Somerset Park
(Ayr United)

Address: 13 Tryfield Place,
Braehead,
Ayr,
South Ayrshire,
Scotland,
KA8 9NB

Capacity: 10,185 (1,597 Seated)

Ayr United

A traditional-looking football ground that offers seating, covered terracing, and uncovered terracing. It’s been the home of its tenants for over a century and looks it will be so for many years to come yet.

Taking its name from the road that passes by its eastern side, it has been the home of Ayr United Football Club since they were formed in 1910.

The ground itself dates back to 1888, when it was built to replace Beresford Park, the previous home of Ayr Football Club. With Ayr moving to a new venue and entering the Scottish Football League in 1897, Beresford Park became home to another new Football League side called Ayr Parkhouse Football Club. Ayr FC and Ayr Parkhouse FC would merge in 1910 to form Ayr United FC and made Somerset Park their primary home.

Ayr United bought Somerset Park in 1920, and four years later changed the direction of the pitch so that a new Main Stand could be built.
Floodlights were not installed here until 1970, much later than at other Scottish football grounds, and the main reason for this was because of Somerset Park being in the flight path of the nearby Prestwick Airport.

Further redevelopments in the years since have created the football ground that stands in place today.

Location and Getting There

Somerset Park is located in the Braehead area of Ayr, around one mile northeast of the Town Centre. Ayr Racecourse is within 0.3 miles away to the southeast, the River Ayr at it closest point is within 0.5 miles away to the southwest, and the Ayr South Pier is around 0.9 miles away to the west.

Coming to Somerset Park by car is certainly possible.
The ground has a small car park outside its South Stand, but this is for pass holders only.
Finding street parking nearby should not be too difficult however, with residential and industrial estates located in every direction from Somerset Park. Ensure that you are legally allowed to park where you find however and do not block the drives of any residents.

The nearest railway station to Somerset Park is Newton-on-Ayr to the northwest, served by a ScotRail line between Glasgow Central and Ayr.
The walk from here to the football ground takes between 10 and 15 minutes on a route that heads from Falkland Park Road onto Tam’s Brig, left on McCall’s Avenue, and right onto Somerset Road which leads down to the ground’s exterior.

Services that stop at Newton-on-Ayr are not that regular however, and my recommendation instead is to head to Ayr Station which is located near the Town Centre and the final stop on that Glasgow Central to Ayr ScotRail line.
The walk from here to Somerset Park is slightly longer, taking between 15 and 20 minutes, but is on a simple route that goes north along Station Road, across the roundabout and onto Craigie Road (B747), over the four-way junction and onto Burnett Terrace, left on Hawkhill Avenue, right onto Back Hawkhill Avenue, and up to the football ground.

Outside the Ground

Taking the route to Somerset Park from Ayr Station will bring you up Back Hawkhill Avenue and to the ground’s southeast corner.
The stand to the right of here is known as the Somerset Road End after the street out in front of it.
The stand itself has a brick exterior and corrugated iron roof, though there is a rather worn concrete perimeter wall in front of this that has a metal fence housed atop it.
There is nothing of note along this perimeter wall, with the turnstiles for the Somerset Road End being located in a brick building in the ground’s southeast corner.

Heading past these Somerset Road End turnstiles in a clockwise direction brings you to the South Stand, considered the ground’s Main Stand.
The clear tallest of the four sides, its exterior can essentially be split into two sections as an extension was added in 1989. This extension uses a tall, lighter-coloured brickwork base with green corrugated iron up at the top. There are exit gates, a turnstile, and a Wheelchair Access Entrance in place along the base.
The older section of the Main Stand uses a much shorter, brown brickwork base with green corrugated iron higher up. Somerset Park’s Main Reception Entrance is located along this brickwork base, with Main Stand turnstiles towards either end.
Somerset Park’s car park, Main Ticket Office and Club Shop are housed out beyond the Main Stand’s exterior.

The West Stand at Somerset Park is better known as the Railway End as the tracks are out beyond it.
The stand has a row of tall trees right up behind it and a railway yard out beyond there which you are not able to get to.
As a result, you can find the turnstiles for the Railway End in a brick building by the ground’s southwest corner and a little away from the Main Stand’s exterior.
A larger brick building next to these turnstiles also houses T&M Fitness inside.

The northern side at Somerset Park is the North Terrace.
An uncovered terrace, the main thing of note here is the large building up at the back. This a Hospitality Suite named after Ally McLeod.
Born in Glasgow on 26th February 1931, McLeod played as a winger for clubs in Scotland and England, finishing his playing career at Ayr United in 1965. He became the Honest Men’s manager the following year, leading them back into the Scottish top flight and to the semi-finals of both the Scottish Cup and League Cup. He would have two further spells with Ayr United in 1978 and between 1986 and 1989, winning a third Second Division title with the club.
A hugely loved figure at the club, MacLeod passed away on 1st February 2004 at the age of 72 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Ally MacLeod Hospitality Suite houses five executive boxes inside of it, each one named after a famous Ayr United player from the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s: Quinton Young, Stan Quinn, Henry Templeton, Davie Stewart, and John Murphy.
The access gate to it can be found off Somerset Road, away from the ground’s northeast corner. The turnstiles for the North Terrace meanwhile are housed in a brick building a little further south down Somerset Road.
If you are outside the Railway End turnstiles, you can get to the North Terrace turnstiles by heading back along Tryfield Place, past the Main Stand, turning left onto Somerset Road, and heading past the Somerset Road End’s perimeter wall.

