The UK is home to a great number of racecourses, providing fans of horse racing many chances to witness the equestrian sport throughout the year. For many Brits, attending the horse races is the highlight of the summer, providing them with an opportunity to enjoy the warm sun in fancy outfits – although, there are races that take place in the colder months, too. Whether you are a regular horse racing attender or you are curious about going to your first, here are seven British racecourses that you are sure to enjoy.
Aintree is one of the most popular racecourses in the UK, hosting the world-famous Grand National for three days each April. For many, this occasion marks the beginning of summertime, with the weather of spring combined with the yearly tradition of the Grand National lightening the spirits.
With over thirty-fences, the horses who race at Aintree cover the ground of over four miles, keeping the attendants at the edge of their seats. In 2019, the winners received over one million pounds in prize money! If you want to experience horse racing at its finest, then the Grand National is the place to be in April.
York Racecourse not only holds one of the best flat-racing courses in the UK, but it is also steeped in history. Dating back to 208AD, many races have taken place on the old soil. Even Queen Anne once raced her own horses there! Today, thousands gather every August for the Ebor festival, which started back in the nineteenth century.
With the racecourse located so close to York’s city centre, visitors will enjoy a day at the races before experiencing everything else the medieval city of York offers, including haunted pubs and a large, gothic cathedral.
Cheltenham racecourse, located in the Cotswolds, is one of the most difficult courses in the UK – if you are after a heart-pumping day, then it’s the place to be. Every March, Cheltenham hosts the Cheltenham Festival, which lasts for four days and sees over sixty-thousand visitors head into the stands to watch the horses race to the finish line. To make the experience a little more intense, check out the Cheltenham Festival odds before you set off! A little betting is all part of the experience, after all.
Goodwood racecourse dates back to 1802 and hosts up to five thousand people, making the yearly Glorious Goodwood in the summer an exciting and bustling event. The location is particularly special, as it is in the West Sussex Goodwood estate, with the Goodwood house, owned by the eleventh Duke of Richmond, nearby. It’s a beautiful area full of greenery, and you can even get a glimpse of the Isle of Wight on a clear day!
Whether you go as a family, with friends, or as a couple, you are sure to have a wonderful day out at the Goodwood races.
Newmarket racecourse is located in Suffolk and is made up of two flat racecourses in total, one named the Rowley Mile and the other named the July Course. Many races take place here throughout the year, which is perfect for lovers of horse-racing who don’t want it to end once the summer fades away. The most famous races held at Newmarket include 1000 Guineas and 2000 guineas, both of which take place in May each year.
Throughout the year, over six-hundred-thousand people attend Ascot racecourse. Originally founded by Queen Ann, the racecourse has close connections to the royal family and is popular with the British monarchs; Queen Elizabeth still attends Ascot in a Royal carriage to this day.
One of its bigger events is The Gold Cup, which is held every June and sees thoroughbred horses galloping along the flat racecourse. In 2019, the total winnings surpassed two-hundred thousand pounds. If you fancy a day out at a prestigious racecourse, then consider attending one of Ascot’s many events.
Newcastle racecourse hosts National Hunt racing as well as flat racing, so if you like a little mixture in the races, then Newcastle is a fine choice for a trip out. The Northumberland Plate, which dates back to the nineteenth century, is held every June, which lasts for three days. The final day sees the winner announced with a one-hundred-and-fifty thousand pounds prize. With its proximity to Newcastle’s city centre, race-goers can enjoy the cities thriving nature once the races have finished. Best known for its bustling nightlife, you won’t be bored on your trip to Newcastle.
Horse racing is a deep part of British culture, and many fantastic racecourses are found from the North to the South. If you’re itching to spend a day watching the races, then consider these seven racecourses for a thrilling day out.
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