Address: Ashton Road,
Capacity: 27,000 (All-Seater)
A somewhat revolutionary ground that gives fans an insight into what can happen when a long-standing stadium undergoes modern redevelopment. Ashton Gate is a simply fantastic place to watch live sport.
First opened back in 1887, Ashton Gate was originally home to Bedminster Football Club until they merged with Bristol South End in 1900.
The new team, now known as Bristol City Football Club, moved back into Ashton Gate in 1904 and have been there ever since.
Location and Getting There
The stadium is located in the Ashton Gate suburb, around 1.5 miles southwest of Bristol City Centre. Greyville Smyth Park is a little beyond the north side of the ground and Gore’s Marsh can be found due south. Ashton Gate Stadium also has a large industrial park beyond its western side.
Coming the stadium by car is certainly possible but parking around the ground is very difficult, nigh on impossible. I made my first visit here using my car and had to park north of the Bristol Feeder Canal, making my way down the very steep streets towards Ashton Gate.
You may find better luck with residential streets south of the ground.
The closest train station to Ashton Gate is Parson Street, a 15-20 minute walk south of the ground and connected to the city’s main station, Bristol Temple Meads.
Given Temple Meads is a 40-45 minute walk from the stadium, I would advise taking the extra train down to Parson Street and then walking up from there.
Outside the Stadium
The latest redevelopments to Ashton Gate have given the stadium a very modern look, particularly around the West Stand which is known as the Lansdown Stand in honour of the club’s majority shareholder Stephen Lansdown.
The stand’s exterior is made up mostly of large white panels and glass windows, with a cantilever roof on top.
Turnstiles are spread across the base of the stand, and look more like large, open tunnels than the traditional narrow spaces you find at other football stadiums.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the Atyeo Stand, named after Bristol City legend John Atyeo.
Born in Wiltshire on 7th February 1932, Atyeo was a striker who joined Bristol City from Portsmouth in 1951. He remained at the club until retirement in 1966, playing 645 times and scoring a record 351 goals for Bristol City.
Capped six times by England, scoring five goals, Atyeo passed away on 8th June 1993 at the age of 61. The North Stand at Ashton Gate has been named after him since opening in 1994.
The Atyeo Stand is the oldest-looking part of Ashton Gate. You can reach here down one of two entrances along Ashton Road, with the turnstiles into the Atyeo Stand positioned along the outer wall.
The northeast corner of the ground, between the Atyeo and Lansdown Stands, has a small car park in it, but spaces here are taken up very quickly on a matchday.
Because of the residential area that is in close proximity to Ashton Gate, you cannot walk right around the back of the East Stand, known as the Dolman Stand in honour of the former club chairman and president Harry Dolman.
There are multiple houses and flats behind this stand and so the only way to get up to its exterior is off Ashton Road, continuing past the Atyeo Stand and towards the single entrance in the northeast corner.
The South Stand continues the white panel design of the adjacent Lansdown Stand, but it is nowhere near as tall.
You can find the Bristol Sport Store within here, whilst the southeast corner holds a Sports Bar and a large television screen on its exterior.
The turnstiles into the South Stand only run half way along as there is a row of houses on Raynes Road which take up the rest of the space.
Inside the Stadium
The Lansdown Stand towers over the rest of Ashton Gate as the only one of the four that is two-tiered, with the lower tier larger than the one above. A row of executive boxes separates the two levels, and the executive seating is split between the back rows of the lower tier and the front row of the upper tier.
The club’s changing rooms and tunnel are in the centre of the stand, whilst the substitute benches are built into the seating area itself.
The cantilever roof on top means that there are no supporting pillars coming down and so your view of the pitch from any seat is perfect.
Additionally, large transparent windshields connect the roof of the Lansdown stand to the rest of the stadium, and as a result every seat in the stand is well protected from the elements.
The Atyeo Stand is the smallest of the four and detached from the rest of the stadium.
It is a made up of a single tier of red seats, but the back row slants diagonally, meaning the seats over towards the northeast corner are further back than the seats over towards the northwest corner. The letters BRISTOL CITY are spelt out in white, and also use black seating alongside to create a 3D effect. Each letter is of a differing size and a very contrasting font to what you traditionally find in other English stadiums.
There are no supporting pillars coming down, but a bar hanging just below the ceiling could block the view slightly for those in the very back row.
Windshields at either end protect all but the very front rows of the Atyeo Stand.
The Dolman Stand is single-tiered but divided into two sections which you can freely get between. The letters BRISTOL are spelt out in white across the upper parts of the stand.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof and so your view from anywhere inside the Dolman Stand is perfectly clear.
A large windshield is also in place next to the northeast corner but it does not provide cover to those sat in the very front rows.
The South Stand is made up of just a single tier of red seats. The southwest corner between the South Stand and Lansdown Stand has a couple of blocks of seating in, with a large television screen that shows action replays and a live scoreboard placed behind the back row. The southeast corner between the South Stand and the Dolman Stand has the same interior design.
With no supporting pillars coming down from the roof as well, your view is perfectly clear from anywhere inside.
Away fans are housed behind the goal in the Atyeo Stand.
Travelling supporters are well segregated as a result from the rest of the stadium, but still given a very good view of the action taking place on the pitch.
Smaller crowds tend to congregate in the central blocks with the largest crowds taking up every single seat inside.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The mobile catering unit outside the away turnstiles (If present)
-Bedminster Cricket Club (Clanage Road, BS3 2JX) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Knights Templar (1. The Square, BS1 6DG) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Nova Scotia (1 Nova Scotia Place, BS1 6XJ) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Rose of Denmark (6 Dowry Place, BS8 4QL) (Away Supporters Welcome)
The redevelopments have turned Ashton Gate into a top-class venue.
The new-look Lansdown Stand has a very futuristic feel to it and the stadium as a whole offers great views from every seat.
It isn’t the biggest ground in the country, but it’s definitely one that's worth checking out.