Address: Trentside North,
Capacity: 30,445 (All-Seater)
One of England’s most historic football grounds that has had a life few others are likely to ever experience, the City Ground has stood the test of time to remain a stadium fit for the modern game.
Built in 1898, it has been the home of Nottingham Forest Football Club ever since its construction.
Forest moved into the ground six years following their election to the Football League. Their old home, known as the Town Ground used to be at the opposite end of Trent Bridge which spans the river of the same name.
Nottingham was granted City status in 1897 and their new stadium took the City Ground name to commemorate this.
Location and Getting There
The City Ground is located in the town of West Bridgford, itself within the Rushcliffe borough of Nottinghamshire. The City Centre is across the River Trent, approximately 1.5 miles away in a northwest direction. The West Stand, known as the Trent End, is so named because of its very close proximity to the river’s bank.
Trent Bridge, the home stadium of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, is due south of the City Ground, and across the river is Meadow Lane, home of Nottingham Forest’s city rivals Notts County.
The two grounds are the closest professional football stadiums in England, just over 0.25 miles apart, but not the two closest in the whole United Kingdom. That honour goes to Dens Park and Tannadice Park, home of Scottish pair Dundee Football Club and Dundee United Football Club respectively.
The City Ground has a limited number of parking spaces around its vicinity which obviously charge and finding free parking can be something of a challenge.
Notts County have been known to open up the parking spaces around Meadow Lane, though these of course do charge as well.
It may be possible to find free street parking beyond the southern and eastern sides of the stadium, but it will set you back a lengthy walk from your car the further away you go.
Nottingham Train Station is a reasonable distance northwest of the stadium.
It takes around 20 minutes to walk from here to the City Ground, passing Meadow Lane and crossing the River Trent along the way. Fans either cross using Trent Bridge or Lady Bay Bridge, and which one they choose tends to depend on what direction they are coming from or which stand they will be sat in.
Outside the Stadium
Given how close the City Ground is to a nearby residential area, it isn’t possible to walk the entire way around its immediate vicinity. The southeast corner is the area most notably cut off and you will need to head down Radcliffe Road to get between the southern and eastern sides of the stadium.
The East Stand is known as the Brigdford End.
It has a nice looking exterior that is made up mostly of large white panels with a brickwork design at the base and a red cantilever roof coming down from the top.
The majority of turnstiles for this stand can be reached from the same place but Turnstiles 57-59, which lead to blocks V1 and V2 of the stand’s upper tier, require fans to head down Colwick Road, which is separated from the rest of the Bridgford End’s exterior by houses. There is a small red gate between these two sections but it is unlikely that you will be allowed through here.
Most of the stadium’s car parking is out beyond the Bridgford End and the northeast corner, accessible by going down either Scarrington Road or Thoroton Road.
Continuing round in a clockwise direction along Radcliffe Road brings you to the stadium’s South Stand, which is named after Peter Taylor.
Born in Nottingham on 2nd July 1928, Taylor played as a goalkeeper for clubs including Coventry City and Middlesbrough before entering management with Burton Albion in the early 1960s. Assistant to Brian Clough at Forest between 1976 and 1982, Taylor was part of the club's most successful period ever, and his legacy will forever live on in this part of Nottingham.
He passed away on 4th October 1990 at the age of 62.
The Peter Taylor Stand is clearly the smallest of the four, and the turnstiles into here are in smaller buildings separate from the stand itself.
You can only get to the Peter Taylor Stand by walking down one of the two Pavilion Roads, emerging next to a building that holds Nottingham Forest’s Main Ticket Office, Megastore and Reception. You’ll pass both here and the southern car park before reaching the stand's turnstiles.
To get round to the Trent End on the western side of the ground, you'll need to make your way slightly along London Road (A60) and then turn onto Trentside North, continuing up it to the stand's exterior, which is made up mostly of a large glass pane and a cantilever roof. Its much easier to see from the opposite bank however as the path you walk along goes right underneath it.
Brick pillars come down regularly along the front of the exterior to hold it up, and the turnstiles leading into the stand are alongside this Trentside path.
The North Stand is named after Brian Clough.
Born in Middlesbrough on 21st March 1935. A prolific striker with Middlesbrough and Sunderland, his career was cut short at 29 through injury and he moved into management. He is considered Nottingham Forest’s greatest ever manager who alongside his right-hand-man Peter Taylor took Forest to a First Division title, four League Cups, two UEFA European Cups and a UEFA European Super Cup between 1975 and 1993.
Considered one of the greatest British managers ever, Clough passed away on the 20th September 2004 at the age of 69.
The stand has a corrugated iron roof and giant pillars come down at very regular intervals along the front, with cantilever behind this to hold the roof up inside.
