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UK Racecourses Guide to Newbury
Left handed, oval of 1m 7f plus a slightly undulating straight mile. Round course is level with a four and a half furlong run-in. NH course is 1m 6f (11) 255y run-in.
Fences are stiff but fair. High numbers hold a slight advantage on the straight Racecourse, particularly on soft going. ultra galloping 01635 40015 01635 40015 www.newbury-racecourse.co.uk
By Road: Off the M4 J13, A34 then A339
By Rail: To Newbury station adjacent to course
Admission: Premier: £21, Grandstand: £15. Picnic area: £6. Accompanied 17's & under free.
Newbury is one of the top UK Racecourses in the country and no effort is spared to give the racegoer terrific value for money. It offers top quality Flat and Jumps racing throughout the year. Feature race: The Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup. The Grandstand is capacious and the Mill Reef Stand offers superb views down the straight. Private boxes, Pavilions and Marquees are all available for hire for parties large and small.
Catering: Restaurant packages available overlooking track. The Hennessy Restaurant on the top floor of the Hampshire stand affords panoramic views of the racing. The Racegoers Restaurant in the Grandstand on the second floor also has great views of the course (must be booked in advance). Or just take a picnic to enjoy in the picnic enclosure.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Good hotels include the Vineyard Hotel and restaurant nearby at Stockcross or less expensive the Donnington Valley Hotel with its own golf course. Former horse race trainer Charlie Brooks runs the Pheasant, just off the M4 on the Hungerford turn. Best pubs for food are the Red House, just off the A4 at Marsh Benham and the Royal Oak at Yattendon. UK Racecourses
Left handed oval of 1m 6f, with an uphill 4f run-in. There is a straight course of 1m 8f. Easy, galloping track. NH Course has a gradually rising home straight of 4f which makes this a stamina test. The fences are fairly stiff.
High numbers favoured on the straight course, except on soft ground when a low draw is best. It is a stiff testing course. There is also an all weather course.
0191 236 2020 www.newcastleracecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: Five miles north of Newcastle on the A1.
By Rail: To Newcastle Central then Metro or special bus.
Admission: There are 2 types of ticket - Premier (access to winners enclosure and pre-parade ring) and Grandstand and Paddock ( allows access to the Grandstand Hall, Lawns and Parade Ring).
Senior citizens over 60 get £6 discount when buying tickets at the gate. Children under 18 free admission if with an adult.
Newcastle is set in the 1,000 acre grounds of Gosforth Park which until recently rescued by Stan Clarke, had suffered through years of neglect. Current improvements include bright green paint, good toilets, friendly staff and informative racecard.
Catering: The ground floor of the stand houses the betting area and food hall serving filled rolls, pies, peas and chips. More upmarket food can be had at the Pavilion, just past the winning post, which also serves decent coffee. All bars sell a choice of wines in 1/4 bottles and the Brandling House Bar serves champagne by the glass.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: In Newcastle the Malmaison and Copthorne are comfortable. Or try the Swallow Hotel near the course. Best of all is the Horton Grange Hotel in nearby Seaton Burn. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Newmarket Rowley Course is a wide and galloping straight 10f with a long, stiff run-in. July Course is stiff. Races of up to a mile take place on the straight Bunbury Course. Races of 12f plus are right-handed, with a 7f run-in. On Rowley mile runners drawn against either rail can have a significant advantage. ultra galloping 01638 663482 www.newmarketUK Racecourses.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: To the west of the town off the A11 or the A14 and A45.
By Rail: To Newmarket or Cambridge.
Admission: Premier: £20, (Senior citizens & Student Union cardholders £12). Grandstand & Paddock: £14, (Senior citizens & Student Union cardholders £9). Rowley Enclosure: closed. Accompanied U-16's free
The Newmarket tracks are not the best for viewing due to the long straight mile. There are 2 courses, The Rowley Mile course and the July course. The latter is an attractive summer venue of thatch and timber and has a pre-parade ring surrounded by trees. The Rowley Mile is employed in the spring and autumn and is more functional. The Tattersalls facilities are excellent and include the top of the range Champions Gallery for dining with a view. The racecards are interesting and the public address informative. However it can become cramped on busy days. The July course has more room but suffers from a shortage of toilets. Entertainment is also offered in the form of 'Newmarket Nights'.
