The Valley is a 27,111 capacity sports stadium located in Charlton, London, England and has been the home of Charlton Athletic Football Club since 1992. It is served by Charlton railway station, which is less than a five-minute walk away from the stadium.
It is not just football The Valley is famous for... In 1974, rockband The Who played a gig at the stadium and two years later they made it into the Guinness Book Of Records for the loudest ever gig, measured at 120 decibels from 50 metres away, again at The Valley.
The Valley was re-opened in December 1992 and since Charlton's return, the ground has been majorly redeveloped. Only the South Stand remains almost untouched from opening day with the north, east and west sides of the ground being completely rebuilt. All the changes have taken the grounds capacity up to over 27,000. The South Stand is the only one of the 4 with any supporting pillars. It's a hugely impressive stadium for a club at this level and it's a shame to see it only half full for league games at the moment.
The Valley has an unusual style for an older ground. It is part ‘English Style’ stadium, with four stands on each edge of the pitch, part ‘Bowl Style’, where the stands are curved and linked. There are still four distinct sections, though, so here’s a little bit of information on each:
The North Stand - This area of the stadium was re-built at the start of the millennium after Charlton were promoted back to the top-flight. Most fans call it The Covered End, and it has two-tiers that house the most passionate Addicks fans and the edges curve round to join up with the stands that run along the length of the pitch.
The East Stand - Built in the early ‘90s, this single-tier stand features the television gantry as well as the world ‘Valley’ written across the seats.
The West Stand - Typically considered to be the main stand at the stadium, this two-tiered section of the ground features the main facilities at The Valley as well as the players’ tunnel and numerous executive suites.
The Jimmy Seed Stand - This is the oldest part of the stadium dating back to the 1980s, and houses the away fans. It is also the only part of the ground that has a supporting pillar for the roof, so sight lines are limited from some locations.
Up to 3,000 visiting supporters can be catered for and they are situated in the Jimmy Seed Stand at the south end of the ground. This build is above pitch level, making for very good views of the playing surface. If the visiting team are unlikely to sell their full allocation, this end may be shared with home fans.
Away fans being away fans will always flock straight out of the station and cross the road to The Antigallican.
The White Swan - A beautiful traditional old pub that is great for real ale and for food, this place is right next door to the stadium so you can expect it to be busy on match days, but it's guaranteed to have plenty of atmosphere. There is a large beer garden too if the weather is nice.
The Rose Of Denmark - This place is for home supporters only after the match, but it welcomes both sets of fans before kick-off. They serve food, have good drink options and show live sport on big screens throughout the venue.
The Anchor and Hope - If riverside views are your thing then the Anchor and Hope is a great shout for a pre-match pint. It's only a 15 minute amble to the ground but it's out the way enough to avoid the throng of other supporters if you want to avoid that sort of thing.
Parking opportunities around the Valley are few and far between. Most advice is to use tube services to access the stadium but if you're willing to arrive early enough you'll definitely be able to find a space. Be aware of the residents permit holders areas though as these are very strictly adhered to.
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