DIRECTIONS AND CAR PARKING
Leave the M25 at Junction 7 and follow the signs for the A23 to Croydon. At Purley bear left onto the A23 at its junction with the A 235 (to Croydon). You will pass roundabouts and junctions with the A232 and A236 as you pass Croydon, after which the A23 bears left at Thornton Heath (at the Horseshoe pub roundabout). Here you must go straight over, into Brigstock Road (B266), passing Thornton Heath Station on your left and bearing right onto the High Street. At the next mini roundabout, (Whitehorse Road/Grange Road) go left into Whitehorse Lane. The ground is on your right.
Richard Down informs me; 'An alternative route for fans coming from the North is to leave the M25 at Junction 10 and follow the A3 towards London. After about ten miles you will reach the Tolworth roundabout at which you turn right onto the A240 towards Epsom. After about three miles turn onto the A232 towards Sutton. Follow the A232 through Sutton and Carshalton and just before reaching Croydon, turn left onto the A23 north towards Thornton Heath'. Where the A23 bears left at Thornton Heath (at the Horsehoe pub roundabout). Here you must go straight over, into Brigstock Road (B266), passing Thornton Heath Station on your left and bearing right onto the High Street. At the next mini roundabout, (Whitehorse Road/Grange Road) go left into Whitehorse Lane. The ground is on your right. Most streets around the ground are either designated residents only parking on matchdays or are pay and display with a four hour limit. So please take note of any street signs advising of parking restrictions, or else you win run the risk of being towed away. Please note that the traffic can be pretty bad on Saturdays even without football traffic, so make sure you allow yourself some extra time to make the journey. There is also the option of renting a private driveway near Selhurst Park via YourParkingSpace.co.uk.
Post Code for SAT NAV: SE25 6PU
The nearest railway stations are Selhurst, Thornton Heath or Norwood Junction, all of which are served by London Victoria main line station. Both Thornton Heath and Norwood Junction are also served by trains from London Bridge. From each of these local stations it is then a 10-15 minute walk to Selhurst Park. Please note that Crystal Palace station is nowhere near the ground. Thornton Heath tends to be more popular with away fans as there are a few pubs for visiting supporters located close by.
If you are coming from outside London, it may be an idea to purchase a 'Travelcard' at the first tube station you encounter (or some train operators also allow you to add this onto your train ticket) and tell the clerk that you want a 'Travelcard' that will cover you as far as Selhurst or Thornton Heath. The card then allows you unlimited travel on the tube and trains within the London travel zone and avoids having to buy a ticket for each leg of the journey.
Lisa Lark a visiting Norwich City fan adds; 'If travelling to Selhurst Station from London Victoria, that it's better to get on at the front of the train rather than the back. We found that on leaving the train at Selhurst, that for the rear carriages there is a gap of 2 to 3 foot between the train doors and the platform, not the most pleasant of exits I've made from a train. If you are travelling with young children or are less agile, then it is best to be at the front of the train'.
If you go to a number of games in the capital then you may consider getting yourself an Oyster Card, which is a pre-paid travel pass for public transport (Tube, Bus, Train etc..) within London. Not only will it save you money but also saves you time as you won't need to buy tickets on the day. You can purchase one from the Travel For London Plan your journey website, where you can also access routes, timetables and a handy journey planning tool.
PUBS FOR AWAY FANS
Opposite Thornton Heath Railway Station there is a Wetherspoon pub, called the 'The Flora Sandes' which is popular with both home and away supporters. Also close by is 'The Railway Telegraph' on Brigstock Road (as you come out of Thornton Heath station turn right and the pub is further down on the left). This pub serves Youngs beers and is quite spacious. It is then about a 15 minute walk from here to Selhurst Park (as you come out of the pubs turn right and follow the other fans). There are also plenty of Kebab and Chip shops available on the route to the ground. Generally beer and lager are served inside the ground, although for certain high profile games, the Club choose not to serve alcohol to away supporters. The choice of alcohol includes; Carlsberg Lager (Bottle £4.50), Somersby Cider (Bottle £4.50) and Wine (Small Bottle £4.50). Alas away fans don't get to enjoy the 'Palace Ale' which is produced by a craft brewery owned by Neil Morrissey for the Club and is available in the home sections.
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR VISITING SUPPORTERS?
Away are still housed on one side of the Arthur Wait Stand, however they have been relocated to the opposite side near the 'Croydon Advertiser Family Stand'. Just over 2,000 away supporters can be accommodated. Nikita a visiting Gillingham fan informs me; 'If you are seated towards the rear of the stand then you will find that there is very little leg room'. Plus the views of the playing action are not particularly great from the back of the stand, due to the overhang of the roof. Max Pardo-Roques warns; 'Due to a new television gantry that has been installed above the visitors stand, the the view is even worse than it was before. In fact you can barely see across to the other side of the pitch. I would strongly advise fans not to buy tickets the back ten rows (40-49)'. And if that is not enough then there is the odd supporting pillar to contend with too! Whilst Alex Jones adds; 'If you sit in the bottom half of the stand for an afternoon kick off, in the earlier part of the season, then don't be surprised if you end up trying to keep the sun out of eyes'.
On my last visit there was a particularly good atmosphere within the ground, especially from the home fans in the Holmesdale Road End. I was impressed with the Palace fans, who clearly were passionate about their Club, but in a non-intimidatory manner, towards away fans. In fact there was plenty of good banter going on between the two sets of supporters. There are plenty of refreshments available, however, if you if there is a sizeable away support, then getting food and drink could be a problem because there is only one small refreshment area to cater for the whole away support. However there are queuing barriers in place to prevent the obligatory scrum that inevitably ensues at some other grounds.
There is quite a wide choice of food on offer, including handmade Goddard's Pies such as; Chicken Balti, Steak and Cronx Ale, Chicken and Mushroom, plus Cheese and Onion (all £4 each). You can also enjoy a 'Mighty Burger' which comes at a 'Mighty Price' of £10, which must also make them the most expensive burgers in the League! There are also 'normal' burgers on sale at £4.50, Hot Dogs (£3.50), Falafel Vegetarian Burgers (£4.50) and Seasoned Wedges (£2.50). Plus also to tempt your taste buds further, the Club also offer; Chicken Korma Curry, Dehli Tikka Curry, Thai Sweet Chilli Noodles and Teriyaki Noodles (all £4.50 and served with your choice of Chickpeas or Basmati Rice).
On the whole Crystal Palace is a fairly relaxed ground to visit and you are unlikely to encounter any problems, except perhaps getting stuck in the traffic on the way to the game!