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Guide To Going Racing

Choosing A Day
The first thing you need to do to plan your trip racing is choose your day and book your tickets.

There are 60 racecourses spread throughout Britain and meetings are held throughout the year including many Sundays and evenings.

Follow these three simple steps to choosing your day and booking your tickets:

Choose a Fixture
Held throughout the year, including Sundays and evenings, meetings vary in size and style.

Each racecourse holds regular meetings as well as their higher profile calendar highlights which often include extra entertainment outside of the actual racing.

3 easy ways to find the right meeting
If you have a convenient date in mind, then check out our racing calendar and see where there are meetings on that day.

Pick an Enclosure
Once you have chosen the day you want to go racing, the next thing you have to do is pick which 'enclosure' or area of the course you would like to visit.

Racecourse entry is split into 'enclosures' which have varying facilities, dress codes and levels of viewing. This is a great way of making sure you pay for what you want to get out of the day and nothing more.

Generally there are three different enclosure types within a racecourse which are available to everyone:

The top of the range option, this gives you access to the best viewing areas and best facilities on the course. A Members badge allows the holder to access all the other enclosures on the course.
Provides a constant buzz of activity throughout the meeting. You will get a good view of the course and the Parade Ring and Winner's enclosure which are both great for seeing horses close up. There are plenty of places to eat and drink and you'll find the bookmakers in the betting ring fascinating to watch!
Silver Ring/Course/Picnic
The least expensive and least formal enclosure. Although you can't access the Parade Ring or the Winner's Enclosure, there are places to eat, drink and place a bet. Some course enclosures have grassy areas where you can park your car and enjoy your own picnic.

For specific details of the different enclosures at your chosen race meeting, visit our racecourse pages, which contain full details of every racecourse in the country.

Remember, Kids go Free!
The great news is that children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) go free at most courses! Many courses put on extra entertainment during the school holidays and at Bank Holiday and weekend fixtures. Plus there are often creche and play areas available for kids to enjoy.

Details of children's facilities available are listed on the individual racecourse pages under 'General Facilities'. A family day at the races is really excellent value. For example, entry for 2 adults and two or more children may cost as little as £10.

Prepare For Your Racing Day
Now that you've booked tickets for your fantastic day racing, here is our guide for how to prepare for your day out, including:

What To Wear
Whether it's denim jackets or top hat and tails, Britain's racecourses are open to many styles. The general rule is the more you spend on your ticket the more the dress requirements increase to reflect the importance of the occasion.

However, many racecourses have Ladies Days which, regardless of Enclosure, people generally dress up for.

Sometimes dress requirements can be dependant on a particular meeting but, as a general rule, you can follow the following guidelines:

Smart dress, men are expected to wear a jacket and tie, ladies in dresses.
Smart Casual is preferred (shirt and trousers/skirt) although sometimes jeans and trainers are allowed.
Silver Ring/Course/Picnic
Go casual, and if the weather is fine take a rug and relax!

A useful tip….
Whilst there is plenty of seating around a racecourse, you generally do spend quite a lot of time on your feet - watching the horses in the parade ring, then going to place your bet, watching the race in the stand or chatting in the bar - so make sure you wear shoes which are comfortable!

Getting There

So you've booked tickets for your racecourse, but how do you get there? Most racecourses have good public transport links and sometimes for certain meetings a special race train will be laid on.

Visit our racecourse pages for specific travel and parking information for each racecourse in the country.

Car parking
In addition there is free parking at most race meetings. However, if you are going to a major event, for example the Grand National, it may be necessary to book parking in advance. If in any doubt, you can contact the course direct.

Arrival time
Try to arrive at the course between 30 minutes and an hour before the first race is due to start, so you can get a feel for the layout of the course and enjoy the build up.

After the racing
Also, it's worth checking out special events and entertainment which some racecourses put on before or after the racing. There are often special activities for children and live music events. Visit your chosen racecourse's website for more information about the entertainment on offer.

What ToTake
Most of the things you will need to enjoy your day's racing will be available at the racecourse, including a great array of food and drink.

However, here are some items we recommend you take in order to get the most out of your day.

Some racecourses have cash machines but not all, and there may be queues or charges for their usage, so it's worth making sure you take enough cash so you can buy a racecard, have a bet and buy some food and drink.

Racing Post
Pick up your copy before or at the ground to help you study form and pick up some tips from professional punters.

Pen or pencil
It's worth taking a pencil or pen to jot down any notes on your racecard about the horses you see in the parade ring and to note your selection before you go to the bookmakers to place your bet.

It's also worth considering taking a set of binoculars, which will help you to get a better view of the race when horses are at the far side of the course.

Whilst there are obviously sheltered areas at every racecourse, a lot of your time will be spent in the open air so make sure you check the weather before leaving so that, if necessary, you can take an umbrella.

This obviously depends on the weather but many courses have special picnic areas, generally located within the centre of the course area where you can park your car and enjoy a picnic.

Please note, generally you are not allowed to take your own alcoholic beverages into the racecourse. However some courses have different rules on this. Visit our racecourse pages to find out more information or contact details for your chosen course.
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