Darlington (Heritage Park)
2,004 (Seats 500)
Address: Stadium Way, Bishop Auckland, DL14 9AE
Telephone: To be advised
Pitch Size: To be advised
Club Nickname: Darlo or the Quakers
Year Ground Opened: 2010
Home Kit: White and Black
The Club have come to an agreement with Darlington Rugby Club to share their Blackwell Meadows ground. However the ground before the football club move from Heritage Park, a number of improvements to the facilities at Blackwell Meadows are being carried out. It is expected that the Club will move into their new home either in late December 2016, or possibly in January 2017, dependent on a the ground being signed off as completed.
Darlington FC have been groundsharing with Bishop Auckland and their Heritage Park Stadium since the 2012-2013 season. However plans are well underway to return the Club to Darlington before the end of this year (see below).
Heritage Park is a tidy modern stadium, being opened in 2010. On one side is the Main Stand. This covered seated stand runs for around a quarter of the length of the pitch and sits astride the half way line. Its high roof is cantilevered, meaning that it is free of any supporting pillars. Above the seating section is a glassed area, which houses amongst other things the club bar. The Main Stand has a capacity of 250 seats. On either side of the Main Stand are open flat standing areas. The other side of the stadium is most notable for the large Sainsburys store that overlooks it. The team dugouts are located on this side of the pitch. As the players tunnel and dressing rooms are located in the Main Stand opposite, then this leads to quite a procession of players and club staff at half and full time. Otherwise on this side of the stadium there are no facilities for spectators apart from a flat open standing pathway running alongside the pitch perimeter fence. There is also a small grass bank on that side that fans have used in the past to get a better view of the game, but the Club are trying to discourage this.
At the West End of the ground is a covered terrace, which at around seven steps high, houses up to 500 fans. It runs for around half the width of the pitch and is situated directly behind the goal. It is set back a little from the pitch, but again it is free of any supporting pillars, ensuring a good view of the playing action. At the opposite East End, then this a strange affair with two blocks of temporary open seating, that have an open gap between them. The sections of six rows of seats are raised up above pitch level meaning that you have to climb a small set of stairs to access them. The stadium has a set of four floodlight pylons, one in each corner.
For most games at Heritage Park, then fans are not segregated. However on the rare occasion that they are, then visiting supporters are allocated the East End of the ground, where around 450 fans can accommodated. This end has no cover and is mostly comprised of temporary seating as well as some areas of flat standing. As Darlington are well supported, then the atmosphere within the stadium is normally good, with a fair amount of noise being generated from the home end. However with such good attendances then the facilities do seem to creak a bit with the large numbers and seats in the Main Stand are off limits to visiting fans, as they are sold out to home season ticket holders.
Heritage Park is located next to a large Retail Park so there are plenty of eating places to choose from such as McDonalds, KFC, Starbucks, Subway and Domino’s Pizza. Plus the nearby Sainsburys and Tesco stores both have cafes.
There is a club bar at the ground itself which normally welcomes visiting fans. However when crowd segregation is in force, then this admits Darlington supporters only. The bar which is located at the top of the Main Stand enjoys fine views across Heritage Park. More or less next door to the ground is the March Hare pub. This a Marstons pub which also serves food. Whilst a five minute walk away is the Tindale Crossing, on West Auckland Road, a Brewers Fayre outlet.
Heritage Park is located to the South West of Bishop Auckland, adjacent to the Bishop Auckland Retail Park. From the South (A1) Leave the A1(M) at Junction 58 and take the A688 towards Bishop Auckland. After passing across one roundabout then at the next, take the fourth exit onto the A688 towards Bishop Auckland. Go straight across at the next roundabout and you will reach the stadium on your left.
From the North (A1) Leave the A1(M) at Junction 61 and take the A688 towards Spennymoor and Bishop Auckland. After around seven miles and after passing the Top House pub on your left and a Jet Garage on the right, then at the next roundabout take the third exit continuing on the A688 towards Bishop Auckland. Go across four roundabouts, staying on the A688 (following signs for Castle Barnard and West Auckland) and you will reach the stadium on your right.
Car Parking There is limited car parking available at the stadium itself, which costs £3, although there is an additional official car park situated behind the March Hare pub. Please note that parking restrictions apply in the nearby retail park and supermarkets. There is some street parking available on an industrial estate located next to the stadium (on the opposite side to Sainsburys and the March Hare pub).
Bishop Auckland Railway Station is located around one and a half miles from Heritage Park, or around a 25-30 minute walk away. However the station is located on a local line and is served by trains from Darlington. At either two hourly (off-peak) or hourly (peak) intervals. It is a fairly straight route to the ground; On exiting the station walk up the station approach and turn right in front of Morrisons. Walk down to the end of the road and at the traffic lights turn right (if you turn left here and cross over to thr other side of the road, then there is a Bus Stop where you can catch as Arriva Service X1, which stops at the nearby Sainsburys next to the Stadium, or the 5 or 5A, which drops you about a ten minute walk away from the stadium near to Aldi, which is on the edge of the nearby retail park. See the Arriva Bus website for more details). Keep straight on this road for around a mile and after passing the Aclet pub on your right, then at the next roundabot follow the roads towards Barnard Castle (A688). You will reach the stadium on your right.
Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.
Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.
Click on the trainline logo below:
Adults £12 Concession: £8 Under 17’s £4 Under 5’s Free of charge
Concessions apply to Over 60’s, Students, the Disabled and serving members of the Armed Forces. ID may be required to be shown to prove current status.
Official Matchday Programme £2.50.
Spennymoor Town and Hartlepool United.
Record Attendance 2,004 v Bishop Auckland, Northern Football League 12th August, 2012.
Average Attendance 2015-2016: 1,205 (Northern Premier League)
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