Across the Greater London, home counties and South West region there's a long and auspicious history of horse racing, featuring two of the UK’s biggest venues – Ascot and Epsom – amongst others. Some of the most important races in the UK are hosted here, and with the changing times horse racing has reinvented itself as a great family day out. Many race days now feature live music from household names, as well as child-friendly activities and food & drink.
Ascot is one of the leading racecourses in the UK – hosting more than a third of the highest tier of horse races. Primarily known for both being the host of Gold Cup and for the flagship racing event Royal Ascot, the course boasts a close relationship with the Royal Family and the highest of UK society.
The Gold Cup – June
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes – July
Shergar Cup – August
Getting to Ascot Racecourse
Ascot Racecourse is just a seven-minute walk from Ascot station. Trains run to Reading and London every 30 minutes, with extra trains on busy race days.
Epsom Downs Racecourse
The racecourse at Epsom Downs is one of the UK’s best known and is the host of the Derby – a globally-anticipated race meet that’s now more than 200 years old. The course features some of the fastest sprint racing in Britain, with its long downhill straights.
Great Metropolitan Handicap – part of the April Meet
Coronation Cup, The Derby, and the Princess Elizabeth Stakes – part of the Derby
Getting to Epsom Downs Racecourse
Epsom station is served by regular South Western Railway services from London Waterloo and Wimbledon. It’s a 10-minute taxi away on most race days, but you’ll find a shuttle bus running during The Investec Derby Festival.
Sandown Park Racecourse
Located at Esher in Surrey, on our mainline route between London Waterloo and Woking, Sandown Park can often be found playing host to both racing and music, with regular concerts after racedays. Big names including Spandau Ballet, UB40, and Madness have all been hosted by this popular location.
Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle – January
Eclipse Stakes – July
Tingle Creek Chase – December
Getting to Sandown Park Racecourse
Just a short walk from Esher station, the racecourse has its own entrance at the southwestern end of platform four, open exclusively on racedays.
Kempton Park Racecourse
With its dedicated railway station, Kempton Park Racecourse enjoys more than 210 acres of grounds with two lakes and an all-weather main racing track. The racecourse hosts racing throughout the year, but is particularly known for its busy post-Christmas racedays, featuring the King George VI and Kauto Star Novices’ Chases.
Betway Handicap Chase – February
Sirenia Stakes - September
King George VI Chase - December
Getting to Kempton Park Racecourse
Kempton Park station borders the entrance to the racecourse, with two trains an hour on weekdays and Saturdays.
Located 3 miles outside the Georgian city of Bath, Bath Racecourse holds the distinction of being Britain’s highest flat racecourse. The racecourse has a history stretching as far back as 1728, and recent renovations mean this remains a popular ground.
Landsowne Fillies’ Stakes – April
Beckford Stakes – October
Getting to Bath Racecourse
The Bath Racecourse Shuttle Bus runs before and after racing fixtures, picking up at Manvers Street just outside Bath Spa station . Costing just £5 for a return ticket, it’s less than 15 minutes to the racecourse.
Known locally as Haldon Racecourse because of its location at the peak of the Haldon Hills, Exeter Racecourse was created during the reign of King Charles II – his love of the sport resulting in a series of racecourses across England. Nowadays it serves as one of the highest-altitude National Hunt racecourses in the UK.
Haldon Gold Cup – November
Getting to Exeter Racecourse
Exeter St Davids is the nearest station for the racecourse. A free coach operates on racedays to take you to the racecourse.
Royal Windsor Racecourse
Windsor Racecourse has hosted formal race meets since 1866, but has a history dating back as far as Henry VIII. Boasting one of only two figure-of-eight courses in the UK, the racecourse occupies an enviable position on the River Thames.
Winter Hill Stakes
Getting to Windsor Racecourse
Taxis are available from Windsor & Eton Riverside station to the racecourse, but an altogether more pleasant way to travel is on the river taxi service – especially in the summer. Taking just 10 minutes from Barry Avenue Promenade (just a short walk from the station), you’ll get to enjoy the meandering River Thames and the on-board bar.