Racecourses on the network

Racecourses on the network

In this article, you'll learn the following:

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 Racecourse

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.

Notable races

  • 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

Epsom Downs racecourse grandstands
Epsom Downs Racecourse | Image credit: Images George Rex

Epsom Downs Racecourse 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.

Notable Races

  • 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 Derby Festival.

Sandown Park Racecourse

Sandown Park Parade Circle
Sandown Park Parade Ring | Image credit: George Redgrave

Located at Esher in Surrey, on our mainline route between London Waterloo and Woking, Sandown Park Racecourse 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.

Notable races

  • 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.

Notable races

  • 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.

Exeter 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.

Notable races

  • 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.

Notable races

  • 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.

So, if you’re thinking of taking a trip, make sure to plan ahead and check your train times. You can also find out how to save money on your travel or find out more about our tickets.

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