Morecambe Football Club travel to Portman Road on Saturday 7 August 2021, for our Sky Bet League One opener against Ipswich Town.
Information in this guide is correct as at August 1 2021.
We look forward to welcoming you to Ipswich! We hope you enjoy your visit.
This is a short guide, designed to answer the kind of questions that we often get from visiting fans, and provide the information that we find useful when we’re travelling away ourselves.
For any further information, or if you have any feedback on our guide, please contact Elizabeth Edwards, Supporter Liaison Officer, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07968 876504 or via Twitter on @ITFC_SLO.
IPSWICH TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB
Address: Ipswich Town Football Club, Portman Road, Ipswich, IP12DA
Club Telephone Number: 01473 400500
Ticket Office Number: 03330 050503
Supporter Liaison Officer: Elizabeth Edwards, email@example.com, 07968 876504, @ITFC_SLO
Disability Liaison Officer: Lee Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01473 400556
Customer Services: email@example.com
IF YOU HAVE AN HOUR OR TWO PRE-MATCH IN IPSWICH
The stadium is just a short, 5-10 minute, walk to the town centre, with shops, cafes and restaurants. The waterfront area is around a 15-minute walk from the ground, with a yachting marina and a range of cafes and restaurants. Note that the only pub that officially welcomes away fans is the Station Hotel (details below). Many pubs and bars in the town centre are strictly home fans only (more info below), whilst others are more relaxed – this does vary from match to match though. Just beyond the town centre, 15 minutes’ walk from the ground, is the beautiful Christchurch Park, with a renowned art gallery within the Tudor mansion building.
If you are staying longer then more information is given at the end of this guide.
HOW TO GET TO THE STADIUM
Back in 2003, we hosted an England international v Croatia. On the England fans message board, someone asked “how do I get from the station to the ground?” The response was simple: “Come out of the station and look straight ahead. The ground is the oblong structure with floodlights at each corner.”
- BY CAR
The address is Portman Road, Ipswich, IP1 2DA.
Note: There is now a new stretch of A14 from Huntingdon to Cambridge, beginning a few miles south of the previous A1/A14 junctions. The signage is clear, but, if you haven’t updated your SatNav, then do pay attention! In particular, heading west from Cambridge, you now keep right to stay on the A14. Heading east off the A1, the junction to join the A14 is several miles to the south of the previous road. The new road adds several miles but is much quicker and less prone to hold- ups.
From Morecambe, there are two main road options. The journey time for both is likely to take at least five hours, and may take even longer, depending on road conditions. We generally recommend allowing at least an hour, and ideally 90 minutes, beyond the AA / Google / Sat Nav suggested journey time.
The first route is the A683 / M6 / M61 / M62 / A1 down to the A14 at Huntingdon. You then take the A14 to the outskirts of Ipswich and follow the ‘Last few miles’ below. See the note above re the new stretch of the A14.
The second route is via the M6 (you may want to use the M6 toll to avoid any potential hold-ups around Birmingham) which you take to the A14. Instructions are then as above. The M6 is usually very busy and slower than you might hope due to lengthy stretches of roadworks.
The last few miles
Sat Navs vary in their recommended route into town, but whichever way you go, it shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes from the A14 to the ground.
For those without Sat Nav, once you reach the junction of the A14 and A12, just south of Ipswich, take the A1214 (London Road) for a couple of miles into town. As you approach the town centre area, there’s a Sainsbury’s supermarket on the left – at this point, go straight on past Sainsbury’s and then almost immediately right onto West End Road. Take the first left (after about half a mile) onto Sir Alf Ramsey Way and you’ve arrived.
Note that the roads immediately behind the Cobbold and Sir Bobby Robson stands are closed about 90 minutes before the game, so to access the NCP car park on Portman Road you will need to continue on London Road, straight on to Handford Road and then turn right at a set of traffic lights onto Portman Road (if you miss the turning, just do a U-turn at the roundabout with Civic Drive, turning back onto Handford Road, then taking the first left into Portman Road).
There is no official stadium car park, but there is parking all around the ground. The closest is a large NCP on Portman Road (right by the away end), which usually has spaces up to around an hour before kick-off. There’s also a large car park on West End Road (5 minutes’ walk away) and at the railway station (less than 10 minutes). The town centre is less than 10 minutes’ walk, and has numerous car parks, as you’d expect. Being a town centre ground, most streets are controlled (residents only) parking, so free on-road parking tends to be at least a 20-minute walk away. As usual, the car parks nearest the ground are a bit slow to clear after the game – the further you park from the ground, the less likely you are to face lengthy traffic delays post-match. One good option is the railway station car park (it’s controlled by cameras, and the pay stations are by the entrance to the station – it costs £6 all day at weekends) - exit left onto Burrell Road / Ranelagh Road (B1075), then (after about a mile) left onto the A1214 to get out to the A14.
