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Official Review by Gary Foxall, Stadium Journey Special Correspondent
Soccer has been played at Turf Moor since 1883 and although the stadium is not as attractive as some of its Lancashire neighbours, a visit to the stadium and Burnley itself takes the older football supporter on a journey back in time to the days when Burnley were a football force.
The stadium is half a mixture of old and new and further redevelopment is expected shortly. Currently, the stadium has an all-seated capacity of 22,546 and views from both of the newer stands are excellent. Dependant on where you sit in the older stands your view may be slightly obstructed by stanchions that support the stand roof. This is a common problem with older British stadiums.
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Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Once inside the stadium you have the normal food range for a typical British stadium. Cold drinks priced at £1.80, Tea & Coffee £1.60, Pies £2.50 and Hot Dogs £2 is basically what's on the menu. As normal with the North of England, the pies are highly recommended when served hot.
Like most British soccer stadiums the move from terracing to all seated stadiums has slightly affected the atmosphere and Turf Moor is not the hostile place that it once was in the 60's and 70's. However when full, which it mostly was when Burnley were in the Premier League last season, the home support quickly becomes the 12th man and a visit to Turf Moor was feared by the bigger clubs.
Burnley is a typical Lancashire Mill Town set in the heart of the Pennines and although not high on the tourist hit list this area of England is well worth a visit if you have time. The town is surrounded by rolling hills ideal for hill walkers. It is nice in the summer, but subject to cold weather and snow during the winter months. The Town Centre has a small shopping complex that will occupy you for a couple of hours maximum. The avid shoppers in this area tend to head to Manchester or Preston for the larger shopping malls. Oswaldtwistle Mills located in Accrington a couple of miles away offers mill stores and shopping outlets which are a welcome change to the normal high street.
If you prefer to digest your pre-match food and drink before you enter a stadium then there is not much choice directly outside of the stadium. Burnley Town Centre offers the normal choice of English Fish & Chip shops, Coffee Bars, Fast Food Outlets and low key restaurants. Home and away supporters tend to drink at Burnley Cricket Club located next to the stadium where the local beer can be sampled both inside and outside of the club in a relaxed atmosphere.
Burnley supporters are an honest bunch and the locals are always happy to assist if you require directions. The club has always kept a hardcore support of twelve to fifteen thousand for each home game even when they were struggling in the lower reaches of the Football League some fifteen years ago and at one point were within minutes of being relegated to non league football.
Fortunately the club has climbed back up the divisions cumulating with a return to the top level of the English game in 2010. Their stay however was brief and at the time of writing Burnley have an outside chance of reaching the Championship Playoffs. Local rivals are Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End and Bolton Wanderers. The famous Accrington Stanley from the lower reaches of English League football are located a mere few miles away.
The stadium is reached by accessing the M65 Motorway at Junction 10 and following signs to Towney Hall, which will take you directly past the stadium. Town Centre car parks are within a ten minute walk however parking at Burnley Cricket Club priced at £5 is value for the money. Both Burnley Central and Manchester Road Railway Stations are a twenty and fifteen minutes walk away respectively. Manchester Airport is approximately forty five minutes drive from Burnley with good connections for public transport.
General admission prices of £26 for adults with concessions for under 16's and O.A.P's are the norm for the English Championship and provide good value compared to the Premier League. For the older soccer supporter a visit to Burnley is always most welcome.
Burnley like all clubs have a supporters club shop selling replica shirts and other memorabilia. A match day programme is widely available for the price of £3.
Turf Moor is also the first football ground to be visited by a member of the British Royal Family, when Price Albert made a stop in 1886.
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