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Address: Whaddon Road,
Capacity: 7,066 (3,912 Seated)
As football fans, we all have preferences. Some prefer terracing over seating, some prefer high up views over pitch side action.
Whaddon Road is a football ground that can cater to all these needs.
Currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Completely-Suzuki Stadium, Whaddon Road gets its name from the street that passes by its southern side.
It dates back to 1927, when it was built by the Cheltenham Original Brewery on the site of what was once hunting kennels.
Cheltenham Town Football Club moved into Whaddon Road in 1932, around the same time they turned professional, and have played here ever since.
Between 2010 and 2017, the ground was also in use by Gloucester City Association Football Club for matches.
Location and Getting There
Whaddon Road is based in the Whaddon district of Cheltenham, around one mile northeast of Cheltenham Town Centre. Cheltenham Cricket Club is based a little under 0.5 miles south of the football ground, Cheltenham General Hospital is roughly one mile to the southwest, and Cheltenham Racecourse is roughly one mile away to the northwest.
Coming to Whaddon Road by car is certainly possible, though parking within close vicinity of the ground can be tricky.
Cheltenham Town offer matchday parking that can be pre-booked, but costs £6 per vehicle.
Free parking within close range of the ground is restricted, so I would recommend making use of car parks located around the town. The Portland Gates Car Park and North Place Car Park (GL50 4DW) are around a 10-15 minute walk west of Whaddon Road and charge by the hour.
The nearest railways station to Whaddon Road is Cheltenham Spa, served by Greater Western Rail, Transport for Wales and CrossCountry services. It’s based more than two miles to the west of the football ground, and that means walking from here can take upwards of 40 minutes.
The recommendation would be to either make use to the taxi rank near Cheltenham Spa Station or walk towards the town centre (around 10 minutes on foot) and take bus service A, getting off at the stop on Whaddon Road that is a short distance away from the football ground.
Outside the Ground
The majority of fans will approach Whaddon Road from its western side, bringing them first to the HGV Drivers UK Stand which is the tallest of the four.
The exterior is divided into several buildings of differing shapes and sizes, the largest of which can be found in the middle. It is made up mostly of brick and white corrugated iron, with the club’s Administration Offices, Social Club, Conference Facilities and Executive Box Entrances located here.
Turnstiles to the ground’s northern side are located to the left of this main building. The turnstiles for the HGV Drivers UK Stand, as well as the Paddock and Tunnel Enclosure based in front of it, can be found to the right.
Cheltenham Town’s Main Ticket Office and Club Shop are based next to those turnstiles.
Out beyond the exterior of the HGV Drivers UK Stand is Whaddon Road’s Car Park.
The North Stand at Whaddon Road is currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Optimising IT Stand, but is otherwise known as the Prestbury Road End.
There are houses and gardens beyond the stand’s outer wall and it is not possible to walk around to this side of the football ground, with the area immediately behind the stand used as an outer concourse.
The turnstiles for the Optimising IT Stand are the northernmost turnstiles on Whaddon Road’s western side. They are the ones at the far end of the car park as you enter it.
Whaddon Road’s East Stand is named after Colin Farmer, the late Vice Chairman of Cheltenham Town who sadly passed away in August 2016. It is otherwise known as the Wyman's Road Stand.
The stand’s exterior consists of a brickwork base with white corrugated iron higher up and red trim in place along the edges of the roof.
It isn’t possible to walk directly along the back wall of the Colin Farmer Stand as there are houses right outside of it, with the turnstiles for the stand being located off Wyman’s Road and next to the ground’s northeast corner.
Out beyond the northeast corner of Whaddon Road is the Parklands Community Centre which has a private car park in place outside of it.
Whaddon Road’s South Stand is currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Hazlewoods Stand, though it also known as the Whaddon Road Stand.
It’s exterior has the same design as the adjacent Colin Farmer Stand, using a brickwork base, white corrugated iron higher up and red trim along the edges of the roof.
With houses and the Cheltenham Whaddon Bowling Club based right outside of it however, you are not able to walk directly alongside the Hazlewoods Stand’s exterior. The access point for the stand comes via an opening off Whaddon Road between the Bowling Club and the houses, and it’s here that you can find the turnstiles which lead you inside.
Inside the Ground
Whaddon Road’s western side is divided into three sections, the HGV Drivers UK Stand, the Paddock, and the Tunnel Enclosure.
The HGV Drivers UK Stand is the largest of these sections and the only one that contains seating. It is elevated above the ground and contains entirely red seating, with a row of executive boxes up at the back and one seating block dedicated to executives. Access to the seating blocks comes via staircases at either end of the stand. The building underneath the seating area houses Cheltenham Town’s administration offices and changing rooms, as well as the tunnel which is off-centre and to the right.
