Wantage Town – Ground Guide

Are you set for the relatively ‘short’ away-day journey to Wantage Town on Saturday?

Here is some background information on the club and the ground itself from Talking Bull guest contributor Andy Gardner, with the assistance of Steve Cooper from Wantage FC.

Formed in 1892, The Freds play at Alfredian Park named after King Alfred the Great, who was born in the town. The ground is on the South side of Wantage, around half a mile from the centre. The best guess capacity of Alfredian Park is 1,500 with the record attendance being 550 for a friendly against Oxford United. Their average gate is 75 with the patient few hoping for a first home win.

Look out for a small signpost for a narrow tarmacked lane to the ground. Best to leave your vehicle elsewhere as only reserved parking at the Alfredian.  Blue badge holders will be admitted.  There is limited parking in 2 adjacent fields at the back of the club house (December weather permitting) though it is easier to park directly across the road at the Memorial Park recreation ground, Tennis club or Bowls club.  Our coaches will be unloading on the main road. Wantage are quite frank that car parking is a headache for them, given our numbers.  If the whole area gridlocks, there is alternative parking at the Beacon in Portway (5-10 minutes’ walk).

There are 2 turnstiles charging £8 for adults and £5 for concessions, opening at 1.00pm. Disabled access is through a large gate. Programmes on sale inside the ground only. The pitch is very open but does have a covered stand that occupies half of one side of the pitch with seating for 85. The stand also has standing room for around 250 fans and a few benches to sit on, but no provision for the disabled. There are flat concrete paths all the way around.

The brick built Clubhouse has a large function room and bar area. There is no draught ale but some bottled beer is on offer. There is Fosters, 1664 and Strongbow on draught, a variety of bottled beers available and BT satellite TV to entertain the masses. There is a fair size kitchen. Three people will serve from here (plus others cooking) and three more from a BBQ installed on the car park. There will be a Beer can stall next to it.  Supporters who arrive between 1.00pm and 2.00pm will be offered drinks at discounted prices.

Disabled access to the function room is tricky but there are ramps leaving just a small frame to bump over. There are no disabled toilets.

Wantage is well served for pubs. The Royal Oak Inn, only a few hundred yards away, is a connoisseurs dream with 30 ciders and 10 real ales available.  It’s a traditional pub without food. There are various pubs dotted around the market square. The Lamb Inn is a decent (Morlands) pub on the way into Wantage from the West, offering a variety of ales, good food, Sky TV and a play area.

By Road: 80 miles (OX12 8DW) Usual A417/ A419 to Swindon. Here get onto the A420 signposted for Oxford and after 11 miles turn right onto A417, signposted Wantage. Ten miles later, on the outskirts of Wantage, turn right at the small double roundabout onto Ham Road, following the signs for Hungerford (A338).  After 1/2 mile, left at the T junction and follow until you reach a junction with traffic lights. The Royal Oak is on the left, but turn right here and the ground is around 1/4 mile on your right.

By Train: Around 3 hours via Newport or Worcester with two changes. The nearest railway station is Didcot, about 9 miles away, but with bus services from both Oxford (X30) and Didcot (X1/X32) every 30 mins.

By Coach:  Visit Hereford Awaydays Facebook page.

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