Catering: There is an unusual Deli Cafe in the July stand although the bars can become rowdy with London lads on a day out.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Many racegoers stay at Bedford Lodge, on the Bury road or at Swynford Paddocks at Six Mile Bottom. Also recommended is the Quy Mill Hotel at Stow Cum Quy and the nearby pub the Three Horseshoes at Madingley. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Newton Abbott Left-handed oval of 1m 2f (7) 300y run-in. The course is flat with 2 tight bends favouring a quick, agile horse. There is a water jump situated three fences from home. The run-in can be very short on the hurdle course. tight 01626 353235 www.newtonabbotracing.com
How to get there
By Road: Off the A38
By Rail: To Newton Abbot, bus service to course
Admission: Paddock: £18, Course: £12. Accompanied Children U-17 free
This is a summer racing course, catering largely for the Devon Tourist trade. However as this is the local course of top West Country trainers, such as Messrs Nicholls and Pipe, the quality of racing is of a good standard. The route to the course through the town is a little slow but plenty of space awaits in the well maintained car parks and course. The staff are friendly and helpful, although the racecard is fairly basic. There are thoughtful touches such as a summer terrace with tables and chairs overlooking the paddock, lifts for the elderly and a raised viewing area for wheelchair users. There is a compact betting ring in each enclosure complete with William Hill shops and giant screens showing away meetings. Viewing from the stand is good with a roof for rainy days.
Catering: The Red Rum bar is attractive with pictures of bygone race days and good inexpensive beer and wine. The Terrace room offers set lunches with a view of the paddock as does the Winning Post bar. The Manicou is a self-service eatery with plenty of tables.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: The Osbourne in Torquay or the Quayside at Brixham are pleasant places to stay or try the Passage House at Kingsteignton and the excellent pub there, the Old Rydon. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Nottingham A left-handed, flat, galloping oval of about 1m 4f with easy turns. The run in is four and half furlongs. On the straight course, low numbers are favoured if the stalls are positioned on the far side of the track, and high numbers if placed on the opposite rail. galloping 01159 580620 www.nottinghamracecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: On the B686 at Colwick east of the city, via the M1, A52 and A46
By Rail: To Nottingham, a couple of miles from course
Admission: Weekdays: Premier: £15, (16-21 £12), Grandstand: £10 (Jubilee Members £5, 16-21 & students NUS card only £7). Weekend & Evenings: Premier: £18, Grandstand: £13, (Jubilee Members £9, 16-21 & students NUS card only £9. Children Under-16 Free.
Althouth the course is set in Industrial surroundings, once inside things greatly improve. Signs to the course are good and the car parks well surfaced and organised. Uniformed staff are attentive and polite. Information is posted just inside the gates and the public address offers a commentary on the runners. Attendance figures tend to be low so there is rarely a crush and nice touches abound from flower beds to facility signs. As the track is flat most areas afford a view of the racing.
Catering: There is a restaurant with a few viewing tables at the top of the old stand. Alongside is the smart Centenary Stand which has a cosy seafood bar and a viewing balcony.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Des Clos Hotel is the best in Nottingham, alongside the river in Old Lenton Lane. For dining, Harts Brasserie is good and the best real ale pub is the Lincolnshire Poacher. Out of town at Colston Bassett, the Martins Arms provides great food. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses Guide to Perth
Right handed, rectangular course of 1m 2f (8) 283y run-in. Track is easy, flat track with sweeping turns which does not tend to suit the long-striding galloper. A good watering system ensures that the ground rarely becomes firm. tight 01738 551597 www.perth-races.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: Off A93, 3 miles north of Perth
By Rail: To Perth station then taxi
Admission: One enclosure: £15. OAP's, disabled & students, ID required £10. Centre course: £10. Picnic area £20 per car (max 4 adults). Accompanied U-16's free.
Perth is a tiny, remote track providing moderate jump racing. That said, it is a ravishingly beautiful course set in the grounds of Scone Palace. The buildings are modest with the exception of the new Nelson stand, but are well maintained by enthusiastic staff. The picnic car parks are a delight and are one of the best features of a course that is essentially cramped for space. A river runs through and there is additional excitement provided by a water jump in front of the stands. The racecard is modest but the public address is chatty and informative.
Catering: The catering is fairly basic with the main restaurant serving carvery meals and snack bars providing pies and fish and chips.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Gleneagles is a well known hotel par excellence but for somewhere less expensive try the Murrayshall in Perth. For food try the brasseries, Let's Eat and Let's Eat Again or the Tormaukin Inn at Glendevon. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Plumpton
A tight left handed, undulating oval of 1m 1f (7) 200y uphill finish, Course suits the handy, fast jumper. Due to the clay soil base the ground often gets heavy. tight 01273 891550 www.plumptonracecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: A275 Noth of Lewes then B2116 or M25, M23 then A23
By Rail: From Victoria and London Bridge to Plumpton, then within walking distance
Admission: Premier Enclosure £18, Grandstand £14, Course £10 (Senior Citizens £5, (except at the Easter Festival, Ladies Day & May Meeting £10, no cons), all include complimentary racecard. Accompanied Children Under 16 Free.
