to jump in a taxi (around £8). Derek James informs me; 'On matchdays, a special shuttle bus service runs from near Temple Meads railway station to Ashton Gate. It leaves one hour before kick-off and buses return after the match has finished. The pick up point for the bus is located across the main road at the bottom of the station approach road outside the exit to Temple Meads station and returns after the game from Winterstoke Road (the main road running past the ground with KFC/Wickes along it). The bus which is operated by 'A bus' and costs £2 return. Home supporters also use the service, but this shouldn't be a problem for away fans. The main drawback with the service is that there are only three buses allocated and they fill up very quickly.'

Neil Le Milliere a visiting Exeter City supporter adds 'don't try and walk it from Temple Meads railway station unless you really have to and then allow at least 45 minutes for the journey'.

Adam Hodson informs me; 'We arrived at Parson Street Railway Station after catching a train from Bristol Temple Meads. Trains are bound for Weston-Super-Mare and run every hour, coming back the train is bound for Bristol Parkway, again one train per hour. It's around a five minute train journey and then around a 20-25 minute walk to the ground.'

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:

Like a number of Clubs Bristol City operate a category system (Gold and Silver) for the pricing of matchday tickets, whereby the most popular games cost more to watch. Gold prices are shown below with Silver tickets in brackets:

Atyeo Stand

Adults £30 (£25)
Over 65's/Under 25's £27 (£22)
Under 22's £24 (£20)
Under 19's £15 (£15)
Under 12's £10 (£10)

Official Programme £3
One Team In Bristol Fanzine £1.20.
Cider'ed Fanzine £1.

Bristol City FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City and some fans consider Swindon Town to be local rivals.

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

Mike a visiting Swindon Town fan adds; 'The away coaches are parked about 300 yards away from the entrance, there are disabled car spaces closer. The stewards were very helpful in showing us to the wheelchair spaces close to the corner flag in the Wedlock Stand. There was a steward on hand all through the game and the disabled toilet was close to where we were seated. The only drawbacks were the disabled ramp was a little steep and view of the other end of the pitch was hampered by the safety rail. Also the seating arrangements could have been better spaced, as all the helpers seats were placed in one rather than one wheelchair one seat.

Outside Ashton Gate is a statue of former Bristol City player John Atyeo. He joined the Club in 1951 and stayed until his retirement in 1966. During that time he was to make 645 appearances for Bristol City scoring 351 goals, making him the Club's all time leading scorer and most appeared player. He passed away in 1993.

John Atyeo Statue

The statue was sculpted by Tom Murphy, who also produced a the statue of Bill Shankly outside Anfield Liverpool. Costing around £70,000 it was largely funded by the Bristol City Supporters Trust. It was unveiled outside Ashton Gate on November 5th 2016, before the home league match against Brighton.

Thanks to Oliver Howse for providing the photo the John Atyeo Statue above.

If you're into historical ships then the first iron hulled, screw propeller-driven steamship, the SS Great Britain is moored at the historic docks. The area around the docks is quite pleasant with some good pubs. Pete Smith adds; 'The Clifton Suspension Bridge that overlooks Ashton Gate, is quite an amazing sight. It was originally designed by Brunel and it goes over the Avon Gorge. As it is very high up the views are superb.' Chris Gill a visiting Leeds United fan tells me; 'I walked from Temple Meads to the SS Great Britain and it’s not a bad walk if you’re not worried about a bit of exercise! That took about half an hour. From there it’s another 10-15 minutes to the ground'.

Record Attendance

43,335 v Preston North End FA Cup 5th Round, February 16th 1935.

Modern All Seated Attendance Record

25,404 v Birmingham City Championship League, May 7th 2017.

Average Attendance

2016-2017: 19,256 (Championship League)
2015-2016: 15,292 (Championship League)
2014-2015: 12,056 (League One)

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

Special thanks to Jason Brewer for providing a photo of the new South Stand and to Keith Farrow for providing the other photos of the Ashton Gate Stadium Bristol City.

Bristol City v Aston Villa
Football Championship League
Friday 25th August 2017, 7.45pm
Luke Reading (Aston Villa fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Ashton Gate Stadium?
 
I had never been to Ashton Gate and so was looking forward to visiting this ground in what I knew to be a city passionate about football (having visited Bristol Rovers before). This game was a good acid test for us with manager Steve Bruce needing to start improving away form.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
From Parson Street Railway Station it was a 20/25 minute walk to Ashton Gate which was easy enough.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
There are numerous pubs around the ground (some strictly for home fans) and so plenty of options for a pre match pint of beer/cider. The home fans were accommodating and seemed quite friendly.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Ashton Gate Stadium?
 
The away end has good facilities and was close to the pitch and so it was easy to make a good atmosphere. Ashton Gate has been updated and looks very neat and modern but without just being a soulless bowl like so many modern stadia.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
The game was of good quality with both teams creating chances and pushing for the win. The atmosphere in the away end was great and the Bristol City fans created a good amount of noise too with the most passionate supporters located in the left corner of the stand opposite. Facilities were good enough and stewards fairly relaxed.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
The walk back to the station was easy.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
It was a good evening of football and a great way to start the bank holiday weekend!

Bristol City v Barnsley
Football Championship League
Saturday 5th August 2017, 3pm
Tyke (Barnsley fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Ashton Gate Stadium?
 
It was the first game of the season, and in spite of following Barnsley for over 35 years, Ashton Gate is a ground I have never been to. This visit has taken me up into 70+ grounds in total.
 
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
 
I took the 9am train from Sheffield, straight through to Bristol Temple Meads and returned after the game at 7.30pm. A long day, but the trains were on time, and overall it was a very easy trip.
 
