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NLD 2017: some of the best grounds to visit

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

It’s Non-League Day tomorrow and if you need some ideas for grounds to visit, Non-League Day co-ordinator Mike Bayly has ten great suggestions…

Non-League Day returns for an eighth consecutive season this weekend. With more media coverage than ever before, there is a fantastic opportunity for clubs across the country to increase attendances and welcome new faces through the gate. 

For fans unfamiliar with the game at this level, one of the biggest selling points is the grounds. Aside from the largely unrestricted freedom to stand and sit where you like, there is a wealth of history and scenery to enjoy. From castles and cricket pavilions to spectacular seascapes, the breadth of diversity is a snapshot of Britain, past and present.

Below is a selection of ten wonderful non-League grounds hosting games tomorrow. Hopefully it provides as much pleasure to read as it did to compile. For more information on this year’s event, please head over to the Non-League Day website.

1.  Belper Town v Alvechurch (FA Trophy), Christchurch Meadow – Photo by Stuart Tree

“The red brick East Mill provides one of football’s most stunning industrial backdrops”

Belper Town2

2. Arundel v Haywards Heath Town (Southern Combination Football League), Mill Road – Photo by Paul Paxford

“Arundel Castle looms majestically over the treetops in a quintessentially English venue.”

Arundel2

3. Marlow v Aveley (FA Trophy), Alfred Davis Memorial Ground – Photo by Stuart Tree

“The 1930s main stand is an absolute delight.” 

Marlow Town

4. Stocksbridge Park Steels v Atherton Collieries (FA Trophy), Bracken Moor – Photo by Mike Bayly

“High up in the moors with sweeping panoramas of the Peaks and Pennines”

Stocksbridge Park Steels

5. Hitchin Town v Stratford Town (Southern League Premier Division), Top Field – Photo by Stuart Tree

“Two words: wooden terracing. A simply glorious throwback”

Hitchin Town

6. Stourbridge v Halesowen Town (Northern Premier League Premier Division), War Memorial Athletic Ground – Photo by Paul Paxford

“A three-sided slice of football heaven. One of the friendliest welcomes around. And the faggots and peas are sublime”

Stourbrudge 2

7. Harwich & Parkeston v Kelvedon Social (Essex & Suffolk Border League), The Royal Oak Ground – Photo by Stuart Tree

“Opened in 1898, the historic Royal Oak is a magnificent football relic”

Harwich

8. Hallam v Brigg Town (Northern Counties East Football League), Sandygate – Photo by Mike Bayly

“The oldest football ground in the world, serving pasties with Henderson’s Relish. Two Sheffield institutions in one go” 

Hallam

9. Ilfracombe Town v Newtown (Devon FA Premier Cup), Marlborough Park – Photo by Paul Paxford

“A chapel behind the goal and views across the ocean. What isn’t to love?”

Ilfracombe2

10. Esh Winning v Ryton & Crawcrook Albion (Northern League Division Two), West Terrace – Photo by Mike Bayly

“A calming, bucolic setting where horses gallop across the surrounding hillside”

Esh Winning

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