The Boleyn: (West Ham)

West Ham United Football Club, Green Street, London, England, E13 9AZ
By Fay1982 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

West Ham United Football Club was formed in 1895 as Thames Ironworks, an amateur football club that mostly comprised of employees of the local ironworks company. They disbanded in 1900 before almost immediately re-launching as West Ham United FC. Because of their original roots as a working team they are still known as The Hammers or The Irons to their fans and the media.

They began playing at The Boleyn Ground in 1904, with the ground getting its name because of a believed association between Anne Boleyn and Green Street House, a location that the club rented from 1912 onwards. It has always been better known as Upton Park, however, owing to its location in the Upton Park area of London.


The Boleyn Stats
Year Opened1904
Average Attendance34,900
Record Attendance42,322 (West Ham v Tottenham (1970))
Pitch Size100 x 64 (6400)
NicknameUpton Park
OwnerWest Ham United F.C.
Clubs HostedWest Ham, Charlton Athletic
First FixtureWest Ham v Milwall (01/09/1904)
Final FixtureWest Ham v Man Utd (3-2 10/05/2016)

The Boleyn Photos

The Boleyn Seating Plan & Where to Sit

By Egghead06 (talk).Egghead06 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

The Boleyn Ground is very much a traditional location in terms of the layout of the stadium. There are four stands, one on each side of the pitch that are quite close to the playing surface, allowing for an intimidating atmosphere when the home crowd are up for the fight.

  • The Sir Trevor Brooking Stand - Named after one of the one of the club’s most famous sons, this used to be The Centenary Stand until 2009. There are two tiers with the upper tier being the Family Section. The lower tier is split between home and away fans, so expect a raucous atmosphere in there.
  • The East Stand - This is the oldest and smallest section of the stadium. This houses some of the more vocal and passionate of the West Ham support.
  • The Bobby Moore Stand - Named after another of the club’s most famous sons, The Bobby Moore Stand was formerly known as The South Bank and was built in 1993. It is two-tiered and had a small amount of renovation done to it in 2001.
  • The Betway Stand - Both the newest and the largest stand at The Boleyn Ground, The Betway Stand was built in 2001 and named The Dr. Martens Stand. It was re-named because of sponsorship and is the section of the ground that houses the offices, board rooms, suites and dressing rooms.

Getting To The Boleyn

Owing to its location in Central London, access to The Boleyn Ground is relatively easy, though obviously be aware that travelling in the nation’s capital comes with its own risks.

train - The best way to get close to The Boleyn Ground is by tube, so get the train to one of London’s main train stations and then use the Underground to head to Upton Park.

Bus - Buses 5, 15, 58, 115, 147, 58, 104, 330 and 376 all run to the stadium from elsewhere in London, so you’re not going to be short of options if bus is your preferred method of transportation.

Car - From the North take the A406 to the A124 then get onto the Barking Road. From the East use the A13 then the A117. From the South use the Blackwell Tunnel to the A13 then follow signs to the A124. Finally from the West, take the A406 to the A124 then travel on the Barking Road until you see signs for the ground.

By Air - Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and more all serve London, so you’ll have plenty of options if you want to fly to see the Hammers play.

Taxi - A taxi will take around 20 minutes depending on traffic and will set you back something in the region of £40.

Parking Near The Boleyn

Parking in Central London is always tricky and it’s no exception in the case of The Boleyn Ground. Your best bet is probably to park up at one of the tube stops further out of the city and get the Underground in.

Useful Resources

The Boleyn Hotels

The Central London location of the stadium means that hotels aren’t exactly difficult to come by. We’ve found a couple of options for you quite close to the ground, though, so you might want to consider these rather than looking all over the capital for a bed.

Prince Regent Hotel Excel London - £98+

361-363 Prince Regent Lane, London, E16 3JP
Located about a mile and a half from the ground, The Prince Regent offers free Wi-Fi, rainfall showers and LED TVs. More details.

Radisson Blu Edwardian New Providence Wharf Hotel - £116+

5 Fairmont Avenue, Canary Wharf, London, E14 9JB
The Radisson Blu has a health club, a full-service spa and a restaurant and bar. It is about 2.6 miles from the stadium. More details.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London ExCel - £140+

2 Festoon Way, Royal Victoria Dock, London, E16 1RH
Just under 2 miles from the ground is the Doubletree by Hilton. It has a fitness centre, a restaurant and bar and self-parking - something that shouldn’t be sniffed at in London! More details.