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
 
We arrived at 11.30am, having had a picnic brunch on the train. We walked to Harbourside, and, on recommendation from some Barnsley fans we met on the train, went to check out the times for the ferry, which drops off a short walk away from the ground. We then headed to the Wetherspoons pub at Harbourside. It was a nice enough pub, but the service very slow, even though not that busy. The Harbourside itself was lovely though, and the weather was perfect for sitting outside. Chatted with the locals, all very friendly. We headed back for the ferry, only to find it sail past, with a "full" sign (even though it didn't look particularly full). Shame, as it would have been a good ride. As it was 1.40 pm, we decided to walk the 2 + miles to the ground. A reasonably pleasant walk, and we got to Ashton Gate at around 2.30pm.
 
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Ashton Gate Stadium?
 
The Ashton Gate ground is nice. Neat and tidy, and close to the pitch. Two large scoreboards with replays etc. The view was good.
 
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
 
Bristol City raced to a 3-0 lead with Barnsley's new look side failing to gel. The game was as good as over. Barnsley got a late consolation goal. In spite of that, the atmosphere was reasonable. Facilities in the away end were okay, although there were huge queues after the game for toilets.
 
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
 
With two and a half hours until our train departed, we decided to walk back to Harbourside for food. We went back to the Wetherspoons (where the service was even worse than earlier on). We then walked to the station. So, well over five miles walked in the day, but all easy enough and pleasant.
 
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
 
In spite of the result, it was a good day out. Bristol is a picturesque, and friendly City, and the area around the harbour, very pleasant. Had the weather not been so nice, we wouldn't have walked, but it really wasn't so tough.

Bristol City v Birmingham City
Football Championship League
Sunday 7th May 2017, 12 noon
Oliver Fallon (Birmingham City fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

It was the last game of the season and Birmingham City needed a win to stay up. It had been many years since I had been to Bristol and had always found one of the nicer cities in England to visit. I live in Ireland so an accessible airport is a necessity and Bristol Airport fits the bill.

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

I was staying in Weston Super Mare and caught the train into Bristol Temple Meads - I arrived in plenty of time and had a coffee before waiting with a mixture of other fans at the bus stop near the station for a bus that never arrived. Home fans told me the ground was a 30 minute walk or as much as a 50 minute walk. This led to a scramble for taxis at the station which were in short supply. Anyway reached the ground in time by taxi.

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

I had a coffee by the station all Bristol fans I met were friendly and helpful; Bear in mind I have an Irish accent and was not wearing colours but I think most other Birmingham fans had a plea sent experience.

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

Ashton Gate is a lovely stadium with a wide railway station style turnstiles large concourse with lots of food and beverage outlets - great sense of space. All the stewards I met were most helpful. Unfortunately only 2,500 tickets were available for away fans and I lucked out and I had to sit in the home end which was a painful experience with such a crucial game for Birmingham City. Also although I was there a good 20 minutes before kick off and all the programmes were sold out and no more were made available.

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

The game was a near sell out - Bristol fans by and large were most sporting and stood and clapped in memory of a Blues fan who passed away at St Andrews at the  last home game. They were keen, however, to see their team get a scalp and send Blues down into League One, but Blues came away with a 1-0 win to stay up.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After the game I walked back into Bristol City Centre obviously in good spirits and then onto Temple Meads Station, overall it took about 40 minutes.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A great day for Blues and one which which will long live in the memory. Ashton Gate is a lovely ground as is the city of Bristol. I will certainly go again. Bristol Airport is small and easy to get through with a regular bus service into the city and to Weston. Just hope the allocation of tickets to away fans increases and more programmes are made available in the future.

Bristol City v Barnsley
Football Championship League
Saturday 22nd April 2017, 3pm
Tom Bellamy (Barnsley fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

I have never been to Ahton Gate and was looking forward to us playing them with the added interest of Lee Johnson being their manager, as he was partly responsible for helping Barnsley make the League One play-offs last season.

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

I traveled by car on my own and went down the M1 then M42, M5 and A369, which finally took me to the Bedminster Cricket Club where I had chosen to park after reading a review on this web site. I had set off from home at 8.30 am but didn't get parked up till about 1.45pm having made a couple of pit stops at the motorway services, but then I somehow took a wrong turning from the M5 and was heading towards the other side of Bristol. Unfortunately I haven't got a sat nav and had to rely on my own map reading. Anyway all's well that ends well. It was worth paying £5 for secure parking and then only a 5-10 min walk to the ground.

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

I didn't have time to find a pub or even to have a wander around. I chatted to a few Reds fans who I knew then made my way inside the ground. Didn't notice many of the home fans around because the Away stand was the nearest from where I'd parked.

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

The concourse inside the ground was on the small side but once I had made my way to my seat I was impressed with the rest of the ground. The away end is the Atyeo Stand behind one of the goals. We were housed at one side of this stand towards the corner flag as some of the home fans were at the other side of this stand. The other stands in the ground looked fairly modern. I sat eleven rows up from the front and had good leg room with a decent view of pitch.

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

It was definitely a game of two halves with the turning point being when Marc Roberts, our central defender, limped off the pitch just before half time when Barnsley were 1-0 up. It changed the nature of the game dramatically. Bristol equalised in the second half and although Barnsley made it 2-1 they were made to pay by a bad defensive mistake and Bristol levelled the score again before finally sealing Barnsley's fate when scoring the winning goal with Flint heading the ball home from a corner kick. I don't like making excuses, but it's like taking a cog out of a wheel. It doesn't function properly. It was the same with the Barnsley defence. When Roberts went off he would have normally been replaced with Adam Jackson, another big defender, but he was out of action himself through an injury so unfortunately we had to settle for someone less experienced. That's football though and you have to take it on the chin. Take the rough with the smooth and get on with it. Overall that match was very entertaining and I was happy with our performance in the first half. However, because other results didn't go our way we dropped down another place to 14th in the league. The total attendance today of just over 18,000 included some 700 Barnsley fans who, like myself, had made the long journey down to the West Country, But return home very disappointed, in not getting any points at all.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was easy enough from the cricket ground and then the motorways. I had decided, a few weeks ago, to stay overnight at a Travelodge and chose the one at Nuneaton/Bedworth, which was about 115 miles and a two hour journey from Bristol. Then from there back home on the Sunday morning, arriving at midday.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Yet another very eventful weekend one way and another. Ashton Gate, although not a very good hunting ground for us, is a place I would gladly return in the future.

