Away Fan's Guide

Visiting Elm Park soon? Read on!

Getting There

for larger map By Car - Get off the M4 at junction 12 to get onto the A4. Then if you follow signs towards Reading along the A4 the ground is signposted. From the North you can use the M40 and get off at Junction 9 to get onto A34, go past Oxford and when you c ome to a big roundabout thats your sign to turn left onto the M4.

By Train - You have two options really. Firstly the lazy one - change at Reading main station and get a train to Reading West. Reading West is about 5 to 10 minutes from the ground, leave the station where signposted and just follow the road. Fr om Reading main station, where your train will come in, it's about 30-40 minutes walk out to the west side of town. Coming out of the main station entrance walk past the Three Guineas (pub in the station), and onto the Caversham road, turn right down Grea t Knollys street and follow the road onto the Oxford Road. When you hit the Oxford road turn right and follow it town until you see the sight of floodlights. Buses run from the town centre to the ground.

Parking Your Car
A favourite spot is Prospect Park, which you can't miss if you're coming into Reading from the West along the A4 - just keep going until you reach the Prospect Park drive where there's a car park at the end. The streets around the ground are a bit tricky to park around, although parking is no problem is you go a bit further out and walk 10 minutes.
Inside The Ground - There's various burger vans and stalls. For the away fans there's one at the end of the terracing furthest from the entrance. Hot Dogs are OK with loads of onions. They're two quid each. No pies though.

Outside the Ground - Just take a walk along the Oxford Road which is take-away paradise: Dominos Pizza, KFC, and loads of kebab places for after the game.

On the corner of the ground is the Spread Eagle. Not really recommended. If you're walking from Reading West station towards the ground you can try The Rose and Thistle which is just down Brunswick Hill (opposite the Post Office), then turn right. There's a couple of pubs on the Oxford Road close to the ground. If you're planning a few beers in town before the game note that some pubs don't let anyone in wearing their team colours - the Firkin opposite the main station is a prime example. I think the station pub, The Three Guineas, is OK though.
The Ground
Elm Park, Norfolk Road. Telephone 0118 9507 878.
You can click here for a diagram of the ground
The ground itself is falling to bits. But we love it. Last season Reading celebrated 100 years of football at Elm Park, and I can't see there's been many improvements since then. The bogs are better than both Swindons and Oxfords but are still crap. ( pun!) One side of the ground is seated, the two ends are uncovered terracing and the South Bank - home of the Loyal Royals - is covered terracing. Away fans get the choice of the East Terrace (uncovered) or a tiny part of the North Stand (covered seatin g). There's probably room for 3,000 away fans standing and 4 sitting. The fights take place in the corner where the South Bank meets the away terrace.
The Cost
You've got to go for standing. For this season, 1997-98, Reading's last season at Elm Park, it's nine pounds. For kids and OAPS the price goes down to six quid - students are also let in for this price. A seat will set you back 13 pounds.

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