Your view from almost all of the HGV Drivers UK Stand is perfectly clear, though there is a single supporting pillar coming down towards the stand’s front and centre. It may restrict your view slightly if you are sat behind it but shouldn’t cause issue if you are sat towards either end.
The HGV Drivers UK Stand also has windshields in place that fully protect all of the seating rows.
The paddock and tunnel enclosure are mostly uncovered terracing areas based in front of the HGV Drivers UK Stand. The Paddock is the area located nearer to the turnstiles that fans enter through, whilst the Tunnel Enclosure is located on the other side of the tunnel, hence its name.
Cheltenham Town’s dugouts can be found in front of these terraced areas, one in front of the Paddock and one in front of the Tunnel Enclosure. These dugouts may restrict your view slightly if you are stood directly behind them, but it is a minor issue.
With the roof of the HGV Drivers UK Stand only covering part of the terraced areas below, fans here can be left exposed to any wind or rain that is present on a matchday.
The Optimising IT Stand is a single tier of standing terrace that has a row of red metal bars running along the front and the back for fans to lean on.
This terraced area runs along the whole northern side of the pitch, but also sweeps round to cover a small area next to the ground’s northwest corner. This part of the terracing area though is uncovered and you will be exposed to the elements if stood here. You can find an analogue clock positioned above this corner of Whaddon Road.
Supporting pillars come down at the front of the Optimising IT Stand’s roof and may restrict your view slightly if you are stood behind them. There are good-sized gaps between each pillar though and so it is possible to find a place in the Optimising IT Stand where they do not get in the way of your view.
Both ends of the stand are left open and unprotected.
The Colin Farmer Stand consists of a single tier of red seating with the letters CHELTENHAM spelt out in white across the upper parts of the blocks and the letters TOWN FC spelt out in white across the lower parts of the blocks. Between the letters T and E at the back of the stand is Cheltenham Town’s matchday camera.
With no supporting pillars coming down from the roof, your view from anywhere inside the Colin Farmer Stand is perfectly clear.
The stand also has a windshield in place near to the ground’s northeast corner that protects all but the very front rows, with a small wall in place here to offer protection instead.
The other end of the Colin Farmer Stand doesn’t have a windshield in place as it is directly connected to the Hazlewoods Stand, and you can find an electronic scoreboard in this corner of the football ground.
The Hazlewoods Stand consists of a single tier of red seating with two sets of the letters “Robins” spelt out in white either side of the stand’s central entrance. Male toilets are next to the entrance and female toilets are further back into the stand, very close to the turnstiles.
Fans in the Hazlewoods Stand make use of the catering hub over by the southwest corner flag.
Your view from anywhere inside the Hazlewoods Stand is perfectly clear as there are no supporting pillars coming down from the roof above.
There is additionally a windshield in place at the end of the Hazlewoods Stand that is next to the ground’s southwest corner, and Whaddon Road’s Control Box is based near to this corner as well.
Away fans are typically housed behind the goal in the Hazlewoods Stand. Smaller crowds are allocated the blocks nearest to the southwest corner, and additional seating blocks are opened for larger sized crowds.
When the away crowd is expected to be very large however, then Cheltenham have been known to offer a couple of blocks in the Colin Farmer Stand for additional use, usually the ones near to the football ground’s southeast corner.
Away fans are treated to a great view of the action taking place on the pitch with good protection from the sides via windshields.
Accessibility to the Hazlewoods Stand comes via an opening off Whaddon Road that is based between the Cheltenham Whaddon Bowling club and nearby houses.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include:
-The Feathered Fish (104-16 Winchcombe Street, GL52 2NW) (Popular Pre-Match)
-The Frog and Fiddle (313-315 High Street, GL50 3HW) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near Cheltenham Town Centre)
-The Hewlett Arms (Harp Hill, GL52 6QG) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)
-The Kemble Brewery Inn (27 Fairview Street, GL52 2JF) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-Parklands Community Centre (Wyman's Road, GL52 5PR) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located very close to Whaddon Road itself)
-The Sudeley Arms (25 Prestbury Road, GL52 2PN) (Away Supporters Welcome)
Whaddon Road offers a good mix of different matchday experiences across its four stands.
Its eastern and southern sides are practical all-seater stands with good views of the pitch and good protection from the sides, whilst its western side offers fans the chance to either select a high above ground seating area or one of two paddocks right behind the dugouts.
This football ground isn’t the easiest in the country to get to, but it’s a visit that proves worthwhile once you arrive.
If you like grounds that carry a good, lower league feel to them, Whaddon Road will be right up your street.
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