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Ayr United

Somerset Park

Capacity: 10,243 (seated 1,549)
Address: Tryfield Place, Ayr, KA8 9NB
Telephone: 01292 263 435
Fax: 01292 281 314
Pitch Size: 110 x 72 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Honest Men
Year Ground Opened: 1896*
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: All White


                    
                    

Somerset Park is a classic traditional looking ground that is predominantly terracing. Only one side has a seating area, in the old Main Stand, part of which dates back to 1924. This stand is covered and the seated area is raised above pitch level. There are also a few supporting pillars which could impede your view. This stand was extended sideways in 1989. In front of the stand are some small sections of terracing, the team dugouts and a small conservatory type structure, that looked to be used by the Police. On the other side is a large open terrace that extends around the corners of the ground. This area is split between home and away fans, who are segregated by a large fence running down the middle of it. At the back of the home fans section is a strange concrete box like structure that looks to have been built behind the existing terrace. This appears to house a number of hospitality boxes that overlook the ground. 

Both ends are quite similar looking, as they are of roughly the same size and both are covered terracing. The home end, the Somerset Road end is partly covered (to the rear) medium sized terrace, that has a row of supporting pillars running across the front of it. Away fans are located in the opposite end in the Railway Terrace. The ground is completed with a set of four modern floodlight pylons, one located at each corner of the ground.

The club had hoped to be moving to a new 7,650 capacity new stadium in the Heathfield area of the town, for the start of the 2009/10 season, with Somerset Park being re-developed for housing. However, the credit crunch and economic downturn has forced the club to put the scheme on hold. This means that we'll get to enjoy Somerset Park for a bit longer yet….

For the majority of games away fans will be housed in the small standing enclosure in front of the Main Stand at one side of the pitch. For the bigger games against Partick Thistle & Morton then away fans will allocated the covered Railway End Terrace at one end of the ground, as well as some open terrace to either side of it. So visiting fans for these games have a choice as to whether to view the action from either an end or side of the pitch and unless there is a huge travelling support you will normally get a good view of the playing action. With the away end being covered, a relatively small number of away fans can really create some noise, adding to the atmosphere. There are two refreshment kiosks in the away section serving the usual array of pies, hot dogs & burgers. Unfortunately though there is only one set of toilets that are right by the entrance turnstiles to the away end. I would have to say that the mens urinals looked as if they dated back to when the ground opened. I did notice on my visit that parts of the open terrace had a fair few white blobs all over them, thanks to the large local population of seagulls. It may be an idea to make sure you wear a hat if you use the open terrace!

Simon Lyndsay a visiting Falkirk supporter adds; 'This is my favourite away game. It is a great old fashioned ground. With good pubs, pies, great fish and chips and I have never had a bit of bother there. The fans can have a go at one another during the game (loads of verbals), but walking away at the end, there never seems to be any hassle. An enthusiastic two thumbs up from me for Somerset Park'.

There are no bars in the immediate vicinity of the ground. So a ten minute walk to the town centre is required, where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Of note are four pubs that are listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, including the Abbotsford Hotel on Coursehill Road, Geordie's Byre on the Main Street, Wellingtons Bar on Wellington Square and the Glen Park Hotel on Racecourse Road. In addition there is a Wetherspoons oub, called the West Kirk on Sandgate

If you are arriving by train at Newton-On-Ayr, then there is the Wallace Bar at 6 Tams Brig.

From the A77 take the A719 (Whitletts Road) into Ayr. After passing the racecourse on your left, turn right at the next set of traffic lights for the ground, or turn left to take you down to an unofficial car park. Turning right will take you into Burnett Terrace, then left into Hawkhill Avenue and then right into Somerset Road. The ground is down on the left. There is a small car park at the ground adjacent to the Main Stand but this is for pass holders only. However, there is plenty of street parking to be found in the area around the stadium.

Ayr Railway Station is a ten minute walk away from Somerset Park. Exit the station through the back entrance (to the left as you come off the platform, over the footbridge) and turn left once outside. Walk up to the roundabout at the fire station, and go straight ahead at the roundabout, past the left hand side of the Civic Theatre. continue up this road (Craigie Road) to the traffic lights at the top. Go straight across again at this junction, then take a left and a right and you're there. Away fans walk to the left, behind the Main Stand. Thanks to Ruaridh Watson for providing the directions. 

Callum McCabe adds; 'Newton-On-Ayr station is closer to the ground than Ayr main station, although not as many trains stop there. Go up the hill from the station onto the main road (A79). Turn right along the road and cross over to the other side of the road. Continue for a short distance and just before the bridge (where the road crosses the railway), turn left into McCall's Avenue. Go all the way up this road until you cross a railway bridge, and then turn right into Somerset Road. The ground is at the bottom of this road on the right'.

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:

All areas of Somerset Park:
Adults £17
OAP's/Students and Under 22's £11
Under 18's £6

Disabled fans and their carer are admitted free of charge. Places must be booked in advance with the club.