Bristol City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Football Championship League
Saturday 8th April 2017, 3pm
Harry Oliver (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

I was looking forward to going to Ashton Gate as I had never been before and I heard it was a top day out. I was also excited as Wolves had sold out their full allocation of 2,500 tickets and we were on a five game winning streak!

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

We made the journey down the M5 from Leamington Spa and it was very straightforward (it took around 1hr 40mins). We parked at the nearby Bedminster Cricket Club which was a few minutes walk from the ground, there were plenty of spaces and there were a lot of Wolves fans having drink there. They also served nice food in the clubhouse. The walk to the ground was straightforward;  Exit the Cricket club onto Clanage Road, you then go through a few subways before reaching the main road next to the ground.

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

Mingled with a few Bristol City fans at the cricket club, all seemed perfectly friendly.

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

When I first saw the Ashton Gate ground my initial reaction was that the new Lansdown Stand was a bit bland on the outside with no signage to prove Bristol City actually played there! The away end seemed quite old from the outside but had a lot of character about it. However, the inside of the stadium really impressed me. The two newer stands (behind the opposite goal and to the right of us) looked brilliant and it's a shame they don't currently open the upper tier of the Lansdown Stand.

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

We first went into a very small concourse before going up some stairs into a larger, upper concourse. Stewards were very friendly and didn't mind the Wolves fans standing all game. The first 25 minutes of the match were very bland, the only bit of excitement coming from Nouha Dicko missing a sitter. Wolves fans were very loud for the first half before the team collapsing and going 2-0 down. Wolves then continued to go into meltdown as City scored a third. The home fans only really got going after they went 3-0 up! Bodvarson then scored a consolation goal for Wolves before the referee blew the full time whistle.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away from the ground was easy enough. We found a shortcut to the Cricket Club so we're back at the car park earlier and got out of Bristol easier.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Putting aside the result and an extraordinary refereeing Bristol was a great day and I recommend it to others. Man of the match went to the PA operator who played the Liquidator before the match for us! 8/10

Bristol City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Football Championship League
Saturday 8th April 2017, 3pm
Richard Fletcher (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

I hadn't managed to make a Wolves away game since January, therefore I saw a visit to Ashton Gate Bristol as an ideal opportunity to get back on the road.

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

Travelling from my home in Rugby, it was down the A46 to Tewkesbury, then the M5 to Bristol. Nice and easy. In terms of parking, I had a pre-arranged space booked on someone's drive, which turned out to be more trouble than what it was worth.

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

We parked up at about 2pm, and had time for a pint before the match. Considering it was a scorching day, I would have rather this had been outside, but as I was so desperate for the loo, it meant going into the concourse first.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Ashton Gate Stadium?

Following the recent changes, Ashton Gate is now looking very smart. The stand to the right of the away end if large and imposing, although the top-tier was completely empty. The away stand is clearly the eldest of the four, although the view and facilities are still fine.

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

I had a feeling Wolves wouldn't turn up and I was right. The players were not at it from the outset and Bristol City comfortably beat us 3-1. The atmosphere was relatively good from the home end, as it was an important game for them in terms of their survival.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Unfortunately the Sat-Nav decided to take me back to the M5 via the centre of Bristol, which was a little stressful. Once we got onto the motorway it was a smooth ride home.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The best part of the day was certainly the weather. In terms of the stadium Ashton Gate is a nice solid Championship ground.

Bristol City v Rotherham United
Football Championship League
Saturday 4th February 2017, 3pm
Pat (Rotherham United fan)

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

I was looking forward to the trip to Bristol, as I find it one of the country's more pleasant cities to visit, and spend a pre-game afternoon drinking. Also, I was keen to see the changes that had been made to the Ashton Gate of old. With a new South Stand behind the goal, and the Steve Lansdown Stand on the West side of the ground, it now looked considerably more impressive.

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

As a London-based Rotherham fan, I got the train from London Paddington straight through to Bristol Temple Meads. It was all very straightforward, and took about 1 hour and 45 mins. With a bit of forward planning, I changed there for a two minute train journey to Bedminster. This is about a 15-20 minute walk away from the Ashton Gate Stadium, and the route down North Street looked to be lined with enough pubs to keep me satisfied on the journey.

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

I found my way onto North Street, and began to head down towards the stadium. I stopped in The Steam Crane, and The Spotted Cow, which were both pleasant enough pubs. However, my designs on watching the early Chelsea v Arsenal game hit a snag when the pubs showing the game close to the ground turned out to be strictly home fans only. They're called the Sun and the Coopers, as you move around onto Ashton Road. So be warned! I ended up in the Sports Bar and Grill underneath the South West corner of the ground. I'm not sure on their policy of allowing away fans in, but I slipped in past the bouncers unnoticed. They have an enormous screen showing the early kick off, and other smaller ones showing Sky Sports News. The bar staff were very quick, and the locals friendly and welcoming, so it is definitely worth a visit if you can make it inside!

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

Ashton Gate looks a lot more impressive after its refit, and the Bristol City fans are rightly very proud of it. The Lansdown Stand is pretty huge and imposing, as it a lot taller than the other sides of the ground. The away end in the Atyeo is pretty neat and compact, though I can imagine that it would feel more cramped for any clubs that bring a large following. The back of the concourse is really tight too, so you can imagine the usual problems would follow that, too. Overall, it's an impressive and pleasing ground.

