4,100 (Seated 645)
Darenth Road, Dartford, DA1 1RT
100 x 65 metres
White and Black
Having been opened in 2006, you would be forgiven for assuming that this is just another identikit bland stadium, similar to many others that have recently been built around the country. But in the case of Princes Park you would be wrong, it is anything but ordinary. This is mostly due to its green credentials, being probably the most environmentally friendly football ground so far constructed in the UK. These credentials include amongst other things, collecting rain water for use within the stadium, producing its own electricity from solar panels, having timber beams to support the roof (which incidentally has a covering of green vegetation to provide insulation and help the stadium blend into its surroundings) and having the pitch sunken below the surrounding ground level to reduce noise and light pollution. And then of course there is the ‘Wooden or Oak Man’. Whereas stadiums costing ten times as much have little to write home about apart from the price of the entrance ticket, then Dartford have instilled character in theirs, with this towering wooden sculpture. He stands inside the stadium with his arms stretched up aloft and appears from a distance to be holding up the roof. Certainly something which is unique.
On one side is the Main Stand. This stand is all seated and comprises just four rows, seating in total 645 spectators. It has the team dugouts at its front and a glassed area at the rear, which contains amongst other things the clubhouse bar. Like the rest of the stadium, the roof is situated quite high above the spectator area and has a slight oval angle to it. The other three sides of the stadium are small terraced areas, being around seven rows high. Opposite the Main Stand the Wooden Man sculpture stands on the terrace, keeping a watchful eye over proceedings. All four corners of the stadium are enclosed, although these areas are not used for spectators. The stadium is completed with a set of four floodlight pylons.
If segregation is in force then away fans are housed in the Car Park End. This covered terrace has a capacity of 700 supporters. In addition 38 seats are made available on one side of the Main Stand by the Car Park End. With no supporting pillars to contend with, then sightlines of the pitch are good. Although the ground is totally enclosed, it feels quite open as there is quite a large gap between the back of the stands and the stadium roof. Although this may allow more light and air into the stadium, so it does for wind and rain.
Mike Kimberley from the Ninety-Two Club adds; ‘Princes Park is a pleasant, well designed and comfortable ground. The club house is accessible from inside the ground (if segregation is not on force) and has a spacious bar area with plenty of seating. All the facilities were quite adequate including an area for wheelchairs, and their assistants if necessary, in all four corners of the ground. The stewarding was pleasant, friendly and low key.’
There is a small bar at the ground called the Defluo Bar which is specifically for the use of away fans. I believe that this bar also has Sky television. The entrance to it is in the car park at the away end of the stadium. There are also two good sized bars at the stadium, which also have Sky television, however these are more for home supporters. The nearest pub to the ground is the Ivy Leaf on Darenth Road, which is about a five minute walk away (from the stadium entrance turn right along Darenth Road, cross over the main road at the traffic lights and the pub is further up Darenth Road on the right). Whilst further along the same road is the Malt Shovel, which also does food. Both these pubs are listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Otherwise Dartford Town Centre is around a 15 minute walk away, where there are plenty of pubs to be found. Ones of note are the CAMRA Good Beer Guide listed Wat Tyler on the High Street, the Paper Moon Wetherspoons outlet opposite and another Wetherspoons outlet called the Flying Boat on Spital Street.
From the North:
After going over the Dartford Crossing (which costs £2 per car), leave the motorway at Junction 1b and take the left hand slip road for A225 Dartford. At the roundabout at the end of the slip road above the motorway turn right the Esso garage onto the A225 towards Dartford. Go straight across the next roundabout, passing a BP garage on the right. At the next set of traffic lights turn left into Darenth Road and then take the second left into Grassbanks for the stadium.
From the South:
Leave the M25 at Junction 2 (signposted A2/Dartford A225). At the roundabout below the roundabout take the Dartford A225 exit. At the next roundabout take the 1st exit by the Esso garage onto the A225 towards Dartford. Go straight across the next roundabout, passing a BP garage on the right. At the next set of traffic lights turn left into Darenth Road and then take the second left into Grassbanks for the stadium.
There is a car park at the stadium which has 300 spaces and is free. If this is full then drivers are directed towards the Orchards Shopping Centre Car Park, which charges £2 for 3-4 hours.
Dartford Railway Station is located just over a mile away from Princes Park. It is served by trains from Charing Cross and London Bridge. If on leaving the station you follow the pedestrian signs for the Orchard Shopping Centre then before the bridge going across the main road, descend the steps down to the road side. Just to left you will find a row of bus stops including the Fastrack B bus stop. This service runs every ten minutes during the day (every 20 minutes in the evenings) to the Bluewater Shopping Centre and stops at Princes Park. The cost (one way) is Adults £1, Children 50p. Otherwise a taxi from the station to the stadium will cost around £5.
Otherwise the ground is a 15-20 minute walk away. Descend down the steps as above (or at the bottom of the station approach road), keep to the left along the main road and at the roundabout take the exit signposted Central London (A2). At the next traffic lights cross over and then walk straight on using the wide footpath beside the dedicated bus route. When this footpath ends, go up and into Darenth Road and follow this road to the right. (If you want to visit the Malt Shovel pub, then after crossing at the traffic lights go up the hill and the first road on the right is Darenth Road. Turn right and the Malt Shovel pub is on the right). Proceed along Darenth Road to the main road, which is Princes Road. Crossover at the lights. If you wish to catch a bus back into the town centre after the match has ended, then as you crossover the road, note the location of bus shelter over on the left, in front of you. Continue straight on up along Darenth Road and then take the second left into Grassbanks and up the hill into the car park and the ground.
Thanks to Brian Scott for providing these directions.
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Over 65’s £9*
Under 18’s £5*
Under 13’s £2
Under 5’s Free
* Evidence of age or status may be required to qualify for reduced admission.
Concessions apply to Over 65’s, Full Time Students, the Disabled and the Unemployed.
Official Programme: £2.50
Ebbsfleet, Welling and Dover.
4,097 v Horsham
Ryman League, 11th November 2006
2018-2019: 1,070 (National League South)
2017-2018: 1,021 (National League South)
2016-2017: 1,046 (National League South)
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