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There are currently 59 racecourses in Great Britain, from Perth in Scotland to Newton Abbot in Deveon, not to mention a further 26 racecourses in Ireland. All are unique with their own idiosyncrasies and, unless you've been following racing for years, you will be wondering which way round the horses run (either left or right-handed) and whether the draw makes any difference. Well, you needn't wonder any more with our comprehensive guide to each and every one of the racecourses.


Race type - jump

Aintree

Aintree

Aintree is the home of the greatest jumps race in the world, the Grand National, run each April over a gruelling 4m4f. But it might never have come about but for local entrepreneur and sports fanatic William Lynn, who was ast

Ascot

Ascot

Arguably the most famous racecourse in the world and renowned for its top-class flat racing, Ascot also stages several important National Hunt meetings though where superb horses and jockeys battle for the race to finish firs

Bangor

Bangor

First-time racegoers to Bangor-on-Dee are sure to fall in love with the place as the course is set in beautiful countryside and the grassy banks which run around the outside of the track provide a natural amphitheatre to watc

Carlisle

Carlisle

Carlisle is England's most northerly dual-purpose track but don't let that put you off from visiting as it's a real gem. Situated in a country park on the outskirts of the historic town which gives the course its name and jus

Cartmel

Cartmel

Set in the beautiful Lake District National Park, Cartmel takes its name from the nearby 12th century village and is laid out in the grounds of the Holker Estate, which is the home of Lord and Lady Cavendish. It's seldom used

Catterick

Catterick

Racing at Catterick Bridge dates back to 1783 but it wasn't until 1813 that a permanent course was built on the site. The tiny hamlet which gives the course its name is comprised of a few houses and a pub (busy on race days!)

Cheltenham

Cheltenham

Cheltenham is the undoubted home of National Hunt (jumps) racing in Britain & Ireland and its showpiece event is the Cheltenham Festival, held over four days in March. Outside the Festival, 'The Showcase' meeting in October a

Chepstow

Chepstow

Chepstow is Wales' premier racecourse - just don't tell that to Dai Walters, the owner of nearby Ffos Las! Situated in the picturesque Wye Valley between Bristol and Cardiff, it provides a stunning setting for some top class

Doncaster

Doncaster

The flat nature of the track and underfoot conditions place a distinct emphasis on speed over stamina and horses who like to get on with it often prevail, whereas the stoutly-bred staying types are taken off their feet.

Exeter

Exeter

Exeter is Britain's highest racecourse at 850 feet above sea level and on a clear day the views of the Devon countryside are breathtaking. The ups and downs of Exeter don't suit every horse but the track is considered to be a

Fakenham

Fakenham

This pretty area of Norfolk has always been popular with local hunts but it wasn't until 1905 that the present site was used as a racecourse. The course is more square-shaped than circular and that creates four sharp bends wh

Ffos Las

Ffos Las

Opening its doors for the first time on June 18th 2009, Ffos Las is Britain's newest racecourse and only the third to be situated in Wales; the other two being Chepstow (90 miles away) and Bangor-on-Dee. The track is perfe

Flemington

Flemington

Flemington Racecourse is undoubtedly Australia's premier racing venue and is located just 8kms from Melbourne City. Its positioning on alluvial flats close to Footscray Park on the south bank of the Maribyrnong River, help to

Fontwell

Fontwell

A unique shaped National Hunt track on account of it’s figure-of-eight chase course located inside the hurdles track. The hurdles track is about 1m4f round favouring the light-framed speedier types with it’s sharp corners

Haydock

Haydock

Being equidistant between Manchester and Liverpool, Haydock can always rely upon plenty of racegoers through the gate and they are rarely left disappointed by the action on the track, which is always more about quality than q

Hereford

Hereford

Racing at Hereford can be traced back to 1771, with the first hurdle race run in 1840. Flat racing was abandoned in 1883 and the course now stages jumps only, although harness racing takes place during the summer months. T

Hexham

Hexham

Claims to be the "home of National Hunt racing in Northumberland". Hexham's undulations are severe, hill-like even, and this can make it a real slog. Especially the steep climb on the home turn sorts the men from the boys. St

Huntingdon

Huntingdon

Set in the heart of the Cambridgeshire countryside, race-goers have been coming to the present site since 1920 and in more recent times they have enjoyed some superb facilities, establishing Huntingdon as one of the finest co

