This guide is based on my visit to The Oakwood on Sunday 21st November 2021 to watch Charlton play London City Lionesses in the FA Women’s Championship. A normal warning that this guide is based on one visit so things might be different if you decide to visit The Oakwood.
Old Road, Crayford, Kent DA1 4DN
Location and Ground History
The Oakwood ground is located in Crayford in south-east London, near the border with Kent and not far from Dartford. The ground is just north of the town centre. VCD Athletic FC have played at The Oakwood since 1918 but did move out between 1999 and 2006 before returning. Charlton Athletic started playing at the ground in 2018 when they got promoted to the FA Women’s Championship. The ground has a capacity of 1180. There are also tennis courts and a bowls green as part of The Oakwood complex.
Crayford station is about a 15 minute walk from the ground, passing through Crayford town centre and then a slight uphill climb. On the Sunday I went, trains were going to Dartford or back to into London via Woolwich from Charing Cross and Cannon Street stations in London and also passing through London Bridge station. Barnehurst station is a bit further away, about a 20 minute walk, and trains from here were running between Victoria and Dartford.
The 492 bus stops closest to the ground (Old Road/Perry Street stop) whilst the 96 and 428 buses pass through Crayford town centre. There is car parking available at the ground (from what I can see is free) which is on a first come first serve bases with stewards pointing you in the right direction as to where to park. Some cars were parked on the grass behind one end of the ground. If the car park is full, then it would have to be street parking near the ground.
I bought tickets online which cost me £10 (adult price) plus a £1.50 booking fee. I had to register with the club before buying online. The ticket came as an attachment on the confirmation email which I printed off and showed at the turnstile where it was taken from me. You were able to pay on the day at the turnstile, with the prices being £12 for adults and £7 for concessions (U18, Over 65 and disabled) and it is card payment only.
The turnstiles, which opened about an hour before kick off, are in one corner of the ground with a slight slope leading down to pitch side. There is a covered seated stand, which has a few rows of green and white seats (all unreserved), covering about a third of the pitch on one side of the ground with the slope and uncovered flat standing on either side of this. The opposite side has covered flat standing on either side of the dugouts and camera position. Both ends are uncovered flat standing. The dressing rooms are set back slightly from the ground, diagonally across the pitch from the turnstiles. There was a bag search before going into the ground. There are toilets inside the ground next to the turnstiles as well as inside the clubhouse. The ground is a bit exposed and was very cold when I went with the wind blowing from the north across it.
Food and Drink
There is a tea hut, to the left of turnstiles as you go in, with some benches and picnic tables near this at the top of the slope. The clubhouse is outside the ground, as you are walking up to it through the car park. The clubhouse is spacious with plenty of tables and chairs as well as a pool table and Sky Sports was on the TVs. The exit gate in the middle of the turnstiles is open at half time if you want to go out to the clubhouse then. Card and cash payment is accepted at the tea hut and in the clubhouse. In Crayford town centre, there are some restaurants, take-aways and a couple of pubs.
I didn’t see any merchandise available to buy at the ground (I may have missed it of course) and was told there are online programmes (link to free digital programme posted on Twitter). There is a crossbar challenge at half time, where you could win up to £150, which you are entered for if you buy a ticket before 9am on the Friday before a Sunday match.