Counties - Media Guide to the Grounds (2013)


Gloucestershire (Bristol, Gloucester and Cheltenham College) by Mark Easterbrook

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Take Junction 19 exit from M4 onto the M32. Take the second exit from the M32 and turn right at the roundabout which passes under the motorway. Travel up Muller Road for about a mile and turn left into Ralph Road. At the end of the road, turn left onto Ashley Down Road and then first right into Kennington Avenue. At the end of the road, turn left and you'll see the County Ground entrance in front of you. Public transport from station: Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway are both a fair distance from the ground. There are buses from Temple Meads which will take you up Gloucester Road (close to the ground). Catching a taxi to the ground is probably the best bet from Bristol Parkway Station on the main line London-Wales-South-West.


Ground Facilities

Car parking arrangements: There are a handful of reserved press spaces near the press box. And, if these are full up, the stewards will normally let you park in another space close by for County Championship games. One-day games can be more tricky. For the annual one-day international, press parking is normally in the field behind the Jessop Tavern End. Press box: Can accomodate about 50 members of the written press, and look out for the unique fluffy yellow ceiling. Positioned at third man/long on (for a right hand batsman), so not great for seeing what the ball's doing. Radio press boxes are sited at the top of the Jessop Stand at the other end of the ground. Name and number of PA contact/local paper contact: Mark Easterbrook (07767 894559) or Richard Latham (07802 708352) from the Bristol & West Agency. Name of scorer: Keith Gerrish, 10 out of 10 for assistance. Name of PR contact: Jane Lobb (0117 9108002). Telecom arrangements in box: Bristol & West Agency, Daily Telegraph and The Times all have lines. Power arrangements in box: Plenty of sockets. Does the ground have wireless internet: yes. Heat/cold/light/environmental: All satisfactory. Perennial problems: Nothing obvious. Useful numbers (IT support/garage/doctor, etc.): Local garages include Ashley Autoparts & Accessories Ltd, 5 Ashley Down Road (0800 037 5648); Hughenden Road Garage, Hughenden Road, Horfield (0117 9243461); Jarrett & Smith, 1A Elm Road, Horfield (0117 9422152). As for doctors, unfortunately the Grace family practice has long closed. But there is Dr R Sawford & Partners, 521 Filton Avenue, Horfield (0117 9692164) and another practice at Tramway House, 1A Church Road, Horfield (0117 9497774). Frenchay and Southmead Hospitals are both about 10 to 15 minutes drive away.



Food/drink arrangements in box: Sandwiches and fruit for lunch, but can be a bit hit and miss. Tea urn has been known to get up a good head of steam. Local boozers for lunch time relief: The Sportsman is  a five-minute walk from the press box, although local reporters have been known to make it in three or four. Head out the main gates and it's a couple of hundred yards down Nevil Road on the right. The annex has good beers and decent grub. Local sandwich bars/delis/supermarkets: Several on the Gloucester Road, which is about five minutes walk from the ground.



Places to stay - hotels/bed & breakfasts: Plenty of big chain hotels in central Bristol. These include the Bristol Marriott Royal, College Green (0117 925 5100); City Inn, Temple Way (0117 925 1001, price per person, per night £100 to £250); Express By Holiday Inn, Temple Gate (0117 930 4800, price per person, per night £50 to £100); Hotel Du Vin, The Sugar House, Narrow Lewins Mead (0117 925 5577, price per person, per night £100 to £250). Also, Channings Hotel, 20 Pembroke Road, Clifton (0117 973 3970, price per person, per night £50 to £100) is a smaller hotel situated in one of the best parts of the city. Note: The Bristol Marriott Royal and Hotel Du Vin are particularly plush, as reflected by the price. Location: The hotels mentioned above are all within a ten to 15-minute drive from the ground. Why to stay there? All the hotels mentioned are centrally positioned and easily reached from the M4 and M32. All are also close by to major shopping areas, restuarants and pubs. Why not to stay there? Parking may be a problem. Check with the hotel.  Costs: As shown above. Telecom arrangements: Hotels will need to be contacted for further details. Personal experiences: None but I know people who have stayed at these places. Nearest place to buy newspapers/batteries: All these hotels are located close to newsagents.