Kelso

Kelso

Known as the 'Borders Track' on account of its location just inside the Scottish border, Kelso has been staging racing since 1822 when it was a flat racing only venue. It was only after the United Border Hunt moved to the are

Kempton

Kempton

They race on the all-weather at Kempton all year round but the track is still one of Britain's premier jumps venues and is home to what is one of the most important races in the calendar, the King George VI Chase, run each ye

Leicester

Leicester

Leicester is perhaps better known for it's flat racing and it's true that it attracts some high class horses in that sphere, whilst National Hunt races here are often contested by low grade animals. After racing, the loca

Lingfield

Lingfield

Lingfield may not be so 'leafy' now most of the trees have been chopped down to make way for the all-weather track, but it's still an important National Hunt venue and the standard of horses competing tends to be above averag

Ludlow

Ludlow

Situated in rural Shropshire, just a few miles from the Welsh border and the historic town which gives the course its name, Ludlow is the quintessential 'countryside' track and, despite some recent modernisation, there is sti

Market Rasen

Market Rasen

Located in a pretty are of Lincolnshire since 1800 Market Rasen is primarily a summer jumps phenomenon. The course is also very popular at Boxing Day. The racing circuit is a sharp right-hander at around 1m2f in circumference

Musselburgh

Musselburgh

Racing on the current site dates back to 1816 but it's only since the 1990's that the course has been known as Musselburgh, having formerly been 'Edinburgh', which is actually around eight miles to the west. Being located

Newbury

Newbury

Newbury is busy throughout the year as a dual purpose track and it's quality National Hunt programme, which includes the prestigious Hennessy Gold Cup, makes it one of Britain's premier jumps tracks. There is easy access a

Newcastle

Newcastle

Known as 'Gosforth Park' to the locals, Newcastle is undoubtedly one of Britain's premier courses and can trace its history back to the early 17th century - the last timed I backed a winner! Racing under both codes, it owes m

Newton Abbot

Newton Abbot

Set in the rolling Devon countryside and a short distance from the coast, Newton Abbot relies heavily on the tourists which are drawn to the region, and this was instrumental in the management's decision to abandon racing in

Plumpton

Plumpton

Plumpton is situated on the picturesque South Downs in the heart of Sussex and is one of Britain's leading small jumps courses, staging around 16 meetings a year between September and May. Apart from being closed for both

Sandown

Sandown

Dating back to 1870, Sandown is undoubtedly one of the UK's premier National Hunt courses and racegoers are rarely left disappointed as the racing is frequently exciting, with some of the past finishes on the stiff uphill run

Sedgefield

Sedgefield

Located at the Durham countryside Sedgefield Racecourse is a popular track notably with the popular Boxing Day meeting drawing attention. The track is just 1m2f round and it’s sharp bends and undulations don’t suit every

Southwell

Southwell

Southwell is one of Britain's busiest racecourses staging all-weather flat racing throughout the year, but it started life as a National Hunt venue and several meetings under that code still take place in the winter months.

Stratford

Stratford

They've been racing at Stratford for over 250 years with the first recorded meeting taking place in 1755, although it was abandoned for a large part of the early 19th century after local farmers complained about their crops b

Taunton

Taunton

Taunton had the distinction of being Britain's youngest racecourse until Ffos Las came along in 2008, with the first meeting taking place on the 21st September 1927 under the auspices of the Taunton Racecourse Company. It

Towcester

Towcester

Towcester or simply ”Toaster” is situation on the A5 between Northampton and Milton Keynes. The course is a right-hander at 1m6f where horses have to show their best at every yard. The course is severely undulating starti

Uttoxeter

Uttoxeter

Uttoxeter has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1907, when it offered just five meetings a year and was frequented mainly by the local gentry. In more recent years it has been allocated several meetings during

Warwick

Warwick

Like a phoenix rising from the flames, Warwick was built in the early part of the eighteenth century to attract wealthy investors to the area after a fire destroyed the nearby town. The flat course is completely separate t

Wetherby

Wetherby

Racing in the area can be traced back to Roman times but the course as we know it began life in 1891 and it's now one the north's premier jumps tracks. The new surface seems to have now bedded in to a large extent and trai

Wincanton

Wincanton

Most jumps fans will agree that Wincanton racecourse is the West Country’s premier National Hunt venue and it’s not unusual to see genuine Grade 1 horses in action. Being rectangular in shape, the racing circuit has four

Worcester

Worcester

Worcester's close proximity to the River Dee makes it an ideal venue for summer jumping but it's also been a curse of sorts with flooding a real problem. Now under the management of Arena Leisure, Worcester is one of the b

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Race type - flat

Ascot

Ascot

Most people when asked to name a famous English racecourse would say Ascot and not just in the UK either as the Berkshire venue is world renowned for its quality horse racing and royal connection.