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

With Rotherham having the worst season to end all seasons, and with one point on the road all season by February, we weren't expecting much. The game was a pretty dull, uninspired scrap between two teams lacking any confidence or cohesion. As such the atmosphere was pretty flat, and only livened up for the home fans to vent their anger at manager Lee Johnson for taking off Lee Tomlin and Tammy Abraham after 55 minutes. The game seemed to have 0-0 written all over it, until sub Djurcic headed home a rebound for the home side, and the game was done.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

It was a straightforward walk back where I'd come from past the locals up North Street, towards Bedminster railway Station. A quick one in the Windmill pub opposite, and I was back on the train in good time.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Overall Bristol City is a really good day out. Ashton Gate is impressive, the away end decent, and the locals friendly enough. I'd stay in the city centre pre-game next time, as there is a much greater range of eating and drinking options. It's definitely worth a visit, and one that I'd recommend if your team is playing there.

Bristol City v Reading
Football Championship League
Monday 2nd January 2017, 3pm
Richard Stone (Reading fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

I have been to Ashton Gate a few times, but not since the re-build so I was interested to see the ground now. Also, Reading are doing unexpectedly well at the moment.

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

I did my research and decided that we would aim for the Park and Ride at Long Ashton and walk from there. Best laid plans and all that, despite Monday 2nd being a full-on shopping day, it's also a pretend bank holiday so the Park and Ride was closed. Doh! Anyway, we still parked on the access road to the Park and Ride and from there it was a ten minute easy walk to the ground. I'd still recommend that location (assuming it's open). it's quite easy to get to from Junction 19 of the M5 which avoids battling through Bristol city centre.

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

After a short walk to the Ashton Gate ground, we took in the surroundings. It was a beautiful day and there are several food and drink outlets around the perimeter which facilitated quite a pleasant atmosphere. There's quite a good statue of John Atyeo near the main entrance. Drink prices were reasonable I suppose - £4 per pint.

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

The Ashton Gate ground is completely unrecognisable from its previous state and looks imposing and well-constructed. As someone else mentioned, there's little to say it's the home of Bristol City FC. Away fans were accommodated in half of the Atyeo Stand, blocks 39, 40, 41. The view was okay, although if you're in block 41 it might not be so great as you're looking at the Main Stand. As is often the case, everyone in the away section stood all the time. The stewards were friendly enough, and apart from a half-hearted attempt to keep the aisles clear were unobtrusive.

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

Under Jaap Stam, Reading have been re-invented with a patient, some would say boring "passing it around the back" style. At the start of the season, it was all too slow and sloppy passing by defenders led to panic stations and goals conceded. I would say this game versus Bristol City epitomised the good and the bad side of this style. A poor pass out from defence led to the first Bristol goal and then we conceded a penalty very early in the second half. It looked very dubious from my vantage point 100 metres away! Anyway, Reading didn't panic or deviate from their style and scored three goals in the last 20 minutes for a famous victory. 72% possession paid off this time. I agree with another reviewer - the home fans were very quiet and the ground. Although Ashton Gate is impressive, the ground seems to lack atmosphere and identity.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A short walk back to the car. We went back to the M5 and then the M4 which seems a long way round if you're heading east, but avoided the grid-lock around the ground and the city centre.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

We enjoyed the visit and especially the result!

Bristol City vs Reading
Football Championship
League Monday 2nd January 2017, 3pm
Steven Smith (Reading fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

When the fixture list came out, then a trip to Ashton Gate was one of the first that I looked out for, as it's only down the M4. I  knew also that we would take a good following.

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

Getting to Ashton Gate was fairly simple as there is signs to the ground as soon as you come off the motorway. If you do travel by car then I would definitely recommend parking at Bedminster Cricket Club which also has a nice social club where away fans are welcome. Cost of parking is only £5.

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

We got to Bedminster Cricket Club around 12:15pm and went into their social club where you could have a drink and something to eat, they also had Sky Sports on too. On way to the ground waking from the cricket club we made a wrong turn but the home fans were very helpful in guiding us the right way and had a chat all the way to the stadium.

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

The new large Main Stand at Aston Gate is very impressive, but they only had the lower tier open. The away end is divided in half as the home fans accommodate the other half which makes for a good atmosphere.

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

The game was incredible if you were a Royals fan. The first half wasn't great as Bristol went in at half time 1-0 up and added a second from the penalty spot, two minutes after the restart. It then all changed as Royals scored in the 72nd and 86th minute to level the scores and in the 93rd minute Royals claimed an incredible come back to win 3-2, to send the Royals fans absolutely crazy. The stewards were friendly and helpful. The concourse was very small though.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

If you park near the ground it takes ages getting back to the motorway but if you park at Bedminster Cricket club it's only a 10/15 minute drive to the M5 which there was no traffic and much easier to get out.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

What a day it was. Nice food and drink at the cricket club, a great result and getting home nice and early. What more could you want. UUUURRRRRZZZZZ!

Bristol City v Newcastle United
Championship League
Saturday 20th August 2016, 3pm
Roger Taylor (Newcastle United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

Ashton Gate is now nearing the end of a project to re-develop the stadium and is a now new ground, to visit. The old charming Ashton Gate has largely been knocked down and this was the first opportunity to view what now replaces it.

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

Met by a local whose knowledge was invaluable. Ashton Gate it is not forty minutes as previously experienced away from Temple Meads, it is a twenty minute walk if you know which way it is through the residential streets of Bedminster. 

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

Ate in a gastro pub ten minutes from Ashton Gate. The locals were friendly, but neither football fans or particularly local. My friendly local knowledge informed me the area around Ashton Gate is being slowly but surely gentrified and while it still has working class pubs, it now has more eateries for middle class folk moving in to take advantage of living relatively close to thriving Bristol City centre.

Post meal, an hour was spent walking around through fares and side streets viewing Bristol’s street art. Worth a trip on its own. Many of the works of art cover entire sides of buildings and were outstanding.

