The UK’s Five Most Glorious Race Courses

September 01, 2016

- Grant Whittington

As the self-proclaimed sport of kings, you would expect horse racing to have a rich cultural heritage across the length and breadth of the UK. Much of this history is held within the nation’s various, iconic venues, which have seen everything from incredible drama and excitement to unbearable tragedy.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at five of the UK’s most renowned and iconic race courses…


Goodwood Racecourse provides the backdrop for one of the most popular events in the UK horse racing calendar, namely Glorious Goodwood. The host of stellar fixtures such as the Nassau and the Sussex Stakes, Glorious Goodwood is thought to be one of the most lucrative race meetings in the world and as you would expect the surroundings reflect this. Glamourous, awe-inspiring and conveniently-located just 60 miles from London, Goodwood is top of our list for sheer impact alone.


York is one of the UK’s most traditional racecourse venues, while its Signature Event (the Ebor Handicap) is part of an incredibly popular, weekend festival of the same name.  Renowned for its sense of tastefulness and tradition, this upcoming weekend is particularly special for the venue as it hosts its one and only Sunday meeting of the season. This will feature the highly-anticipated Betfred Garrowby Stakes, where last year’s Cheveley Park winner Lumiere is the early favourite to win.


Next up is Newmarket, which is a venue that no British racecourse can compete with in terms of history. This famous thoroughbred venue has been in action since the 1600’s, while it is also home to the first legs of the coveted English Triple Crown (the 2,000 Guineas Stakes and the 1,000 Guineas Stakes). These are two of the five British classics, and reflect the standing of this venue in the eyes of purists.


Now, some may argue that Aintree status is heavily dependent on the fact that it hosts the UK’s most famous national race (The Grand National). Established in 1839, however, this race just so happens to be the most popular in the British race calendar and one that transcends the sport to appeal to fans of all ages. It has also delivered some of the most memorable races in history, and this alone is enough to afford the Aintree course genuinely iconic status.

Ascot Racecourse

Similar to Newmarket, Ascot Racecourse is also considered to be among the best-regarded thoroughbred venues in the UK. In fact, it is home to an impressive nine of the 32 annual, nationwide Group One events, including the Prince of Wales’ Stakes and the Ascot Gold Cup. It is also a venue that hosts prestigious national hunt races, with the Ascot and the Victor Chandler Chase among the most coveted.


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