Chepstow Racecourse Hotels

Chepstow Racecourse
Louise Rea / Wikipedia.org

Chepstow Racecourse is the busiest and most prestigious of the three courses in Wales. Each year around 30 different meetings take place at the South Wales venue, with visitors coming from across Wales and England to enjoy the combination of National Hunt and Flat racing, as well as some very good hospitality. If you fancy a trip to this course near the Wales/England border, read on for the lowdown on its major meetings, hotel options and more.

Next Race Days

  • Sunday 7th January 2024
  • Tuesday 16th January 2024
  • Tuesday 30th January 2024
  • more fixtures...

Hotels

Chepstow is only a relatively small town but it does not lack for hotels, guesthouses and other places to stay.

Walkable Possibilities from Town

The closest hotels to Chepstow Racecourse are situated in the town centre. This is a 30 minute walk away which is a bit of a push for most people attending the racing, especially if they have donned their finest! That said, the route is well signposted from the town and on well tarmacked roads, for all that it is uphill (downhill on the way home though!). If you don’t mind the walk then there are some very good options in Chepstow itself with smaller boutique options and larger chains all represented.

Two Rivers Chepstow
Two Rivers Lodge
27 min walk

Two Rivers Lodge is a mile from the historic town-centre of Chepstow and a 27-minute walk to the racecourse (or 5 minutes driving). There is a bar and restaurant, as well as an outdoor eating area and children's play area. They put on a continental breakfast, which includes a full English.

The Three Tuns Chepstow
The Three Tuns
31 min walk

The Three Tuns dates back to the 1600s and overlooks Chepstow Castle. It's a 31-minute walk to the racecourse or just an 8-minute drive and only 10-minutes walking to the train station. The pub hotel has a restaurant, bar and beer garden and a full English each morning.

The Beaufort Hotel Chepstow
The Beaufort Hotel
27 min walk

Centrally located in the heart of Chepstow, the Beaufort Hotel is either a 27-minute walk or a 6-minute drive to Chepstow Racecourse. The pub accommodation, of course, has a bar and restaurant with British classics, and offers a breakfast each morning.

South Wales Stays

Travelling to Chepstow is easy by car or public transport which opens up a whole range of accommodation outside of the town. The St Pierre – Marriot Hotel & Country Club is another of the hotels recommended by the racecourse. The plush hotel is to the south of the town taking it just out of walking distance. Other four and five star hotels can be found even further to the south in Cardiff for those looking for a city stay and who aren’t worried about travelling. If the buzz of the city is not for you then the best places to stay are to the north of Chepstow with fancier options are just a little further up the A466.

The Old Barn Inn Newport
The Old Barn Inn
17 min drive

The Old Barn Inn is a 17-minute drive from Chepstow Racecourse and is a historic country inn with Welsh breakfast, candlelit dinners, and al fresco dining. Additionally, the inn is under an hour driving from the famous Brecon Beacons National Park.

Newbridge Usk
The Newbridge on Usk
27 min drive

The Newbridge on Usk is a charming country inn with a restaurant that enjoys river views with lunch, dinner and cream teas offered. Just a 10-minute drive away you can access a fitness centre with a gym, pool and spa with the racecourse just under 30-minutes driving.

Marriott St Pierre Country Club Chepstow
Marriott St Pierre Country Club
9 min drive

This country club retreat has over 400 acres of lush parkland with 2 different golf courses, a fitness centre, spa, a bar, and 2 restaurants. There is a breakfast buffet every morning and the venue is less than a 10-minute drive to Chepstow Racecourse.

Head to Bristol

Chepstow is the eastern most town in Wales and is only a 30-minute drive from Bristol, which is brimming with hotel choices that range from budget to more luxury options. Other city options include Gloucester, Bath and Cheltenham, located in the picturesque Cotswold area. Chepstow Racecourse is also reasonably close to the Hereford border, which opens up options for the busiest meetings when nearby accommodation fills up.

Future Inn Bristol
Future Inn Bristol
27 min drive

Future Inn Bristol is just a 10-minute walk to the Bristol Temple Meads train station and a 27-minute drive to the Chepstow Racecourse. There is a steak restaurant and breakfast options even include both British & American pancakes, as well as a traditional English option.

