Horse racing is a popular sport in the United Kingdom, attracting over 6 million spectators at the racecourses every year. In fact, the sport comes in second after football as the most popular in the UK.
If you find this impressive, it’s absolutely nothing compared to the high number of chair followers of this sport of kings. Approximately 550 million fans watch the celebrated Grand National every year.
For those who love watching the action unfold in racecourses, the UK has roughly 60 registered racecourses from where you can have a first-hand experience with horse racing. Leaving no stones unturned, here are some of the best racing tracks in the United Kingdom.
Aintree tops the list as the leading racecourse in the UK. The race track is home to the Grand National, the greatest jump racing event not only in the United Kingdom but also in the World. The race has greatly contributed to the venue’s fame.
Surprisingly, unlike many would expect, this racecourse is located in a quiet village on the Northern side of Liverpool. Aintree is the area’s most appreciable landmark and has the capacity to accommodate up to 75,000 spectators.
Other notable races held here include the Old Roan Chase, the Topham Chase, the Becher Chase, the Grand Sefton Handicap and the Fox Hunters’ Chase. Horse steeple chasing at this track is a serious affair and an experience that will last for a lifetime.
Ascot is without a doubt among the best-thoroughbred horse racing venues in the United Kingdom. The track hosts nine of the 32 Group 1 racing events among them the iconic Royal Ascot, the King’s Stand Stakes, the Golden Jubilee Stakes and the Prince of Wales’ Stakes.
These are competitions you can bet on at nearly every betting site in Britain. Speaking of which, find a list and reviews at horseracingbetting.co.uk. Some of the bookies welcome you with free bets, ensuring your first bet is covered by the house.
Back to the Royal Ascot, the venue is also home to other prestigious national races like The Victor Chandler Chase, the Long Walk Hurdle and the Ascot Chase. With a sitting capacity of 70,000, Ascot Racecourse also happens to be the Royal Family’s favourite track.
The Queen attends the Royal Ascot Festival every year without fail, which happens to be held in this racecourse. Just like the name suggests, the track is situated in Ascot, Berkshire just a few kilometres from the Windsor Castle.
Located near Cheltenham in Prestbury Park, this racecourse is the most iconic in the United Kingdom and across borders. The racecourse has a steam railway station and is home to spectacular world-class jump events that you will ever find anywhere.
Cheltenham Racecourse is mostly renowned for hosting the Cheltenham Festival, an extravaganza race that runs for four days in March every year. The festival features the prestigious Cheltenham Gold Cup among other jump races.
Cheltenham’s sitting capacity stands at 67,500, with the Centaur Auditoria accommodating around 2,000 people. If you’re looking to have a feel of the UK’s true passion for horse racing in an ambient environment, Cheltenham Racecourse is the ultimate destination.
With 36 meetings held here throughout the year, Doncaster Racecourse is a busy dual-purpose racecourse. Doncaster is situated in Doncaster, South Yorkshire and has the capability to house over 50,000 spectators.
The track’s central location means that you won’t need to travel far to experience the action that takes place here each year. The racecourse has a long history and acts as the host of the St Leger Stakes, one of the oldest British Classic horse races.
While it is steeped in history, Doncaster’s facilities are as vibrant and modern as any you may see in recent racecourses. The Doncaster Cup, the Lincoln Handicap and the Racing Post Trophy are also held in Doncaster.
Epsom Downs Racecourse
Epsom Derby, the Coronation Cup and the Epsom Oaks are among the main events held in Epsom Downs, a racecourse with a sitting capacity of 120,000. It is in between Langley Vale, Tadworth and Epsom.
Since the racecourse sits in a public area, spectators are allowed to watch the Derby for free. But this year, the British Horseracing Authority has been discouraging against watching live games for safety reasons. While the Derby event is the best time to visit Epsom Downs, there are other festivals across the year that brings excellent racing action.
You will not find many racecourses in the UK that are easy on the eye than Goodwood, a picturesque venue on the southern side of South Downs. The track is popular for its summer festival; Glorious Goodwood a five-day festival that attracts thousands.
The race celebrates the classic style and glamour combined with British horse racing culture. Goodwood provides a truly amazing spectacle on a sunny day of racing. It is an ideal destination for a break at the thrilling Nassau Stakes and the Sussex Stakes races.
Often referred to as the birthplace and headquarters of British racing, you can be assured that you will not find many racecourses as prestigious and historic as Newmarket. This magnificent thoroughbred racecourse has been around for centuries since 1600s.
The racecourse has managed to host races without interruptions. It is home to National Stud and National Horse Racing Museum and is also the preferred venue for the initial legs of the Fillies’ Triple Crown and the English Triple Crown.
Sandown Park Racecourse
Sandown Park was the favourite racecourse to the late Queen’s Mother. The racecourse has had a fair share of fabulous horse racing moments. Celebrated contenders such as Mill Reef, Desert Orchid and Arkle have graced this tack with their presence.
The racecourse is a befitting location for thoroughbred racing events in the UK, hosting flat and national horse races. The Tingle Creek Chase and the Bet365 Gold Cup are the two important events held at Sandown Park.
Horse racing is part of the UK’s culture having been in existence for decades. The sport has gained a massive following over the decades, becoming the second most loved sport in different parts of the United Kingdom.
Each year, millions congregate in various racecourses across the UK to enjoy the spectacle of horses racing and the breathtaking performances staged by the jockeys. Every year, roughly 10,000 races take place so at any given time of the year, there is an ongoing festival.