Address: Grosvenor Vale,
Capacity: 4,085 (709 Seated)
Find a large field. Use a section of the grass to form a pitch. Put a load of stands around it. That essentially is Grosvenor Vale.
First opened in 1947, it was built to house Ruislip Manor Football Club. They remained at the site until the end of the 2007-08 season when they lost the ground due to financial problems.
Ruislip Manor would become known as Tokyngton Manor following a takeover, and are now known as London Rangers Football Club, based in the London Borough of Brent.
In January 2008, Grosvenor Vale’s lease was acquired by Wealdstone Football Club who had originally formed more than 100 years previously. The Stones had been based at their Lower Mead ground in Harrow between 1922 and 1991, when they were forced to sell their home following severe financial mismanagement.
Wealdstone had been ground sharing with other clubs for 17 years before they moved into Grosvenor Vale, including Watford’s Vicarage Road, Yeading’s home The Warren, Edgware Town’s White Lion Ground, and Northwood’s Chestnut Avenue ground.
During this time, the club had attempted to redevelop the Prince Edward Playing Fields at Canons Park. Work had made progress before it was suddenly halted in 2004 when the company involving in funding the project was unable to pay debts. Wealdstone were forced to leave that site, and it has since become the location of Barnet’s Hive Stadium.
After finally acquiring a permanent home in Ruislip, the ground went through significant redevelopment work to reach the standards required for Wealdstone’s domestic league.
Further work since has created the Grosvenor Vale that is in place today.
Location and Getting There
The Grosvenor Vale name comes from the road that can be found to the west of the ground.
It is located in Ruislip, part of the London Borough of Hillingdon and around 14 miles northwest of the Centre of London. The Ruislip Lido is around 1.5 miles away to the north, and RAF Norholt is within one mile to the south.
I would normally recommend against coming to London-based football grounds by car, but Grosvenor Vale is one of the more reachable ones.
Wealdstone often offer the large field next to the ground as parking spaces, though this is restricted to just the ground’s small hard-floored car park on wet matchdays.
With residential streets surrounding Grosvenor Vale on all sides, there is plenty of street parking available within close distance as an alternative. Ensure that you are legally allowed to park where you find though and do not block the drives of any residents.
There are number of different railway stations that you can use to reach Grosvenor Vale.
The two closest are Ruislip and Ruislip Manor, both part of the same Metropolitan and Piccadilly Underground Lines. Ruislip Station is a 10 minute walk northwest of the ground, and the better station to use as it is on the same side as the road called Grosvenor Vale which leads up to the football ground’s Main Entrance. From the station, head up until West End Road (A4180), across the bridge, across the roundabout, and continue along to you come to the road called Grosvenor Vale on your left. Head all the way along this and you will come the Main Entrance.
Ruislip Manor is located to the northeast of the football ground, but its walk also takes around 10 minutes and is a straight route. Exit the station onto Victoria Road and head south, turning right onto Shenley Avenue and continuing almost all the way along this until Cranley Drive appears on your left. Head down this and you will arrive at the road called Grosvenor Vale which leads up to the Main Entrance.
Either Ruislip or Ruislip Manor are the two stations I would recommend heading to, but there is also West Ruislip, served by Chiltern Railways and a 20-25 minute walk west of Grosvenor Vale, Ruislip Gardens, served by the Central Underground Line and a 10-15 minute walk south of Grosvenor Vale, and South Ruislip, served by Chiltern Railways and a 30-35 minute walk southeast of Grosvenor Vale.
Ruislip Gardens would be my personal recommendation if you are unable to use the Metropolitan or Piccadilly Lines to reach Ruislip or Ruislip Manor.
Outside the Ground
Entrance into Grosvenor Vale’s vicinity comes via the Main Entrance at the end of the road which shares its name.
Heading through here, you’ll find yourself in line with the ground’s southwest corner, and further along here is western side. The exterior is dominated by multiple buildings that include Club Offices and the Ruislip Social Club.
Turnstiles for here, and indeed all four sides of Grosvenor Vale, can be found in the ground’s southwest corner. They are immediately on your right as you head through the Main Entrance off the road called Grosvenor Vale.
Other turnstiles can be found at the far end of the Social Club, but most supporters use the southwest turnstiles.
In a clockwise direction from the western side of Grosvenor Vale is the northern side.
You can walk around the exterior to here if you wish, but there isn’t much point as there are no entrances along its outer wall.
The main thing of note here is the building in the ground’s northeast corner. It is a concrete gun turret that was used to protect RAF Norholt from German bombing during the Second World War. The turret’s presence means that this side of the ground has been referred to as the Gun Turret End by some.