Pubs: Plenty of good ones around Clifton Village, Whiteladies Road and the waterfront in the city centre. Recommendations include the Clifton Sausage Restaurant and Bar, 7-9 Portland Street, Clifton Village, which is popular with the Gloucestershire players (0117 9731192); Bar Med, Welsh Back (0117 9221846); Blackboy Inn, 171 Whiteladies Road (0117 9406130); Clifton Wine Bar, Richmond Terrace, Clifton (0117 9732069). Restaurants: Clifton Sausage, as above, is well regarded. Also recommended are Browns, 38 Queens Road, Clifton (0117 9304777); Glass Boat, Welsh Back (0117 9290704); House of Wong, 70 Whiteladies Road (0117 9730409); Sands (Lebanese food), 95 Queens Road (0117 9739734). Cinemas/theatres/concert halls/live music/nightclubs, etc: Big cinema complexes at Vue Cinemas, Cribbs Causeway (0871 2240240); Showcase, Avon Meads (0117 9723434); Cineworld, Hengrove Way (0871 2208000); Vue Cinemas, Aspects Leisure Park, Longwell Green (0871 2240240). Theatres and concert halls - Bristol Old Vic, King St (0117 9877877); Bristol Hippodrome, 10 St Augustine Parade (0870 6077500); Colston Hall, Colston St (0117 9223686). Local sights worth seeing on a rainy day/summers night: Clifton Suspension Bridge, SS Great Britain (by the waterfront), British & Commonwealth Museum (by Temple Meads Station), the @Bristol science centre, The Mall shopping centre at Cribbs Causeway or The Galleries shopping centre in the city centre. Nearby golf courses: Plenty in the area, including The Kendleshire, Henfield Road, Coalpit Heath (0117 9567007) and Long Ashton GC, Clarken Coombe Long Ashton (01275 392229). There's also a public course at Tall Pines, Cooks Bridle Path, Backwell (01275 472076, which is by Bristol Airport. Swimming pools/gyms, etc: Public swimming st several places, including Easton Leisure Centre, Thrissell St, near the city centre (0117 9558840). Good gyms include David Lloyd Club, Ashton Road (0117 9531010) and Fitness First, Cribbs Causeway (0117 9593222), but phone first to check availability to non-members. Places to avoid at all costs and why: The Broadmead shopping area in the city centre is OK during the day but not great at night. The waterfront, Clifton Village and Park Street and Whiteladies Road areas are better in the evening for pubs and restaurants.


Gloucester (King's School)


Directions: The King's School ground at Archdeacon Meadow is situated next to the A38 and close to the city centre. It is near to Gloucester Cathedral and the Kingsholm ground of Gloucester Rugby Club.
Ground facilities: There is plenty of parking next to the ground. The written media are accommodated in a tent, also used by radio journalists. Power points are supplied but the only telephone line is in the club caravan about 50 yards away.
Refreshments: None are provided for the press. Food and drinks are available elsewhere in the ground.
Accommodation: Plenty of hotels in Gloucester. Among those situated in the centre - and therefore within walking distance of the ground - are The Albert Hotel, a Grade II-listed building, at 50-60 Worcester St (01452 502081); Best Western New County Hotel (01452 307000); Sparlite Hotel (01452 380828) and Nickis Hotel (01452 301359).

Cheltenham College


Directions: The much-loved College Ground is situated next to Bath Road, about a mile to the west of the town centre.
Ground facilities: Press facilities are on the balcony of one of the school buildings, square to the wicket. The elevated position, close
proximity to the middle and marvellous views of the college chapel and surrounding hills make this a wonderful place from which to watch the action. Power points and a PA phone line are supplied. Plenty of car parking next to the ground.
Refreshments: None are provided for the press. Food and drinks are available elsewhere in the ground. The Montpellier marquee, on the
opposite side to the press balcony, is a popular place with the press who fancy some liquid refreshment.
Accommodation: Lots of hotels, including the Thistle Hotel (01242 232691); Cheltenham Town House Hotel (01242 221922); The Frogmill (01242 820547); Abbey Hotel (01242 516053) and Montpellier Hotel - close to the ground - (01242 526009).