Solitude Stadium guide
Solitude Stadium is a football stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is the oldest football stadium in Ireland, and the home ground of Ireland’s oldest football club, Cliftonville. The stadium holds 6,224, but is currently restricted to 2,530 under safety legislation.
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Solitude was built in 1890 and has undergone several renovations. In 2002, a new stand was built at one end of the ground to house visiting supporters, and in 2008, a new stand was completed behind the goal at the east end of the ground. A synthetic 3G pitch was installed to replace the previous grass surface in 2010.
Solitude has hosted a number of cup finals and international games. During the 1890s and early 1900s Solitude was the home ground of Ireland, replacing the Ulster Cricket Ground at Ballynafeigh. During the 1890s, the ground hosted 11 home internationals. On 3 March 1894, after thirteen attempts Ireland, playing at Solitude, finally avoided defeat to England. Against an England team that included Fred Spiksley and Jack Reynolds, Ireland gained a 2–2 draw. Goals from Olphert Stanfield and W.K. Gibson inspired Ireland to come back from 2–0 down to gain a 2–2 draw.
Solitude is a popular venue for football fans in Northern Ireland. It is a well-known landmark in Belfast, and is often referred to as “The Holy Ground” by Cliftonville supporters.
Here are some additional facts about Solitude Stadium:
- The stadium is named after its location, which is on Solitude Road in Belfast.
- The nickname “The Holy Ground” was given to Solitude by Cliftonville supporters in the 1920s.
- Solitude is also the home of the Cliftonville FC Supporters Club.
Pubs near Solitude Stadium, home of Cliftonville FC
- McGrath’s Bar is a traditional Irish pub with a warm and friendly atmosphere. It’s located just a 5-minute walk from the stadium, and it’s a popular spot for both locals and visitors. The pub has a wide selection of beers on tap, as well as a good menu of pub food. Address: 78 Cliftonville Rd, Belfast BT14 6JZ. Phone: 028 9075 3432.
- Bailey’s Inn is another popular pub near the stadium. It’s a bit larger than McGrath’s, and it has a more lively atmosphere. The pub has a large beer garden, which is a great place before a game on a sunny day.Address: 536-538 Oldpark Rd, Belfast BT14 6QJ. Phone: 028 9039 1235.
- The Hole In The Wall is a smaller, more intimate pub. It’s located in a quiet street, just a short walk from the stadium. The pub has a great selection of craft beers, and it’s a popular spot for locals. Address: 1 Baltic Ave, Belfast BT15 2HR. Phone: 028 9074 0772.
Hotels near Solitude Stadium in Belfast
- Citi North Guest House. Simple guest house with free Wi-Fi and a shared kitchen. It is 0.3 miles (0.5 km) from the stadium.
- The Lansdowne Hotel. Laid-back hotel with simple rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a restaurant and bar. It is 0.4 miles (0.6 km) from the stadium.
- Ramada by Wyndham Belfast City Centre. Contemporary hotel with straightforward rooms and suites, plus a restaurant and bar. It is 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from the stadium.
- Travelodge Belfast Central. Simple hotel with custom-designed beds, free Wi-Fi, and a 24-hour front desk. It is 1.3 miles (2.1 km) from the stadium.
Here are some other hotels that are a bit further away, but still within walking distance of the stadium:
- The Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast. Luxury hotel with a spa, a rooftop bar, and views of the city. It is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the stadium.
- Bullitt Hotel. Hip hotel with a bar, a restaurant, and a games room. It is 1.7 miles (2.7 km) from the stadium.
- Europa Hotel. Historic hotel with a bar, a restaurant, and a casino. It is 1.8 miles (2.9 km) from the stadium.
How to get to Solitude Stadium, Cliftonville football ground
- By car: The stadium is located on the Cliftonville Road in North Belfast. You can follow the A12 Westlink road to the Carlisle Circus roundabout, where you should take the third exit onto the Antrim Road. The stadium is on the left-hand side, just after the Cliftonville Street junction.
- By bus: The 12A bus from Belfast City Centre begins its journey from Donegall Square North (opposite City Hall) and takes approximately 12 minutes to reach Solitude.
- By taxi: Taxis are also a convenient way to get to Solitude Stadium. The fare from Belfast City Centre is typically around £5.
Here are the directions to Solitude Stadium by car:
- Follow the M1 into South Belfast Junction 1.
- At the roundabout continue into the A12 Westlink road, then turn off towards the A6/A52 Junction.
- At the Carlisle Circle roundabout take a right turn into the A6 Antrim Road.
- Follow the road north, and turn left into Cliftonville Road.
- The ground entrance is on the right hand side at the end of Cliftonville Street.
Here are the directions to Solitude Stadium by bus:
- Take the 12A bus from Belfast City Centre.
- The bus departs from Donegall Square North (opposite City Hall).
- The bus journey takes approximately 12 minutes.
- The bus stop for Solitude Stadium is on Cliftonville Road, just before the stadium entrance.
Things to do near Solitude Stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Visit the Irish Football Museum. The Irish Football Museum is located right next to Solitude Stadium and tells the story of football in Ireland from its early days to the present day. There are interactive exhibits, trophies, and memorabilia on display.
- Take a walk through the Botanic Gardens. The Botanic Gardens are a beautiful oasis in the heart of Belfast. There are over 10,000 different plant species in the gardens, as well as a number of greenhouses and a cafe.
- Explore the Cathedral Quarter. The Cathedral Quarter is a lively and historic area of Belfast. There are a number of bars, restaurants, and shops in the area, as well as the Belfast Cathedral and St. Anne’s Cathedral.
- Go on a Game of Thrones tour. Belfast was a filming location for many of the Game of Thrones scenes. There are a number of Game of Thrones tours available, which take you to some of the most famous filming locations.
- Visit the Crumlin Road Gaol. The Crumlin Road Gaol is a former prison that is now a museum. The gaol was used to hold political prisoners during the Troubles.
- Go shopping in Castle Quarter. The Castle Quarter is a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts. There are a number of independent shops in the area, as well as the CastleCourt shopping centre.
- Have a pint in a traditional Irish pub. There are a number of traditional Irish pubs in Belfast, where you can enjoy a pint of Guinness and some live music.
I hope this gives you some ideas for things to do near Solitude Stadium.