Official Programme £2.50.

Kilmarnock.

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

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. 

Record Attendance 

25,225 v Rangers, 1969.

Average Attendance
2018-2019: 2,157 (Championship League)
2017-2018: 1,533 (League One)
2016-2017: 1,857 (Championship League)

If you require hotel accommodation in Ayr 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: contact@footballgroundguide.com and I'll update the guide.

Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing some of the photos of Somerset Park Ayr United.

  • Ayr United v Queen of the South
    Scottish Championship League
    Saturday 22nd October 2016, 3pm
    Stuart Edwards (Neutral fan)

    Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Somerset Park?

     I am (very slowly) trying to get to all 42 Scottish Premier and Football League grounds in Scotland.

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

    Travelled to Ayr by car and parked in the town centre. Car parking wasn't expensive. Walked from the town centre to Somerset Park. This took about 20 minutes and was straight forward. It was a dry day – the walk wouldn't have been as pleasant if it had been raining!

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

    I was with my wife and we spent the morning in the town centre shopping. We had our lunch in the café at Marks & Spencer.

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

    The first sight of Somerset Park was of the outside of the Main Stand, which looked dated. It still looked dated when we got in!! However, despite there being a number of pillars the view was alright. The ground is very traditional, with covered ends and an open bank on the side opposite the stand. The pitch was in superb condition.

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

    The match was okay and the crowd of just over 1,800 generated a reasonable atmosphere. The club was celebrating Armed Forces Day so there events before the match and at half-time. The fans and stewards were pleasant. My wife commented very favourably on the cleanliness of the toilets.

    Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

    Popped into the well stocked club shop after the game, then walked back into town. Some shops were still open – a real bonus!

    Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

    I'd say that Somerset Park and Ayr itself was a hassle free very pleasant day out.

  • Game Attended

    Ayr v Inverness Caledonian Thistle

    Competition

    Championship

    Date

    05/11/2021

    Kick Off Time

    15:00

    Team Supported

    Groundhopper

    Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the ground itself?

    Somerset Park seemingly features on most people's lists of the last remaining 'proper' Scottish grounds, so I'd been been hoping to get up to a game for some time. A weekend break with an old friend was duly planned to accommodate the match, some bracing coastal walks and a few beers.

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

    Flew up from London the day before. First post-COVID flight and was impressed by adherence to new guidance for air travel. Half of the passengers were Rangers fans on way back from their Europa tie in Denmark the night before, mostly nursing almighty hangovers.....hence a quiet flight. Train down from Paisley Gilmour St (25 mins walk from Glasgow Airport) to Ayr takes about 45 mins.

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

    Whilst the retail centre of Ayr is clearly struggling there are a decent number of good pubs around the town. We started early on the Sat and ticked-off the West Kirk (impressive Wetherspoons church conversion, breakfast and beers from the Ayr Brewery), Drouthy Neebors (homely place near Ayr station), Twa Dugs (good boozer to which we returned for live music later-on) and then finally closer to the ground the Black Bull, which seemed to be suffering something of an identity-crisis after a strange refurb. We left the pub at about 2.15pm to allow time for a club shop detour. That certainly reaped dividends as I picked up 20/21 dark-green away socks for £2.70 (!), pin badge....and a pic each with the Panda mascot (name unknown....). Fruits of the bar possibly to blame for the latter, after all we are two blokes in our mid-40s.

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

    Yes, it's a cracker! Terracing on 3 sides with cover at both ends. Plus a further paddock terrace in front of the main stand, into which 125 ICT fans had been deposited at the far end from the home terrace. We'd bought online tickets beforehand (£18) for the Somerset Road end but the gate into the open terrace that runs length-ways along the pitch was open so took the opportunity to wander about a bit during the afternoon.

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

    Sampled another scotch pie, as is something of a tradition on these artery-clogging weekends. This offering was £1.80 and not great. Read later on that the alternative that we'd declined, a steak effort, had been award-winning not that long back. Typical! Game was decent for the standard (2nd-tier). Plenty of honest endeavour and a ref not overly inclined to intervene, which has been typical for this level in my experience. But it's largely error-strewn, frantic stuff with no players of genuine pace on the field. That said, an enjoyable 2-2 draw in the end. Ayr's keeper made 2 or 3 great stops to keep them in the game 2nd half. We were amused to see the significant number of locals who stayed on the open terrace after the break despite the biting wind and rain picking up when the covered terrace offered respite from both. Hardy folk, comes with the territory I'm sure.

    Comment on getting away from the ground after the game

    Away sharpish on full-time, we walked a brisk 10 mins or so to the Tam O'Shanter pub in the town centre, another decent hostelry.

    Summary of overall thoughts of the day out

    Thoroughly enjoyed the trip to Ayr. A ground with plenty of character & these old terraces will certainly be missed when they're gone. Ayr itself, whilst a little rough around the edges, was also enjoyable. We found live music on both nights & those coastal walks certainly blow the cobwebs away.
Updated 19th June 2020