Our Impressions of Hayes Lane
Hayes Lane is a good old fashioned football ground, with big covered stands behind both goals, although it has to be said that the stand with the benches behind the far goal is a death trap, with rotting wood and concrete supports jutting out from the terracing. Opposite the main stand, is a high bank of uncovered terracing, quite similar to the High Mead side at Lower Mead.
The main stand is a recently built all seater stand and it has roughly 10 rows of seating divided into two sections by the Tunnel and the Press Box. Opposite the main stand there is a large high bank of terracing which has advertising boards at the top of It. Behind one goal there is a large covered terrace and the opposite end has benches but most people tend to stand throughout the game. The more loyal and vocal fans usually stand behind the goal and give the ground a great atmosphere. The ground is in a nice location and there is a 44 page colour programme with photos from Mark Avenell inside.
There are two large car parks outside the ground which provide good parking facilities. The Ground Capacity is around 6,000 with 3,000 of that covered
The programme, called the 'Ravens Review' is a good quality full colour publication which you can buy from a programme seller just as you enter the ground.
Directions to Hayes Lane
From M25 Junction 4, head towards Orpington. At the first major roundabout you should take the third Exit. From there, continue going straight ahead at all roundabouts. At the Second set of traffic lights, coaches should turn left towards Croydon. Again, at second set of lights, turn right. Then they should continue down this road and go straight ahead over the two mini roundabouts. The ground is on the right just after the second roundabout in a concealed entrance, which should have been mentioned in the train directions. If you reach the width restriction further up, you have gone too far.
At the second set of traffic lights, cars should continue straight. They must then continue going until they reach another set of lights. Here, they must turn left, then follow the road through the width restriction and round the sweeping left-hand bend. The ground is on the left in a concealed entrance. If a mini roundabout is reached, then the car has gone too far.
There are unfortunately two stations in Bromley : Bromley North and Bromley South.
This station is nearer to Hayes Lane and is served by more trains from London than Bromley North. If you are reasonably fit, then the ground is walkable in about 20 minutes. To get there, leave the station and turn left, along the road called 'Mason's Hill'. Stay on the left hand side of the road and walk straight along this path. On your right you should see the Christian centre and on the left a bit further on you should see a huge Waitrose store. Next to the waitrose is a T-Junction. At this T-Junction turn right and go up this road past The tiger's head pub on your right and a Ford car showroom called 'Bristol Street Motors' on your left. Keep going up this road until you come to a large crossroads. This is a bit of an awkward crossroads, because all the roads are not opposite each other. Anyway, the road to your right is called Hayes Lane - Look out for this and when you see it, turn down this road. The ground is about 1/4 to 1/2 a mile down the road on your left. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY a set of floodlights on your right, as they belong to the local school Astroturf pitch. Keep going straight on, past the cannons health club on your left and beyond a roundabout which you also encounter. After this roundabout, because the ground is situated off the road on a turning which is easily miss able unless you know that it's there. There is a big sign up that also mentions the Cricket Club and the Bowls club. This is the turning - turn up here and you will come to the ground.
Or you can take a short cut to take about 5 minutes off your journey, by turning down the entrance that leads up to the Cannon's health club. Just follow the path round and you come to the ground (...that's what I do!)
You can take a bus up to the crossroads from the station if you want the 208 bus will do that for you, but make sure to take the bus going through Petts Wood, because there are two. Get off at the bus stop just before the crossroads called the Homesdale Road stop. Should cost 70p adults and 40p kids.
This is a smaller station, with less trains serving it from London and a greater distance from Hayes Lane in comparison to Bromley South. But if you have to go to Bromley North, the following directions should suffice:
The Station is also walkable, but will take about 30 minutes to do. Turn left when exiting Bromley North and Walk left along Tweedy road until you come to a crossroads. When you come to these crossroads, go straight ahead along a road called Kentish Way, past the big precinct and until you come to a T-Junction. This is the same T-Junction as featured in the Bromley South directions, except when coming from Bromley North you carry straight on along Mason's Hill past the 'Tiger's Head' pub on the right and the 'Bristol Street Motors' car dealer on your left. When you come to the big crossroads, turn right and go down Hayes Lane and then the same directions apply as stated in the Bromley South directions.
The 61 bus is very handy as it takes you from the station right up to the crossroads where you turn right down Hayes Lane. If you get off at the bus stop marked Homesdale Road then the same directions apply.
Local Area around Hayes Lane
Just up the road from Bromley South station, there is a large pedestrian precinct and a shopping centre called 'The Glades' which is worth a look around if you arrive early. There is also a market. To reach it, just exit Bromley South and turn right up the High Street.
The Bromley area is generally a nice place and quite safe, although it is advisable not to take any short cuts along the public footpaths to the ground unless you know exactly where you are going.