Craven Cottage: Fulham

Stevenage Road, Fulham, London, SW6 6HH, England

Craven Cottage actually has its roots in a real life cottage that stood on the site of Fulham’s home ground from 1780 until it burnt down in 1888. It was located on a patch of ground that has now become the centre circle and the pitch area that surrounded it was a forrest that was part of a hunting ground used by Anne Boleyn. Rumoured occupants of the cottage over the years include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Florence Nightingale and even Queen Victoria, though none of these rumours have been substantiated.

Before settling at Craven Cottage Fulham were a team of footballing nomads, travelling from one ground to another without ever really laying down roots at any of them. They were looking for a permanent home, though, and club representatives realised they had somewhere with potential when they came across the land that would later become their home ground. The land was overgrown so badly, however, that it took two years to make is suitable for football to be played on it.

Stats

Craven Cottage Stats
Year Opened1896
Capacity25,700
Average Attendance17,417
Record Attendance49,335 (Fulham v Milwall Dockers (1938))
Pitch Size100 x 68 (6800)
NicknameThe Cottage
OwnerFulham F.C.
Clubs HostedFulham F.C., Fulham L.F.C., Fulham Rugby League Club
First FixtureFulham v Minerva (10/10/1896)
Fulham Stats
Year Founded1879
NicknameCottagers, Whites, Black and White army
Club MascotBilly the Badger
Rivals Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers, Brentford, Crystal Palace, Gillingham
Previous StadiumsStar Road, Eel Brook Common, Lillie Rec, Putney Lower Common, Ranelagh House, Barn Elms Playing Fields, Parsons Green, Half Moon, West Brompton, Loftus Road
KitWhite (Home) / Yellow & Blue (Away) / Black & Orange (Third)
Training GroundFullham FC Training Ground
Shirt SponsorVisit Florida
Team OwnerShahid Khan
Record GoalscorerGordon Davies (178)
Record AppearancesJohnny Haynes (658)

Craven Cottage Photos

Craven Cottage Seating Plan & Where to Sit

Craven Cottage is built in the ‘Engish Style’ of having four distinct stands on each edge of the pitch. It is a stadium not without some charm, and here are the details of each section of the ground:

  • The Johnny Hayes Stand - This is a Grade II listed building and is the oldest remaining part of the stadium. It has the original wooden seating from when it opened in 1905 and was named after the club’s famous forward in the aftermath of his death in 2005.
  • The Putney End - This part of the ground is famous for it’s neutral seating section and normally houses the away fans.
  • The Riverside Stand - This is considered by most to be the main stand of the ground as it contains the manager’s dug-outs and is also popular with Fulham fans because its concourse backs onto the river Thames.
  • The Hammersmith End

Fulham Ticket Prices

Fulham’s ticketing structure is a closely guarded secret, with much of what we know about it the result of guesswork from trying to decipher the club’s overly complicated ticketing system. Sufficed to say tickets are broken down into categories based on supporter’s age, where in the ground they would like to sit and who the team is that they’re going up against. You also have to pay £5 for tickets if you buy them on the day of the game rather than before it.

Here are the cheapest and most expensive tickets available in each category for adults and concessions:

  • Category A: £30 - £45 / £25 - £40
  • Category B: £25 - £40 / £20 - £35

How To Get Fulham Tickets

Fulham suggest that booking tickets for their games is easy, which isn’t true. It might be if you’re a computer programmer, but everyone else might find it at least slightly tricky. The club’s official website is the obvious place to start, but if you get bored of trying to figure out what on earth you’re looking at then you can also give them a call or drop into the ticket office at Craven Cottage in person.