Plumpton racecourse has much improved in recent times and is now a charming East Sussex racecourse, offering corporate boxes and a fine free racecard. Signs to the course could be better and the car parks need upgrading as well as supervising. There is also minimal shelter to watch the racing in the event of poor weather. Placing a bet is easy and convenient in the lively betting ring and modern betting shops.
Catering: The stands are well furnished and the bars comfortable, if a tad expensive. While the top floor Paddock Restaurant is bright and breezy with a partial view of the track from the dining tables. The Southdown Fish Bar serves prawn curry, fish soup, sandwiches and decent coffee.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Good hotels and pubs abound in the pleasant Sussex countryside. The Griffin at Fletching is a good place to dine and stay, as is the riverside Anchor at Barcombe. Nearer the course is the excellent Jolly Sportsman at East Chillington. For a longer stay try Shelleys, a manor house in the centre of Lewes. UK Racecourses
Plumpton In Depth Information
UK Racecourses guide to Pontefract Left handed undulating oval of 2m 133y, there is a short run-in of 2f. Track is notably stiff with the final 3f being uphill. Low numbers are favoured. stiff 01977 781307 www.pontefract-races.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: M62 (J32) then A539
By Rail: To Pontefract Baghill,and 1.5 miles from course or Tanshelf station adjacent to course
Admission: Club £18, Paddock £12 (OAP £9), Silver Ring £6 (OAPs £3.00), Third Ring (car with four occupants) £10 or £4.00 through turnstile, Accompanied Children Under 16 Free
Although the approach to Pontefract is through industrial heartland, the course itself, set in parkland, is large and atmospheric. The track is undulating with a stiff uphill finish and the surrounding countryside drops away dramatically. The racecard is adequate with a glossy cover and map of the facilities while help is at hand from cheerful staff.
Catering: The Champagne Bar beyond the winning post has a covered balcony while the club lounge bar has a hot buffet and decent coffee. The betting ring leads to a second cheaper enclosure which is nonetheless comfortable and well furnished.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Fleeing the industrial mayhem, head along the A639 to Ragsthorpe Manor in Badsworth or along the A1 to Wentbridge House. Leeds offers a wide variety of hotels and restaurants or try the home brewed ale of the Chequers at Ledsham. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses Guide to Redcar
Left handed oval, galloping course of 2m, with a straight run-in of 5f. In addition there is a straight 1m track. High numbers are sometimes favoured on the straight course. galloping 01642 484068 www.redcarracing.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: From the A1 take the A168 then the A19 then the A174 to Redcar
By Rail: To Redcar Central near the course
Admission: Grandstand: £12 (OAP's £8); Course: £4 (OAP's £2.50); Accompanied under-16s Free
Redcar is a cheerless, dingy seaside racecourse with little to recommend it. Its dilapidated state could be readily improved by a lick of paint.
Catering: The Crows Nest Retaurant is reasonable with two tiered viewing tables. Elsewhere the carvery serves baps and the members bar self-service snacks with a a kids menu. A betting hall and fast food outlet can be found in Tattersalls which also has a bar at each end.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: The Ship at Saltburn sets the standard amongst the boats on the beach or further afield try the characterful Chapters at Stokesley. Crathorne Hall is close to Teeside airport or for terrific food visit McCoy's Bistro at Staddlebridge. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Ripon Right-handed, undulating oval of 1m 5f, with a 5f run-in. In addition there is a straight 6f course. Low numbers are favoured on the straight course but on the round course high numbers are best. normal 01765 602156 www.ripon-races.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: 2 miles from Ripon on the B6265
By Rail: To Harrowgate or York then bus
Admission: Club £18; Tattersalls £12; Course £4; Accompanied children under 16 Free; Car £12 into Course enclosure (with four occupants)
Ripon is known as the 'garden racecourse' and lives up to its reputation with pleasant lawns and hanging baskets laden with flowers. It is also blessed with the sparkle of water from the river flowing by on one side, the canal on the other and a lake at the centre of the course. The Paddock is dappled with overhanging trees and aging red brick buildings are pressed into a variety of uses. Although there is a lack of signage to the course, once there, the car parks are spacious, well organised and manned by cheerful staff. A brass band plays throughout the afternoon from a Victorian bandstand. Children are well catered for with their own playground and kids area in the Silver Ring.
