By Paul Donegan
This ground guide for the Orbital Fasteners Stadium is from when I went and watched Watford play their first match of the season there (previous ones played at Vicarage Road) against Sunderland on 14th November 2021 in the FA Women’s Championship. Normal warning that things might be different from this if you decide to visit there to watch a match.
Kings Langley, WD4 8JE
Location and Ground History
Kings Langley is in Hertfordshire, near junction 20 of the M25 (then up the A4251 and through the village if driving and coming from that way). It is about 20 miles north west of central London, about 5 miles north of Watford and 3 miles south of Hemel Hempstead. The ground opened in 1997 when Kings Langley FC moved there and it has a capacity of 1,900. Watford have played at Kings Langley since 2017.
The closest station to the ground is Apsley which is about a 20 minute walk away whilst Kings Langley station is about 30 minutes walk in the other direction and going through the village. Both stops are on the same line which runs between Euston station in London and Milton Keynes on Sundays (stopping at Watford) and there is one train an hour to both stations. The railway line actually passes the ground between the two stations.
The 501 bus runs hourly on Sundays (runs between mid morning and early evening) and passes the ground (Coniston Road stop). It runs between Watford and Aylesbury. The car park at the ground is not available for the public to park in on matchdays so it is either using car parks in the village (10/15 minute walk away) or street parking near the ground. If walking from the stations or village, there is only a pavement on one side of the road at certain points so the walk may involve a bit of crossing over the road (including at near the ground where the pavement is on the opposite side).
Tickets are available to buy online up until 5pm on the Friday before a Sunday match. You do need to do the ‘normal’ creating an account with the club if you haven’t bought tickets from them before. The ticket comes as an attachment on the confirmation email which I printed off and showed at the ground. Tickets are also available to buy on the day of the match from inside the clubhouse at Kings Langley (at a table near the entrance) and these cost the same as if bought online. Cash or card payment is accepted.
The turnstiles and clubhouse/dressing rooms are in a corner of the ground, straight in front of you as you go in off the road. I went in through the bar and down some steps and showed my ticket to a steward there. On one side of the ground, there is some uncovered terracing with a covered seated stand (all seats are unreserved) further along. With some scaffolding poles holding up the roof along the front as well as people walking past, there can by an obscured view of the pitch.
The end to the right of this side (entrance end) is uncovered flat standing whilst at the other end, there is a small covered seated stand behind the goal with the rest of the end being uncovered flat standing. The opposite side has some covered terracing in the middle with the dugouts either side of this though this side was not open to the public as it was part of the red zone. The camera position is on the roof above the terracing. There are toilets near the turnstiles and in the bar. This is a ground/clubs that are very welcoming for you to take dogs (as long as kept on leads) along with some bowls of water and biscuits left for them near the entrance.
Food and Drink
There is a burger van inside the ground near the entrance. Not a big choice of food with burgers/cheeseburgers costing £3.50 and hot dogs £3. Hot drinks cost £1 and cold drinks £1.50. Not the biggest bar either but there is some outdoor seating available. Alcohol is not allowed to be taken into the actual ground. Cash and card are accepted in the bar and at the burger van. There is a pub between the ground and Apsley station and in Kings Langley village, there are a some shops, cafes, takeaways, pubs etc.
I didn’t notice any Watford merchandise available to buy at the ground (I might have missed it though) but paper programmes are available to buy from inside the clubhouse (same place as where you buy tickets) which cost £3 and again you can pay by cash or card. The programme has 44 pages and probably the best I have seen at any WSL/Championship club this season so far.