How To Get There By Car & Where To Park
Leave M6 at Junction 31 and follow signs Left for Preston. Go up a steep hill (often a police speed trap on the hill, so stick to 30) and follow the road down to a mini roundabout (speed camera by the BP garage on the left). At the roundabout with the Hesketh Arms turn right into Blackpool Road. Go straight on over three sets of lights and just before a fourth set, the ground appears set slightly back on the left. Parking is mainly in the streets surrounding the ground.
Mike Holroyd adds; 'as you turn right at the Hesketh Arms roundabout into Blackpool Road and then pass a park on the left there is now another speed camera to watch out for. The Police also sometimes set up another mobile speed trap on the forecourt of the fire station on the left, so watch your speed. Plus as you near the ground don't be tempted to park up on the grass verges, you are likely to find after the game that you have been given a ticket for it!' Steve Thornley informs me; 'Parking for cars is available for ?3 a car at Moorfields Special School. The car park is manned by volunteers from the school and all proceeds go into school funds. Just follow the directions above and at the last set of traffic lights continue straight on for about 200 yards, and you will see the school on the left near Moor Park'.
Kate Abbatt suggests; 'If you want to avoid the pre and post-match traffic, here's a handy tip to
avoid it. Instead of leaving the M6 at Junction 31, carry on to Junction 31a signposted, Preston East and Longridge. (This is a limited junction as you can only leave northbound and join southbound.) Keep in the right hand lane and go across the roundabout signposted Preston east, football ground and museum. Across the next roundabout (Anderton Arms on your right) and then left at the next one. At the next lights, go right onto Watling Street. You will go past the White Hart and a row of shops. At next lights by Fulwood Barracks, keep in the left hand lane. You can either park in Sumners, (turn left straight after the lights) or follow the road up to the big junction at Blackpool Road and the ground is on your left and take your chances with on-street parking. Sumners is better as you are the right side of the ground to get away quick after the game. Blackpool Road gets badly snarled up after games and the lights don't help it'.
Preston station is around a mile and a half from the ground and takes around twenty five minutes to walk, although you will pass some good pubs on the way. Leave the Preston railway station via the main entrance, and head right at the top of the drive. This is the main High Street. Continue along the High Street, passing all the regular big name shops. Some good pubs and eateries can be found down side streets off the High Street, so if you have time, take a look. Try the Old Black Bull, and Academy, the later being about the last place on the High Street that will allow away supporters before you get to Deepdale. Colours are not recommended around town. The High Street (or Church Street/Fishergate as it's known) is about a mile long, and you will pass a church and a bike shop as you come to its end. Simply carry on walking along this street, and when you reach the ring road, you head straight over the large traffic lights, heading towards Preston Prison. Turn left at the Prison into Church Street, then left into Deepdale Road. Continue straight along Deepdale Road, passing the Tom Finney sports bar, on the left which a home fans only pub, but if you have no colours you may get in. The ground is now another half mile in a straight line along this road on the right. Thanks to Kevin Wrenn for supplying the directions and general information.
What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters?
Away fans are housed in the modern Bill Shankly Kop at one end of the pitch. Normally the allocation for away fans is approximately half of this stand (3,000 seats) and it is shared with home supporters. However for teams with a large away support, then the whole end can be allocated, raising the allocation to 6,000.
The views of the playing action and facilities within this stand are excellent. The stand is particularly steep, meaning that fans are kept relatively close to the pitch. On the concourse there are TV's by the refreshment serving areas showing the game live and with the bars being open during the game, this is too much of a temptation for some. There is a wide range of food available including bacon rolls, roll over hot dogs, burgers, plus pies from Shire Foods including the Chicken Balti Pie. I particularly enjoyed my last visit as the fans, stewards and even police all seemed to be fairly friendly and there was a good atmosphere being generated within the ground.
Where To Drink?
The closest pub to the ground is the Tom Finney Bar, which is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Generally it is a home supporters pub, but small numbers of away fans without colours shouldn't have any problems. Mick Hubbard adds; 'We settled on the unpromising Finney?s Sports Bar which was surprisingly quiet given its close proximity to the ground, it has Sky Sports TV, and name dedicated to Preston?s finest. In truth, it wasn?t great but we were able to get served quickly and enjoy a pint outside in the autumn sunshine'.
Further up Tom Finney Way (which used to be called Deepdale Road) from the ground, is Sumners, whilst across the road is the Royal Garrison pub. Sumners tends to be more friendly, with both home and away supporters mixing freely (although note that away fans are not admitted when there is a local derby). There is a good sized beer garden & car park at the pub. The pub does charge for parking (?3) but this can be redeemed against a purchase at the bar. Good food is available and children are allowed in. James Pritchett adds to get to the Sumners; 'Make sure you go towards Sainsburys and away from the Town Centre and it should take five minutes. As you go past Sainsburys turn right at the lights and it is half way up the hill. It should be full, but friendly. The pub welcome a mix of away and home support and are friendly towards families. It serves Theakstons on draught.' Whilst Charlie Guinan a visiting Nottingham Forest fan informs me; 'Sumners was good for away fans and apart from the beer they served an excellent pie, chips, mushy peas and gravy for only ?3.50.'
Paul Billington adds; 'In all honesty visiting fans should avoid town centre pubs simply because the police will move you on quickly if they see you and most pubs will refuse to serve away fans. If you arrive by train I would recommend the Vic and Station not for the decor but simply convenience.' Otherwise alcohol is served within the ground.