Next One Up ... Forest!
DIRECTIONS AND CAR PARKING
From The North
Leave the M1 at Junction 26 and take the A610 towards Nottingham and then signs for Melton Mowbray. Cross the River Trent and you will see the ground on your left. Alternatively as you approach Nottingham on the A610 you will pick up signs for 'football traffic'. Although following these seems to take you all round the outskirts of Nottingham you do eventually end up at the City Ground, along the A6011.
From The South
Leave the M1 at Junction 24 and take the A453 towards Nottingham. Then take the A52 East towards Grantham and then onto the A6011 into Nottingham. The ground is situated by the A6011.
Rowland Lee informs me; 'There is an alternative route to the ground from the South; Leave the M1 at Junction 21a (Leicester East) and follow the A46 dual carriageway towards Newark. After around 20 miles take the A606 towards Nottingham. At the first roundabout that is the junction with the A52, take the 4th exit onto the A52, signposted towards Grantham. At the next roundabout turn left onto the A6011 towards Nottingham. The ground is about a mile down this road.
Park & Ride
If you would prefer not to drive into Nottingham centre, then there is a 'Park and Ride' scheme now in operation. If leaving the M1 at Junction 24 and following the A453 towards Nottingham, then the Clifton South Park & Ride site is clearly signposted. If coming in from the North and leaving the M1 at Junction 25 and following the A52 towards Nottingham, then the Totan Lane Park & Ride signposted off the first roundabout you reach. Parking is free and then you can take a tram to Nottingham Railway Station. If you show your matchday ticket then you can by a tram ticket for £2 return, otherwise it costs £3.50 return for Adults and Children £2. Please note that you need to purchase your ticket before getting on the tram. The journey time into Nottingham is 15 minutes and trams run every 10 minutes (or less) during the day and every 15 minutes in the evenings. The service runs until midnight (except Sundays when it is 11pm).
There is a large car park at the ground, otherwise there is some street parking to be had, especially in the roads near to the Meadow Lane ground across the river. Steve Barratt informs me; 'regarding the parking at Forest, the council operate a car park on match days on the Victoria Embankment, located near to the cricket ground. They charge £5 but it is only a two minute walk to the stadium'. The council also provide parking at their Eastcroft depot (NG2 3AH) at £4 a car. The depot is a ten minute walk from the City Ground, located just off London Road (A60), opposite Hooters. The entrance is signposted with banners and is manned by security guards throughout the match. Martin Breslin informs me; 'There is a relatively new, secure multi-story car park at Nottingham Railway Station which offers match day parking at £4 all day. You enter the car park via Queens Road'.
Gerry Toms adds 'bear in mind that as the one end of the ground backs onto the River Trent, you cannot drive around it, so it is probably best to park at first available opportunity, or you may find yourself crossing the River Trent and having to comeback on yourself again'.
Steve Haynes a visiting Aston Villa fan informs me; 'We parked at the East Midlands Parkway Railway Station (it has a large secure car park) which is just off Junction 24 of the M1. We then caught the train into Nottingham which took 16 minutes. I paid £5.10 for a park and ride ticket which included parking and a return ticket to Nottingham. After the game a return train was easy to catch and of course the return to the M1 was completely traffic free. I certainly think this is a great option for people travelling up from the South'.
Post Code for SAT NAV: NG2 5FJ
Nottingham railway station is located one mile from the City Ground and takes around 20 minutes to walk. As you come out of the main station entrance, turn left and then left again. Follow the road down to the dual carriageway and then turn right. The ground is about 3/4's of a mile down the dual carriageway on the left, just over Trent Bridge.
PUBS FOR AWAY FANS
Nearly all pubs near to the ground are for home fans only. Audrey MacDonald a visiting Hartlepool fan informs me; 'After trying to no avail to find a pub near to the ground that would allow in away fans, the Police directed us to the Meadow Club which is the Notts County Supporters Club. The Club was okay but a bit short on bar staff'. Carl Fitzpatrick a visiting Coventry City fan adds; 'Very near to the ground on the banks of the River Trent, we came across the Nottingham Rowing Club, which displayed a banner outside saying that away fans were welcome. They charged £1 entry and the beer was good and very reasonable, plus the Forest fans that we met inside were chatty and friendly.'