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

Seismic changes. Ashton Gate has changed virtually beyond recognition except one stand. The re-development is as expected of a modern stadium. The stadium is neat and tidy, functional and when viewed from the outside is finished in Newcastle’s colours (It is not red and white)! Internally the appearance of the stadium would benefit from a club crest. It is not immediately evident who plays here. The Dolman Stand identifies via a seating pattern BRISTOL. Bristol who? Bristol what? Furthermore, there is a significant smattering of imagery identifying itself with Bristol Sport instead of Bristol City FC.  Ashton Gate could be now the BRISTOL or Bristol Sport stadium. 

Overall the re-development is not the worst by a long shot, it has been delivered to a high standard and has avoided the meccano feel of others, but does feel a little soulless and has lost parts of its appeal from the old Ashton Gate due to a lack of features to add character. Attractive in large parts, but too modern. Come on City at least put a crest on the roof this could be a more far attractive ground with a few simple features being added.

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

Dour affair with two pieces of quality from Newcastle resulting in a goal, and hitting the post. 1 – 0 Geordies. Bristol City huffed and puffed a lot but created little. The atmosphere from the home support was poor. The stands opposite and to the right were silent. There were occasional outbreaks of “C’mon on you reds” from the Dolman Stand, and more frequent muted generic chanting from the City fans in the Atyeo stand to the left. Home supporters felt the Newcastle support was also quiet. Maybe it’s a case of another stadium with poor acoustics. This was a major disappointment. The atmosphere at the previous fixture in the old Wedlock stand was superb from both sets of fans.Facilities were basic in the Atyeo Stand where the away fans are housed, but the toilets have improved from using a wall and little else in the previous away end. Did not eat or drink. Ate and drank enough earlier. 

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

It was dodgy for a short while. A large group of Bristol City fans were baiting Newcastle fans outside the Park after. Police with horses and vans had to intervene was punches and bottles were thrown at Newcastle fans in the same road as the recommended Tobacco Factory and the advised to avoid the Hen and Chicken pub. Away from the ground Bristol was very friendly and sedate. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day out. Not just another ninety minutes of football.

Bristol City v Newcastle United
Championship League
Saturday 20th August 2016, 3pm
Barbara Jefferson (Newcastle United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

Looking forward to the game as I had never visited Bristol City before.

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

We travelled down by car the day before the match and stayed in Bristol City Centre.

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

Walked from city centre to the Knights Templar, a Wetherspoons pub. This took about ten minutes. Had full English breakfast and a couple of drinks before trying to find The Nova Scotia pub. We then decided as it was now raining that we would get a taxi as it was quite a walk (about 30 minutes) from Temple Meads station. Taxi cost about £10 and took ten minutes. The Nova Scotia is a small pub right on the river it was full when we arrived but it did not take us long to get served.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Ashton Gate Stadium?

Ashton Gate was good for a small ground. The away end was sold out with 2,500 away fans in attendance. As the concourse is narrow this meant it was a struggle getting to the toilet at half time. I did not buy any food or drink inside the ground so cant comment how quickly you could get served.

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

It was not a very good game and after we scored the first goal we seemed to defend for the rest of the game. Think it would be a good atmosphere if it was a good game as you are close to the pitch and you have a good view of the game. The home fans were quite friendly as were the stewards inside the stadium.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We got out of the ground no problem and made our way back to the Nova Scotia pub. From here you can get a ferry into the city centre which takes about ten minutes you can download the ferry times online. This was a great experience and is much better way to get back into city centre and cost about £2.30 each.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Had a great weekend in Bristol there are some good pubs but the ground is quite far from the city centre and Temple Meads Station. would use the ferry more if we returned to Bristol.

Bristol City v Newcastle United
Championship League
Saturday 20th August 2016, 3pm
Chris Wright (Newcastle United fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Ashton Gate?

I was looking forward to the game as Ashton Gate was a ground that I hadn't visited before.

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

I left Newcastle at 5am and went on a supporters coach to Bristol, arriving at 12.30pm. That was with two stops on the way, one for 30 minutes and one for 15 minutes. We parked about 10 minutes away from Ashton Gate.

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

There were some kiosks/vans outside the ground selling beer, so rather than walking around trying to find a pub, we just had a pint or two there. They sold pints of Fosters for £4. After that we went inside the stadium and had another pint in the ground, which was at the same price as we were charged outside.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away en d then other sides of Ashton Gate?

The other three parts of the ground are nice but the away end that we were in looked old. On entering the stadium I thought the concourse was rather small but I was then advised by one of the stewards to go up to the next level which had a much bigger concourse.

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

Newcastle where okay in the first half but second half could have been better. Great goal scored by Gayle for us to win 1-0. Stewards where fine with us.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

No problem getting out and the coaches got a police escort to the M5 motorway.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day worth getting up at 3.45am and getting back at 12 midnight.

Bristol City v Walsall
League One
Sunday, 3rd May 2015, 12.15pm
Zane Alpine (Walsall fan) 

Why you were looking forward to going to Ashton Gate?

It was the last game of the season and Bristol City had already lifted one trophy in front of us at Wembley and were due to lift the League One trophy after this game as well. A lot of our fans went to Bristol that day hoping for a bit of revenge for them beating us at Wembley and also enjoying the last game of the season by dressing up in fancy dress, which a lot of our fans did.

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

We took the coach to the game which took just over two hours to get to Bristol and it was a fairly easy journey there. Our coach parked right outside the ground next to KFC.

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

We went into the KFC which was packed full of Bristol City fans and a few Walsall fans who were all mingling together and sharing some good banter. We also had a look on the outside of the new stand that was being built which looked very posh and looked as if it was coming along nicely.

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

The away section was situated right next to the home fans due to the rebuilding of the stand opposite us, which was almost finished at the time. The other three stands were around the same size as each other and the views of the pitch were extremely good as we were at the top of the stand giving us a good view overall.

