The UK’s Leading Small Jump Racecourse
Warwick Racecourse is recognised as one of the oldest horse racing venues in the country, with its first race dating back as early as 1694.
Initially, horse racing was introduced to the town as a means of attracting wealthy professionals to assist in rebuilding Warwick’s affluent neighbourhoods after its ruinous Great Fire.
However, the sport quickly became popular, and now the racecourse hosts 18 days of gripping jump racing between September and May.
Warwick Racecourse Hospitality
One of its most sought-after events, Christmas at the Races is the perfect end of year celebration for colleagues, family and friends. Many racegoers step out in their most festive attire, with high hopes of being crowned best dressed and be in with the chance of winning tickets to other racing fixtures.
Our sponsored Christmas Race Day at Warwick Racecourse is held annually in December, and there is no better way to celebrate the year in true festive cheer. The Christmas meeting, with all its splendour and the festive spirit, is an excellent example of what Warwick does well and is an event that shouldn’t be missed!
Warwick Racecourse Hospitality for Christmas Race Day 2023
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT WARWICK RACECOURSE
Warwick Racecourse is home to the Kingmaker Chase Day, which is celebrated as a Gentleman’s Day but is not limited to male only attendance. Ladies, you can still attend and indulge in all the racing action. This race is also a highlight in the calendar and is open to novice horses aged 5-years-old and over.
Warwick Racecourse is a course rich in tradition and heritage, one which has certainly played its part in the history of horse racing – most notably when it became the first course to include a jump race in its programme, establishing National Hunt racing as it is known today.
Nestled next to Warwick Castle, the racecourse is one of the oldest in the country with racing being traced back to as early as 1694, when the sport was introduced to the market town in the hope of attracting wealthy professionals to help rebuild the area’s wealth after the devastating Great Fire of Warwick which burned for six hours and devastated a large number of properties.
The most famous name to grace the course was the legendary Red Rum, who ran once over the flat in 1967, the same year in which the course was bought by The Jockey Club, who continue to host a full racing calendar all year round.
With Jumps meetings taking place on weekdays and weekends, afternoons and evenings, the racecourse has something for everybody, offering excellent hospitality in the form of raceday packages, elegant hospitality suites, marquees and private boxes.
The first grandstand worthy of the name was opened at the 1809 September meeting and by 1815, a local guide book felt justified in proclaiming: “The Race Course is esteemed one of the best in the kingdom.”
If no invitation had been received to make up a party at one of the country houses in the locale, the gentlemen of the turf would converge on Warwick and take rooms in one of the town’s taverns. A typical day would begin with a splendid ‘public’ breakfast at the Court House in Jury Street.
Racing’s popularity grew and in October 1825, The Sporting Magazine recorded: “At Warwick Races there was a larger concourse of spectators than was ever witnessed at any former meeting. On the second day it was calculated there could not have been less than 50,000 persons present.”
It was the birth of jump racing or steeple chasing that brought the most enthusiastic crowds to Warwick. During this period the steeple chasing craze was spreading, and races were being organised up and down the country during the hunting season.
It was at the spring meeting of 1831 that Warwick can lay claim to being the first British racecourse to include a race over obstacles at an established meeting. This came in the form of a hurdle race over two miles and six flights, making it the earliest jump race result to be found on the racing calendar.
The middle decades of the nineteenth century represented the zenith of racing popularity in Warwickshire. Crowds well in excess of 30,000 were regularly achieved at Warwick’s September meeting and the course was patronised by the elite of the racing world.
But that was to change for the worst.
In the 1870s Warwick Races was rocked by a betting storm, where threats of prosecution abounded. In a letter to The Sportsman of April 3, 1879, it was remarked how attendance of the country gentry at Warwick Races had fallen, “and no doubt this has been caused by the sharpers and roughs swarming the course”.
Racing at Warwick was to survive though.
