Did you know that you could take a tour of the new AFC Wimbledon stadium? Whether you’re a football enthusiast or a local resident who’s simply curious, the tour is an entertaining and informative experience. This post contains everything you need to know to book a tour and find the stadium, as well as details about what to expect on the tour.
AFC Wimbledon Stadium Tour
What to Expect on the Tour
The AFC Wimbledon Stadium Tour offers fans a unique opportunity to explore the new Plough Lane stadium, and learn about the club’s history. Visitors can walk around the stadium’s facilities, including the players’ changing rooms, manager’s office, and hospitality areas.
The tour also includes a visit to the club’s museum, where fans can see Wimbledon FC memorabilia and learn about the history of AFC Wimbledon.
More information about what you’ll see on a stadium tour can be found below.
As part of the tour, visitors have the unique opportunity to step inside the players’ dressing rooms. You get to see both the changing rooms for home players and the away players to compare the difference.
The tour guide shares interesting stories about the players who used to play for Wimbledon including John Fashanu, Vinnie Jones and Dennis Wise. In the home changing room, shown in the photograph below, you can see Fashanu’s autograph on the wall.
The photograph below shows the away changing rooms, so you can see the difference. On a match days, you won’t be able to attend this part of the tour, since the changing rooms are in use.
One of the highlights of the AFC Wimbledon Stadium Tour is the opportunity to walk through the iconic players’ tunnel. In the photograph below you can see the route the players take from the changing rooms, through the tunnel before they emerge onto the pitch.
The tunnel is a corridor that leads from the dressing rooms to the pitch, and usually has a message for the home team at the entrance. Some of the most famous players’ tunnels include the tunnel at Liverpool Football Club, with their “This Is Anfield” sign, and the tunnel at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium which has the message “Come on You Spurs”. Above the tunnel at AFC Wimbledon it says “This is Plough Lane”.
As part of the tour visitors have the opportunity to see the dugouts where the managers, coaches and substitutes sit during matches. The dugouts are located at pitch level, just a few metres away from the touchline. The photograph below shows the dugouts for the home team that are located at the end of the players’ tunnel.
The first stand once you emerge from the players’ tunnel is the Cappagh Stand, or the West Stand. This stand has seats for both AFC Wimbledon supporters and away fans. The photograph below was taken in front of the Cappagh stand. This is the view of the away team’s seating area, and some of the corporate boxes above.
You can see from the photograph below that seats in the Cappagh stand get a perfect view of the action on the pitch, and are a popular choice for season ticket holders.
While pitch side, you also get a chance to see the South London Movers Stand. This is the only stand in the stadium where players are allowed to stand up during the game. This stand is for AFC Wimbledon fans only. You can see in the photograph below, each seat has a metal bar in front that you can lean on when standing.
The photograph below shows the view of the pitch from the movers stand.
AFC Wimbledon offer a number of hospitality packages including gold and silver options, and corporate boxes. During the tour you get to see the lounges, and corporate boxes where fans can enjoy a meal, or drinks after the game, or during half time.
The photograph below was taken from one of the corporate boxes. You can see the boxes have the best views in the stadium, and have padded armchair seats directly outside the box. Each box also has a TV screen and fridge.
The photograph below shows the padded seats that are located directly outside the corporate boxes.
From the hospitality tier you get great views of the pitch, as well as access to the networking lounge.
AFC Wimbledon also offer luxurious hospitality packages which include a sophisticated lounge and a four or five course sit down meal. During the tour you get to view the dinning areas, which can also be rented out for private functions.
The photographs above and below show the largest lounge available, which is the silver plus package lounge. In this area you can have a sit down meal, as well as access to centrally located padded seats to watch the match.
AFC Wimbledon Pub
AFC Wimbledon has a pub within the grounds called By the Horns. The pub is open every day regardless of whether there is a match on, and can be visited by both home fans, and away fans. On matchdays however, it is only open to home fans.
Above the bar at the pub is the an illuminated sign with the acronym “COYD” which means “Come On You Dons”. The club were originally nicknamed the Dons, but later referred to by the media as the “Wombles”. After their FA Cup victory in 1988 they were also nicknamed the “Crazy Gang”.
The stadium tour finishes in the museum, which contains a range of exhibits, from team photos and shirts, to newspaper clippings and trophies. Among the displays you can see Vinnie Jones’ gold FA Cup Final medal, as well as some of the old mascots.
The museum’s ‘greatest story’ exhibition tells the tale of the club’s rise from non-league obscurity to the Football League, including their famous victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup in 1988. This is still celebrated as one of the greatest moments in the club’s history.