Catering: There is a Champagne bar near the entrance and the Hornblower Bar serves good beer. The Fountain Cafe has a variety of chef's specials while the Paddock cafe serves good hot food. Annual members are indulged with their bar offering a view of the racing.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: There are pleny of good pubs and hotels locally of which the Red Lion at Burnstall warrants special mention, as does the Boar's Head in the village of Ripley. Choose also from the Blue Lion at East Witton, the Crab and Lobster at Asenby or the Malt Shovel at Brearton. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses Guide to Salisbury
Right-handed and level, with a 4f run-in. There is a straight 8f track. The last half mile is up hill, so stamina is essential. High numbers hold a slight advantage in sprints. However on soft ground low numbers are best. stiff 01722 326461 www.salisburyracecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: Three miles west of Salisbury between the A354 and the A3094
By Rail: To Salisbury then bus or taxi to course
Admission: Members £18, Tattersalls £11, Course Enclosure £6 (Under 16s free)
Salisbury is a provincial course for flat racing that can be frustrating to get to and gives the impression of being slightly down-at-heel in places. But it does have a number of redeeming features, notably its excellent fresh food and draught real ale. A further plus is the glorious views over the course and the city beyond from the top of the Tattersalls stand. A great deal of patience is required to negotiate the narrow winding access road before and after racing. But once inside the racegoer will discover pleasant picnic parks and attentive staff. A good atmosphere is engendered by the position of the parade ring between the main gates, the rail and the finishing post, with the weighing room and the Wessex bar nearby.
Catering: The Bibury Room serves good draught Ringwood bitter and the Wessex bar a choice of fine wines, along with baps and homemade cakes. The Tattersalls bar is plain but serves good homemade steak and kidney pie with fresh veg. The main restaurant has a conservatory serving hot meals with tables overlooking the parade ring.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: The city is short of decent hotels so venture out to the attractive village of Teffont Evias and a little jewel of a country hotel, Howard's House. Good food can be had at the Three Lions at Stockton, The Queen's Arms at Broad Chalke and the Victoria And Albert at Netherhampton. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Sandown A right-handed oval track of 1m5f with a stiff uphill finish. The Chase course is tricky, especially for novices. Stamina is crucial given the uphill climb. 5f - High numbers vital, Round course - High. normal 01372 463072 www.sandown.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: The Racecourse is at Esher off the A3 London - Portsmouth road
By Rail: To Esher then short walk to course
Admission: Premier Enclosure: £25; Grandstand £18; Accompanied children U-16 free.
Sandown is one of the premier UK Racecourses and once inside you will not be disappointed. The problem however is getting there, especially if travelling by road, as Esher will slow your journey to a crawl. The best option is to arrive by rail as the station is only a short walk away. Once through the imposing gates, a jazz band sets the tone for the day and when out of earshot the public address kicks off with a panel discussing the days card before racing. Esher Hall occupies the ground floor of the grandstand and has two large betting areas to complement the bookmakers ring outside.
Catering: The Claremont Restaurant on the second floor offers lunch at around £30. There are two seafood outlets and Mahony's bar serves Irish Stew and soda bread. The Tack and Saddle area offers nourishing all day breakfasts. There are plenty of bars for a drink but the members bar on the first floor could do with a makeover.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: For pubs in Esher try the Wheatsheaf on the village green or the Bear for a pre-race drink. Cobham has the Cricketers and the Hilton Hotel is a good place to stay. For a fashionable restaurant try the Petit Pierrot at Claygate. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Sedgefield Left handed, tight, undulating oval of 1m 2f (8) 200y run-in. Long-striding horses may be unsuited by the course. stiff 01740 621925 www.sedgefield-racecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: Just off the A1 via the A689
By Rail: To Darlington then taxi 8 miles to course
Admission: Grandstand: £14, Concessions £8 (16-18's & OAP's); Course: £6. Accompanied U-16's free.
Sedgefield is essentially a rural jumps racecourse with few pretensions. Catering mainly for a local working class population, it offers little in the way of sophistication in the racecrd or public address. The staff are largely indifferent to the presence of the racegoers and even the efforts of Stan Clarke the new owner, fails to brighten a depressing experience.
Catering: Not all is lost however, despite the dim religious light of the Durham Edition bar, where aging punters huddle round flickering bar fires. No, a new age is ushered in by no less a figure than Tony Blair, who presided over the opening of the new Pavilions building. Here the spectator is treated to a galleried viewing restaurant with fine views across the racecourse. The Paddock Stand has a reasonable bar serving snacks and decent coffee. The Theakston Suite should be avoided and if it weren't for the call of nature, so should the toilet block.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Few pubs or hotels appeal with the exception of the nearby Dun Cow pub which offers decent food and beer and Hardwick Hall if you wish to stay overnight. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Southwell Flat turf track is a left-handed oval with well cambered bends of 1m 2f and a 3f run-in. Also a Fibresand all-weather track of 1m 2f and a straight, sharp 5f. NH course is a 1m 1f flat, tight oval. All tracks suit front runners. Low numbers are favoured. tight 0870 220 2332 www.southwell-racecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: Five miles west of Newark via A617
By Rail: To Newark North Gate the to Rolleston Junction
Admission: Members £15, Tattersalls £10; (Diamond Club members £8); Accompanied under-16s free
Southwell provides jumps and all weather racing of a modest nature. The racecourse is well signposted and the car parks good although the racecard and public address provide minimal assistance. Public areas are clean and well maintained.
