Capacity: 7,000 (3,185 Seats)
Address: Quinsborough Rd, Bray, County Wicklow
Telephone: 01 2828 214
Pitch Size: 113 x 70 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: Seagulls
Year Ground Opened: 1862
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Green and White Stripes
The Carlisle Grounds are one of the oldest football ground sites in Ireland, and despite losing both of its old barrel roofed stands in the last decade, the ground and indeed its very location still maintain a great deal of character. Approaching Bray from the scenic Dart Commuter line between Dublin Connolly and Greystones the ground sits around 100 metres from the breezy seafront, with Bray Daly Railway Station effectively forming an entrance to the turnstiles alongside the Quinsborough Road Level Crossing. Entering the ground on this corner we see immediately to our left the Quinsborough Road End which has remained unchanged for a good number of years. Perhaps one of the most picturesque behind goal terraces in Ireland, the narrow walkway has a gently sloping grass bank, bordered by shrubberies and a couple of mature trees. A neat row of Edwardian houses on the far side of the road peer over the penalty area. Alas fans are not allowed to stand on the grass bank due to ‘health and safety’ concerns. From the Quinsborough Road End looking over to the right, we see the Railway Side, which for a short while featured a barrel roofed cover which ran almost the full length of the pitch. This was built for as part of the back drop for the film Micheal Collins. However it was subsequently removed, leaving the concrete base we see today, which features 12 concrete steps, offering an excellent elevated view of the pitch. Oddly the concrete deck once had 12 rows of red plastic seats installed, but these have now been replaced by 5-6 rows of seating, giving around 2,200 seats with rows 7-12 effectively unused.
The Carlisle Grounds made the news for the wrong reasons in 2009 and 2010 when a section of the old pitch side perimeter wall collapsed following spectator goal celebrations. This wall has been replaced by the more lightweight metal mesh and plastic top handrail design on three sides of the ground. Looking directly across the pitch from the Quinsborough Road End we see the Training Ground End, effectively a grassed 5-a-side pitch which backs onto the car park alongside Seapoint Road. There is a small flat standing area in front of the training ground should you wish to stand behind the goal, the view of the Bray Head and the County Wicklow mountain range offers a pretty spectacular backdrop. Turning finally to the Seymour Road side the current temporary seated stand replaces a green and white painted barrel roofed standing cover which was demolished in 2006.Many older fans will no doubt argue this new stand lacks the character of the stand it replaces, nevertheless the green canvas roof is in keeping with the club colours, the seven rows of green plastic seats providing cover for 985 spectators. This stand is actually longer than the old cover it replaces, and still has a unique long dug out situated in front of it, on the pitch centre line. The stand is flanked on the training ground end by a small hospitality area. Pleasingly the ground’s green and white painted ironwork over the Players Entrance Gate alongside Seymour Road has remained, despite the old stands back wall, which stood beside it, having been demolished. Its just a pity the new metal gate hasn’t been painted green to match the gate it replaced.
Away supporters are accommodated on the Railway Side which has 5-6 rows of open seating and runs the full length of the pitch. There is an additional six steps between the seating and the back wall. However with the absence of crush barriers in this area it is uncertain if people are allowed to stand there during a game.
The ground is only five minutes walk from the town centre, follow the road from the level crossing away from the sea front and at the end of Quinsborough Road turn left into Main Street to find a good selection of pubs and eating outlets. Or of the weather is good then there a few bars dotted along the sea front, including one of my favourites, the Porterhouse. There is also a handy fish and chip shop located across the road from the entrance to the railway station.
From the North
Follow the N11/M11 from South Dublin. Turn off the M11 just north of Bray and at the roundabout turn right onto the R119 Dublin Road. Pass over the river bridge and follow the road into the town centre,then turn left into Quinsborough Road. Just before the level crossing you will see the stadium on the left, turn left into Seymour Road for the main entrance.
From the South
Follow the N11 North from Wicklow, turn off south of Bray, and at the roundabout turn right onto the R768 to take you over the N11.At the next roundabout turn left into the R767 Killarney Road. Follow this road as it leads through the town centre. Once in the town centre turn right into Quinsborough Road. Just before the level crossing you will see the stadium on the left, turn left into Seymour Road for the main entrance.
There is a small car park inside the ground, the entrance to which is at the bottom of Seymour Road. The roads around the football ground are a mixture of ‘Residents Only’ parking, where a residents permit is required, or on street ‘Pay and Display’ parking. If you continue past the Carlisle Grounds down to the sea front then there are a couple of free car parks situated near the promenade.
Bray (Daly) Railway Station is only a five minute walk away from Carlisle Gardens. As you come out of the station entrance turn right and then turn left into Quinsborough Road. The ground is up on the right.
The easiest and most frequent service is to use the Dart service which runs from Dublin along the coast to Bray. Journey time from Dublin Connolly to Bray is around 45 minutes, whilst from Dublin Pearse station it is around 39 minutes. Services run every 15-30 minutes. See the Irish Rail website for timetables and ticketing information.
There is the Bus No 145 service that runs every ten minutes to Kilmacanogue. It starts at Dublin Heuston and goes along the northside bank of the River Liffey, through Dublin City Centre and on towards Bray and Kilmacanogue. You will need to get off at Main Street Bary (just before McDonalds at the Town Hall junction) then look for the signposts to the Railway Station and seafront. For timetables and a route map see the Dublin Bus website.
Senior Citizens/Students €10
Second Level Education Children €5
Tickets can be purchased from the office located opposite the bowling alley.
Official Programme €3
Geographically speaking University College Dublin are the nearest league club, however there are a number of Leinster Province County Wicklow rivalries with teams such as Wayside Celtic and Arklow Town.
5,000 v Cork City
FAI Cup Semi Final 2nd leg, 16th April 1989
2019: 798 (Division One)
2018: 694 (Premier Division)
2017: 966 (Premier Division)
If you require hotel accommodation in the area 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.
If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, then please e-mail me at: [email protected] and I’ll update the guide.
Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the information and photos of Carlisle Grounds Bray Wanderers.