Continued improvements to the track and facilities at Warwick ensured that 300 years of racing were celebrated in 2007.
Many notable jockeys have raced at Warwick, including Lester Piggott and John Francombe.
Today it remains a popular, friendly course where people go for a fun day out.
And it is very convenient being just a five-minute walk away from the town centre.
Some interesting facts include:
- Warwick Racecourse was closed during World War II so Italian POWs could be accommodated.
- In the 19th century, race meetings were accompanied by funfairs, sideshows and visits to the theatre.
- The racecourse car park apparently lies along one of the county’s most important geological faults, violently active in the distant geological past and perhaps responsible for the Warwick earthquake of September 2000.
Warwick Racecourse & The Warwick Community
Warwick Racecourse hosts a number of community events, usually in partnership with the Rotary Club. Together they aim to make the community a friendlier and happier place to live and visit. In 2020 The Wigley Group Half Marathon departed from Warwick Racecourse, in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
On Countryside Day, which is a family fun-filled day, spectators can experience an impressive display of working gundogs, ferrets and a hawk before the horse racing commences.
Celebration Race Night
The Big Finale! To close the racing season Warwick Racecourse hosts a celebration race night. This year they have introduced The Hook Norton Beer Carnival to the event, which provides racegoers with the opportunity to select and taste an extensive range of beers and guest ales.
Live entertainment and mini marquees will also be available to enhance your racing experience.
Travelling to Warwick Racecourse
Please use the map provided by Google for further information.
How do I get to Warwick Racecourse by car?
Warwick Racecourse is accessible from a plethora of roads. It can be found via the M42, M5 and the M6. It is also found via exiting at Junction 15 of the M40 Motorway. The Racecourse ground is found on Hampton Street (CV34 6HN).
As for parking, there are a plethora of car parks available around the ground with no charge. For Disabled Parking, head towards the entrance at the Main Enclosure.
How do I get to Warwick Racecourse by train?
There are two train stations nearby that you can easily access the Warwick Racecourse from via Warwick Parkway Station on the Chiltern Line, which is situated 1.5 miles away from the racecourse itself. It is also accessible via Warwick Station, which is a 20 minute walk away from the venue.
Trains run regularly and the line runs between Birmingham Snow Hill and London Marylebone Stations. There are taxi services available at Warwick Parkway station for easy access to and from the racecourse itself.
How do I get to Warwick Racecourse by bus?
There are a plethora of bus services available to get to the venue. The 13 and 133 services run on Wellington Road is found next to the venue which stop close to the North, East and Grace Gates. All within walking distance.
On the Western side of the ground, there are bus services running next to Grove End Roads which is next to the stadium. The 139 and 189 services are to be found here which also stop within close proximity of Grace Gate, North and East Gates.
How do I get to Warwick Racecourse by taxi?
There are several taxi services that you can use to get to and from the ground, such as Warwick Taxis, 007Taxis, Fairway Taxis and Taxi Seven. The Uber service will also be available.
Warwick Racecourse FAQs
Are Guide Dogs allowed at the Warwick Racecourse Ground?
Yes, Guide Dogs are allowed at Warwick Racecourse.
Does the Warwick Racecourse Ground have a dress code?
No, but the venue suggests that you wear smart casual clothing. Fancy dress is allowed, as long as it is not offensive.
Does the Warwick Racecourse take cash?
No, the racecourse is a cashless venue. Although, you can use cash when placing bets at the Warwick Racecourse. You will not be able to use Apple Pay for betting.
Are there accessible viewing areas for disabled visitors?
Yes, and they are located in a plethora of locations at the Warwick Racecourse. They are located adjacent to the parade ring, in the main enclosure as well as trackside in the course enclosure. Wheelchair users can also access viewing areas on all levels of the main grandstand.
Where are the accessible parking spots for blue badge holders?
You can find accessible car parking spots for blue badge holders on Bread and Meat Close, which is found near the Main Entrance to the venue.
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