Dean Court - AFC Bournemouth ground guide


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Just to impart a bit of local knowledge that visitors might find useful! Currently called the Vitality Stadium officially speaking, after the Prudential health insurance firm located in the town, the official name has changed every couple of years. Capacity currently is just over 11,000, with various plans and options to increase this that never seem to get off the ground.

Dean Court, so called because the land was gifted to the town's football club back in 1910 by land owner Cooper Dean, sits in Kings Park, almost the only remaining area of public green space in Bournemouth. The area of Boscombe is immediately nearby, and the town centre of Bournemouth itself is a couple of miles away.

How Easy Was The Ground to Get To (from the station, by car, etc)

Bournemouth central station is walk-able in half an hour (beer stops optional), taxi would be around 6 or 7 quid. Come out of the station onto the main road, and turn left and just walk straight on (Holdenhurst road) and later you'll see signs. If you've come on Cross Country services, or on the faster South West Trains from London, you'll get into Bournemouth central.

If you're on a slower SWT London service that stops more regularly, then you have the option of getting off at 'Pokesdown for Boscombe' station, which is closer to the ground. A scenic walk across Kings Park will get you to the ground, or there's various pubs and eateries around Boscombe.

By car, almost everyone will come into Bournemouth via the M27 past Southampton, onto A31 through the Forest, onto A338 into Bournemouth. Major engineering works on the A338 from September to April 2015/16 expect delays

Pass under the 'Welcome to Bournemouth' sign (mind the speed cameras in this area), continue on over the fly-over and round the corner. You'll see the first exit for Dean Court signposted (useful for stadium car park). Optionally carry on half a mile or so and you'll see a second exit for Dean Court signposted. Or continue on A338 for the town centre.

If Applicable, How is Parking Near The Ground?

There is a vast car park on site at the ground, but I'll warn you it's slow to leave after a match. It's great to get parked up quickly and easily right next to the ground though. Use my directions above, taking the first exit signposted for football traffic, and drive straight on into Kings Park.

There is precious little street parking immediately near the ground, but if you carry on past and use the second exit off A338 signposted for football traffic, you'll come into an area where there is more street parking on a labyrinth of residential side roads. You'll need to get there a couple of hours early. And don't pinch my spot! ;)

Alternatively use the parking in the town centre if you're heading there, or there's a multi-storey pay & display at Boscombe shopping centre 10 -15 minutes walk from the ground .

Based on Where You Were Sat, How Was the View?

The away end makes up just under half of the stand down the side of the pitch. So depending on where your seat is, you could have a super view near the halfway line, or could be closer to the corner flag.

If You Ate at The Ground, How Would You Rate the Food?

The usual hotdogs, pies, burgers, and chocolate available from the concourse areas inside. You'll usually spot a burger van or two outside as well. The food is nothing special if I'm honest.

How Was The Atmosphere At The Ground, From Both Sets of Supporters? Does the Stadium Hold the Noise?

Atmosphere varies a great deal, but our success in recent years has meant the place has been pretty good. But it can certainly go quiet if things aren't going well! It's perfectly possible for the away end to generate a good racket. Most of the home atmosphere comes from behind the goal in the North Stand.

How Are the Pubs and Local Attractions in The Local Area?

The bar inside the Main Stand is home fans only. Whilst most of the pubs immediately around Dean Court are supposedly home fans only, if you cover colours and are friendly, nobody will have a problem with you. I'd only suggest avoiding the Queens Park, as several problems have occurred there in the past and it's heavily Police protected these days

The most popular away pubs are the Kings Head bar opposite central station, or the 'Inferno' and Christopher Creek (Weatherspoons) pubs are a few mins walk from central station. Just turn right out the station going towards town centre, use the underpass beneath the roundabout and carry on straight for those two pubs. Expect plenty of home fans there as well.

Bournemouth town centre is infamous for it's bars, pubs and food outlets, and all of these are at your disposal. It's where I prefer drinking and you'll find a pleasant mixture of home and away fans in and around the centre.

Many visitors fancy a stop at the beach of course. The pier, gardens, the 'Bournemouth Eye' and loads of other tourist stuff, and for all of that head onto the town centre.

Overall Score Out of 10?

I'll leave that for visitors to decide


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How Easy Was The Ground to Get To (from the station, by car, etc)
It's signposted as soon as you leave the motorway.

If Applicable, How is Parking Near The Ground?
As above, I parked at the ground, which was great until it came to getting out!

Based on Where You Were Sat, How Was the View?
I was sat in the home end in the Steve Fletcher Stand. Views are good all around as you'd expect with a modernised ground.

How Were The Stewards on The Day?
Obviously no first hand experience in the away end as I wasnt in it, but they seemed to have real trouble with the Watford fans any time anything of interest happened!

If You Ate at The Ground, How Would You Rate the Food?
Ate in town

How Was The Atmosphere At The Ground, From Both Sets of Supporters? Does the Stadium Hold the Noise?
It was excellent to be fair.

How Are the Pubs and Local Attractions in The Local Area?
There didnt seem to be much around the ground, but when I finally got away after the game, the SatNav took me back trough Boscombe, and it seems this is where more of the places to eat and drink are.

Overall Score Out of 10?
The ground isnt the most special to look at, but decent facilities and a good atmosphere make up for it.

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