Address: Vicarage Road,
Capacity: 22,200 (All-Seater)
A ground fully fit for the highest levels of the English game. Not the largest or most visually striking from the outside, but once you make your way to your seat it becomes instantly clear and obvious as to which team calls this stadium their home.
Watford Football Club have been based here ever since the ground was built in 1922, moving from their previous home Cassio Road where they had been for over twenty years.
Middlesex club Wealdstone also called Vicarage Road their home between 1991 and 1993, whilst Rugby Union club Saracens used the stadium from 1997 until 2013, when they moved into their new home at Allianz Park.
Location and Getting There
Vicarage Road itself is well placed within Watford. Less than one mile southwest of the Town Centre, Watford General Hospital is just a short distance further in the same direction.
Coming by car can prove a challenge, particularly if you are looking for free parking.
A possible option for those who willing to pay for parking is the CitiPark Sutton Car Park on Estcourt Road, which is little over 15 minutes walk through the Town Centre and down to Vicarage Road.
The nearest train station to the ground is Watford High Street, less than 15 minutes walk away, although most who come by train will arrive at the town’s main station Watford Junction. It is served by National Rail and under 25 minutes walk through the Town Centre towards the ground.
Outside the Stadium
If you are coming from the Town Centre, the first thing you’ll come to is the northeast corner of the stadium. The club’s Main Store, called The Hornets Shop, is located here, and the corner's exterior has a nice black matte colour to it.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction brings you to the East Stand, named after the club's honorary Life President Sir Elton John.
The stand’s exterior follows the same black matte design as the northeast corner, with the yellow turnstiles spread across the stand's base along Occupation Road.
The South Stand is known as the Rookery End and has the greatest depth of all four at Vicarage Road.
It has two levels of facilities and holds most of the club’s administrative areas, including the Matchday Reception and Ticket Office over by the southeast corner.
Watford’s Community Sports and Education Trust is also located in this corner, and running along the whole of the Rookery End’s exterior is Watson Court, a large collection of apartments.
Turnstiles into the Rookery End are based in both the southeast and southwest corners.
As of the 2014-15 season, Vicarage Road’s West Stand has became known as the Graham Taylor Stand, in honour of the club’s greatest ever manager.
Born in Worksop on 15th September 1944, Taylor played for Grimsby Town and Lincoln City as a full-back before starting management in 1972. In two spells with The Hornets, Taylor took them from the fourth tier of English Football to the top flight, along with an FA Cup Final in 1984 that lives long in the memory of those connected to the club.
Manager of the England National Team between 1990 and 1993, Graham Taylor passed away on 12th January 2017 at the age of 72. The West Stand at Vicarage Road has been named after him since 2014.
Most of the Graham Taylor Stand's exterior has entrances for the hospitality sections and the Sir Elton John Suite, with turnstiles based in both the northwest and southwest corners.
Vicarage Road’s car park is located out beyond this stand, with the roads and paths from here leading on to Watford General Hospital.
The North Stand is known as the Vicarage Road Stand after the street running outside of it.
The exterior here follows a similar black matte design to the northeast corner.
Home turnstiles are based in the northwest corner, whilst away turnstiles are clearly marked out part-way along the outer wall.
Inside the Stadium
The Sir Elton John Stand is single-tiered, with the outer blocks yellow and the inner blocks red. Along the wall behind the back row is the quoted Chorus to “Your Song”, recorded by Sir Elton John in 1970.
The seating area has a banked design where the rows higher up are much steeper than the rows at the very front.
Watford's changing rooms, tunnel and dugouts are all located inside the Sir Elton John Stand.
Your view may be blocked slightly in these lower down seats by railings, but there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof.
The Rookery End is also single-tiered.
Much like the adjacent Sir Elton John Stand, the outer blocks are made up of yellow seating with the inner blocks made up of red seating. The letters WFC are also spelt out in yellow across the central blocks.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof and so your view from any seat in the Rookery End is perfectly clear.
The Gallery and The View, two of Vicarage Road's hospitality sections, are both based in the southwest corner, with a large television screen also in place here.
The Graham Taylor Stand is the only one of the four that is two-tiered, with a row of executive boxes running along the very back. The bottom tier is larger than the one above, and your view at the back of this bottom tier may be slightly restricted by the roof hanging overhead.
The entire lower level is made up of red seats, with the letters Watford spelt out in yellow across the blocks. The upper level on the other hand is made up of red and yellow squares, with black executive seating blocks in the very centre.
No supporting pillars come down from above either tier, and so your view inside is generally very good.
The Vicarage Road Stand is single-tiered with the outer blocks coloured yellow and the inner blocks coloured red.
There are no supporting pillars coming down from the stand's roof and so your view from anywhere inside is perfectly clear.
A large television screen is based in the northwest corner, and there are a couple of blocks of seating in the northeast corner which are considered part of the Sir Elton John Stand.
Away fans are placed behind the goal, on the east side of the Vicarage Road Stand.
Depending on the allocation, as much as half of the stand can be given to away supporters, with the rest taken up by home fans that are segregated from them by a large sheet and stewards.
The view from here is very good with the action coming towards you, and having home supporters a few metres away can really help enhance the atmosphere on a matchday.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Market Tavern (28 Market Street, WD18 0PY) (Home Supporters Welcome)
-The Moon Under Water (44 High Street, WD17 2BS) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Watford Town Centre)
-The No.8 at the Red Lion (105 Vicarage Road, WD18 0EY) (Typically Home Supporters) (Located very close to the stadium)
-The Oddfellows (14 Fearnley Street, WD18 0RD) (Popular with Away Supporters)
For a football experience, you can’t really go wrong with Vicarage Road. If you’re a fan of the front row seat, you can get very close to the pitch no matter which stand you sit in, and the views from the back rows are ideal for those who like to see the pitch as a whole.
It may not be the most famous, or biggest stadium in the country, but it certainly fits all the criteria needed to be a practical, modern ground.