WATFORD - Vicarage Road
DIRECTIONS AND CAR PARKING
From The North:
Leave the M1 at Junction 5 and take the A4008 into Watford. If on nearing the town centre you can't see the ground over on your left, just go left around the inner ring road (follow signs for Watford General Hospital as this is behind the ground) and you will soon spot it.
From The South & West:
Leave the M25 at Junction 19 and take the A411 towards Watford (be wary of speed cameras along this road). On nearing the town centre you will reach two roundabouts in quick succession. Go straight across the first but at the second turn right onto the A412 towards Rickmansworth. Then take the second left into Merton Road (signposted Hospital). When the road forks then keep to the right and then at the traffic lights were the road forks again turn left into Vicarage Road (still heading towards the Hospital). The ground is down on the left.
There are also some private match day car parks available at some industrial units near the ground, as well as the Vicarage Road Girls School, which is close to the stadium and charges £7 per car.
As Vicarage Road is situated near Watford town centre, then visiting fans can use a number of town centre car parks which are in reasonable walking distance. On most of my visits I have parked in the Church multi storey car park (which cost £2.70 for 4 hours and is located on the inner ring road). John Peake a visiting Bristol City fan tells me; 'We parked in the Church Car Park which is pay on exit. Although it is an easy 15 minute walk from the ground, there were lengthy queues to use the pay machines after the game and we had then queue again in our car to leave the car park. All in all it took us about 45 minutes to get out and back onto the road'. Iain Bell adds; 'There are some additional pay machines located outside the car park, by the High Street exit.' Richard Sheppard informs me; 'I parked in the Harlequin multi-storey, which cost £2.70 for four hours. It is approximately 15mins walk to the ground and was easy to get out after the game and back onto the M1'.
Post Code for SAT NAV: WD18 0ER
The nearest station is Watford High Street, a ten minute walk away from the ground. However you are likely to come into Watford Junction train station, which is about a 20 minute walk. Either get a train to Watford High Street from Watford Junction or if you have time to walk to the ground then:
Leave the station & take main road straight opposite (Clarendon Road) all the way (over Ring Road at lights) up to the High Street. Turn left and go past Wetherspoons (Moon under Water) on your right and then take the first right after 100 yards into Market Street. Continue along again crossing Ring Road to T junction & then left at an excellent chip shop. Vicarage Road is the next right turn. It should take around 15-20 minutes to walk.
Watford also has its own London Underground tube station, which is on the Metropolitan Line and is situated just under one mile from Vicarage Road. However overland trains from London normally have a shorter journey time. Thanks to Albert Fuller for providing the above directions.
PUBS FOR AWAY FANS
Christopher Harrison a visiting Middlesbrough fan recommends the 'Odd Fellows' in Fearnley Street 'It is only a couple of hundred yards from the ground and they even had a barbeque in the beer garden'. The bar is situated off Cassio Road and is clearly visible when taking the route to Vicarage Road from the town centre via Market Street. The pub is only a few minutes walk away from the away turnstiles. It has a large beer garden, with a covered area for smokers and offers from its barbecue, Burgers (£3) and Hot Dogs (£2.50). Even though it was very busy on my last visit, I was impressed with the service from behind the bar, getting served in reasonable time (even though it looked like you had no chance of getting near to the bar let alone being served!).
Otherwise the ground is in walking distance of the town centre, where along the High Street you will find a few pubs including a large Wetherspoons outlet called the Moon Under Water, an O'Neils and a Walkabout. If you are feeling peckish then if you are walking to the ground from the town centre then there are a number of eating establishments enroute. Please note that alcohol is not sold in the away section.
WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR AWAY FANS?
Away fans are housed in the Vicarage Road Stand at one end of the ground. This stand is normally shared with home supporters (with the obligatory 'no-mans land' comprised of empty seats covered in netting in-between). Around 2,200 visiting fans can be accommodated in this area. The stand has electronic turnstiles, meaning that you have to place your ticket into a bar code reader to gain entrance. You should also then expect to be searched by the stewards on the way in.
I've always found this club friendly and the stewarding relaxed on my four visits and have never had any hassle, although at times there can be a heavy police presence around the ground and in the town centre. My only real gripe is that the size of the concourse at the back of the stand is one of the tightest that I have come across and is wholly inadequate when there is a large away following. If you manage to get to the serving hatch, then you will find on offer the usual fayre available including; Pies (Chicken Balti, Steak and Ale, Bombay Vegetable) £3.30, Pasties £2.90, Jumbo Sausage Rolls £2.90 and Hot Dogs £3.80. Adam Hodson a visiting Stockport fan adds; 'I was very impressed with the ground and the modern facilities. There was plenty of leg room in the way end and a good atmosphere. However, the concourses are very small meaning that they easily get crowded'. There is also a betting outlet available. On the first occasion that I visited Vicarage Road, I met a Watford supporter in a pub who gave me a free ticket to that night's game against Luton. I was also impressed with this chap as at the time he had visited 91 League grounds with Watford. Perhaps he was in some part my inspiration for doing the '92'.