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

The game started well with us taking the lead and then within 10 minutes falling 2-1 behind. We then went into half time level at 2-2, which then lead to a Bristol City second half onslaught and them eventually winning the game 8-2. The majority of the Walsall fans weren't really too bothered as it was the last game of the season and the atmosphere from both sets of fans was brilliant. Also being right next to the home fans made for some good banter and a really good laugh. The stewards were also friendly and helpful throughout the whole match.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Not wanting to see Bristol City lift another trophy in front of us, as they did at Wembley, we left straight after the final whistle and headed onto the coach. Surprisingly a fair few City fans were also leaving at the same time rather than watching their team lift their second trophy of the season. Once we were back onto the coach it took around an hour and 45 minutes to get back to Walsall.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

The result aside, I really enjoyed going to Ashton Gate and would definitely go there again. The atmosphere there is fantastic and the away end is perfect for generating an equally good atmosphere.

Bristol City v Notts County
League One
Saturday, January 10th 2015, 3pm
James Spring (Notts County fan)

Being a Notts County fan based in Dorset, I’d earmarked this match as one to get to as soon as the fixtures were released, so had been looking forward to it for quite some time. I’d been to Ashton Gate late last season and despite a heartbreaking late defeat, had really enjoyed the day. Must admit I was quite sad to see the old stand get knocked down as the atmosphere between both sets of fans was brilliant. Still, I was looking forward to this one. Wasn’t exactly full of confidence but it promised to be a good day win lose or draw.

Due to the inconvenient train times of First Great Western we had a choice of getting to Bristol Temple Meads for either 11:39 or 13:50. I opted to get there early just to be safe. I got the 08:51 from Weymouth and I was joined at Dorchester by my friend and fellow “Dorset Pie” Charlie. We arrived in Bristol on time and as we had plenty of time to kill we went for a wander into the city, and were soon filling our stomachs  in one of the half a dozen McDonald’s Restaurants that Google Maps seemed to pick up in the city centre.

The walk from Temple Meads right into the city centre took a good 20 minutes or so and wasn’t too complicated. Just turn right at the bottom of the incline towards the station and head down to the traffic lights, cross the road there and you pretty much head straight on, crossing the river and you come to the main city centre. There’s a few McDonald’s, along with a KFC, subway, a few pubs, and most importantly the Holy Grail – Greggs!

We did come across a few locals who seemed friendly enough; in fact it seemed like most people we spoke to wanted us to give City a beating! Once we’d had some lunch we headed back to the station via the same route to see about getting one of the buses to the ground. However we got back to the station just before 1pm and the buses didn’t start running to Ashton Gate for another hour, so we decided to kill a bit more time by walking to the ground instead. It’s a good 40 minute walk but it’s very straightforward; At the bottom of the incline to the station, turn left and cross the bridge, before crossing at the lights and heading down York Road (runs parallel to the river). Follow that road and you come to a roundabout and another bridge. Head straight across the roundabout onto Coronation Road (again, it runs parallel to the river), and you literally follow that road along the river for about half an hour. Eventually you see the ground right in front of you, so you can’t really go wrong. You’ll approach the ground from the Atyeo stand end which – at least for this season, is where away supporters are housed. Worth mentioning that if you generally look for floodlights – don’t bother with Ashton Gate, the lights are perched on top of the stands.

We got to the ground for around 13:50, brought the match programme outside the ground for £3 which was your usual football league read, and headed into the ground.  The gangway under the away end is pretty small, so I’d imagine it can get very crowded with a big away following. Food and drink is served from a small outlet, but it extends through the stand, so you can either queue up out the front of the stand, or head under the stand. It seemed to have the usual selection of pies, burgers and drinks. I only had a bottle of coke which set me back £2.20.

Notts had been given around 500 tickets but hadn’t sold out, so we were allowed to sit where we wanted. Stewards seemed fairly relaxed and easy going; in fact I didn’t really notice them throughout the game which has to be a good thing.  The ground itself is a mix of old and new. To your right is the old fashioned looking but rather impressive Williams Stand, where the City singers now congregate. And to your left is the equally impressive but slightly newer Dolman Stand. The PA announcer reminded fans sitting in the lower section of the Dolman Stand that this would be the last game before the lower section of that stand was rebuilt. Ashton Gate is becoming a big building site! Behind the opposite goal you basically have a building site with a few houses behind it, and some nice scenery in the background:

Ashton Gate

The game itself was always going to be a tough one for Notts. We went into it with no win in six, whilst City had been flying and were looking to go back to the top of the table with a win. Notts actually started quite brightly, but they then shot themselves in the foot with some truly comical defending from City’s first attack. Not one of about 5 Notts shirts made a tackle, as the City lad was allowed to dance his way into the box before the ball was poked home on the line in just the 8th minute. Despite the early setback, Notts settled quite well and continued to play some nice football, but there was next to no creativity in the final third. Then right on the stroke of half time – a hammer blow as we conceded a soft second goal which realistically finished the game.

Shaun Derry made two attacking changes at half time in a “what have we got to lose” sort of way, and Notts continued to press in the early stages of the second half. But once again, we shot ourselves in the foot with some pathetic defending. City’s Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was surrounded by no less than EIGHT County shirts on the edge of the box, yet somehow he was allowed the time to create himself some space for a shot before picking his spot and firing into the far corner. Truly disgusting from our point of view. From then on our heads dropped and City began to play with a bit more freedom and swagger. A fourth goal went in five minutes from time to rub salt into the wounds. In truth I never thought it was a 4-0 game. It certainly wasn’t a case of attack v defence for 90 minutes, but City taught us a lesson in patience and clinical finishing. That’s why they’re top of the league I guess.

The atmosphere was nowhere near as good as it had been the previous season; it seems that a lot of noise gets lost in the air with the ground being so open now. The Notts fans remained in humorous spirit though, we’re used to losing I guess!