Simon Phillips recommends the Stratford Haven, just down the road from the Larwood & Voce, 'it has great beer and food, it bustles and is used by both home and away fans'. This pub is located in a largely residential area where there is street parking available, if you arrive early. Tim Cooke a travelling Millwall fan has a different angle (so to speak); 'definitely one for the lads! Hooters (on the main road A6011, on the outskirts of the city centre, you can't miss it!) has very nice waitresses wearing just enough to cover things up, serves lovely beer, and great food. Take my advice, make a weekend of it, Nottingham is a top city!' Otherwise, alcohol is available inside the ground, including Carlsberg Lager (£3.70 Bottle), IPA Beer (£3.70 Bottle), Bulmers Cider (£3.70 Bottle), Smirnoff Ice (Bottle £3.70), various minature bottles of spirits (£4.10).
If you are arriving by train and have a bit of time on your hands, then I would suggest that you check out the ‘Olde Trip To Jerusalem’. This historic pub dates back to the 12th century and some of the rooms are ‘cave like’ having been carved out of the rock that Nottingham Castle is situated upon. Add real ale, food and a small beer garden, then it is certainly worth a visit. It is about a five minute walk away from the train station. As you come out of the station turn right. At the top of the road turn left and then take the second right into Castle Street. Just tucked away on the left is the pub.
There is also the Waterfront complex of bars (including a Wetherspoons outlet) which is a short walk from the train station. As you come out of the station turn right and cross over to the other side of the road (As you cross the bridge going over the canal you can see the complex). At the top of the road turn left and the Waterfront complex is just down on the left, located behind the buildings on the main road. I have received reports of fans getting some hassle in pubs near to the station, so use your discretion and keep colours covered.
Adrian Taylor a visiting Birmingham City fan adds; 'If travelling by train, then there are numerous pubs with character in and around the city centre including the Olde Trip To Jerusalem, The Castle (in Castle Street), Salutation Inn (on Hounds Gate), and my favourite, The Round House (in Royal Standard Place)'. Another pub worthy of mention is the Canal House; It is housed in a listed building, serving Castle Rock beers and it even has part of canal inlet running through the inside of the pub!
Andy Tomsett a visiting Brighton and Hove Albion fan recommends the Vat and Fiddle which is near to the railway station. 'The pub is the Castle Rock brewery tap and so has a big range of real beers. It was busy but we got served okay and they offer food too. The pub's is on Queensbridge Road. Leave the station by the front exit, turn left a little way and Queensbridge Road is a big thoroughfare on your right (almost opposite the station).'
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR VISITING SUPPORTERS?
Visiting supporters are housed on one side of the lower tier of the Bridgford Stand (towards the Brian Clough Stand), where around 2,000 fans can be accommodated. The facilities and view of the action in this stand are good. If demand requires it then an additional 1,000 away supporters can be seated in lower Block T of the Brian Clough Stand. Food inside the ground includes a range of Pukka Pies; Chicken Balti, Meat and Potato, Cheese and Onion (all £3.20), plus Cornish Pasties (£3.20) and Sausage Rolls (£2.50). Also available are Cheeseburgers (£3.80), Burgers (£3.60) and Hot Dogs (£3.60).
I personally did not have any problems at the City Ground, but I have heard of away fans getting some hassle; for example it has not been unknown for the odd object to be thrown down on away fans from so called Forest fans seated above. Don't be surprised also if the stewards keep asking you to sit down if you stand in the seated areas, which can get annoying. There are also an element of Forest supporters who sit close to the away fans, who feel it is their duty to continually berate visiting supporters during the game, which can be unsavoury. It is also advised to keep colours covered around the ground, especially if you support another Midlands team. The good news though is that away fans can really make some noise from this stand, so make the most of it!
Chris Powell a visiting West Brom fan adds; 'On my last visit a number of West Brom fans were thrown out of the grounds by stewards for not sitting down. From what I could see they gave just one chance to sit down and if you didn't you were out. What was even more annoying is that fans in the home section were allowed to stand without interference'.