Five car parking spaces are available for visiting disabled supporters. Spaces can be booked by contacting Ipswich Town's Disability Liaison Officer, Lee Smith, on 01473 400556. There is no charge for this parking but note that the spaces are on the opposite side of the stadium to the away turnstiles.
- BY COACH
Away coaches usually park in the West End Road car park, 5 - 10 minutes’ walk from the ground.
The Station Hotel (away fans pub – see below) is just a couple of minutes away – go towards the bridge over the river, at the east end of the car park, turn right and you’ll find the pub the other side of the river, right opposite the railway station.
It is possible to arrange a drop-off nearer to the stadium for fans with mobility issues – please contact Ipswich Town's Disability Liaison Officer, Lee Smith, on 01473 400556 in advance of the game to arrange this.
- BY TRAIN
Note 1: It is not realistically possible to get back to Morecambe after the game by train. The last train to Lancaster leaves from London St Pancras at 19:02 (change at Sheffield and Manchester Piccadilly), but even if you leave the game very early and get the 16:52 train from Ipswich, your change in London is uncomfortably tight.
Note 2: All train times are subject to late change and cancellation due to Covid self-isolation requirements for railway staff. Please check all times shortly before travel.
For those travelling by train, Ipswich station is only 5 to 10 minutes’ walk from the ground.
It is possible to travel via London or cross-country with trains from London to Ipswich leaving from Liverpool Street station. The journey time is about 6 hours 15 minutes to 6 hours 45 minutes.
Via London, www.greateranglia.co.uk indicates an option leaving Morecambe at 06:10. Change at Lancaster for London Euston where you get the underground to London Liverpool Street. The 11:02 from London Liverpool Street will get you to Ipswich at 12:25. The next options via London leave Morecambe at 07:41 and 08:23, but these options are not scheduled to arrive in Ipswich until 14:26 and 14:38 respectively so allow no time for delays.
The cross-country option leaves Morecambe at 07:00. At Lancaster change for a train to Manchester Piccadilly where you pick up a train to Ely. At Ely pick up the 12:32 train to Ipswich. Note that the trains that head east out of Peterborough and Ely are very small – even with new rolling stock, they only have three carriages. They are also used by many Town fans from Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds.
For those travelling back on the Sunday morning, there are various options available, both cross- country and via London. Journey times are around 7 hours 40 minutes cross-country (via Peterborough and Leeds leaving Ipswich at 07:55, 09:55 and 11:55 ) and 6 hours 50 minutes via London.
For those travelling back to London after the game, there are trains at 17:41, 17:52 and then 41 and 52 minutes past the hour until 20:41. Thereafter trains leave at 23 and 41 minutes past the hour until 23:23.
There are ticket checks on all mainline trains and ticket barriers at Ipswich.
OFFICIAL AWAY PUB
The Station Hotel (formerly the Riverside Hotel) is opposite the station, and is the official away pub. It is roomy, has a garden and TV screens, and up to four beers on handpump, mostly from the Greene King stable.
Most pubs immediately around the ground are for home fans only, and few pubs around the town, if any, will welcome groups of away fans, especially wearing away team colours. As always, couples, families and older people will find it a bit easier to slip into a town centre pub for a quiet beer or two. Note that, on a match-by-match basis, police may designate other pubs in the town centre as home fans only. This is more likely nowadays as there have been a number of pub closures in the immediate area around the stadium. In practice, the smaller and the friendlier the away following, the easier it is to enjoy our many great pubs on a matchday.
There is a FanZone marquee and entertainment zone at the stadium, but this is strictly open to home fans only. There are ticket checks at the door.
The nearest cash machines to the stadium are a 5-10 minute walk away, (a) at the railway station, (b) at the Cardinal Park leisure facility (which has a number of chain restaurants, plus a KFC and a McDonalds), and (c) throughout the town centre.
- MATCHDAY PROGRAMME
The 68-page matchday programme, priced at £3.50, can be purchased outside the stadium from the blue, tardis-like kiosks. Programmes are not for sale inside the ground.
As at most away grounds, you can expect to be searched prior to entering the ground. Ipswich Town also uses a trained search dog and some stewards now wear body cameras.
Large bags will not be permitted to be taken into the stadium. By way of guidance, nothing larger than a standard carrier bag will be allowed. There are no facilities to leave bags.
