Visiting Bristol City FC
Having been many years since Fulham last visited Ashton Gate, those who remember it will be impressed by the rapid redevelopments that have taken place in recent years. This was a trip ear-marked by many as one to make. Although the allocation of 1400 is not the largest, the away end is said to allow for a fantastic atmosphere, which is enhanced by sharing a stand with home fans, something not seen too often in this league. A note for anyone travelling is that the stand is generally unreserved seating so, if you do want to sit in a particular area, it will be better to arrive slightly earlier.
Getting to the ground – Train
Bristol Temple Meads is the main station serving Bristol and can be reached by direct trains from London Paddington. The ground itself is approximately 2 miles from Temple Meads and the city centre, so a relatively short train journey of about 5 minutes can be made from Temple Meads to Parson Street, from where the ground is approximately a 20-minute walk. Although this is a viable option, there are only 2 trains an hour servicing Parson Street and many can find them very busy. Your best option is probably to remain in the city centre and grab a taxi to the ground, which costs approximately £8.
Getting to the ground – Bus
The ABus faresaver runs from Brislington approximately one hour before kick-off. Stops at all stops on Bath Road, Temple Gate [for Temple Meads Station], Temple Way, Old Market [Bond Street], Haymarket, Centre [St Augustine’s Parade], Anchor Road and Hotwells Road. Fares are £2 single or return. Concessionary card holders travel free.
Mindful that many fans will have chosen the ‘Plus Bus’ option when purchasing their rail tickets, bus service numbers 24 and 25 operate from Horfield, Bristol city centre and through to Ashton Vale. The closest stops to Ashton Gate stadium are Frayne Road, Bath Street and Durnford Street, all less than five minutes walk from the stadium.
Getting to the ground – Car
Parking at Ashton Gate has recently become far more difficult, parking in the stadium is restricted to permit holders only and many of the surrounding streets have been changed to double yellows. There is the Bedminster Cricket club on Clanage Road (A369) offers parking at a cost of £5 per car and is about a 10 minute walk from the ground but this can be very busy. The only other alternative is to look carefully for on street parking where single yellows are still in force.
Where to drink
If travelling in by train then your best option as usual is to remain in the city centre where there are a number of options. ‘The Knights Templar’ pub is a 2-minute walk straight ahead out of the station and is the local Wetherspoons. If you fancy a more scenic drink then ‘The Cottage’ in Baltic Wharf is a friendly mixed pub located on the riverside. Be wary of pubs near to the ground, many of them are home fans only and should be avoided by visiting fans. Locals often direct away fans to the Tobacco House bar, which is a 5-minute walk from the road behind the away end next door to an Aldi store. Alongside the ‘Tobacco Factory’ bar, for those who do not fancy a trip in to the city centre, the Bedminster Cricket Club which is away-friendly and located a 15-minute walk from Ashton Gate.
As befits a large city port, Bristol has no shortage of CAMRA-rated and micro-brewery pubs. Thankfully, The Guardian has reviewed the craft beer outlets and listed their 10 favourites:
A further 5 are recommended by Bristol CAMRA:
Robin Hood (56, St Michael's Hill): http://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/277/robin-hood-bristol
The Gryphon (41, Colston Street): http://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/154/gryphon-bristol
Quinton House (2, Park Place): http://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/262/quinton-house-bristol
The Sugar Loaf (51, St. Marks Rd, Easton): http://www.sugarloafpub.co.uk
Bag O Nails (141, St Georges Road, Hotwells): http://whatpub.com/pubs/AVN/46/bag-of-nails-bristol
Although hailing from Cardiff, Clarks has three outlets in Bristol: 2, Haymarket Walk; 114A Church Road and 259 North Street. The beef and potato pie is highly rated, as is their meat and vegetable pie.
Equally well thought of is Pieminister, who operate from 24 Stokes Croft, and Corn Street, Corn Exchange, and offer seven types of pie and another three ‘open top’ varieties, with their steak and ale pie scoring heavily with the experts.
Since it’s known that a few fans will be making a weekend out of the trip to the West Country, we’d recommend investigating:
Leisure Café (58 Stapleton Road) for Sudanese, Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine.
Senegambian (406 Stapleton Road) for a variety of West African dishes.
Shiraz Restaurant (275 Hotwell Road, Clifton) for Persian cuisine
For those of us who simply cannot countenance an away trip without a large doner and the possibility of nuclear-powered chili sauce, The Kebab House (6 St Michaels Hill) and Antalya Kebab (3 Marsh Lane) for, respectively, Greek Cypriot and Turkish grills.
Located on Queens Road just off Park Street, only a five to ten minute walk from the city centre is the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (10.00-18.00 on Saturdays).
It’s three floors of just about everything, including Egyptology, natural history, glassware, ceramics and fine art. Somewhat appropriately timed with Fulham’s visit on 31st. inst., and as part of their ‘Death: the human experience’ exhibition, is their celebration of “Dia de los Muertos’, the Mexican ‘Day of the Dead’.
Despite Bristol’s long, varied and successful maritime history, there is no maritime museum as such, although the ‘M-Shed’ on Princes Wharf, Wapping Road, has working exhibits and displays on the development of the city.