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Whaddon Road

Cheltenham, England

Home of the Cheltenham Town FC

2.7

2.0

Whaddon Road (map it)
Whaddon Rd
Cheltenham, England GL52 5NA
United Kingdom


Cheltenham Town FC website

Whaddon Road website

Year Opened: 1932

Capacity: 7,266

There are no tickets available at this time.

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The Robin's Nest

Cheltenham Town FC were formed in 1887 and played in local leagues until the 1930’s when they turned professional. They first joined the Birmingham Combination and then the Southern League. The club were champions of the Football Conference, the top tier of English football outside the Football League in 1999 and subsequently became members of the Football League for the first time in their history. In the fifteen years since joining they have yo-yoed between the third and fourth levels (League 1 and 2).

The club played at three different grounds before moving to Whaddon Road in 1932, and all of their past homes are within a half mile radius. The grounds they used are Agg-Gardner’s Recreation Ground, Whaddon Lane, and Carter’s Field.

Cheltenham’s current home is Whaddon Road, a fully enclosed four sided ground with a mixture of terracing and seating. The majority of the ground is covered but there are a couple of sections exposed to the elements. The newest part of the ground (the Hazlewoods Stand) was built in 2005 and houses the away supporters.

2.7

What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

Alcohol is for sale inside the ground and there is also a supporter's bar, The Robins Nest, that allows non-members and away supporters in for a cost of £1. Inside the ground they sell the usual standard fare served up at football grounds in England, including burgers, pies, hot dogs, chips, etc, and the prices are also as expected. For example a 1/4 lb cheeseburger costs £3.50 and a jumbo hot dog is £3.20. A tea or coffee will set you back £2 while alcoholic beverages start at £3.

Atmosphere    2

The atmosphere inside Whaddon Road is hit and miss. Crowds are generally no more than 50% of the capacity. Depending on how the team is playing it can be quite subdued, but when the supporters get behind their team the noise can get loud. With the team struggling on the field, there is a fair bit of negativity around the place.

Neighborhood    4

Cheltenham is a Spa town located in the west of England and the town centre is one of the better ones that I have visited in England, having plenty of regency style buildings. Football comes down the list when you ask people what they associate with the town, with horse racing being top by a country mile. The Gold Cup, which attracts thousands of visitors to the town and surrounding area is one of the most prestigious in the UK racing calendar.

Cheltenham is also the main town for visitors to the Cotswolds, a range of hills that run down the spine of the country that attract a large amount of visitors to its picturesque villages and towns. These include Broadway, Stow, and Bourton-on-the-Water.

On a different slant, the town is also home to GCHQ, the Government Communications Headquarters. This is a cryptography and intelligence agency and is located on the western side of the town.

Cheltenham does have enough shops, bars, restaurants and hotels to cater for a place of its size (population around 100,000) so anyone visiting the town or area will have plenty of choices to eat, drink, and sleep.

Fans    3

The football club does not attract huge attendances, but to be fair to them they are a knowledgeable, appreciative, friendly bunch and at times passionate. The most vocal of them are found in the terrace behind the far goal. Cheltenham is a safe place to watch a football game. Having visited Whaddon Road a few times over the years and also seeing them a few times on the road, I have never encountered any trouble whatsoever from the club's supporters. The stewarding is also very low key and police presence virtually non-existent.

Access    2

The town itself is well served by the M5 motorway that runs from Birmingham to Exeter, and the nearest international airports are Birmingham and Bristol. The town does have a railway station (Cheltenham Spa) which has direct connections to London Paddington along with Birmingham, Cardiff, and Bristol.

The football ground is located a mile east of the town centre in a residential area. Parking is restricted and limited near the ground. There is a private car park on nearby Wyman's Road that charge £5. Cheltenham Spa railway station is over two miles away on the other side of the town centre.

Return on Investment    3

Football in England is not cheap, though Cheltenham seems to be about the right price for the level. Match day prices for adults vary between £16 and £21. The club offers discounts for concessions for the disabled, students, people aged 65+, etc. You will seldom have a problem in getting a ticket for a game as the club's average attendance is no more than fifty percent of the ground capacity.

Extras    2

Like every other club down to the tenth level of English football, Cheltenham issues a match day programme which costs £3. It consists of 64 pages and is a pretty decent read with some clear thought going into the articles. There is a club shop outside the ground selling the usual array of merchandise which includes replica shirts (£36.99), ties (£9.99), autograph books (£2.75) and pin badges (£3).

Final Thoughts

Overall, I never need an excuse to visit the town, helped by having a friend who lives here or the area that surrounds it. For me personally it is close enough to visit in a day with it being just seventy five miles from home, and the drive through the northern Cotswold towns of Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow on the Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water beats taking the motorway route hands down.

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