The turnstiles are behind this row of pillars, as well as the entrance to the Brian Clough Stand Executive Suite and the stand's Ticket Office.
Car parking spaces are out beyond this stand and Nottingham Forest also have a Family Red Zone nearby that has benches and a small merchandise shop set up inside.
Inside the Stadium
The Bridgford End is divided into two tiers, with the lower tier larger than the one above. This is because the upper tier seating blocks end near to the southeast corner, and the roof slopes down as a result to take up this available space. The roof in this corner is therefore a similar height to the roof of the Peter Taylor Stand adjacent to it.
Both tiers are made up of seating in the club’s iconic shade of red, although the letters NFFC are spelt out in white in the middle of the bottom tier, which is also split into two fairly equal-sized sections.
There are no supporting pillars anywhere in this stand, so your view of the pitch is excellent from any seat.
The Peter Taylor Stand is made up of just a single tier but is divided into three rows of blocks.
Two pillars come down approximately a third of the way in from either side and these will restrict the view of the pitch for anyone sat behind them.
The directors' and executive seating blocks can be found in the very centre of the Peter Taylor Stand, and the club’s changing rooms, tunnel and dugouts are also located here. Unlike at other football grounds, the tunnel is to the side of both dugouts rather than in between them.
The Trent End is a two-tiered stand that is also completely detached from its neighbours on either side.
The upper tier is much larger than the one below, with the Castle Club seating blocks separating the two levels from one another. Both the upper and lower tiers are split further into two equally-sized sections. Across the very top blocks are the letters TRENT spelt out in white and below these are the letters END.
Because of the stand’s cantilever roof however, which you can clearly see across the top and down the sides if you are sat in any other stand, your view from any seat in the Trent End is perfect as there are no supporting pillars in the way.
Two large windshields cover all the seats in the upper tier but only the back rows of the lower tier, there is just a wall at either end to keep the wind out for those sat close to the pitch.
The Brian Clough Stand is directly connected to the Bridgford End by two tiers of seating in the northeast corner.
The two-tiered design continues into the Brian Clough Stand itself but the upper tier is significantly larger than the one below, with a row of executive boxes separating the two from one another. Additionally, the upper tier here goes much further back than its adjacent neighbours, making the stand the largest of all four in the stadium. The letters FOREST are spelt out in white along the top tier, and at either end of these letters is Nottingham Forest’s club crest, again made out of white seating.
With no supporting pillars coming down from the roof however, your view is perfectly clear from any seat inside.
A large windshield in the northwest corner protects fans in the upper tier but not those in the lower tier.
Away fans are housed in the northeast corner between the Brian Clough Stand and the Bridgford End.
They are given seats with perfectly clear views in just the lower tier and the number of blocks taken up varies depending on the travelling allocation. Large sheets are used to segregate these fans from the home supporters in the rest of the lower tier.
What this means for an away fan is that you are surrounded by Nottingham Forest supporters on a matchday, and with nothing but a small metal fence above you, there is always the thought in the back of your mind that you could potentially have something thrown at you by the home fans in the tier above.
The away fan location though does help to really enhance the atmospherics from the rest of the stadium. A lot of the noise generated in a game collates into this corner as it is the only one completely enclosed on both sides.
Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-Brewhouse and Kitchen (Trent Bridge, NG2 2GS) (Home Supporters Only)
-The Broken Wheelbarrow (Meadow Lane, NG2 3J) (Away Supporters Welcome) (This is the Notts County Supporters Club at Meadow Lane)
-Hooters (Hicking Building, London Road, NG2 3AS) (Home and Away Supporters) (The UK's only Edition of the American Sports Bar Chain that is known for its Chicken Wings and Waitresses)
-The Stratford Haven (2 Stratford Road, NG2 6BA) (Away Supporters Welcome)
-The Vat and Fiddle (12 Queensbridge Road, NG2 1NB) (Away Supporters Welcome) (Located near to Nottingham Station)
-Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (Brewhouse Yard, NG1 6AD) (Away Supporters Welcome) (Located near to Nottingham Station and Nottingham Castle)
*The majority of the pubs near to the City Ground are for home supporters only. Away supporters are encouraged to look elsewhere in Nottingham for a drink.
The City Ground is a great football stadium that has been the home of one of England’s most historic clubs for well over 100 years. It isn’t the most easy to get around from the outside but its interior design is practical for the modern game, with only two supporting pillars in the entire stadium that restrict the view for just a small percentage of the total seats.
Nottingham Forest fans are very proud of the place they call home and so they should be.
The City Ground is a stadium that you’ll likely know of, but one that you won’t fully appreciate until you’ve experienced it first-hand.
100% worth a visit to.