Chester Racecourse – the Roodee

The UK’s Oldest Racecourse

Having first been established in 1539, Chester Racecourse is the oldest horse racing venue globally. Chester Racecourse is renowned for its short course, being only 1 mile and 1 furlong and comprising tight bends and fast action racing.

The distinctive track hosts fifteen days of competitive racing throughout the year, although the Chester May Festival is the highlight in the sporting calendar. Chester is no stranger to the Royal Family and consistently places in the Top 5 annual spectator attendance. It hosts some of the most iconic racing events of the year, such as the Chester Cup, Ormonde Stakes and Chester Vase. Since the award’s debut in 2008, the racecourse has achieved the Gold Standard Award by the Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) and the coveted Large Racecourse of the Year in 2015, 2018 and 2019.

Travel FAQs Chester May Festival Register Your Interest

Travelling to Chester Racecourse

Please use the Google map provided for further information.

How do I travel to Chester Racecourse by car?

If you’re driving from Liverpool, Manchester, North Wales, or the south of England, we suggest taking the M53, M56, M6, and A483. Follow the temporary yellow signage as you approach Chester to the racecourse. Please note that road closures on New Crane Street, Watergate Street, and Nuns Road may occur between 9 am and 9 pm. Security will remove safety barriers from 9 pm to allow routine access to guests.

When using the Sat Nav, we advise you put Sealand Road (CH1 4LZ) instead of Chester racecourse for an easier journey.

How do I travel to Chester Racecourse by train?

Chester has a reliable and easily accessible rail network if travelling to the Chester Train Station. The railway station is a six-minute taxi ride to the venue or a 20-minute walk.

How do I travel to Chester Racecourse by bus?

The Chester City/Rail Circular bus service approximately runs every 6 minutes from Chester Station and the city centre. Frodsham Street bus stop, Eastgate Street, and Watergate Street are all within a 5-minute walk of the racecourse.

Chester Racecourse FAQs

Guests are encouraged to park on the Open course, located in the centre of the racecourse.

Chester Race Company ensures a proactive attitude to speciality user groups.

Wheelchair users can use the accessible parking spaces at the Holiday Inn Express. The Paddock area, County, Leverhulme, and the Tattersalls Grandstands have been upgraded with lifts, viewing areas, and other facilities.

Men are required to wear a well-tailored suit or blazer with smart trousers, shirt, collar and ties. Women are required to wear smart dresses. Denim jeans, trainers, sportswear, shorts or fancy dress will not be permitted.

Cards are accepted for betting and refreshments at most vendors at the venue; however, we advise guests to bring cash with them on the day. There are cashpoints available in the stairwell of the County Stand, in the Paddock behind the Pavilion Bar and the Tattersalls Enclosure.

Chester Racecourse encourages social distancing during the races, and guests must wear masks when indoors.

Chester Racecourse Hospitality

Eventmasters are proud to treat guests and clients to Chester May Festival hospitality packages for 2023. The Boodles May Festival is one of flat racing’s most popular events, where style, fashion and exhilarating action go hand in hand. Entertain your important clients and guests at one of the UK’s best racecourses to make your day unforgettable from within our premium course-facing Trackside Pavilion – providing excellent views of the final furlong.

chester racecourse

As an Official Hospitality Supplier (OHS), we provide exclusive VIP Chester Racecourse hospitality packages and tickets for the Chester May Festival from 3-5 May 2023. We offer a range of horse racing packages tailored to suit guests visiting throughout the festival, all with exceptional racecourse views.

Discover More About Chester Racecourse

The History of Chester Racecourse

The Roodee, as Chester Racecourse is otherwise known, is the world’s oldest racecourse still in service and attracts riders, trainers and racegoers from Britain, Ireland and France. The sixty-five-acre site served the Roman garrison of Deva as a harbour on the River Dee. The river’s weir system resulted in much higher volumes of silt being deposited by the early Middle Ages, allowing the original Roodee to be transformed into a riverside meadow, eventually becoming the foundation for the region’s development of a racecourse.

A significant moment in Chester Racecourse history is a hand-painted wooden bowl – the first recorded prize to the 1512 winner at the Chester fair. Henry Gee, the mayor of Chester in 1539, became synonymous with racehorses as he introduced the idea of an annual horse race meeting at the Roodee. Chester races brought “the perfect mix of society from all over the British Isles” – a proud tradition still maintained today.

Chester’s racing calendar has recently expanded to encompass 15 days of competitive and high-quality racing, including the Chester Festival in May, which features classic events such as the Chester Cup, Chester Vase, Ormonde Stakes, Cheshire Oaks and Dee Stakes. The unique environment of the Roodee has grown to include many purpose-built facilities to enjoy the racing at Chester, serviced by an award-winning team offering the iconic ‘Chester experience’ for guests.

Chester Racing Events

City Day – Wednesday 3rd May 2023
Ladies Day – Thursday 4th May 2023
Chester Cup Day – Friday 5th May 2023

More Events at Chester Racecourse

Chester Racecourse is a multi-purpose venue with VIP facilities to host fairs, exports and large scale events. The Pavilion Suite is specially designed for larger events, including black-tie dinners, corporate events and award ceremonies.

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is iconic for having award-winning gardens whilst being the home to 21,000 endangered and exotic animals. Chester Zoo dedicates its time to providing the best possible care for its animals while preserving native and international wildlife. This is the perfect stop for families travelling to Chester for the weekend!

Chester City Walls

Chester’s famous City Walls are the most complete in Britain and one of Britain’s best historic city trails. Chester City Walls were initially built to defend the Roman Fortress of Deva 2000 years ago and were waled by Roman legionaries, Anglo-Savon warriors and many others.

Chester Cathedral

The ancient abbey is at the heart of a vibrant community at Chester, receiving a Visitor Attraction Award Winner in 2015. The abbey has become the centre of musical excellence while still showcasing a blend of modern and medieval history.

Chester Racecourse News & Updates

The Boodles May Festival is the most famous and well-known horse racing meeting at Chester Racecourse.

Although we couldn’t attend the 2021 May Festival, we welcomed the return of guests to the 2022 Chester May Festival, which took place over three days: Chester City Day (Wednesday 4th May 2022), Chester Ladies Day (Thursday 5th May 2022) and Chester Cup Day (Friday 6th May 2022).

Ladies’ Day is a significant event within the racing calendar. Renowned for its style and sophistication, Ladies Day provides the utmost sophistication and glamour for all to enjoy with the best in fashion and style on parade at Chester Racecourse.

The final day of the prestigious Chester May Festival sees the highest-profile and most valuable race of our season take place, the historic Tote Chester Cup. The Chester Cup is the highlight of the year and one of the major handicaps of the British racing calendar.

Interested in our Chester Racecourse hospitality packages for 2023?

Chester May Festival

Our Chester Hospitality Team are ready to help you plan your day at the Chester May Festival - Complete this contact form and one of our horseracing specialists will be in contact shortly.
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