Premier League, Brentford Community Stadium, Sunday 10 April 2022, 2pm
West Ham United make an historic first-ever competitive visit to Brentford Community Stadium this weekend.
The Hammers will contest a Premier League fixture at a 59th different ground – a venue which is also home to Premiership Rugby club London Irish – when we make the trip to west London.
Opened in September 2020, the 17,250-capacity arena initially hosted EFL Championship fixtures without supporters present due to the COVID pandemic, with Brentford playing in front of a 2,000-strong crowd for the first time when drawing 2-2 with Blackburn Rovers on 5 December 2020.
Since then, Brentford have of course celebrated an historic promotion to the Premier League, finishing third in the Championship before defeating Swansea City 2-0 in the Play-Off final.
Thomas Frank’s newly-promoted side visited London Stadium for the reverse fixture on 3 October and scored a 2-1 victory when Yoane Wissa netted the winner four minutes into added-time.
And the Bees buzz into Sunday's game on the back of a stunning 4-1 win over local rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend.
How to get there…
Brentford Community Stadium is well served by public transport, with a number of railway and Underground stations within walking distance.
The nearest is Kew Bridge, which is in Zone 3 on the South Western Railway line from London Waterloo and Clapham Junction.
Direct services leave Waterloo at .20 and .50 past the hour and arrive around 26-27 minutes later. After the game, direct services depart Kew Bridge at .15 and .45 past the hour.
An alternative route is via Gunnersbury, which is a ten-minute walk east of the stadium and is served by the London Underground District line and London Overground, but does not open after the game until an hour after the final whistle due to its small capacity.
Other nearby stations within a 20-minute walk include Kew Gardens (District line/London Overground), Chiswick Park (District line), South Acton (London Overground), Acton Town (District and Piccadilly lines) and South Ealing (Piccadilly line).
Where to stay…
I mean, let’s face it, you’re unlikely to be staying overnight for a Sunday afternoon kick-off in west London, but if you’re travelling to London from outside the capital, there are literally thousands of hotels, guest houses, apartments and more to choose from all over the city if you need overnight accommodation.
If you’d like to stay near the stadium, Brentford is served by at least three well-known branded hotels, as well as a number of independent accommodation options.
What to do…
London, of course, has attractions for all the family and to suit all budgets and tastes.
While the capital’s top tourist spots are well-known, let’s concentrate instead on things to do in and around this particular area of west London.
The most famous attraction, by far, are the Royal Botanic Gardens, just across Kew Bridge on the south bank of the River Thames, which opened in 1759 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Open from 10am-6pm, you can book tickets in advance from £15 for Adults and £5 for Children aged 4-15. Inside, you can view one of the largest living plant collections in the world and a host of historic buildings, including the Temperate House, Palm House and Great Pagoda.
What’s happened there before…
While this weekend’s trip to Brentford Community Stadium may be our first in the Premier League, we did visit on 31 July 2021 for a pre-season fixture, when former Bees winger Saïd Benrahma netted the only goal of the game to secure a 1-0 win for West Ham United.
The ongoing COVID pandemic meant we took just 500 supporters to west London for that game, but this time around we will be roared on by a 1,725-strong Claret and Blue Army – ten per cent of the 17,250 capacity.