Catering: Lunch is served in the bar and restaurant on the first floor of the stand, which has a few window tables with a view of the finish. The Tattersalls facilities on the ground floor include a bar at each end, one of which is a carvery and the other a breakfast bar.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Best pub food can be found at the nearby French Horn at Upton on the A612, or try the Saracen's Head in Southwell itself. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Stratford Left handed, triangular 1m 2f (8) 200y run in. Flat, sharp, turning course with 2 tight bends, and fairly short home straight. Suits the well-balanced handy sort. tight 01789 267949 www.stratfordracecourse.net
How to get there
By Road: One mile south west of the town on the A439
By Rail: To Stratford On Avon then 1 mile to course
Admission: Club £14 ; Tattersalls £14; Course £5, Accompanied Under-16's free
Stratford is a summer jumps racecourse that fails to make the most of its enviable position near a town that acts like a magnet for tourists. Its main drawback is an inadequate access road that slows traffic to a crawl. The main stand is poorly designed providing no shelter and a limited view of the course. The car parks are well surfaced and organised and the racecard is attractive and good value. The public address delivers post race interviews from the winners enclosure.
Catering: The champagne bar offers smoked salmon or prawns with champagne and a view of the racing. The main restaurant however is uninspiring while filled baps and seafood can be found in various bars.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Most establishments in Stratford fail to impress, so journey out to such delights as Billersly Manor on the Alcester side of the racecourse or the Victoria Spa Lodge in Bishopton Lane. Good food pubs worth a visit include the Bell at Alderminster or the Fox And Goose at Armscote. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses Guide to Taunton
Right handed, elongated oval of 1m 2f (8) 150y run-in uphill. Sharp turns with a steady climb from the home bend. Suits a handy horse. tight 01823 337172 www.tauntonracecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: M5 (J25) then 2 miles south of the town on the B3170
By Rail: To Taunton station then taxi 2.5 miles to racecourse
Admission: Portman Grandstand £15, Tattersalls £11. Accompanied children under-16 Free
Taunton is a country racecourse improving by leaps and bounds. The management has improved the signs and the car parks and created a large betting ring although the racecards could offer more information. Certain aspects cannot be improved however such as the narrow access road and the fact that views of the course are obscured by buildings and the lie of the land.
Catering: The Orchard restaurant offers a set lunch and tables with a view of the course but the basement Saddle Room is less impressive. The Winning Post bar offers generous pork baps and decent coffee as does the Portman Stand.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Taunton is still an old fashioned town with some traditional comfort hotels, exemplified by the Castle Hotel or try the equally good Mount Somerset at Henlade. Good country pubs include the Sun at Knapp, the Rose And Crown at Stoke St Gregory or the Walnut Tree at North Petherton. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Thirsk FLAT: left-handed, fairly sharp track
01845 522276 http://www.thirskracecourse.net/
How to get there
By Road: Off the A61 from the A1 and A19
By Rail: To Thirsk station then 10 minutes walk to racecourse
Admission: Club £18; Paddock £12; Family Ring £5 (OAP's £7 into Paddock & £4 Family Ring)
A grand Yorkshire course that has stayed true to its north country roots. You can sense the influence of monied landowners in the Hambleton Rooms, an ivy covered restaurant and cosy bar unchanged for years and the old guard still demand a dress code in the members area. The centre of the course is occupied by a cricket ground and a cornfield. There are plenty of signs to the course and the car parks are good. The racecards are less so and could offer more information.
Catering: The Tattersalls bar is commended for serving the local Black Sheep bitter on draught which can also be found in the Grimthorpe Hall building, a comfortable room decked with hanging baskets. The Manton Suite has a modern bar and buffet with some corporate areas. The best place to be is the Club Stand which has bars with a view of the finishing line.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: A great place for accommodation and dining is the Crab and Lobster at Asenby, just 4 miles from the course. There are themed rooms, a tennis court and a terrific blackboard menu in the pub. In Thirsk itself try the Golden Fleece Hotel, an old haunt of Dick Turpin. Sheppards in nearby Sowerby or the Wombwell Arms at Wass, near Ampleforth. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Towcester - horse racing ended at the racecourse in 2019. It is now used as a conference centre.