Portman Road is a traditional ground, with 4 separate stands. The away end for this game is block V2 of the Cobbold Stand. This gives you a good side-stand upper-tier view of the action, though it is an older stand, celebrating its 50th birthday this season.
Ambulant disabled fans, who require limited stepped access, will be seated within block S of the lower tier of the Cobbold Stand – this is an away fans block. Accessible toilets are on the concourse of the lower tier. Ambulant disabled supporters wishing to sit in the Upper Tier can do so but please note that there is no lift access or accessible toilet facility in this area.
As we do not have wheelchair spaces in the Cobbold Stand, wheelchair users are located with home fans in the West Stand.
This match is all ticket, with no tickets on sale on the day.
Adult tickets are priced at £25.50 in block V2 (upper tier, Cobbold Stand).
Adult tickets for ambulant disabled fans (block S, Cobbold Stand) are priced at £21.50 with adult tickets for wheelchair users (West Stand) priced at £18.50. These tickets include a carer.
Concession prices are available in all areas for Seniors over 65, under 23s and under 19s. Ambulant disabled supporters wanting to go in the upper tier pay the block V2 price.
The Ticket Enquiry Centre in Portman Road (next to the away turnstiles) will be open on matchday to deal with any queries.
- COVID-19 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Please note that all tickets will have an arrival time printed on them. Supporters should look to adhere to these times and arrive when stated. With the checks in place at the turnstile the entry process will be longer than normal so these times are designed to allow access to the stadium in time to watch the game.
Lateral Flow Test / Vaccination History
All supporters visiting Portman Road (with the exception of children under the age of 11) will need to show proof of a negative lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of the time the stadium gates open (1:30pm), or proof of full vaccination (with the final dose administered at least 14 days before the relevant match). If a supporter has no proof of either then no admission will be granted.
For lateral flow tests a text message or email via NHS Test and Trace confirming a negative result will need to be shown to a matchday steward.
Proof of vaccination can be shown on the NHS App. Vaccine cards or a photo of the card will also be accepted, but if you use this option, you will also have to show photographic ID. If you are unable to meet the requirement for photographic ID, please contact the ITFC ticket office on 03330 050503.
Supporters must not attend the game if suffering from Covid symptoms, are feeling unwell, have been asked to isolate or if they have been in close contact with anyone experiencing symptoms or who has tested positive. In the event you develop Covid-19 symptoms whilst at the stadium, please notify the nearest member of Club staff immediately.
- COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
Face coverings are mandatory in indoor areas such as the concourses and toilets etc. Whilst not mandatory within the stadium bowl, spectators are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in all outdoor spectator settings, including seats. We ask all those attending to show respect to ITFC staff and fellow supporters in regard to this matter.
We ask supporters to maintain good hand hygiene at all times around the stadium – please use the sanitiser dispensers provided and avoid touching your face, or handles and railings whenever possible.
When moving past others, to and from your seat, please avoid face to face contact and follow any instructions from the stewards.
- SPECTATORS CODE OF CONDUCT
In line with Government guidance on the admission of supporters to football stadia, the Club has put in place a range of processes to ensure the safety of all supporters at our matches. It is vital that all those attending play their part in making each game safe and enjoyable and to do so we need your support and co-operation. The code of conduct can be viewed here.
- HUNGRY OR THIRSTY?
Note that all kiosks are cashless. Card and contactless will be accepted.
Food and drink facilities are what you’d expect (pies, burgers, confectionery etc). Alcohol availability in the away end is determined on a match-by-match basis. We will advise your SLO as soon as we have the relevant information. Food and drink (alcohol if available) prices are as follows:
Steak & Ale Pie
Chicken Ham Pie
Chicken Balti Pie
Vegetarian (Butterbean) Pie
Sausage Rolls and Vegan Sausage Rolls
Gin & Tonic, Vodka & Coke mixer cans
Carling PET, IPA Cans and Stowford Press Cider
Soft Drinks 500ml
Capri Sun 200ml
• SMOKING POLICY
Portman Road is a no smoking stadium. This includes e-cigarettes. Anyone found smoking will be ejected from the ground. For anyone considering leaving the stadium, note that no re-admission to the ground is permitted.
Subject to space, flags and banners are allowed in the away end. These will need to be fire certificated. For questions relating to this contact Mick Warden on firstname.lastname@example.org.
• MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AND SELFIE STICKS
Musical instruments and selfie sticks are not allowed in the away end.
As with all grounds and to comply with legislation, the use of pyrotechnics or even trying to get them into the stadium is a criminal offence and will not be tolerated.
Pushchairs are not allowed into the stadium. No storage is available so they will need to be left in your car.
