If you’ve ever been fascinated to use the satellite feature in Google Maps to zoom in on Premier League grounds to see what they look like from the air, you’ll be glad to know that Google has recently launched their Street View feature for many cities in the United Kingdom.
Google hasn’t been able to capture all of England with their Street View cars yet, but most of the major cities have been included. As a result, we now have a bird’s eye view of most of the Premier League grounds from the street level. The images were taken during the summer of 2008 (the British streets don’t always look as sunny as they do in Google Street View)!
If you’re like me, you may find some of the results pretty revealing. Ever since I was a child I had an image in my mind of what I thought the neighborhood around Anfield looked like. It was cobbled together from one part imagination and another part the descriptions I had read about the area. So when I visited the ground for the first time in 2006, I was shocked to find that Liverpool’s Anfield stadium was located at the top of a hill and surrounded by dilapidated homes.
Take a virtual walk up to the Premier League grounds that are accessible with Google Street View today. It’s the next best thing to being there.
- Arsenal (Emirates Stadium). You’ll get to see how modern and sleek the football stadium looks.
- Aston Villa (Villa Park). Unfortunately the closest view is from the M6 motorway.
- Blackburn Rovers (Ewood Park). Street View in Blackburn is not available from Google as of yet.
- Bolton Wanderers (Reebok Stadium). Street View near Bolton is not available from Google as of yet.
- Chelsea (Stamford Bridge). You can’t get as close to Stamford Bridge as I would have liked, but you get the impression of what the Chelsea compound looks like with its impressive entrance toward the Chelsea hotel next to the Stamford Bridge ground.
- Everton (Goodison Park). Google doesn’t allow you to go down Gwladys Street or next to the Dixie Dean pub alongside Goodison Park, but you can see what the back of Goodison looks like from the main road.
- Fulham (Craven Cottage). This Street View gives you a perfect glimpse of how Fulham’s ground is nestled in a sleepy English street and how ornate and impressive the Johnny Haynes stand is.
- Hull City (KC Stadium). No Street View is available from Google as of yet.
- Liverpool (Anfield). Google Street View shows how Anfield stadium dwarfs the terraced housing encircling the ground and how badly run down many of the homes are.
- Manchester City (City of Manchester Stadium). The stadium looks quite space age from the outside — definitely more so than inside the bowl-shaped ground.
- Manchester United (Old Trafford). Here’s a perfect example of a football club that uses the outside of their stadium to market themselves. While Tottenham’s White Hart Lane looks like a prison from outside the ground, Man United’s Old Trafford is exactly what you would expect from the most successful club in the world.
- Middlesbrough (Riverside Stadium). No Street View is available from Google as of yet.
- Newcastle United (St James’ Park). You only have to see where Newcastle’s ground is located to get an idea of how important the club is to the city. Perched atop the centre of the city as a main focal point, the ground is an impressive mixture of steel and brick, both inside and out.
- Portsmouth (Fratton Park). No Street View is available from Google as of yet.
- Stoke City (Britannia Stadium). No Street View is available from Google as of yet.
- Sunderland (Stadium of Light). No Street View is available from Google as of yet.
- Tottenham Hotspur (White Hart Lane). This is one of those grounds that is much more impressive inside than out. Outside, there isn’t much to see, unfortunately.
- West Bromwich Albion (Hawthorns). Street View gets close to the stadium, but not close enough to actually see the ground unfortunately.
- West Ham United (Boleyn Ground). West Ham’s stadium, from the outside, is very appealing with its turrets framing the Dr Martens Stand alongside Green Street (yes, that one), while on the opposite side of the ground is the miniscule (from the outside) East Stand which was opened in 1969 and allows little room for imagination.
- Wigan Athletic (JJB Stadium). No Street View is available from Google as of yet.
And here are some specific highlights of my favorite football grounds in England:
Shankly Gates next to the Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield:
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Fulham’s cottage alongside their beautiful Johnny Haynes Stand in west London:
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