How to get there
By Road: 1m SE of town on A5 Milton Keynes road. M1 (Jctn15a) from N or S (Proceed on A43 towards Oxford).
By Rail: To Northampton or Milton Keynes then bus to the racecourse
Towcester Conference Centre, with its imposing entrance and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, is one of the most picturesque venues in the country, and has benefited from a recent investment of over £7.5m into its facilities.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: The Vine House at the nearby village of Paulerspury boasts nine comfortable rooms and a good restaurant. Good pubs for food include the Roade House at Roade and Bruerne's Lock at Stoke Bruerne or the King's Arms at Farthingstone. Towcester
UK Racecourses Guide to Uttoxeter
Left handed oval of 1m 2f (8) 170y run-in. Easy bends and fair fences with a flat home straight of over half a mile. Suited to front runners, particularly on the 2m hurdle course. tight 01889 562561 www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: SE of town off B5017 Marchington road
By Rail: To Uttoxeter station adjacent to racecourse
Admission: Premier Enclosure £19, Grandstand & Paddock £15; Oap's £3 reduction in Premier and G & P. Family Enclosure £7. Accompanied U-16's free.
Uttoxeter is Stan Clarke's flagship jumps racecourse and has become very popular in recent years. Green and white paint and band music appear at all of his courses and the staff attitude is friendly and helpful. Signs to the course are plentiful and the car parks are good. The racecard is bright and informative and the public address features interviews with trainers and jockeys. The course can become crowded on major racedays, particularly in the cramped betting ring, so to avoid a crush go on quiet days.
Catering: Some of the ageing buildings have been impressively transformed into eateries such as Hoops champagne and seafood bar and the John Kenny bar near the final fence which has comfortable chairs and a log fire.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Marston's is the local brewery and its ales can be found in local pubs such as the Crown at Abbots Bromley or the Olde Dog and Partridge at Tutbury which has rooms and a fine carvery. For hotels try Callow Hall in Ashbourne or the Beeches (a converted farmhouse) at Waldley which has a good restaurant. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses Guide to Warwick
Sharp but level, left-handed track of 1m 6f 32y, with a run-in of two and a half furlongs. 5f course is a dog leg. NH course features tight bends and five quick fences in the back straight. The home straight is quite short. Low numbers are favoured. tight 01926 491553 www.warwickracecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: 2 miles west from the M40 (J15) on the A41
By Rail: To Warwick station then taxi or 15 minutes walk
Admission: One enclosure: £16 (weekend-bank holiday), £13 (midweek) (Juniors 16-24 & OAP's £8, ID required). Course enclosure, when open, £6. Accompanied Under 16s, Free.
Warwick is an urban flat and jumps racecourse, much improved of late but awkward to get to through the winding streets of the town. The car parks are often waterlogged in wet weather. The racecards are well designed and informative while the public address delivers chatty interviews. The public areas are well maintained with flower beds and benches however views of the runners are partially obscured by a hill at one point.
Catering: A number of areas on the course are reserved for corporate guests but there is a fine ground floor bar and bistro in the Paddock Suite. Several other amenities include a cosy seafood bar and soup cellar, while the main stand also serves good hot food.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: The Glebe Hotel at Barford offers comfortable rooms in an attractive setting. Ardencote Manor at Clarendon has a golf course and the Red Lion is a great pub also in the village. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Wetherby Left-handed oval of 1m 4f (9) 200y slightly uphill run-in. A flat, very fair course which suits the long striding galloper. tight 01937 582035 www.wetherbyracing.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: East of town off the B1224 York road
By Rail: Leeds station is 12 miles from the course, then bus or taxi
Admission: Premier: £19, Paddock: £13, Centre of Course £4. Accompanied Children under 16 Free.
Wetherby is a well appointed racecourse with easy access and atractive natural surroundings. The stands provide excellent views of the action, while the paddock, winners enclosure and saddling area put the spectator at the heart of the action. The car parks are large but susceptible to waterlogging in winter and the staff are efficient. The best views of the racing are still to be found from the top of the old members stand for which there is a £1 supplement.
Catering: The Millenium Stand is recommended for its facilities and comfort which include a main 3rd floor restaurant and dine-and-view rooms with private balconies affording a view of the racing. There is also a small public buffet serving hearty hot meals.