Pubs & Bars Near The Boleyn

Much like with hotels there are countless pubs and bars across the city of London meaning you won’t be left short of somewhere to grab a pre-match pint! If you’d like some tips about where to go, though, then we’ve got some options for you here.

Cafe Football

Westfield Stratford City, E20 1EN (0208 702 2590)
Is there a better place to go for a pre-match bite to eat than a place called Cafe Football? Not only can you get a drink you can also watch the match on the big screen and even get food that is themed around aspects of the beautiful game.

Champs Sports Bar & Grill

19-21 Chapel Road, Ilford, IG1 2AF (0208 553 5114)
There’s something about places with ‘grill’ in the title that just makes them sound great. Champs, however, doesn’t just sound great it is great. It is Ilford’s top venue for watching the sport and offers craft beers, tasty food and 13 HD screens.

The Bow Bells

116 Bow Road, E3 3AA (0208 981 7317)
Does anything say London like Bow Bells? This traditional pub offers ales, snacks and good company as well as live sport.


The Boleyn Ground’s facilities are a touch dated now, especially the away section that is quite small and cramped. You can get food, of course, and you’ll be able to get a drink if you’re willing to queue up for most of the half-time interval. If you want to place a bet then you’ll be able to do so on one of the many Betway kiosks dotted around the ground.


  • Programme: 3.50
  • Pie: 3.50
  • Cup of tea: 2.30


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

Given the age of the ground and the fact that West Ham are gearing up to leave it, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the hospitality available at The Boleyn Ground is a little dated. There are still plenty of options, though, including private boxes, sports lounges, exclusive bars and areas to enjoy premium dining.

For example, The 66 Club Restaurant is a popular place to go and pays a degree of homage to three West Ham players who made themselves legends when they won the World Cup with England in 1966. You’ll enjoy seating in the director’s box, champagne on your arrival, a fine dining menu with beers and wines, a complimentary programme and you’ll be hosted by members of that World Cup winning squad.

Perhaps you’d be more comfortable in the Carlsberg Legends Lounge. You’ll enjoy a two course buffet before the game, entertainment and interviews with football legends, padded seats in the VIP section and the lounge is available for an hour and a half after kick off. Whatever type of hospitality you’re hoping to enjoy you’ll almost certainly be able to get it at The Boleyn Ground.

Private Hire

One of the things West Ham prides itself on is that The Boleyn Ground is an iconic venue with a vast degree of versatility for your meeting and event needs. They are also keen to point out that the club’s location in Central London makes it an ideal place to hold any type of conference or event.

There’s enough room for 850 delegates across 10 function rooms that all have PA systems and plasma screens. There are also another 70 rooms with pitch-side views that are perfect for breakout rooms, training courses or even private dinners.

What about weddings? Are you the ultimate Hammers fan that wants to get married in your dream location? How about the Home Team Changing Room, is that dream location enough? You can get married in there and then have your photos taken on the side of the pitch.

Stadium Tours & Museum

Because West Ham are leaving The Boleyn Ground at the end of the season they are currently offering farewell tours of the stadium. You’ll see the inner sanctum of the ground, including the dressing rooms, the tunnel and the pitch side. Tours last an hour and will take place at varying time throughout the year. The tour costs £20 for adults and £15 for kids.

The Boleyn History

The North Bank at West Ham's Boleyn Ground circa 1991 - By Egghead06 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Despite the official name of the stadium being The Boleyn Ground, ask most football fans where West Ham play and they’ll tell you it’s at Upton Park. The ground has a storied history, not least of which includes a story about a V-1 flying bomb landing on the south-west corner of the pitch in 1944 forcing West Ham to play their games elsewhere for a time.

The club have been hoping to move away from The Boleyn Ground even since plans to develop the stadium fell by the wayside in 2003. Though the decision to move has now been confirmed, many West Ham fans will forever miss the atmosphere and excitement of trips to Upton Park, with fans singing and bubbles blowing in time for every kick off.

Future Developments

By Egghead06 (talk).Egghead06 at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

There will be no developments of The Boleyn Ground, but that’s not to say that West Ham’s future is going to stagnate. The confirmed in 2013 that it would move in to The Olympic Stadium from August 2016. They will have a 99 year lease on the ground that was purpose-built for the 2012 London Olympics.

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