Hotel du Vin Bristol
Hotel du Vin Bristol
27 min drive

Hotel du Vin Bristol has a restaurant and secluded terrace in the centre of Bristol. The restaurant offers French cuisine with a full English each morning. It is only a 27 minute drive to the Chepstow Racecourse.

Clayton Hotel Bristol City
Clayton Hotel Bristol City
30 min drive

The Clayton Hotel Bristol City is highly rated by guests and has a fitness centre, restaurant, bar, and a buffet breakfast. The hotel is just a 30-minute drive to the racecourse in the heart of Bristol.

About the Racecourse

Meeting at Chepstow
Amanda Slater / Flickr.com

Chepstow is one of three racecourses in Wales. Set in the south east of the country, it is more accessible than Ffos Las over in the west and it is a busier course than Bangor-on-Dee further north. The proximity to the Severn Bridge means that Chepstow is popular with racing fans from both Wales and England, especially for the feature race of the year, the Welsh Grand National.

Chepstow is set in the large grounds of Piercefield Park and that large acreage provides space for a big racecourse capable of hosting both jumps and Flat racing action. In addition, there is a one-mile straight course which is used throughout the summer months. The size of the course is what allows Chepstow to host both Flat and National Hunt racing, keeping the punters rolling in all year round.

A trip to Chepstow is a festive tradition for many racing fans as the Welsh Grand National meeting always takes place the day after Boxing Day, weather permitting. Welsh racegoers make the trip to Chepstow either across the Severn Bridge from the M4 in England or from the same road eastbound from in and around the cities of Cardiff and Swansea. Wherever drivers come from, the racecourse is easy to find on the A466 which runs from Chepstow to Monmouth.

If you are using public transport, the best bet is to catch a train to Chepstow Train Station and then catch one of the special bus services put on straight to the racecourse. Trains to Chepstow run from throughout Wales and major transport hubs such as Birmingham and Nottingham. From those hubs, services from London, Manchester and the South and West of England can be caught.

The Course

Flat and jumps racing takes place on the same course at Chepstow. The oval course is around 2 miles long and there is also a straight mile course with an extended chute feeding into the lengthy straight run-in to the winning post.

Although Chepstow is by no means a sharp test, it’s not ideal for gallopers because the terrain is so undulating. There are a couple of climbs going out in the round course then it’s relatively flat until the home straight which has two undulations ending with a climb to the line. Horses running on the straight course have to contend with a downhill start which can sometimes force too strong a pace early on. The undulations make Chepstow a real test of stamina when the ground is soft but when it’s firmer under foot you’ll often see some very quick times on the Flat.

Dress Code

The dress code at Chepstow varies for different meetings. The majority of days at the course are what the course call ‘one-enclosure events’. As the name suggests, this means that there is one type of ticket available to the Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure. The dress code at these meetings is simple. Officially smart casual, it’s actually very relaxed with t-shirts, jeans, trainers and even fancy dress allowed.

It’s a different story for the biggest meetings at Chepstow at which the course operates hospitality options. While the same dress code applies for the Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure, it is more restrictive in the Premier Enclosure and hospitality areas. In both, smart casual means formal shoes only, not sportswear and no fancy dress. As a day out at Chepstow’s premier offering is often a big deal for racegoers, many dress up even smarter than the rules dictate.

The Stands

The Grandstand and Paddock Enclosure encompasses the main stand at Chepstow. Tickets for this general admission section of the course allow access to the Grandstand with its views over the finishing straight. There are several food options for racegoers to choose from and a bar with a wide selection of drinks.

Hospitality options at Chepstow are housed in the Premier Enclosure. A ticket to the Premier Enclosure comes with a badge that allows access to all public areas, as well as the Premier Grandstand, which has superior views of the course. Those looking for a more exclusive day out at Chepstow Racecourse can do so at the biggest meetings when the View Restaurant is open. The excellent food from this restaurant can either be enjoyed in a large room with other hospitality ticket holders or in one of Chepstow’s private suites.