A variety of bars can be found throughout the course, from the plush Marston's Moor champagne bar to the wooded floor and sawdust charm of the A1 bar.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Wood Hall is a luxury hotel overlooking the course while Linton Springs at Linton offers a more personal service, a restaurant, garden and golf range. Harrowgate, a short distance away offers good restaurants such as the Drum and Monkey and Olivers or try the General Tarleton coaching inn at Ferrenby. Good local pubs include the Harewood Arms and the Star and Garter in the pretty village of Kirkby Overblow. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Wincanton Right-handed, rectangular, 1m 3f (9) 200y run-in. The home straight is down hill. This is a galloping course where the going rarely becomes heavy. tight 01963 32344 www.wincantonracecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: North of the town on the B3081
By Rail: To Templecombe (courtesey transportto course) Castle Cary or gillingham then bus or taxi
Admission: Premier £18, (17-25 ID required £13); Grandstand £13; Course £6; Accompanied children under 16 Free. Premier day: £20, £14, £8. Boxing Day: £22, £15, £8.
Wincanton is a great course for the racegoer; beautiful location in deepest Somerset, terrific racecard and communications, quality racing and bars to linger in. The one slight quibble is the access down a narrow country lane to a vast field for a car park. Best advice is get there early and park near the exit. The Hatherleigh Stand offers tiered seating and fine views across the course.
Catering: The Kingswell restaurant is light and airy with a glimpse of the course. The Tattersalls buffet serves chicken curry or sausage and mash while the annexe of the oldest bar has fish pie and homemade cakes. The course facilities offer a basic bar with tables and a covered stand and the chance to get right up close to the hurdles and fences. Two mobile catering outlets offer hot beverages and excellent value baps crammed full with freshly carved roast pork, stuffing and apple sauce.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: fine country hotels and inns abound so try the George in the marketplace of nearby Castle Cary, Stock Hill House at Gillingham and Holbrook House in Wincanton. For food Truffles at Bruton is good and for pubs head for Hunters Lodge, The Old Smithy at Charlton Musgrave or at Hindon the Grosvenor and the Lamb. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Windsor Figure of eight track of 1m 4f 110y with a long run-in. The track is level and fairly sharp. 6f course is virtually straight. High numbers have a slight advantage in sprints. normal 01753 865234 www.windsor-racecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: From the M4 (J6) or M3 (J3)
By Rail: Windsor Central and Windsor and Eton are both 2 miles from course.
Admission: Club £22, Grandstand £15, Silver Ring £7; Silver Ring Picnic Car Park £7 per car & £7 per occupants; Accompanied Children 16 & under FREE; Students 16-25 yrs 50% discount (with SU Card; Tatts & Silver Ring only).
Visiting Windsor racecourse is like Alice's experience on entering Wonderland or the mythical Camelot, where the 'rain may never fall till after sundown'. Lazy, hazy evening racing on the banks of the Thames is Windsor's forte. Escape from the bustle of the rush hour traffic and arrive in style on the shuttle boat from Windsor Bridge. Receive a kindly welcome from traditional hatted gatemen and check out the amenities from the excellent racecard which include considerate facilities for the disabled. Then head for the clubhouse with its wood panelling and grand staircases, cosy bars and the finest loos in racingdom.
Catering: The champagne bar on the lawn is a great place to see and be seen, while seafood and oriental bars provide a touch of glamour on the grass. Upstairs in the Royal Windsor Stand, the Castle restaurant provides fine food and splendid views of the racing.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Avoid the over priced tourist establishments in Windsor and move up river to Cookham and two smart pubs, the Chequers and the Bel and Dragon. Closer to the course are the Belgian Arms at Holyport or the Palmers Arms at Dorney. For fine dining the Waterside at Bray cannot be bettered. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Wolverhampton Left handed oval of 1m with a run-in of 380y. Track is level with tight bends. The Fibresand surface rides slower than Lingfield and Southwell. NH course is a sharp left handed flat circuit of approx 1m 1f with a run-in of about 200y. High numbers hold a slight advantage. very tight 0870 220 2442 www.wolverhampton-racecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: One mile North of town on the A449 from the M54 (J2) and the M6 (J12)
By Rail: Wolverhampton station is 1 mile from course.
Admission: Members £15, Tattersalls £8 Diamond Club Members (OAPs) £4; Unaccompanied Under 16s Free
Night racing is what Wolverhampton is all about and when the lights go on it has an atmosphere all its own. Access to the course is easy and the car parks the best in the land, overseen by helpful and knowledgeable staff. The racecard could be better but views of the track from the roomy stand are excellent. Although it has to be said the all weather racing is not of the highest quality.
