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  Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 12:13 GMT
Bath - The Recreation ground
View from the Blackthorn stand
The Rec offers good views of local churches
By BBC Sport Online's Ed King

Bath Recreation Ground - Capacity 8,500

The Recreation Ground, or 'Rec' is one of the most idyllic and awkward grounds in the country.

It nestles next to the River Avon, under the shadow of Bath Abbey and Pultney Street, a Georgian masterpiece.

The ground lies at the heart of the city, within easy reach of pubs, restaurants and shops, all of which are crammed full of rugby fans before the game.

Where to stand/sit?

For one of the premier clubs in England, Bath does not have a ground to match.

Away supporters are generally shoved in the corner next to the Teachers stand - a place to avoid.

If you're after decent Bar/Toilet access, the best place is the Teachers stand. For a good view, sit in the East stand, and pray it doesn't rain.

There are limited disabled spaces at the front of the West stand.

Pubs to visit:

Spectators can watch from nearby houses
Views from anywhere
The Boater is the nearest pub to the Rec, and is always packed on match days. On warm days the beer garden and 'Vodka bar' is particularly popular. (1 min from Rec)

The Green Tree (Green St) is one of the smallest pubs in Bath, and a favourite of Stuart Barnes, one-time rec-legend. If you can squeeze in they do a good line in beer and a smashing bangers & mash.(5 min)

The Pig & Fiddle lies up Broad St, one of the narrowest roads in Bath. This friendly establishment boasts the widest selection of real-ales in the city, and is a real rugby pub, with shirts and murals adorning the walls. (5 min)

Restaurants:

No.5. sits nextdoor to the Bath Rugby shop, and opposite the Boater. They do an excellent line in continental nosh, and guarantee to have the food ready long before kick-off, as the owner is a Bath fan. (2 min) Argyle St 01225 444499.

Browns, part of a nationwide chain, lies near Bath Abbey, in the old Police station. Customers can choose whether to eat in one of the cells or in the main area! It gets very busy on Saturdays, so arrive early. (5 mins). Orange grove 01225 461199.

Le Beaujolais is run by French-expat and Bath celebrity Jean-Pierre Auge. The lively and slightly raunchy atmosphere is complemented by good traditional French cusine. (10 mins). Queen square 01225 423417.

Top tip

Don't bother driving into town looking fo a parking space - use the park and rides at Lambridge, Claverton and Odd Down.

Directions:

Car: Follow signs to Bath City Centre from M4 and Bristol. There is limited parking in the centre, if possible take the Park and Ride, or bus service from Lambridge training ground.

Bath and Newcastle players get intimate
Pre-match entertainmnt
Rail: The Rec is a five-minute walk from Bath Spa station, served from London, Wales and Bristol.

Bus: National Express Buses stop near the Railway station.

Did you know?

Bath prefer to play towards the Teachers stand in the second half.

What to do with the other half who hates Rugby?

Bath is one of the top three tourist destinations in the country, so there's no shortage of things to do in a day out.

The Roman Baths, Royal Photographic Museum and American Museum are all worth a look.

As far as shopping is concerned, the city is full of the main names, but for something more adventurous, try Bath's 'bohemian' quarter in Walcot street.

Prices:

Prices split into Gold & Silver ratings. Gold = Leicester, Silver = Sale

Standing = 17/14 Child = 10/8

Seating cover = 28/23

Seating open = 23/20

Ratings:

  • Atmosphere: 6
  • Access: 4
  • Toilets: 3
  • Location: 10
  • Bars: 6
  • Pies: 4
  • Disabled facilities: 2

Contact details:

Bath Rugby: 01225 460588


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