Whaddon Road

By Football Tripper

Last Updated: September 25, 2017

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Whaddon Road Main Stand

Stadium Overview

Team: Cheltenham Town

Address: The Abbey Business Stadium, Whaddon Rd, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 5NA

Capacity: 7,066

Opened: 1927

Whaddon Road or The World of Smile Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is a purpose built football stadium located in the large spa town of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. First opened in 1927, the 7,066 capacity ground is comprised of four distinct stands resulting in a mixture of both seating and terrace places.

Stadium Guide

History

Today’s Abbey Business Stadium is located on the former site of The Berkeley Hunt Kennels which were built by the local Cheltenham Original Brewery in 1927. Home to Cheltenham Town since 1932, the club marked their 70th anniversary by earning promotion to the Football League Second Division which translates as the third tier of English Football or today’s equivalent of SkyBet League One.

Shared with Conference North side Gloucester City A.F.C, the record attendance is set at 8,326 for a 1st round FA Cup game against Reading in 1956 17th November and with a current capacity of 7,066 it’s unlikely that this record will be beaten any time soon. Particularly as Whaddon Road is consistently the smallest capacity stadium in League One whenever the club compete in this division.

In April 2009 The Robins announced a sponsorship deal which saw Whaddon Road be known officially as The Abbey Business Stadium,  not to be confused with Cambridge United’s Stadium. Previously it was known as the 1984-esque Victory Sports Ground.

Whaddon Road has a fairly contemporary feel to it with two out of four stands opening post-millennium, including the Hazlewoods Stand which opened in December 2005, and Thomsom and Bancks which was completed in 2001. Furthermore between the two new stands the corner are now filled in which although not used for seating, is still adds to the character of the ground.

Seating Plan

Below is a seating plan of Cheltenham Town’s Whaddon Road Stadium:

whaddon-road-cheltenham-town-seating-plan

Stands

The four stands at Whaddon Road are as follows: Prestbury Road End (North), Thomson and Bancks Stand (East) on Wyman’s Road, Hazlewoods Stand (South) which is where the away fans are housed and lastly Jelf Stand which is the main stand (West).

whaddon-road-prestbury-road

whaddon-road-quality-solicitors-stand

whaddon-road-hazlewoods-stands

whaddon-road-jeff-main-stand

Click the thumbnails above to enlarge an image of each stand and to read a more detailed description of each part of the stadium.

The Matchday Experience

Away Fans

By default visiting supporters are housed within the 1,100 capacity Hazlewoods Stand which is a covered area of seating. However if the number of fans expected to travel is larger than the usual then, the allocation will be increased up to 1,800, with additional space made available in the nearby Wymans Road Stand.

Hazlewoods Stand is situated behind the Waddon Road goal and the Wymans Road Stand is located to the side with views of the bucolic Cotswold Hills easily viewable from within the ground.

Best Pubs

Located just 15 minutes away from the town centre there are numerous pubs en-route to Whaddon Road with Cheltenham FC’s website  recommending the following places:

  1. The Sudley Arms (Prestbury Road),
  2. The Feathered Fish – Formerly The Conservatory (Winchcombe Street)
  3. The Kemble Brewery Inn (CAMRA) (Fairview St).
  4. Parklands Social Club – At the stadium , two bars in side.

At the stadium itself there is The Robins Nest which allows both sets of fans inside for the small price of £1.00, although the club may turn away some travelling fans if the match is regarded as high-profile.

Food

Besides the expected fast food outlets within the town centre there are two fish and chip ships near the stadium with one on Whaddon Road itself just 150 years past the stadium and the other next to the Sudley Arms pub on Prestbury Road.

The stadium bar which is open to everyone also serves hot food between 12.00 – 2.45 pm and light snacks on offer between 5.00 – 10.30 pm with the concourses inside the stadium itself offering fans the usual range of football snacks. Think pies, hot dogs and burgers with a hefty half-pounder cheeseburger available for a bargain £4.00.

Club Shop

Cheltenham town operate a club shop at Whaddon Road stadium in addition to their own official online store.

The opening times for the store at the ground are as follows:

  • Tuesday – Friday: 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
  • Matchdays: Open until kick-off.
cheltenham-shop

A look inside the club shop aka The Robins Nest.

For more information, to confirm opening times or to check availability feel free to send an email to info@ctfc.com or phone the store on 01242 573558.

Stadium Tours

It doesn’t appear as if Cheltenham Town FC currently offer fans the chance to undertake a stadium tour of Whaddon Road. If this changes, we’ll be sure to update this section.