Inside the Ground

The Somerset Road End is a single tier of covered standing terrace which has several rows of metal bars running along it for fans to lean on.
There are supporting pillars coming down regularly towards the front of the stand’s roof, and these will likely restrict your view if you are stood behind them. The pillars are well-spaced out however, so it should be possible to get a clear view of the pitch if you are stood in the gaps between each one. There are also rows of terracing in front of these pillars as well, and these will have unrestricted views of the pitch.
Both ends of the Somerset Road End are open to enable easy access in and out, though a tall fence by the ground’s northeast corner provides you from going any further round in that direction.

The Main Stand and its extension consist of a single tier of red seating that is elevated above ground and accessible via staircases inside. The extension part also houses a disabled section.
You can find some executive seating within the Main Stand, with the space below housing the ground’s dugouts and tunnel that leads to the changing rooms. There is also a small, windowed building protruding out here that houses the Police Control Box. Ayr United’s matchday camera is housed on this side of the ground, with the remaining space down in front of the seating area including partly covered standing terrace.
There are supporting pillars running along the front of the seating area, and these will restrict your view if you are sat behind them. You can get a clear view of the action on the pitch however if you are sat along the front rows in the space between each pillar.
Windshields at either end provide good protection to the seating area inside.
The terracing sections below offer unrestricted views, but only the further back rows are protected by the Main Stand roof.

The Railway End is a single tier of covered standing terrace which has rows of metal bars running along it for fans to lean on. There are also sections of uncovered terracing in place by the ground’s southwest and northwest corners that are considered part of the Railway End. The covered terraced area is notably taller by the ground’s southwest corner than it is by the ground’s northwest corner though.
There are supporting pillars coming down regularly along the front of the stand’s black and white striped roof. These will restrict your view somewhat if you are stood behind them. Views can be clear however from being stood down towards the front in the spaces between each pillar.
Windshields are in place at either end that protect the rows further back.
The uncovered terrace sections meanwhile offer clear views of the pitch but have no protection from overhead.

The North Terrace contains multiple rows of uncovered standing terrace which has rows of black metal bars running along it for fans to lean on.
A tall black fence down towards one end segregates this North Terrace from an uncovered part of the Railway End, and a black fence at the other end segregates the North Terrace from the Somerset Road End.
The Ally MacLeod Hospitality Suite is based up behind the back row of the terracing area.
Views from inside the North Terrace are certainly clear, but there is no protection from overhead or from the sides. Only the Hospitality Suite at the back can provide limited protection to those stood right in front of it.

Away Fans

The location of away fans at Somerset Park usually depends on the expected size of the away crowd.

The smallest away crowds are housed in a block of standing terrace right in front of the Main Stand.
Views from here are clear, though the rows down at the front are not protected by the roof overhead.

Larger away crowds are housed behind the goal in the Railway End.
This is a covered standing terrace which has rows of metal bars running along it for fans to lean on and includes two sections of uncovered standing terrace either side.
There are supporting pillars coming down regularly along the front of the stand’s black and white striped roof. These will restrict your view somewhat if you are stood behind them. Views can be clear however from being stood down towards the front in the spaces between each pillar.
Windshields are also in place at either end that protect the rows further back.
The uncovered terrace sections meanwhile offer clear views of the pitch but have no protection from overhead.

Away fans enter the larger away sections via turnstiles in a brick building by the ground’s southwest corner. They can be found off Tryfield Place at the far end of the Main Stand’s exterior.

Matchday Pubs

Pubs available to supporters on a matchday include*:
-The Abbotsford Hotel (14 Corsehill Road, KA7 2ST) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)

-The Brig (1 Main Street, KA8 8BU) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located close to the River Ayr)

-The Wallace (6 Tam's Brig, KA8 8JQ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters) (Located near to Newton-on-Ayr Station)

-The Wellingtons Lounge Bar (17 Wellington Square, KA7 1EZ) (Typically Home and Away Supporters)

-The West Kirk (58a Sandgate, KA7 1BX) (A JD Wetherspoon Pub, Typically Home and Away Supporters)

*There are no pubs within close vicinity of Somerset Park, and so you will need to head closer to Ayr Town Centre in order to find a drink before the game.

Overview

Somerset Park has a rather old-fashioned but likeable look to it.
Possessing one seated stand to the south, covered terraces behind either goal and an uncovered terrace to the north, visitors have a variety of different matchday experiences to choose from, and there is sure to be something here that suits your needs.

There have been plans in the past for Ayr United to leave their home of over a century and move to a completely new stadium, but those plans have never yet materialised.
Could they one day in the future? Maybe. For now, though, this remains the place to go if you want to see the Honest Men in action.

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