|What's The County
Future Ground Developments
Don Rogers Stand (photo)
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Arkells Stand (photo)
Where To Drink?
Looking Towards The FastPlant Town End (photo)
Other Places Of Interest
How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
A Closer Look At The FastPlant Town End (photo)
Programme & Fanzine
Record & Average Attendance
Fans Ground Reviews
County Ground Location Map
|What's The County Ground Like?|
|A traditional looking ground, that has an interesting mix of stands. Both sides are large two-tiered covered affairs that tower above the two smaller ends. The Main Stand is the Arkells Stand on one side. Built in 1971 the stand is a fairly simple affair and has the players tunnel and team dugouts in front. It has windshields to either side and a few supporting pillars. Opposite is the smarter looking Don Rogers Stand. Opened in 1994, this stand has a cantilevered roof, allowing spectators to have an uninterrupted view of the playing action. It has a large upper tier, with a much smaller lower tier. The FastPlant Town End is a small covered stand, that is the traditional home end. Unfortunately it has a row of supporting pillars that run across the front of it. Oddly on one side, the base of one of the floodlight pylons is situated within the stand, with the pylon itself rising up through the roof of the stand. At the other end is the Stratton Bank Stand. This area is uncovered and open to the elements. It has a small electric scoreboard situated above it, next to which is a Rolex Clock. Apparently this is the only Rolex clock that can found within a football ground anywhere in the World. The ground also benefits by a striking set of four floodlight pylons.|
|Future Ground Developments|
The Club have announced
plans to almost completely re-develop the County
Ground, into a new modern stadium. Plans are for a
19,000 capacity venue, with a roof design similar
looking to the Reebok Stadium in Bolton. The only
stand that would remain is the Don Rogers Stand,
although Executive Boxes may be added to the rear of
it. The other three stands, starting with the Town
End, would be redeveloped. This includes the
Stratton Bank, which will be roofed and used to
house away supporters. It is hoped that works on adding an
additional tier to the Town End, could start in
the Summer of 2013.
|What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?|
|Away fans are located in the Arkells
Stand at one side of the pitch, where up to 1,200
fans can be housed. This is an older stand with
facilities to match, but at least you are under
cover. If you are at the back of this stand there is
one supporting pillar which may impair your view of
the goal otherwise it is fine. You even get a view
of some of the rolling Marlborough Hills beyond one
corner of the ground! There is a small kiosk at the
back of stand serving amongst other things a range
of pies, but be careful when taking them back to
your seat. The entrances to the seating areas are
through large solid doors, and to compound matters
they open out towards you!
Teams with a larger away following can also be allocated the Stratton Bank End if required. A further 2,100 fans can be accommodated in this area, but the end has no cover and is open to the elements. Fine on a nice sunny day, but on a cold wet, winters day, it can be grim. This area was a former terrace that has had seating bolted onto it, which meant that the height between rows is not great. I found Swindon to be a relaxed and fairly friendly day out, although the size of Police presence on my last visit seemed excessive.
|Where To Drink?|
fans are treated to their own bar, called Bar 71,
which is located by the away turnstiles. The County
Hotel right by the ground, did not allow entrance to
away supporters on my last visit. Best to continue
down County Road and seek out the Cricket Club that
sits behind the Arkells Stand. As Mark Osborne from
Swindon adds; 'On match days home and away fans can park on the
cricket ground (for a small fee) and then have access
to a drink in the cricket club. This is a very
friendly (as well as cheap) club that always welcomes
away fans'. I would echo these comments but also add
that you can still get into the cricket club (there is
no charge) even if you have not parked there. Please note though that the Cricket
Club facilities are not available when the Cricket
Club is playing a match. This doesn't happen often
but can do towards the beginning and end of the
football season, when fixtures overlap.
Audrey MacDonald a visiting Hartlepool United fan, recommends 'The Merlin' on Drove Road, near to the magic roundabout. 'Away fans are welcome and they have Sky Sports showing on 12 television screens and even in the gents (according to my husband)'. Alcohol is available within the ground to away fans in the Arkells Stand (but not in the open Stratton Bank End), otherwise if you arrive early Swindon town centre is a 15 minute walk away.
|Other Places Of Interest|
Located near one corner of the ground is the 'Magic Roundabout'. Whoever designed this must have been on something. It is a large island surrounded by five mini roundabouts, which effectively means that traffic can go round the main roundabout the wrong way! Confused? I was!
Thanks to Chris King for providing the image of the Magic Roundabout above and the directions below. Chris suggests that visiting supporters, with the aide of the diagram, can perhaps practice in their back garden prior to visiting Swindon! If you want further information then visit the Magic Roundabout page of the Swindon Web.
|How To Get There By Car & Where To Park|
ground is well signposted in and around Swindon town
centre. Just follow signs for 'The County
From M4 Junc.15:
Continue on the A419 until reaching the top of the new 3 lane stretch of dual-carriageway, which runs uphill. (I would advise to stay in the inside lane on this climb as the exit approaches quickly). Take the exit at the top of the hill (Lady Lane Junction). At the lights go right, then almost immediately at the next set of lights go left. Follow this road through the next set of traffic lights (passing the Motorola building to the right), then branch left onto the A4311. From here follow this road, following signs for Town Centre. At Transfer Bridges roundabouts turn left at the first and then straight over the second. The County Ground is on the left after the mini-roundabout. The County Ground is one of the few remaining football stadiums you can notice from a fair distance, due to the striking floodlights. Thanks to Robin Sharpe for supplying the directions.
If you survive the
Magic Roundabout then there is some street parking.
Otherwise park at the cricket club (take County Road
off the Magic Roundabout, go past the County Hotel
on your right, you will see a small sign further
down on your right for football parking, just before
the mini roundabout). There is
some parking available at the ground itself for a
cost of £10.
Map showing the location of the County Ground (at the bottom of this page).
|The ground is walkable from Swindon train station and will take you around 10-15 minutes. Leave the station, cross the road and proceed up the road between the two pubs (Great Western and Queen's Tap), continue to end of road. Turn left, proceed along Manchester Road, through traffic lights as far as you can go. At the junction turn right. The County Ground is about 300 yards up this road on the left. Thanks to John Bishop for providing me with the directions.|
|Oxford United, Bristol Rovers & Bristol City.|
|Official Programme: £3|
|For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the Level Playing Field website.|
|Swindon Town FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)|
|Record & Average Attendance|
FA Cup 3rd Round, January 15th, 1972.
Modern All Seated Attendance Record:
14,731 v Walsall
League Two, May 5th 2007
2011-2012: 8,411 (League Two)
2010-2011: 8,458 (League One)
2009-2010: 8,389 (League One)
|Fans Reviews Of The County Ground|
(Oldham Athletic) 30/3/13
Joe Cooper (Preston North End) 23/2/13
Stuart Jackson (Yeovil Town) 17/11/12
Paul Willott (Doing The 92) 25/2/12
Diana Bowden (Crewe Alexandra) 6/8/11
James Spring (Notts County) 2/4/11
Tino Hernandez (Bournemouth) 1/1/11
Damian Purser (Leyton Orient) 17/4/09
|If you require hotel
accommodation in the area then first try a hotel
booking service provided by Late Rooms. They offer all
types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets
from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast
establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced
Apartments. Plus their booking system is
straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will
earn a small commission if you book through them, but
it will go to help with the running costs of keeping
the Guide going. The Hotels listing also includes
details of how far away the accommodation is located
from the football ground.
Access their Swindon Guest Houses and Hotels page.
Remember that you can use the above link or panel below to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, either in the UK or abroad.
|Map showing the location of the County Ground, railway station and listed pubs|
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