Ticket Prices

Tickets to see The Robins can be bought via the usual channels including telephone (01242 573558), email (info@ctfc.com), in person at the stadium ticket-office/club shop (Tuesday to Friday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm) and on the internet by visiting Cheltenham Online Tickets.

Ticker Prices for the 2014/2015 season are as follows:

QS Thomson & Bancks Stand

  • Adult: £21.00
  • Ages 65+ and Disabled: £15.00
  • Under 18s and Students: £7.00
  • Junior Robins: Free

Jelf Stand

  • Adult: £20.00
  • Ages 65+ and Disabled: £14.00
  • Under 18s and Students: £7.00
  • Junior Robins:  Free

Terraces

  • Adult: £16.00
  • Ages 65+ and Disabled: £12.00
  • Under 18s and Students: £5.00
  • Junior Robins: Free

Hazlewoods Stand

  • Adult: £21.00
  • Ages 65+ and Disabled: £15.00
  • Under 18s and Students: £7.00
  • Junior Robins: N/A

Note: Category A matches will carry an additional cost of £2.00 with six fixtures this season designated as “high profile”:  Northampton Town, Oxford United, Portsmouth, Luton Town, Plymouth Argyle and Shrewsbury Town.

Matchday Travel

Abbey Business Stadium is located approximately 1 mile north east of Cheltenham city centre within the residential area of Whaddon.

cheltenham-whaddon-road-entrance-sign

The new entrance sign which marks Chelteham Town’s ground.

Train

The closest railway station is Cheltenham Spa which is approximately two and half miles from the club’s ground. Located on the other side of Cheltenham, the walk is just over 2 miles long which will probably take anywhere between 35-50 minutes depending on your levels of fitness (and how many pubs you visit).

As a back up a taxi will likely set you back around £10.

Bus

Taking the “D” Bus from the train station car park makes much more sense than walking, with the bus service running around 6 times an hour during the day and 3 in the evening.

This will take you as far as the town centre which will leave you will a 15 minute walk, or if you prefer you can catch the “A” Bus which is less frequent but will take you directly to Whaddon Road.

Driving

Address for satnav: Whaddon Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 5RA.

From the North (M5)

  1. Exit the M5 at junction 10 and follow road (A4019 towards Cheltenham).
  2. Proceed through the traffic Lights, until you come to large roundabout (There is a PC World and McDonalds)
  3. Turn left and about 500 yards up the road you will come to double mini-roundabout which you should cross straight over.
  4. Continue for around 300 yards then turn right into Swindon Lane and then follow this road over a level crossing and two mini roundabouts until you reach a larger roundabout.
  5. Take the Prestbury exit (Straight across) and continue past the racecourse and turn right onto Albert Road following this until you’re at the roundabout.
  6. Turn left into Prestbury Road and after around 200 yards or so turn right onto Whaddon Road.
cheltenham-fans

Cheltenham fans celebrating…with balloons.

From the South (M5)

  1. Leave the M5 at junction 11 and drive along the A40 following signs to Cheltenham.
  2. Continue over the first roundabout and at the second one bear right, following the signs for Oxford A40.
  3. After around half a mile continue over a set of traffic lights then another set after which you should bear left and continue to follow signs for Oxford A40.
  4. Proceed straight over the next roundabout still  on the Oxford A40 and at the next traffic lights turn right then immediately left onto Sandford Road. Continue to a mini-roundabout and turn left.
  5. At  the next traffic lights continue straight over onto the B4075 (Prestbury). After half a mile keep right, as the B4075 becomes Priors Road.
  6. Take the next left into Whaddon Road, continue over a mini roundabout and the stadium is on your right-hand side.

Car Parks

There is usually a free match-day shuttle bus which takes you to the ground unless the club says otherwise which runs from the nearby Cheltenham Racecourse which has a decent sized car park.

For 3 o’clock kick-offs the bus leaves every 20 minutes from 1.00 pm onwards with the last service leaving at around 2.40pm, with game departure scheduled for 5.00 pm, 5.20 pm and 5.40 pm.

For the evening matches where the kick-off is at 7.45 pm the buses leave every 20 minutes from 6.00 – 7.20 pm, and then return you to the car park at 9.45 pm, 10.05 pm and 10.25 pm.

Away fans are welcome on the shuttle-bus service.

Hotels

The nearest hotel is the Cotswold Grange Hotel but this may be slightly too expensive for the average football fan, myself included. Back towards town there are plenty of options with the likes of the Central Hotel,  The Big Sleep Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express all offering satisfactory accommodation for the night or weekend.


By Football Tripper

Last Updated: September 25, 2017

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