Over 700,000 people flock to Cheltenham Racecourse every year for racing events, concerts and shows. Located on the northern edge of Cheltenham, the course has long proud history as a horseracing venue, having hosted the first race back in 1831. Since then, the track has undergone continuous development and is now home to two separate racecourses, a cross-country course, as well as large indoor conference and events venue.
The A435 Evesham Road leads directly from Cheltenham town centre to the racecourse with the racecourse clearly signposted from within and around Cheltenham. There is a large volume of parking spaces available at the site, and parking is free for most events, but charges may apply for certain events.
There are regular bus services operated by Stagecoach from the Cheltenham Racecourse to Cheltenham Town Centre and Cheltenham Spa Rail Station.
For a fun and alternative journey, visitors can arrive by steam train by catching the ATR Express from Toddington station directly to the racecourse. This 35-minute long journey takes travellers through the picturesque Cotswolds countryside before arriving in style at the famous racecourse.
Opening Times and Cost
The racecourse is only open to members of the public when there is an event taking place and times for these will vary. Tickets for each event range from £9 – £160 with various hospitality packages available. Visitors are advised to book all tickets in advance, as the horseracing events in particular, are very popular and often sell out quickly.
Horseracing events generally take place throughout the winter months. The most famous of these events is, of course, the Cheltenham Festival, which occurs in mid-March. With nearly £4 million in prize money, the Cheltenham Festival is one of the most prestigious and exciting racing events in the world.
Other Racing Events Include:
- The Showcase – Taking place in October, this 2-day event opens the horseracing season
- The Open – This is a 3-day celebration in November that combines the excitement of a large countryside fair with the thrill of horseracing
- New Year’s Day – On the first of January each year, this event celebrates the arrival of the New Year with a day of exhilarating horse races
The Cheltenham Racecourse is also home to the Centaur – a large indoor events and conference venue. In addition to renting out the space and hosting your own event here, the venue holds several of its own events throughout the year, such as concerts and various shows. Bands that have previously performed here include the Stereophonics, whilst comedians, such as Jack Dee and Lee Evans, have entertained audiences in the large auditorium. A new cinema with 3D and 2K Digital has also been added recently, which screens special showings, sporting events, as well as live concerts.
- There is no dress code at the Cheltenham Racecourse, and as racing takes place during the winter months, visitors are advised to dress accordingly with the weather.
- Visitors are not permitted to bring food into the racecourse. There are a number of mobile catering units situated around the racecourse that serve a range of takeaway food. There are also a number of bars that have a good selection of hot and cold beverages.
- During events, several bookmakers will be available on site where bets on the races can be placed. There are also a number of cash machines available.
- For accommodation, please check out our guide to hotels and bed and breakfasts in and around the Cheltenham Racecourse.