8 Famous Racecourses in the UK


Curious about the types of racecourses UK racegoers can enjoy? This guide to British racecourses might answer your questions! Read about famous racecourses UK punters visit here!

Horse racing remains one of the most popular spectator sports in the UK, and there are dozens of iconic racecourses UK residents can visit. These venues host some of the most famous and lucrative horse races in the world. Great events like the Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and the Derby draw hundreds of thousands of spectators to British racecourses every year.

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Here, we’ll look at seven famous racecourses UK racegoers can visit. These racecourses have long histories and have been graced by Britain and Ireland’s greatest jockeys and horses over the years, with some races living long in the memories of horse racing fans from all over the world. Read on to find out more!

Racecourses UK

Aintree Racecourse

Aintree Racecourse is located close to the city of Liverpool, in England’s Northwest. This course was opened in 1829 and it hosts the iconic Grand National race every year in April. There are also meetings at the course in May, June, October, November and December. Fittingly, given his amazing feats in Grand Nationals in the 1970s, the great horse Red Rum is buried adjacent to the winning post at Aintree. Anyone who has watched a Grand National will recognise some of the great fences at Aintree over which horse jump. These include Becher’s Brook, Canal Turn and Foinavon.

Aintree Racecourse
Image Credits: Aintree Racecourse

Newmarket Racecourse

Newmarket in Suffolk is viewed as the headquarters of British horse racing. There are more training yards located close to Newmarket than anywhere else in the UK. In addition to being one of the best-known horse racing tracks UK racegoers can visit, a number of important horse racing institutions are located close to the course. These include the auctioneer Tattersalls, as well as National Horseracing Museum and the National Stud. The course hosts nine of horse racing in the UK’s 36 Group 1 races each year, including the 1,000 Guineas and the 2,000 Guineas.

 newmarket racecourse
Image Credits: Edward Whitaker

Doncaster Racecourse

Located in Yorkshire, not far from the great northern English cities of Sheffield and Leeds, Doncaster Racecourse hosts some great races over the course of the year. There are historical records of race meetings at the course dating back to the 16th century. Doncaster is one of the country’s most famous racecourses, UK racegoers can see two of Britain’s Group 1 flat races, the St Leger Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy, there. There are tracks for both flat racing and National Hunt racing at Doncaster, and it also hosts the Doncaster Cup, one of the world’s oldest horse races.

doncaster racecourse
Image Credits: Ddoncaster Racecourse

Epsom Downs

Located in Surrey, in the south of England, Epsom Downs is one of the few racecourses that the public can access for free. This means that it has a potential crowd capacity of around 130,000. The first recorded races at the venue were held in 1661, and it now hosts flat racing in April and June. The highlight of the year at Epsom is, of course, the Derby, which is staged annually every year in June. Epsom Downs remains one of the most famed of the horse racing tracks UK punters can visit.

epsom downs
Image Credits: The Jockey Club

Chepstow Racecourse

Chepstow, located in Monmouthshire in Wales, hosts one of the UK’s richest races – the Welsh Grand National, which takes place in December each year. Opened in August 1926, it was used as an Royal Air Force base during World War Two. As well as the Welsh Grand National, Chepstow also hosts races like the Persian War Novice’s Hurdle and the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle. The course is easily accessible from England, as it is close to the Severn Bridge and the M4 motorway.

Chepstow Racecourse
Image Credits: Chepstow Racecourse

Cheltenham Racecourse

Situated in Gloucestershire, in south-western England, Cheltenham Racecourse was first opened at its current location in Prestbury Park in 1831, though racing has been staged in Cheltenham since at least 1815. Cheltenham is one of the most iconic racecourses UK punters can visit, due to it hosting the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March every year. Hugely popular with Irish visitors due to its proximity to St Patrick’s Day, the Cheltenham Festival also includes great races like the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Arkle Challenge Trophy in addition to the Gold Cup. The venue also hosts meetings in January, November and December, making it one of the busiest horse racing tracks UK fans can visit.

cheltenham racecourse
Image Credits: Edward Whitaker

Musselburgh Racecourse

Situated in East Lothian in Scotland, not far from Edinburgh, Musselburgh Racecourse is the second biggest racecourse in Scotland. Although perhaps not the best-known of all the horse racing tracks UK racegoers can enjoy, it hosts both flat and National Hunt racing, and has hosted racing since 1777. Races staged at Musselburgh include the Maggie Dickson Stakes, the Edinburgh Cup and the Queen’s Cup. Over 70,000 spectators attend race events at the course every year.

musselburgh racecourse
Image Credits: Musselburgh Racecourse

Ayr Racecourse

Located in Ayrshire, in south-western Scotland, Ayr Racecourse is Scotland’s largest racecourse. UK punters can attend race meetings there in April, May, June and September. One highlight of the year at Ayr is the Ayr Gold Cup, a flat race which is staged every September. The course also hosts National Hunt racing in addition in flat racing. The Scottish Grand National is the biggest race held at the course, and this is staged in April. Other top jump races at Ayr on which you can use a horse racing sign-up bonus include the Scottish Champion Hurdle, the Rothesay Stakes and the Arran Scottish Fillies’ Sprint Stakes.

ayr racecourse
Image Credits: Ayr Racecourse


As you can see, the UK is home to some fantastic races that host spectacular festivals of racing. The racecourses UK racegoers can visit are among the world’s very best, and famous horses and jockeys continue to perform outstanding feats of skill and courage at these racetracks. Make sure you look out for races at these venues next time you are scanning the horse betting odds at the Mr Green horse racing pages!

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