The eastern and southern sides of Grosvenor Vale are inaccessible from outside, as they run alongside the edge of the large field that the ground is located in.
With housing and gardens further out beyond these, the main areas of focus here are the interior, and most supporters reach these via the main turnstiles in the southwest corner.
Inside the Ground
Grosvenor Vale is not so much your typical four stand football ground, but a variety of different sized and shaped stands that run round the perimeter of the pitch.
Upon entering the main turnstiles in the ground’s southwest corner, there is a small stand on your left.
This is the Brian Collins Corner. It consists of standing terrace with metal bars running across it for fans to lean on.
There is a pole coming down at the front which can restrict the view for some stood inside.
Both ends are left open for easy access in and out.
Further along the western side of Grosvenor Vale is the West Stand, a few rows of white seating that have a roof hanging overhead and the Ruislip Social Club behind it. The stand is otherwise known as the 1966 Stand, referencing Wealdstone’s win over Hendon in the 1966 Amateur Cup Final.
Supporting pillars are in place at the back of the 1966 Stand, and protection from the side is limited to nearby walls.
Grosvenor Vale’s dugouts are situated in the middle of the western side, with a covered box behind holding the matchday camera.
The rest of the western side is taking up by mostly uncovered standing terrace, including some that is on higher ground than the space in front of it. A blue container behind this upper terracing area houses the Wealdstone Club Shop. An electronic scoreboard is in place atop the Club Shop.
Views from most of the terracing is clear, although a large floodlight tower can potentially restrict your view if you are stood over towards the northwest corner.
Food can be bought from a burger van in the northwest corner, and next to this is the ground’s northern side.
The footpath along the northern side has a rather unusual shape to it, initially being straight and in line with the pitch before sharply moving back and then heading across to the northeast corner at an angle.
There are two stands on this side of Grosvenor Vale, with the larger one being based beside the straight footpath.
This stand consists of a single tier of dark blue seating which has no solid back wall and limited protection from either side.
There are supporting pillars in place along the front of the stand which will likely restrict your view if you are sat inside. The clearest view is likely to come for those sat right down at the front.
This all-seater stand only runs along approximately half of the width of the pitch, with the space next to it taken up by the Couch Corner. Named after former club statistician Roy Couch, it consists of a few rows of covered standing terrace with a row of metal bars running across it for fans to lean on.
Supporting poles come down regularly towards the front of the roof and will restrict the view of those stood behind him.
Both ends are open to enable easy access in and out.
Most of Grosvenor Vale’s eastern side consists of uncovered standing space, but there is a stand in line with the pitch’s half-way line. Known as the Main Stand, it consists of several rows of white seating.
There are supporting pillars in place along the front and middle of the stand, and your view is very likely to be restricted as a result. The clearest views are likely to come from the very front rows in the space between each pillar.
There are no windshields in place at either end though so that visibility of the whole pitch can be aided.
Fans are permitted to stand on the footpath that runs along the rest of the eastern side, but cannot stand right in front of where the Main Stand is positioned. You will get a clear view from this standing area, but no protection at all from overhead.
The southern side of Grosvenor Vale contains a stand in place behind the goal. Known as the Bulla Stand, it consists of a few rows of covered standing terrace which has rows of metal bars running along it for fans to lean on.
Your view from anywhere inside the Bulla Stand is perfectly clear as there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above.
There are no windshields in place at either end however, with just small walls offering protection from the sides.
The rest of the southern side offers uncovered standing terrace.
A building by the ground’s southwest corner holds the changing rooms and Grosvenor Vale’s caged tunnel leads out of this and up to the pitch. It can be closed shut on both sides when players are set to enter and leave the pitch.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Ruislip Social Club at Grosvenor Vale itself (Typically Away Supporters Welcome)
-Hennessy's (36 Victoria Road, HA4 0AG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located very close to Ruislip Manor Underground Station)
-J.J. Moon's (12 Victoria Road, HA4 0AA) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located very close to Ruislip Manor Underground Station)
-The Manor Bar (68 Victoria Road, HA4 0AH) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located south of Ruislip Manor Underground Station)
-The Smuggler's Cover (153 High Street, HA4 8JY) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near to Ruislip Underground Station)
*There aren't really any clubs within very close distance of Grosvenor Vale itself. The recommendation is to find a drink near either Ruislip or Ruislip Manor Underground Station instead.
Grosvenor Vale is a fascinating collection of different sized and shaped stands. You can find plenty of different places to sit or stand, with the pathway running around the pitch also available for uncovered standing.
It’s safe to say that this is a football ground that feels very non-league. Thankfully, it’s easier to navigate around than it is to describe!
You likely won’t find another place like this.