The Club has 10 radio headsets available to supporters with visual impairments ran through Soccer Sight, who provide dedicated descriptive commentary allowing the supporter to sit anywhere in the stadium.
If you would like to reserve headsets or you have any special requirements please contact Ipswich’s Disability Liaison Officer Lee Smith on email@example.com or 01473 400556.
STAMP IT OUT
Racism or discrimination of any form is not OK, ‘Not Today or Any Day’ and supporters are reminded that instances of discriminatory or prejudiced behaviour will not be tolerated at any EFL game.
Ipswich Town Football Club takes a zero-tolerance stance on any form of racial, homophobic or prejudiced behaviour. Supporters can report any incident instantly that they feel needs attention by texting the anonymous ‘Stamp it Out’ number on 07834 439429 (standard text rate applies). All reports will be handled in the strictest confidence.
You can also report any discrimination or anti-social behaviour to Kick it Out using the Kick It Out app which is available to download from the App Store or Google Play, or via: Facebook /kickitoutofficial; Twitter @kickitout; email firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 0800 169 9414.
Alternatively, our customer services can be contacted on email@example.com.
IF YOU’RE SPENDING A BIT MORE TIME IN IPSWICH...
Ipswich has numerous hotels, many at the budget end of the market, within a comfortable walk from the ground. Of the chains, the nearest are the Novotel and Penta hotels (5 mins), with the Premier Inn and Travelodge around 10-15 mins from the ground in the harbourside area and a newish lodge at the Mermaid pub (Marstons), also about a 10-minute walk. For a more upmarket option, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel is on the harbourside, and Milsoms (Kesgrave) is in a country house setting on the eastern edge of Ipswich. The Railway at Westerfield is about 2 miles out of town, but is a lovely traditional pub with great food and frequent trains that get you to Ipswich station in just a few minutes.
(There are many other hotels in and around Ipswich – we have no connection with these listed, but suggest them for convenience as they are mostly close to the ground and have been well spoken of by many fans).
There is so much to do in and around Ipswich, making it ideal for a short break. Local attractions include:
- Harbourside and marina, with numerous restaurants, cafes and bars
- Town centre, with many independent stores dotted around a fairly compact area
- New Wolsey Theatre, one of the UK’s leading regional theatres, with a year-round programme of great plays and shows, including their own productions and national tours. Their rock n roll panto runs from early December to early February, and is simply unmissable – even, or especially, if you don’t “do” conventional pantos.
- Christchurch Park, Mansion and Gallery – a huge, 70-acre park just north of the town centre, including a Tudor mansion which houses a renowned (and free) art gallery (with a permanent display of local artist John Constable)
- Pubs selling a wide range of locally-brewed real ales, including the Fat Cat, Dove Street Inn, Woolpack, Greyhound, St Judes Tavern, Arcade Street Tavern, Three Wise Monkeys, Thomas Wolsey (strictly home fans on a matchday), Spread Eagle, Lord Nelson and Briarbank Brewery. Of these, the Dove and St Judes have their own-brewed beers amongst a wider range, whilst the Briarbank is a microbrewery with a wide range of its own ales. Note that some pubs continue to offer table service only.
- Felixstowe is just 15 miles (15 minutes, via the A14) away to the east, and is both a traditional seaside resort (there’s a pier and the promenade stretches for a couple of miles) and major container port, which includes a fantastic viewing point, where you can see shipping movements and the loading / unloading of the world’s largest container ships.
- The Orwell Bridge carries the A14 over the river to Felixstowe, and is an impressive sight from below. You get to it off the A137, which is a mile or so east of the A12/A14 junction (turn towards Ipswich, down the hill, and then turn right at the first roundabout towards Shotley). The road under the Orwell Bridge then meanders for a few miles past Pin Mill (the Butt & Oyster is a lovely old waterside inn) and onto Shotley, which has loads of yachts and great views of the ports of Felixstowe and Harwich.
- The historic little town of Woodbridge is just a few miles from Ipswich, with a tide mill, lots of little boutiques, some fine pubs, and an Adnams Wine and Beer store (next to the station)
- Just a bit further up the coast you’ll find the beautiful seaside town of Aldeburgh with its famous fish & chip shop (it’s the one at the north end of the High Street, with the big queue outside), as well as some wonderful little shops and pubs. You’ll pass the concert hall, antique, home furnishings and fine foods shops of Snape Maltings en route to Aldeburgh, and it’s well worth the short detour – no national chains here!
- If you’ve managed to get as far as Aldeburgh, you may well be tempted to continue a bit further up the coast, past the impressive power station at Sizewell, to the beautiful seaside town of Southwold, home of Adnams beers, a pier, and lots of little shops and galleries.