Catering: No need to worry about poor weather here as everything is under cover, including fast food outlets and pub-style bars. There is also a choice of 5 different restaurants. The Parade is a bistro in the on-site hotel with views of the paddock. Ringside is a large ground floor restaurant with a carvery and huge screens to view the racing, while Lesters is a smaller 45 seater with head on views down the straight. But by far the best is Horizons, with 400 tables set in three tiers, all with a view of the track. An all-in price includes a welcome drink, a 3 course meal, table TV's with betting shows and live racing. Tote staff circulate to take your bet and a band entertains between races.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: There is a Holiday Inn on site, ideal for night racing or try the Old Vicarage at Worfield. Most local pubs serve excellent beer, none more so than the Great Western behind the railway station while the Beacon at Sedgley brews its own. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to Worcester Left-handed, elongated oval track of 1m 5f (9) 220y run-in, track is level with easy turns. Fair, galloping track. galloping 0870 220 2772 www.worcester-racecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: Racecourse is in the centre of Worcester off the M5 (J6 or J7)
By Rail: To Worcester Foregate Station
Admission: Premier £18, Grandstand £12, Centre Enclosure £6; Picnic Parking £6 per car; ( Diamond Club OAPs £2 off admission into all enclosures). (Accompanied under 16s FREE). Festival days: Premier: £22, Grandstand: £16, Centre Enclosure: £6.
It is hard to raise any great enthusiasm for this course. Apart from the fact that investment has been minimal it is also tedious to get to, through the centre of town (signs for an alternative route would help) and on arrival the car parks are poor and attended by indifferent staff. It is not unusual to have your afternoon spoilt by drunken and rowdy patrons. The racecard is reasonable with a clear guide to the course facilities.
Catering: To the question "What's cooking?" the answer would have to be, "not much!" There is a members dining room looking back over the river, a coffee bar and a cafe. A couple of fast food wagons complete the racegoers dining experience.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: Brown's Restaurant is certainly worth a visit in town and for hotels, consider the Diglis or The Star. Ombersley has 2 good pubs in the Kings Arms and Crown and Sandys Arms or at Upton Snodsbury the Coventry Arms is a rambling place with a large dining menu. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses Guide to Yarmouth
Left-handed, level, galloping circuit of 1m 4f with a 5f run-in. Also a straight course of 1m. High numbers have a slight advantage on the straight course. galloping 01493 842527 www.greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: North of Great Yarmouth signposted from the A47
By Rail: To Great Yarmouth Station then bus or taxi
Admission: Premier enclosure £17, Grandstand & Paddock £11. Evenings & September Festival: Premier; £19, Grandstand £13. Accompanied children under 16 free
Yarmouth is a seaside racecourse in keeping with the tacky image of the town and owned by the local council. It still retains a certain faded charm but caters largely for an undiscerning tourist clientele and lacks investment and imagination. It is well signposted but on arrival there is a charge to use the car parks (no surprise there!). The racecards are well designed but light on content, the betting ring is rough and ready and the surroundings uninspiring.
Catering: There is a bar with a patio leading out to the paddock but you may have to wait for service. There is a marquee serving buffet meals, a members seafood restaurant and below the Tattersalls stand a seafood bar.
Hotels, Pubs and Restaurants: The Seafood Restaurant in Yarmouth is reasonable but for quality dining, head North up the coast to Winterton-on-Sea where the Fisherman's Return offers good food, beer and accommodation. The Nelson Head at Horsey also serves good beer and hearty food. UK Racecourses
UK Racecourses guide to York Left-handed, flat galloping track, with a straight 6f. There is also an adjoining 6f 214y course. Low numbers best on the straight track, particularly when the ground is soft. galloping 01904 620911 www.yorkracecourse.co.uk
How to get there
By Road: The course is on the Knavesmire road to the south of the city, accessed via the A19 and A64
By Rail: To York then bus or taxi
Admission: County Stand £20 - £40. Tattersalls £10 - £20, course £4 - £5 (varies)
York racecourse is rightly considered the finest in the land. Already established by 1739 when Dick Turpin was executed on the Knavesmire, the course has moved forward with the times and grown into one of the most attractive in the UK, if not the world. The course is situated within walking distance of the walled city of York and just a mile from the railway station. Signs from the A64 dual carriageway are easy to follow leading to well maintained car parks. The buildings combine old and new; the weighing room is a Georgian marvel, the pavilioned champagne bar is charming, the track is flat and wide, providing a fair test. Flowers, benches and trees abound.
Catering: The stately County Stand offers excellent dining and facilities from the Gimcrack dining rooms to snug alcoves in the bars. Seafood and champagne bars can be found on the terrace and lawn above the parade ring. The four tier Knavesmire Stand in Tattersalls has smart bars everywhere and a popular inexpensive self-service restaurant.
Hotels, Pubs and restaurants: Middlethorpe Hall overlooks the course. The Grange is a Regency hotel near to the city centre with a renowned restaurant. The York Pavilion at Fulford boasts a fine restaurant and lodging. UK Racecourses