The plan was to get one of the A buses mentioned on this guide from the ground back to the station, but when I asked a steward where abouts these buses left from, he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about, which wasn’t particularly helpful. Thankfully they were fairly easy to find – departing from Ashton Road, which is behind the Atyeo stand. They fill up fairly fast so you have to be quick. Fare was £2 back to the station and the ride took about 40 minutes with the traffic. Thankfully our train didn’t leave until 17:49 and we got back with about ten minutes to spare.  The bus was full of City fans, we were the only away fans on there but we didn’t have any bother. The couple of home fans I spoke to seemed friendly enough, although they had just seen their team win 4-0 to go top, so they were probably feeling quite chipper!

Our train did eventually leave ten minutes late, and as Bath Rugby Club had been at home, we ended up on a train full of drunken Rugby fans. Never seen such a long queue for a train toilet! All good fun though.

In the end it was an enjoyable day in good company despite the result. It’s looking like City will be a championship club next season which will be a shame for us, as I always enjoy going to Bristol. Fairly easy to get to and generally I’ve found both Rovers and City fans to be friendly folks.
Definitely won’t hesitate to go back next time we play City, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Bristol City v Preston North End
League One
Saturday, April 5th 2014, 3pm
Paul Willott (Preston North End fan)

Ashton Gate is a ground that has oddly benefitted from the failure of the World Cup bid in so much as the plans for a new stadium have been shelved. This pleases an old-fashioned purist such as myself, and I have enjoyed previous encounters at the ground as it still retains some character of bygone eras. 

On this occasion along with my partner we chose to set off from South London bright eyed and bushy tailed early in the morning for I had an eye on checking out the historic SS Great Britain before the match. We had a trouble free journey along the M4, and then dived down the M32 where I tried without success to pinpoint the former location of Eastville, one time home to City’s rivals Bristol Rovers.

In past visits to Bristol I have found prior homework with a map essential as there used to be no signposting at all in the city centre for Ashton Gate. I noticed that there are now a few signs to help those travelling by car but I would still highly recommend homework as the signs that have sprung up are few and far between. Plus the city centre’s traffic flow is not one for beginners!

We parked near the SS Great Britain and enjoyed a mind-blowing few hours wallowing in the museum piece that far exceeded my expectations, and if truth be told, we had to tear ourselves away to make sure we got to the football ground in reasonable time for the match. In other words, make a visit to the SS Great Britain a priority!

Another good reason for doing your homework before a visit to Ashton Gate is that the floodlight pylons that “homed” me in for my first ever visit have long since gone and been replaced by lights mounted on the stands of the ground. Having torn ourselves away from IK Brunel’s lovely ship in enough time, we were able to secure some street parking fairly near Ashton Gate, and walk through some lovely parkland towards the ground.

I had to say I was eagerly anticipating this match, as City’s recent form belied their lowly league position, and with our strong form away from home behind our promotion push, it suggested that a good game was possibly on the cards.

Ashton Gate

As usual, we away fans were situated in the Wedlock Stand, a stand which is truly past its sell-by date, with nothing but plastic seats minus even the basic provision of a back riveted to former terracing. However for me, I enjoy the atmosphere of such stands and although one cannot deny it lacks in the comfort stakes, I had mixed feelings when one of the friendly stewards informed me that this stand was due for demolition at the end of the season.

Having munched on a packed lunch already, we didn’t sample the catering, but simply savoured the atmosphere slowly build up prior to kick-off. One of the added charms of the old Wedlock Stand is that it is shared with quite vociferous home support, and as the two sets of supporters try to out-sing each other, the low roof of the Wedlock Stand could make even a small bunch sound like a roman army in full clamour.

The fact that some of Preston’s players had earlier in the week been implicated somewhat in a spot-fixing issue seemed to give the Bristol City fans extra impetus to indulge in banter and by kick-off, the atmosphere was pretty electric and exciting. I wasn’t unduly surprised; indeed I would have been disappointed if it had been anything else as I’ve always found the Bristol City lads to be loud and loyal in quite some number for a club that for its relative size hasn’t enjoyed all that much success in my lifetime.

The game kicked off and as I’d predicted, was a very tight affair with no quarter given and chances going begging at either end. It was the sort of pulsating end to end match action that is just what I love about supporting my team. It wasn’t until half way through the second half that Preston broke the deadlock with a set-piece free kick routine, and that pretty much lifted the roof off the old stand; but within 10 minutes the roof was lifted off again as City equalised with a well taken goal. And thus the match ended honours even, which was a fair result, although fingernails for both sets of fans were chewed as the end to end action continued right up until the final whistle.

Hence we drifted out of the old ground and back to the car to head home and catch our breath.  I have always enjoyed my visits to Ashton Gate, and if it turns out that promotion is not to be for Preston this year, one of the consolations will be penciling in a visit to Bristol again to see both the SS Great Britain and Ashton Gate and maybe give a verdict on the new stand?

A great day out that my girlfriend and I enjoyed from start to finish!

Bristol City v Swindon Town
League One
Saturday, March 15th 2014, 3pm
Ronan Howard (Swindon Town fan)

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

The previous Saturdays disappointing performance against MK Dons had put the play-offs out of reach, so I was just looking forward to a local derby, and the bragging rights attached to it (result depending). Our form of late has been terrible but you never know with a derby, and even if there was little chance of going up or down this season, it would be nice to get one over on our friends down the M4.

Plus it was going to be a short trip and there also some great pubs in Bristol. Also Swindon would be  bringing around 2000 supporters to the game, so would hopefully it was going to be a good day out even if we didn’t get the right result. 

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

We got a direct train from Swindon to Bristol Temple Meads. Which took 45 minutes, where we alighted to take on some ale. It was then  another five minutes by train to Parsons Street and then around 15 minute walk to the ground. Pretty simple really.

