Villa Park - Our Destiny

Last updated : 06 May 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

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The ground can be seen from the M6, if you are coming from the North side of Birmingham. Leave the M6 at Junction 6 and take the slip road sign posted Birmingham (NE). At the roundabout below the motorway, turn right (the fourth exit), towards City Centre/Aston/Star City, Villa Park is well signposted from here. However to be on the safe side, turn right along Lichfield Road, at the second set of traffic lights on to Aston Hall Road. This road will take you down to the ground. Mostly street parking (don't be surprised though if you are approached by kids wanting to 'mind your car'), although this is not as plentiful as it once was due to a local residents only parking scheme now in place in the streets around the Witton roundabout area. Street parking is also available in streets around Aston railway station (which you will pass if you continue along Lichfield Road towards the City Centre. Alternatively free parking is available, but a 15-20 minute walk away at Star City which is also well signposted.

Post Code for SAT NAV: B6 6HE

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Take the short train journey from Birmingham New Street (around 10-15 minutes) to either Aston or Witton station. Witton station is nearer to the away section and is only a few minutes walk from the ground. Turn left out of the station exit and continue down to a roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout into Witton Lane and the entrance to the away section is down this road on the right. Aston station is about a ten minute walk away from Villa Park. Extra trains are laid on to the ground on matchdays.

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There are a number of pubs in the vicinity of Villa Park, but most of them on match days are either members only or have bouncers on the door. However, Dave Cooper recommends the following for away fans; 'The Witton Arms (formerly the Cap and Gown), is not a bad pub, to which half the pub is given to away fans (there is even a separate entrance for visiting fans). It is only two minutes walk from the away entrance, right on Witton Island, however it does charge £2 per person to gain entry'. Alex Alexander a visiting Norwich City fan adds; 'We found a pub approximately 15 minutes walk from the ground where away fans were made welcome. It is called the Yew Tree. Although they don’t serve real ale, they had a good range of beers and Magner’s on draught. It is on the same road as the Witton Arms, but with this pub on your left carry straight on up the road, passing Witton Railway Station on your right. After about half a mile you will see the pub on the right hand side'. Also around a 15 minute walk away near Birmingham City University is the 'Hare of the Dog' pub.

If you arrive a bit earlier then you may wish to visit the historic Bartons Arms, located about a 15 minute walk away on High Street Aston (A34). This Grade II listed building, is one of Birmingham's finest pubs, with superb Victorian decor, serving Oakham ales and Thai food is also on offer. It is a regular entry in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

Darren Williams a visiting Manchester City fan adds; 'We have always park at an entertainment complex called Star City. It is just off Junction 6 of the M6, going towards Villa Park. Huge free car park, plus plenty of food and drink outlets. It is then about a mile and half walk to the ground'. Alcohol is normally available to away supporters but only in the lower tier of the Doug Ellis Stand. This is in the form of Carlsberg (£3.80 a pint) and Somersby Cider (£3.70 500ml bottle). However for some high profile games the Club decide not sell alcohol to away fans.

If arriving by train into New Street Station then there are plenty of pubs to be found in the City Centre. Just outside the main entrance to the station, is the Shakespeare pub, which is popular with away fans, normally with the local Police keeping a watchful eye over proceedings. On Bennetts Hill, which is only a few minutes further walk away (pass the Shakespeare on your left, turn left at Tescos, then take the next right hand turn by Ask Italia onto Bennetts Hill) are a number of pubs including a Wetherspoons outlet called the Briar Rose, plus the 'Sun On The Hill' pub, which also shows televised sports. A little further up the hill is the Wellington pub which is a mecca for real ale drinkers. The Wellington does not provide food, but has no objections to you bringing in your own. There are a couple of taxi ranks nearby that you can use if you wish to get you to Villa Park, or hop back on the train.

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Away supporters are located on one side of the Doug Ellis Stand, towards the North end of the stadium. Up to 2,972 fans can be accommodated in this area, split between both the upper and lower tiers of the stand. If only a small away following is expected then just the upper tier is allocated. The concourse at the back of the upper tier is particularly tight and easily becomes crowded, whereas there is more space behind the lower section. There is a fair selection of food available in the lower tier, but due to restricted space a limited offering is available in the upper tier; There are a selection of Pukka Pies and Pasties (all £3.30), Rollover Hot Dogs (£2.60) and then additionally in the lower tier; Cheeseburgers (£3.50), Fish & Chips (£6.50) and Chips (£2.80). There are wide screen televisions on the concourse, showing past encounters between the teams before kick off. There is also betting facilities available in the form of a BetBright outlet in the lower tier. Entrance to the stand is gained by entering your match ticket into an electronic reader.