Most Remote Football Stadiums In The United Kingdom

remote football pitchElsewhere on this site we’ve done a piece about remote stadiums around the world. It’s well worth reading, presenting us with some really fascinating locations in places that most people wouldn’t even dream of putting a football pitch. When we shift our focus to a more narrow part of the planet and bring things a little closer to home, you’ll find that there are a number of places in the United Kingdom with hard to reach football grounds.

It’s not overly surprising to learn that Scotland features quite prominently on the list. We should point out, though, that the remote nature of things that we’re looking at is all to do with where the stadiums are located as opposed to how difficult they are to get to. A football ground on the Isle of Man would be tricky to reach, for example, but might not be all that remote when you get there.

Remote Stadiums In Britain

We’ll be honest, when it comes to the remote locations that we’re looking at here we’ve had to play fast and loose with the word ‘stadium’. The main thing that we’ve decided is that there has to be some sort of fixed structure for supporters to watch a match from in order to make it onto this list. This removes a load of places where there’s just pitch markings on top of a cliff, say.

All of the following are, therefore, places that you could turn up at when it’s raining heavily and be able to watch a match without getting too wet. The facilities might not be up the standards of somewhere like Anfield or Wembley Stadium, but you’ll almost certainly be able to get a pie and a pint and not have to wee in a nearby bush, which is pretty impressive when you consider where some of them are….

Morrison Park

halkirk utd morrison parkHalkirk United might not be a team that many people have even heard of, let alone thought about going to watch play football. Plying their trade in the North Caledonian League, the Scottish club joined the division prior to the 1993-1994 season. Originally playing their games at Recreation Park in the town of Halkirk, they moved to Morrison Park on the 31st of July in 2013.

It’s fair to say that the ground isn’t the biggest, but it still has enough room for 1,000 supporters. They’ll have to go on something of a journey to get there, mind. If you imagine that the United Kingdom on a map is a man crouching and wearing a silly hit then you’ll find Morrison Park almost at the tip of said hat. It’s far from the most inviting location to play football, but it has unquestionably got character.

Eriskay FC’s Pitch

eriskay fcOk, we said we weren’t going to look at football pitches that didn’t have a permanent structure from which to watch matches play out, but the pitch that Eriskay FC calls home was voted by FIFA as one of the most remarkable places in the world to play football. In fact, only eight locations were chosen by the sport’s governing body, so it would be churlish of us to ignore it. Plus, it has got a floodlight.

Located on the Outer Hebrides, an overhit clearance will almost certainly result in the ball disappearing into the sea, such is the proximity of water to the pitch. It’s an utterly spectacular place to kick a ball around, though it’s not uncommon for fog to descend and make it difficult to see what you’re doing. Given that the island it’s located on only as 150 inhabitants, it’s not unreasonable to say that they struggle to get a team together.

THE EMIRATES STADIUM

emirates stadium
 

We’ll level with you, the Emirates Stadium isn’t really all that remote. Given that you can get a tube to pretty much directly outside it, it’s probably fairer to say that it’s one of the easiest to reach in London. Why, then, has it made our list? Well, as we said in the introduction, it’s not about how easy or difficult it is to get somewhere but rather some other, entirely arbitrary, criteria that we’ve decided for ourselves.

In the case of the Emirates, it’s on this list because it is found a remarkable 10.6 miles away from Arsenal’s spiritual home in Woolwich. Yes, supporters of the Gunners could point out that the club moved to North London so long ago now that it’s daft to point to how far away Woolwich is, but we’ve decided the list and the Emirates is on it. If you lived in Woolwich and wanted to watch your team, you’d have a long walk ahead of you.

ST. JAMES’ PARK

st james park
By yellow book ltd (St James's ParkUploaded by Ultra7) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Are we scraping the barrel to find remote football stadiums to discuss? We couldn’t possibly say. What we do know, though, is that Newcastle supporters have to travel further than any other club’s fans in the top two divisions of English football at the time of writing. Depending on the other teams in the team, Newcastle supporters will have to travel just shy of 14,000 kilometres to watch their team play everyone else.

Swansea City come in at just over 13,000 kilometres, whilst Plymouth Argyle have the toughest job in the Football League as they’ll need to shift themselves 18,165 kilometres to take in all of their matches. Again, most people would probably fancy travelling to St. James’ Park over a small pitch in the Outer Hebrides, but you get the point that we’re trying to make. It’s tough being a Newcastle fan basically. For more reasons than one.

Balmoor

balmoor stadium
Ken Fitlike / Balmoor Stadium

Going back to our chat about the United Kingdom being like a person crouching down, if you wanted to go and see Peterhead Football Club play a match then you’d need to make your way to what is essentially the crinkle of skin at the back of the head. That’s where you’ll Balmoor Stadium, which is about 30+ miles from the closest train station. Even so, there’s room for more than 3,000 spectators.

Opened in 1997, the standard of facilities were good enough to mean that Peterhead could be promoted to the Scottish Football League three years later. It’s not unreasonable to suggest, therefore, that it might be in a remote location but it’s better than plenty of grounds close to city centres. It’s north of Peterhead town centre, with the A982 being the road that you’ll have to take if you’re driving there.