Ayr

Ayr

Ayr is widely regarded as Scotland's premier racing venue and the Gold Cup Festival, which is staged here every September, is the undoubted highlight of the country's flat racing calendar with some excellent prize money on of

Ballinrobe

Ballinrobe

There have been races around Ballinrobe going way back to the 18th century. The course is a beauty too, a raised oval, enclosed by a ring of undulating peaks and views to Lough Carra. Ballinrobe is big with holidaymakers in t

Bath

Bath

At an elevation of 238 metres Bath Racecourse in the County of Somerset is the highest flat venue in the country. It’s a left-handed track that has been in business for more than 200 years. Also worth keeping in mind is tha

Bellewstown

Bellewstown

Locations don’t get more scenic than Bellewstown, elevated on a hill and framed by the Mountains of Mourne, while the Irish Sea is visible to the east. The course shines in the summer, and races have been held here in Augus

Beverley

Beverley

In the Westwood, an open space of pasture and woodland just west of Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Beverley Racecourse has witnessed flat racing since the mid-18th century. The season here runs from April to Septem

Brighton

Brighton

With a horseshoe format, Brighton is one of only a handful of British racecourses that doesn’t form a joined-up circuit. The course is just a mile north of Brighton in the undulating scenery of the South Downs, and incorpor

Carlisle

Carlisle

Being England's most northerly city and lying close to the Scottish border, Carlisle has seen it's fair share of military action down the centuries and the racing action is often fiercely competitive too.

Catterick

Catterick

Racing at Catterick Bridge, to give the course its full name, as been going on since the late 18th century and it's popularity amongst the locals ensured it became a regular fixture as early as 1813.

Chelmsford City

Chelmsford City

Chelmsford City, formerly Great Leighs, staged its first meeting on January 11 2015 and is set to become a regular feature for British punters, having secured 58 fixtures for the calendar year

Chepstow

Chepstow

Chepstow is better known as a jumps venue but it's busy during the summer too with flat racing taking place from May through to September. The main flat circuit is a flattened oval measuring nearly two miles in circumference.

Chester

Chester

No racecourse in England is older than Chester, which has history going back to 1539. There are 15 meetings in the summer season at Chester, which is also the shortest course in the country, at just one mile. The course is tu

Clonmel

Clonmel

There’s both flat and National Hunt racing at Clonmel, but the cooler seasons are when the course is full of activity, hosting some of Ireland’s major jump events. Top of the list is November’s Clonmel Oil Chase, which

Cork

Cork

A few minutes outside the town of Mallow, Cork Racecourse puts on both prestigious Flat and National Hunt races all year round, and is one of the three straight six furlong courses in Ireland. The season culminates with the E

Curragh

Curragh

Near the M7, which links Dublin with Cork, the Curragh Racecourse is one of Ireland’s oldest venues and is famed for its flat racing pedigree. Every one of the five Irish Classic races is run at Curragh, as is the second da

Doncaster

Doncaster

They've been racing on Doncaster Town Moor since 1776 when, to coincide with the opening, the first running of the St Leger Stakes took place, making it the oldest of the five English Classics. The redevelopment included s

Down Royal

Down Royal

Near Belfast and no more than a few miles from the A1 that links Belfast to Dublin, Down Royal is a modern course with events all year round for both jump and flat racing. The one to mark on the calendar is late-October’s F

Downpatrick

Downpatrick

Downpatrick has a long racing pedigree going back to 1685, and races have been held at the precise spot of the present course for the last 200 years. Rain or shine Downpatrick draws large crowds and is seen as one of the most

Dundalk

Dundalk

Minutes from the M1, Dundalk offers both horse and greyhound racing, and underwent a large overhaul a decade ago. This made it the first racecourse in Ireland with floodlights, as well as the first to be able to host meeting

Epsom Downs

Epsom Downs

Racing on Epsom Downs dates back to the time of Charles II but it took a further century before the great race it is associated with was conceived.

Fairyhouse

Fairyhouse

Within easy reach of central Dublin, the prestigious Fairyhouse Racecourse hosts one of the main events on Ireland’s sporting calendar: All eyes are on the Irish Grand National on Easter Monday. There are meetings and festi

Flemington

Flemington

Flemington Racecourse is undoubtedly Australia's premier racing venue and is located just 8kms from Melbourne City. Its positioning on alluvial flats close to Footscray Park on the south bank of the Maribyrnong River, help to

Folkestone

Folkestone

Kent is known as the 'Garden of England' and its only racecourse, Folkestone, is certainly set in very pleasant surroundings, situated as it is on the eastern edge of the South Downs overlooking the English channel.

Galway

Galway

A short hop from Galway’s city centre, Galway Racecourse welcomes the biggest crowd for any course in the country during the Galway Festival in late-August. Ladies’ Day on the Thursday is the big one, getting gates of up

Goodwood

Goodwood

Set high on the Sussex Downs Goodwood is undoubtedly one of the world's most beautiful racecourses and the famous five-day festival held here at the end of July, known as 'Glorious Goodwood', is unquestionably the flat season

Gowran Park

Gowran Park

In the middle of beautiful County Kilkenny, which itself is known for horse-rearing, Gowran Park is loved for its wonderful scenery. There’s something going on at all times of the year at the course, whether on the flat or

Hamilton

Hamilton

Hamilton is the playground of Glaswegians, who flock here for the summer evening meetings in particular and as a result there is a real buzz about the place. Racing in the area can be traced back to 1782 but the modern day si

Haydock

Haydock

Haydock is easily the premier venue for flat racing in the North West and the standard of racing is high. For around 200 years, racing took place on Newton Common, near the town of Newton le Willows, but the locals demanded a

Kempton

Kempton

Situated just 16 miles from the centre of London, Kempton Racecourse is one of Britain’s most popular racecourses with the traditional King Georges Chase the 26th December as the absolute jewel. Kempton is a right-hande

Kilbeggan

Kilbeggan

Kilbeggan is a tricky, tight right-turning track with hardly a straight in sight, and is easily one of Ireland's favourite courses for spectators. A great deal of racing at Kilbeggan takes place in the evening time, which onl

Killarney

Killarney

The highly picturesque Killarney Racecourse has the hills of the Killarney National Park as a backdrop. All the races at the course are held in the summer months, and visitors usually come in the evenings as the perfect end t

Laytown

Laytown

Laytown holds only one day of racing a year, in September, and is like no other course in Ireland. Races are on a beach at low tide, and Laytown is the only beach racing event governed by the official Rules of Racing. On this

Leicester

Leicester

Leicester is one of the most modern racecourses in the country. In the Autumn Leicester really comes into its own with the running of several high-class maiden races; some of the best horses to grace the flat have started out

Leopardstown

Leopardstown

Whether on the flat, or over hurdles or fences, Leopardstown holds many of Ireland’s most prestigious races throughout the year. The course couldn’t be better situated, right on the outskirts of Dublin. There’s a catalo

Limerick

Limerick

A relatively new addition to Ireland’s collection of racecourses, Limerick hosts both National Hunt races and on the flat and was built in 2001. The richest and most prestigious of the latter is the Group 3 Martin Molony St

Lingfield

Lingfield

Racing on the Lingfield Park Estate dates back to the late nineteenth century but race-goers then would not recognise the place today. Originally a jumps course, the first flat meeting took place in 1894 and has continued sin

Listowel

Listowel

September at the 19th-century Listowel Racecourse in County Kerry means the Harvest Festival, one of the biggest weeks in Ireland’s racing season. People come from all over Ireland and abroad for races like Wednesday’s Ke

Meydan

Meydan

Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse in Meydan City features a record-breaking grandstand. Seating 60,000 it’s the longestest single man-made structure in the world, and was unveiled in 2010. There are two courses at Meydan, an 8.75

Musselburgh

Musselburgh

Race meetings in the area were originally staged on the sands at Leith but large crowds necessitated a move to the current site in 1816, thus making Scotland's oldest racecourse.

Naas

Naas

At Naas there’s both Flat and National Hunt in all seasons. Put January in your diary, as this is when the Naas Novice Hurdle runs, which has Grade 1 status and pulls in the biggest names. There are also key trial races in

Navan

Navan

Set on the fringes of the town, Navan holds plenty of flat racing in the warmer months, but its reputation is built on its jump meetings, so it comes into its own between October and March. At this time of year the national h

Newcastle

Newcastle

Newcastle is steeped in history with racing in the area dating from as early as the 16th century, although it didn't get its first proper home until 1833, when Newcastle Town Moor was chosen as the venue for the Northumberlan

Newmarket

Newmarket

Considered by the majority of racing folk to be the headquarters of thoroughbred racing in the UK, Newmarket has a long and rich history. It was James I that first instigated racing here and the work was carried on by his des

Nottingham

Nottingham

Once a dual purpose track, Nottingham now solely stages flat racing and has been the starting point for many a good horse down the years. A visit to the nearby greyhound track after racing is highly recommended - providing yo

Perth

Perth

Britain’s northernmost track, Perth has been hosting racing since the 17th century, while the racecourse has been in action since 1908. The track is in a picturesque spot by the River Tay, and unlike many National Hunt cour

Pontefract

Pontefract

Horse racing in the area can be traced back to the English Civil War but the current site is far more modern having opened its doors in 1801.

Punchestown

Punchestown

Punchestown hardly needs introduction, thanks to its position as the main National Hunt venue in Ireland, which puts it firmly on the world racing map. The season is from autumn to early-summer, because Punchestown is jumps-o

Redcar

Redcar

Redcar is Yorkshire's 'Seaside Racecourse' being within walking distance of a long and sandy beach, which is often used by local trainers in wintertime to keep their horses on the go.

Ripon

Ripon

Ripon is one of the more pleasant racecourses to visit set as it is in the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales and it's known known as the 'Garden Racecourse' for good reason.

Roscommon

Roscommon

There’s both jump and flat racing at this much-loved venue, found a stone’s throw from Roscommon town in western Ireland. The season spans the summer, and both Roscommon locals and holidaymakers flock to the evening races

Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot

Most people when asked to name a famous English racecourse would say Ascot and not just in the UK either as the Berkshire venue is world renowned for its quality horse racing and royal connection.

Salisbury

Salisbury

Set in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, Salisbury is a flat racing only venue, staging 15 meetings between early May and mid-October.

Sandown

Sandown

Sandown is one of the UK's premier racing venues and is renowned for exciting finishes (aided by the stiff uphill finish) and spectacular viewing, not only of the racing but across the capital - the track is just a half hour

Sligo

Sligo

This course has the advantage of being close to the centre of Sligo town, but is also blessed with awesome natural scenery. Like the best country courses, Sligo comes to life on summer evenings when there are meetings with bo

Southwell

Southwell

Southwell is an all-weather track that rides completely different due to it’s Fibresand surface. As you'd expect it has produced more than its fair share of course specialists, with some horses not capable of winning anywhe

Thirsk

Thirsk

Racing has been taking place in the this beautiful part of Yorkshire since the 17th century and, indeed, there are records to show that King James I donated a gold cup as the prize for the 'Royal Plate' of 1612.

Thurles

Thurles

One of Ireland’s courses that only holds National Hunt races, Thurles has events throughout the year, particularly in the middle of winter and it’s almost unheard of for a race to be cancelled for poor weather here. Janua

Tipperary

Tipperary

Tipperary’s Super Sunday on the first Sunday of October is unique in Ireland as being the only meeting to put on jump and flat races on the same card. This is the biggest day of the year at Tipperary, but there’s a lovely

Tramore

Tramore

The vistas at Tramore are a big part of the appeal. The course is on a rise above the town and looks out over the coast. Summer is when Tramore is in its element, and the stands are packed for the summer festival in August, w

Warwick

Warwick

Visitors to Warwick get a real sense of history as the course is located close to the ramparts of Warwick Castle, which was built by William The Conqueror in 1068 and served as the symbol of power for the Earl of Warwick.

Wexford

Wexford

The season at Wexford on Ireland’s southeast coast lasts from spring to early-winter, but the crowds really show up for the evening races in June, July and August. There’s both National Hunt and Flat racing at Wexford, an

Windsor

Windsor

Windsor's eccentric figure-of-eight track lies alongside the River Thames and can be reached by an enjoyable boat trip from the town centre.

Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton

The first of the all-weather tracks to be floodlit and many meetings now take place under the lights with especially Saturday evening meetings popular. The track is an oval measuring around 1m in circumference and that makes

Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth

Set a mile north of this Norfolk seaside town, Great Yarmouth Racecourse was founded more than 200 years ago. There are 18 events at this left-handed course from June to October. A roll-call of famous horses have debuted at G

York

York

Few would argue that York is the north's premier flat racing venue and the standard of racing is always high.

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