Upcoming Fixtures at Chepstow

Date Time Type Surface
Sunday 17th March 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Thursday 21st March 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Monday 1st April 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Saturday 13th April 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Friday 26th April 2024 Evening Jump Turf
Tuesday 14th May 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Friday 31st May 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 8th June 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Monday 17th June 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Monday 24th June 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Friday 12th July 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Thursday 18th July 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Friday 26th July 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Thursday 8th August 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Thursday 15th August 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Monday 26th August 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Monday 2nd September 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Tuesday 3rd September 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Friday 11th October 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Saturday 12th October 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Tuesday 29th October 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Wednesday 6th November 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Friday 22nd November 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Saturday 7th December 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Friday 27th December 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf

Major Meetings

Chepstow races
Carine06 / Flickr.com

Chepstow is among the busier racecourses in Britain. As a host of both National Hunt and Flat racing, a typical calendar at Chepstow includes 30+ races. Chepstow does a very good job of putting on enjoyable race meetings for families throughout the year but there is no doubt that in terms of prestige and the quality of racing it’s the jumps that has the edge over the action on the level.

The first jumps meeting of the season at Chepstow does a great job of whetting the appetite for what’s to come. The Jumps Season Opener is quickly followed by some decent afternoon racecards but the main event comes two days after Christmas with the Welsh Grand National.

Welsh Grand National

The Welsh Grand National is the biggest prize in all of Welsh racing. Its transfer to Chepstow in 1949 was the major reason as to why National Hunt racing superseded Flat racing at the venue and it has continued to go from strength to strength. The prestige of the race grew all the stronger when it found a permanent home in the calendar on 27 December. The marathon Grade 3 handicap is supported by a strong card including the Finale Juvenile Hurdle, one of only three Grade 1 juvenile hurdles in Britain.

Christmas Jumper Raceday

The traditional warm up for the Welsh Grand National is Christmas Jumper Raceday. This popular day of racing is held in early December and is a chance for racing fans in the south Wales borders to really get into the festive spirit. The big race of the day is the Welsh Grand National Trial. It’s run over a distance of just under three miles and is a chance for connections to see whether their horses have what it takes to contest the big race later in the month.

Jumps Season Opener

The Jumps Season Opener is a cracking way to kick things off in autumn at Chepstow. The meeting is spread over two days and is high class right from the start. Friday’s featured race is the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle, a Grade 2 contest named after the three-time Champion Hurdle winner who was trained near Chepstow. Saturday’s card contains some competitive handicaps including the Grade 3 Silver Trophy Hurdle and a Listed novices’ chase.

History

Main stands at Chepstow
Jaggery / geograph.org.uk

As with many parts of the British Isles, racing has a long history in this part of Wales. It stretches back to the late 19th century including at St Arvans, which is very close to the current site. The history of Chepstow itself is a little more recent, being born as the idea of 10 businessmen with ties to the area in the early 1920s.

1926: First Meeting

The group, which included members of the gentry, clubbed together to buy Piercefield House and the estate’s 370 acres. It took three years of labour for the racecourse to be completed and it all looked worth it when 20,000 turned up to the first meeting on 6 August 1926. Jumps racing began the following March but the course struggled early on and repeatedly had to raise financing in the form of loans.

1949: Jumps Racing Takes Over

Things didn’t really improve until after World War II. Chepstow itself was used as an operational outpost by the RAF during the conflict but was able to return as a racecourse unlike nearby venues at Cardiff and Caerleon. That meant the transferring of the Welsh Grand National to Chepstow in 1949, a major boost to the course. From that point on, jumps racing took precedence over Flat racing at Chepstow. Powerful yards sent horses to Chepstow with increasingly regularity from then on and even more so after 1966 when the Severn Bridge opened making journeys from England much easier.

Arena Racing Company

Chepstow is now one of Arena Racing Company’s (ARC) 16 racecourses in Britain. It became part of ARC thanks to previous owner Sir Stanley Clarke. The former owner of Northern Racing and executive chairman of the Racecourse Company (ARC’s predecessor) built up an 80% stake in Chepstow shortly after it was listed on the AIM stock exchange by the long-time racecourse operators the Clay family.