Getting To Craven Cottage

Swap Start/End

Fulham’s home ground is located in a pretty ideal location for London, so it’s reasonably easy to get to via all of the usual methods. Here’s a look at each:

Train - If you’re coming from outside of London then you’ll likely arrive at one of the main thoroughfares, such as Euston, Kings Cross-St. Pancras or Victoria. From there you’ll want to take the tube to Putney Bridge, which is about twenty minutes walk away. Alternatively Hammersmith station is around one and a half miles from the ground, the same distance as Fulham Broadway. Putney Bridge is also a Railway Station and is served by South West Trains.

Bus - London has an excellent transport system and if you’re wondering how to get around the place then you’d do well to download an app like Citymapper. There are loads of buses depending on where you’re coming from, with the 85 and C4 serving Kingston-upon-Thames, the 220 from Hammersmith or the numbers 74, 424 and 220 from Putney, to name but a few options.

Car - Driving to, in and around London is always tricky and your parking options are limited once you get there. If you’re determined to drive, however, you’ll be heading to the West of London and if you’re coming from the North, for example, then you’ll take the M6, the M40 and then the A4 before hitting the A219.

By Air - London is served by a whole host of airports, including London City Airport, Stansted and Gatwick. Figure out the best one for you and then take advantage of the numerous connections to Central London in order to begin your journey to Craven Cottage. The best airport for West London is provably Heathrow.

Taxi - There are loads of taxis in London, but they don’t come cheaply. A journey from Euston station to the ground will take around half an hour and cost about £40, more if you get stuck in the capital’s notoriously bad traffic.

Parking Near Craven Cottage

On-street parking is limited around match times, so you’ll want to avoid it if you’d also like to avoid a ticket. There is no parking at the stadium itself nor in the surrounding area, though you might be able to find some private ground used as a parking area or a public car park somewhere in the surrounding region.

Useful Resources

Craven Cottage Hotels

London may lack friendliness and a sense of humour, but it doesn't lack hotel options. Here are some of our favourites not far from the ground:

ibis London Earls Court - £80+

47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD
Just over a mile from Craven Cottage and close to the famous Earl’s Court venue is this member of the ibis chain of hotels. With self-parking, a restaurant and lounge, a business centre and conference space as well as free Wi-Fi it’s the ideal place to stay before going to see Fulham play. More details.

Holiday Inn Express London - Earl's Court - £105+

295 North End Road, London, W14 9NS
The Holiday Inn Express is also about a mile from the ground and promised a bar, self-parking, a meeting room, free Wi-FI and a free continental breakfast included in the price of your stay. More details.

The Malt House - £110+

17 Vanston Place, Fulham, London, SW6 1AY
The Malt House is actually closer to Stamford Bridge than Craven Cottage, but it’s still within walking distance of Fulham’s home ground so you shouldn’t be too sniffy. It’s got a garden, a restaurant and you’ll also enjoy a free continental breakfast as well as free Wi-Fi. More details.

Pubs & Bars Near Craven Cottage

It’s said that in London you’re never more than six foot away from a rat or an actor. There’s also a strong possibility that you’ll be able to spin around and open your eyes facing a pub, so here’s a list of our favourites:

The Eight Bells

89 Fulham High Street, London, SW6 3JS (020 7736 6307)
This isn’t the biggest pub in London but it’s near to Putney station and serves food and good cask ales. They also welcome away fans and show food on live screens, so it’s worth a visit

The Temperance

90 Fulham High Street, Fulham, SW6 3LF (020 7384 3573)
In many ways The Temperance is the antithesis of The Eight Bells, with the latter being a classy 17th Century joint and the former a large contemporary space with a good menu and live sport shown if there’s something interesting on. It’s also not far from Putney station and welcomes away fans.

The Golden Lion

57 Fulham High Street, Fulham, SW6 3JJ (020 7731 5481)
The Golden Lion promises typical British pub grub like bangers and mash and fish and chips as well as sport shown on big screens and live music if you’re there at the right time. The perfect combination for a pre-match pint.