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

Aside from the footballing rivalry, I do like Bristol as a city and know it pretty well from numerous other trips. We decided to take a walk from Temple Meads to the city centre, which has a good selection of decent pubs. Pubs closer to the Ashton Gate Football Ground are best avoided. Head straight out the main entrance of the station, up to the top of the road and turn right, head straight on passing Mary Redcliffe Church, take the bridge over the river and first right onto Welshback and there’ll be several pubs available; the Llandoger Trow, Dukes, the Apple, King William etc.. Had a couple in the Apple, fantastic bar on a barge with a great range of ciders. Have been many  times but always good to see it this time of year rather than in Winter when it doesn’t hold quite the same appeal.

Thirst suitably quenched it was time to take the ten minute back up to Temple Meads and the five minute train journey to Parsons Street, then on to the ground. Wouldn’t suggest walking to the ground from Temple Meads as would take the best part of an hour, and for anyone not familiar with Bristol, getting lost on the way is not inconceivable (anything off the main roads south of the river in Bristol and you quickly run out of landmarks as it’s largely residential).

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

Have been before and it hasn’t changed much if at all. Understand there are plans to revamp the ground but no evidence of this as yet.

The ground itself is functional enough, with one modern stand and a few more fairly old ones (not too dissimilar from our own County Ground, on a larger scale). Being in the old Wedlock Stand behind the goal it wasn’t the most comfortable and didn’t provide the best of views – as a local derby (our only one in the league this season) this was always a must attend away day but for a team with no rivalry with City, it may not hold the same appeal.

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

The game was a suitably nervous affair early on. We’d got into a decent rhythm in the first half, and went in 0-0 at half time. Unfortunately following a foul after the restart, town’s Alex Pritchard reacted in a profoundly silly manner in pushing the City player over and earned himself a straight red. It was always going to be difficult after this, and we had a lot of pressure from them on till the end of the game, but fortunately Swindon put in a stoic defensive display to earn a point after withstanding some chances from City (and creating one or two of our own. Honours even after six minutes of stoppage time, and I don’t think either set of supporters went away too disappointed with the result.

With a reasonably big crowd there was a decent atmosphere generated by both sides, with some banter but nothing too vicious (local rivals but both teams have bigger fish to fry when it comes to derby games, Oxford in our case, Rovers and Cardiff in theirs) – it never looked like getting out of hand and I personally didn’t see any trouble.

Facilities at the ground are basic as you would expect from an older stand and the toilets were functional. The stewards let us stand and make some noise without being over the top as at some grounds I’ve been too – no complaints.

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

Walk back up the Parsons Train station was fine. But we then waited for around 40 minutes for a train which ended up being absolutely rammed. Once back at Temple Meads the journey back to Swindon was quick and painless

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Lovely time in the Bristol sunshine pre match, relatively easy trip, decent game if not a classic by any means, good day out all round.

Bristol City v Ipswich Town
Championship League
Saturday, April 16th 2011, 3pm
Callum Smith (Neutral 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 trip because firstly I would see some Ipswich supporting friends that I hadn't seen for a while and also I had never been to Bristol before, so I was interested to see for myself what the town was like. Also I had heard rumours that the ground would be vacated soon but I doubt this will happen now that England unfortunately lost their world cup bid.

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

i got picked up from Southampton. The route of M3, A34 and M4 went flying by with all the banter that goes with these away days. We took the wrong turning off the motorway and went further West of the city than needed, however this gave us the opportunity of going across the magnificent Clifton suspension bridge, so we passed an hour exploring this area. After that at around 2pm we headed to the ground, from the bridge it was all downhill and very easy, although not well signposted!! We parked for £5 in a car park opposite the ground but on the right side of the dual carriageway, hoping for a kind of swift getaway afterwards!

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

Having somehow messed up the journey to the ground we went straight into the stadium after visiting the rather compact Bristol city megastore. We had hoped to taste a Blackthorns cider but no alcohol was being sold, the burgers were nice enough and yes the home fans were friendly also, no trouble at all.

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

My original thoughts were that it was quite a ramshackle place. I was very happy to be in the away end, lots of history with it having been built in 1938! But the Club have literally put in seats anywhere that they can fit them. The terrace is very shallow and there are quite a few pillars to stop you seeing the whole pitch, however I would take this every time over a boring bowl stadium. The other sides of the ground were more grand modern types.

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

The game itself was a mid-table clash however it was full of proper football being played, counter attacking and players getting really stuck in. Ipswich however had a player sent off for a dangerous tackle. This didn't deter them however and 17 year old Carson scored his third career goal in his fourth career appearance to seal the points. There was a massive stop for poor Leadbitter who left the field on a stretcher. Because of this there was 11 minutes added on. The atmosphere was brilliant in the first half from both sets of supporters however second half Bristol singers gave up and it was left down to Ipswich to create a party. The stewards were fine and left everyone alone so thumbs up to them. The burgers as above were great however when I queued at half time they were sold out of everything bar cheese and onion pies. The toilets were fine and your standard fare.

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

Lots of Bristol fans left well before the additional 11 minutes of added time, this created mayhem on the roads around, so it was a slow exit through town and back onto the eastbound M4. Still we had seen a win so it didn't bother us! The ground is quite away from city centre and lack of public transport means everybody pretty much seemed to have driven to the game.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A fantastic day out! I often watch non-league football instead of the Football League, however this was a great advertisement for the Championship and this was my Football League ground number 27. I recommend this place.

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

Updated 14th October 2017

Buy my new Football Grounds Book
Fully updated for 2017/18
The biggest and best yet!

Football Grounds A Fans Guide Book Cover

Click Here For More Info And How To Get Your Signed Copy!

Buy my new Football Grounds Book
Fully updated for 2017/18
The biggest and best yet!

Football Grounds A Fans Guide Book Cover

Click Here For More Info And How To Get Your Signed Copy!

FACEBOOK

TWITTER