AFC Wimbledon Mascot
You can also see the current and former Wimbledon mascots in the museum.
The current mascot for AFC Wimbledon is called Haydon, named after Haydons Road train station which is the closest station to the new stadium, and only a short walk from the site of the former stadium. The Womble’s name was chosen in 2006 by Elisabeth Beresford, the author of The Wombles.
Prior to Haydon, Wimbledon had a mascot called Wandle, who was named after the local river. Wandle was the mascot from 2000-2003 before the club was moved to Milton Keynes. You can see Wandle in the AFC Wimbledon museum, and in the photograph below.
The photograph below shows the new AFC Wimbledon mascot, Haydon, who is in the museum. Haydon also goes to all the Saturday home games.
FAQs About the Tour
Below are the answers to some commonly asked questions about the AFC Wimbledon Stadium Tour.
Where does the Tour Start?
The AFC Wimbledon Stadium tour starts in the club shop. You can access the shop via the main entrance, shown in the photograph below. Once you get to the shop you will be met by one of the lovely stadium tour guides.
Our guide for the stadium tour was Ray. You can follow Ray on Twitter at @KentWomble
How Can You Book the Tour?
Where is AFC Wimbledon?
The new home of AFC Wimbledon is located on Plough Lane opposite the Lidl. The nearest overground train station is Haydons Road, and the nearest tube station is Tooting Broadway on the Northern Line, or Wimbledon Park on the District Line. The 493 bus stops directly outside the stadium. The exact location of the stadium is plotted on the map below.
How to Get from Earlsfield Station to AFC Wimbledon
To get to AFC Wimbledon Stadium from Earlsfield Station you could either walk or take a bus. The stadium is about a 20 minute walk from Earlsfield Station, or 10 minutes away by bus. Each route is shown below.
Bus Route from Earlsfield Station to AFC Wimbledon
- Walk to Bus Stop D which is on the same side of the road as Earlsfield train station.
- Take either a 44 or 77 towards Tooting Station, or a 270 towards Mitcham.
- Alight at Summerstown.
- Walk 5 minutes to Cherry Red Records Stadium.
Walking Route from Earlsfield Station to AFC Wimbledon
The walking route from Earlsfield Station to AFC Wimbledon is shown on the map below. It takes around 20 minutes.
What Does AFC Wimbledon Stand For?
“AFC” stands for “a fan’s club” since 74.1% of the club is owned by its supporters. The name of the not-for-profit organisation that owns AFC Wimbledon is The Dons Trust. It was established in 2002 when the original club was relocated to Milton Keynes.
There are around forty clubs in the football pyramid, with a similar ownership structure to AFC Wimbledon. They include two other professional clubs which, like Wimbledon, are in the English Football League: Exeter City and Newport County.
History of AFC Wimbledon
The story of AFC Wimbledon began with the formation of Wimbledon Football Club in 1889. The club played at Plough Lane for almost 80 years, and although they were a small team for most of their history, they gained fame in the 1980s by winning the FA Cup in 1988.
In 1991, Wimbledon F.C. moved out of Plough Lane to share a stadium with Crystal Palace, but in 2000, the club dropped down to a lower league, and had to find a new site. A year later, the club announced plans to move 56 miles away to Milton Keynes, which upset many fans who didn’t want the club to move so far from Wimbledon. In response, a group of fans formed a new club, AFC Wimbledon.
AFC Wimbledon was based at Kingsmeadow stadium in Norbiton from 2002-2020. At the beginning of the 20/21 season a few matches were played at Loftus Road since the new Plough Lane stadium wasn’t ready.
In November 2020 the club finally returned to its spiritual home on Plough Lane, in a new stadium built on the old Wimbledon Greyhound Track. The new Plough Lane stadium is around 250 yards away from its former home.
Today you can take tours of the new AFC Wimbledon Stadium, named the Cherry Red Records Stadium after their sponsors. On the tour you can see memorabilia from the old Plough Lane grounds, such as the old sign shown in the photograph below. Today the site of the former stadium is a block of flats, but has a statue outside to remember the football grounds that once stood there.
Check out the best pubs near AFC Wimbledon
This Post Was About the AFC Wimbledon Stadium Tour
Thank you for reading my post about the AFC Wimbledon Stadium tour. It is a fantastic tour for Dons fans and football enthusiasts. The new ground is located just 250 yards away from its former home, and is easily accessible by public transport links, with Haydons Road, Earlsfield and Wimbledon stations nearby. This unique tour is highly recommended for anyone with a keen interest in football.