Facilities

Craven Cottage is an old stadium but it’s still a nice place to spend a bit of time. It’s a friendly ground with a good sense of its own personality. The concourses aren’t all enclosed, though, so it can get a bit nippy in the winter even if it’s great in the summer. There are the usual kiosks and stalls to buy drinks and food from.

Prices

  • Programme: 3.50
  • Pie: 3.90
  • Cup of tea: 2.20
  • Beer: 4.00

Hospitality

By Adam Stone (originally posted to Flickr as Craven Cottage) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

You can enjoy a few different hospitality choices at one of London’s most famous 19th Century grounds. Here’s a little bit of information about some of your options:

  • The George Cohen Lounge - Here you’ll enjoy a four-course meal with drinks included, half-time refreshments and seating on the halfway line in The Riverside Stand.
  • The Haynes Club - Your day here will be hosted by club legend Les Strong and you’ll get a drink on arrival, access to a hot and cold buffet and cracking views of the Thames.
  • London’s Original In McBride’s - This is the more relaxed bar at Craven Cottage and is more like a traditional pub than an executive lounge. You’ll have access to a cash bar with complimentary beer and wine at half-time as well as hot food before the game.

Private Hire

Craven Cottage is an ideal place to host meetings and events right on the edge of the Thames. Whether you’re looking for somewhere in London to host a party, have a conference or hold an exhibition, Fulham’s events team have got you covered.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Tours tend to run at 11.15am on certain days, with a further tour taking place at 1.15pm if the first one has proven so popular that it’s booked out. You’ll see the Johnny Haynes statue and the suite dedicated to his honour, the television studio, the chairman’s box, the tunnel down to the pitch and the manager’s dug-out, amongst other things.

Tours cost £12 for adults, £9 for children, or £32 for a family ticket. Junior members and kids under-5 go for free. You can also book private tours any time between 9.30am and 4pm seven days a week, so if you’ve got a load of mates who really fancy it then this is something to consider.

About Fulham

Fulham Football Club was founded in 1879 and spent thirteen consecutive seasons in the top-flight before they were relegated in 2014. That is more than half of the entire time that the club has been in the top-flight in total, which is 25 seasons. They first spell came in the 1960s and the second spell came during the 1990s when Mohamed Al-Fayed was the owner and they climbed their way to the top-flight from the fourth division.

Despite the fact that they have never won a major trophy, Fulham have seen some top-class players come through their ranks. Players such as Bobby Robson, George Cohen and Rodney Marsh have all pulled on the famous white jersey. They did reach the FA Cup final in 1975 when they were beaten by London rivals West Ham, and they also lost in the final of the UEFA Europa League, formerly the UEFA Cup, when managed by England boss Roy Hodgson in 2010.

Craven Cottage History

Craven Cottage in the early 1980s - By Nick from Bristol, UK (Fulham in the Eighties) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Yes Craven Cottage began life as a Royal hunting lodge and yes it’s also been Fulham’s home ground since 1896, but did you also know it used to have a Michael Jackson statue outside of it? Former owner Mohamed Al-Fayed was such a fan of the popstar that he erected one in his memory in 2011. This in spite of the fact that the King of Pop wasn’t a Fulham fan and didn’t even have any interest in football, but did go to a game at Craven Cottage once and said, “Fulham fans were like people at my concerts. I wanted to jump up and start dancing “.

The ground has also been used to host numerous international matches such as Ireland versus Colombia and South Korea against Greece. In 2011 the stadium was used to host the final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League between Lyon and Potsdam, whilst between 1980 and 1984 it was the home of Fulham Rugby League Club, a team that is now better known as the London Broncos. If you’re a fan of random facts then you might like to know that Craven Cottage has hosted the most Australia international matches outside of Australia itself.

Future Developments

By Jared Preston (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ever since Mohamed Al-Fayed sold Fulham and Shahid Khan took over there has been a hope that the new owner would redevelop parts of Craven Cottage. That hope was taken one step closer to reality in 2015 when the club received permission to redevelop The Riverside Stand.

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