Andy Harrow, Shaughan McGuigan and Craig G Telfer bring you the Scottish Football Bucket List; all the reasons you need to visit the Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2 during the Premiership winter break.
For those who enjoy traditional football grounds, there are few better venues than Somerset Park. A big main stand, covered enclosures at either end and an open terrace down the side of the pitch. Everyone is catered for. Talking of catering, the League 1 club’s award-winning steak & Rabbie’s ale pie makes the ideal half-time snack. Ian McCall’s side are the top-scoring team in the SPFL so goals are just about guaranteed. Somerset generates a good atmosphere, with fans so close to the pitch, but it does pay to keep an eye out for stray footballs during the warm-up!
A truly iconic Scottish football ground. An impressive new stand, opened in 2002, allows you to sit in comfort but we’d recommend taking to the terracing, not least so you can move about and keep warm in winter. And you can change ends at half-time! Perched on the edge of the North Sea, Gayfield is exposed to the elements and more than one match has been abandoned when a goalkeeper’s clearance has sailed back over his head and out the park behind him. It can be wild in winter and idyllic on a still summer’s evening (there are a few!) but whatever the weather you should definitely make a date with Gayfield. The steak pies are good too!
The famous hedge makes the home of Brechin City a must-visit on the SPFL circuit. Glebe Park is a charming venue in a Cathedral City of around 7,000 inhabitants. Currently home to Championship football and some top-notch catering, the ground is unusual in that the biggest stand sits behind the goal at one end, having been added in the 1990s. The small main stand offers a great view but you may prefer to watch from the hedge side or at the covered Cemetery End. Whatever you do, get yourself to The Glebe!
Once famed for the quality of its grass pitch, Palmerston is home to an artificial surface these days but the stadium itself retains real character, towered over by some magnificent old-style floodlights. The main stand is one to treasure and opposite is an impressive modern structure that was built in the 1990s, although many fans prefer to watch from the large covered terrace behind the goal. Queen of the South’s stadium hosted a Status Quo concert in 2015, and some of the scenes for 'A Shot at Glory' were filmed there, but head for Dumfries to see Gary Naysmith’s promotion-chasing side and Championship top scorer Stephen Dobbie.
Don’t be fooled into taking the train to a Forfar match – the town’s station was closed in the late 1960s as part of the Beeching cuts and you now have to bus it from Dundee or Arbroath. Station Park is well worth a visit, however you get there. Sit in the main stand or wander round the terracing on three sides – there’s no segregation here for most games. You’re right up against the action and there’s cover down one side of the pitch. Treat yourself to a famous Forfar bridie or, even better, one before the game and another at half-time!
Read the rest of the SPFL Bucket list: