The United Kingdom hosts millions of visitors each year. Many of those tourists come to experience the nation’s history and culture by going to such famous sites as the Tower of London, Stonehenge, and the British Museum.
However, no trip to the UK is complete without a stop at one of the UK’s iconic horse racing tracks.
Horse racing has long been a mainstay of British culture. And with the UK being home to a total of 59 racecourses, you don’t have to travel far to find one. If you enjoy the thrill of betting, you can either place wagers at the track or at any of the top 100 betting sites UK. Of course, you don’t have to put money on the line to have a good time. Some people may prefer to spend their cash at other exciting venues that are located near these tracks.
So, if you want to incorporate horse racing into your itinerary, here are facilities that you should consider seeing.
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Located near Chester’s historic city center on the River Dee, Chester Racecourse was established in 1539 making it the oldest continuously operating horse racing venue in the country.
Chester Racecourse holds several horse racing events throughout the year with the Chester Vase being the main attraction.
Despite the venue’s age, Chester Racecourse is a very modern facility with loads of amenities like restaurants, nightclubs, and hospitality suites. Another convenient benefit of visiting Chester is that the city boasts an abundance of other attractions including the Chester Zoo, Blue Planet Aquarium, city walls, and the Chester Rows.
Don’t forget to take a scenic boat trip on the River Dee.
Cheltenham Racecourse is one of the most famous tracks in the world.
It is home to the prestigious Cheltenham Festival which is a four-day extravaganza. The facility, which opened in 1818, has a flat and a steeplechase course along with a seating capacity of 67,500. Visitors have access to many modern amenities such as bars, retail shopping, and plenty of dining options.
Cheltenham Racecourse is located in Gloucestershire which serves up an array of popular attractions including Gloucester Cathedral, museums, and the historic Sudeley Castle.
Along with offering some of the most scenic views in the UK, Gloucestershire is close to Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens where you can see all sorts of exotic animals from all over the world.
Some tourists won’t have the time or desire to see much outside of London. One of the best things about Epsom Downs is that it is located in Surrey which is about an hour’s drive from the Big Smoke.
Epsom Downs opened way back in 1661 and is best known for hosting the annual Epsom Derby in early June. It is a challenging course that features steep uphill and downhill stretches that test both horses and jockeys.
Nature lovers who visit the Surrey area should make a point of taking in the sensational Surrey Hills which offer hiking trails, cycling, and local wineries.
The region is also home to several stables if you want to take your horse racing experience to the next level.
Liverpool is known for a variety of things including a bustling waterfront, Liverpool Cathedral, and the Fab Four. Those who enjoy folksy things will want to visit Lark Lane and Baltic Triangle while nature lovers are drawn to Sefton Park, Calderstones Park, and the lovely Everton Park.
Of course, Liverpool also enjoys a rich equestrian history that centers around Aintree Racecourse. This is where the annual Grand National has been held since 1839. The racetrack offers all modern amenities including the Aintree Golf Centre which is among the longest 9-hole courses in the world.
Liverpool might be a little out of the way, but it’s well worth the trip.
The horse racing experience doesn’t get any classier than it does at Royal Ascot.
Located about 40 miles west of London in Berkshire, the Ascot Racecourse is home to the Royal Ascot which is one of the most prestigious and elegant annual events. The Royal Ascot is steeped in tradition such as the singing of the national anthem, the famous Ascot Race trumpet call, and the very British custom of afternoon tea.
Just be warned that this opulent event requires all guests to wear formal attire. You probably won’t actually meet any members of the royal family, but you’ll look and feel like royalty.
In conclusion, horse racing has been woven into the fabric of UK culture. If you are thinking about visiting the region, make sure to pencil in one of the above-mentioned locations.
They are all close to other significant attractions which allows you to enjoy a well-rounded and memorable vacation.