Lingfield Park Racecourse Hotels

Lingfield Park Racecourse
Tom Walsingham / geograph.org.uk

Lingfield Park is a unique racecourse in Britain as it hosts all three types of racing under rules and so is in operation all year round. Situated in the picturesque surroundings of the Surrey/Sussex border and boasting its own hotel, there are fewer more pleasant days at the races than a trip to Lingfield.

Next Race Days

  • Thursday 2nd May 2024
  • Saturday 11th May 2024
  • Thursday 16th May 2024
  • more fixtures...

Hotels

Lingfield Park is a rarity in that it provides accommodation on site via a purpose-built hotel. It is one of the very few options within walking distance of the racecourse but Lingfield is within comfortable driving distance of some beautiful hotels in both Surrey and Sussex.

Stay on Site

More than just a racecourse, Lingfield Park styles itself as a resort. The on-site Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club is a major part of the resort. Not only does the four star hotel have over 100 rooms for racegoers and other attendees but it is also home to a leisure centre and swimming pool and a host of business and conference facilities.

Being able to stay right on the site of a race meeting is a rare opportunity for racing fans. The plush hotel also provides a base for those who want to turn a trip to the racing into an extended stay, whether that’s exploring the surrounding countryside, playing at Lingfield Park Golf Club or just relaxing and making the most of the hotel’s facilities. In addition, there are ample business facilities and a bar and restaurant on site.

Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club
Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club
1 min walk

Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club is located along the racecourse and features a terrace and a restaurant with a buffet / continental breakfast. The hotel also has an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub, along with a business area. It is just a one-minute walk to the racecourse so you can't get any closer!

Other Local Options

As good as Lingfield Park Marriott Hotel is, it is not a cheap option. Happily, there is more than one choice for those who want to stay close to the racecourse. The Star Inn is situated in Lingfield itself, less than a mile away from the racecourse. It’s a three star bed and breakfast on top of a cracking pub and is a popular option for racegoers.

For a much more relaxing experience, head south of the racecourse to Claridge House. Marketed as a retreat, Claridge House is a great place to stay for those who have had their fill of hustle, bustle and noise during a day of racing. Alternatively, there are camping and glamping options to the west of Lingfield Park at Long Acres, which would be best in the summer months for obvious reasons.

Claridge House Lingfield
Claridge House
15 min walk

This Victorian Quaker property is set within two acres of beautiful gardens. It is a 24-minute walk to the train station, a 15-minute walk to the racecourse and a 27-minute walk (or 3-minute drive) into the town centre with a pedestrian pathway along Racecourse Road. The hotel offers a breakfast and there is a shared lounge and music room for guests to enjoy.

 

The Star Inn Lingfield
The Star Inn
19 min walk

The Star Inn is located in the Lingfield town centre just a 19-minute walk from the racecourse and a 7-minute walk from the train station. There is a bar and restaurant with a regular menu, as well as a garden menu that does wood-fire pizzas and flatbread kebabs. The pub hotel has a large beer garden with a children's play area.

Further Afield

Surrey, Kent & Sussex are all full of high-class country hotels, retreats and spas. If you are thinking of having a week away with a bit of racing thrown in at Lingfield Park, heading to one of the surrounding villages is a great way to enjoy yourself.

The George & Dragon Westerham
The George & Dragon (Westerham)
21 min drive

The George & Dragon located in Westerham is just a 21-minute car journey from Lingfield Park Racecourse. They offer food throughout the day with a Sunday menu and an English breakfast. The hotel is 13km from Hever Castle & Gardens.

Horsted Place Hotel Uckfield
Horsted Place Hotel (Uckfield)
37 min drive

Horsted Place Hotel is a spectacular Victorian gothic country house hotel with an impressive garden located in Uckfield. The hotel is a 37-minute drive from Lingfield Park Racecourse and offers a bar and restaurant with a spacious outdoor terrace. They also offer an afternoon tea and a Sunday roast menu.

The Jolly Sportsman Lewes
The Jolly Sportsman (Lewes)
44 min drive

Set in the market town of Lewes, the Jolly Sportsman has a large garden, terrace, bar and restaurant. The hotel offers a full English breakfast and is within 15km of AMEX Stadium where Brighton and Hove play their games. It is around 44-minutes driving when it comes to getting to Lingfield Park Racecourse.

About the Racecourse

Lingfield Park Racecourse
TECU Consulting UK / Flickr.com

Lingfield Park is just to the south of the village of Lingfield in Surrey. The course is around 24 miles to the south of London. Its proximity to the capital and to various towns with good commuter links help make Lingfield such a popular venue for racing fans. The easiest way for drivers to get to Lingfield is to plug RH7 6PQ into their satnavs. From the north, the route will take drivers to Junction 6 of the M25, from which Lingfield is just a 15-minute drive. Those coming from the south will have a similar length drive from Junction 10 of the M23.

If catching the train to the racing is more your thing then somewhat unsurprisingly you should aim for Lingfield train station. The station is in the centre of the village leaving just a five-minute walk to the course. Trains run direct to Lingfield from London Victoria which is on the London Underground for commuters who have come into the capital from other parts of the country.

It is not rare for the Lingfield Park Marriot or the racecourse to have international visitors. Their journey to Lingfield either takes in a quick run around the M25 from Heathrow or a much shorter journey from Gatwick which is 10 miles from the course. The most well off owners looking to get in and out as quickly as possible can land helicopters directly on the racecourse. It’s alright for some!

The Course

The ground staff at Lingfield have their work cut out keeping on top of the maintenance of three different tracks. Starting with the Flat turf track and the first thing to note is that it is flat in name only. The Derby and Oaks Trials at Lingfield are so popular because the undulating nature of the course prepares horses for the sort of test they get at Epsom. That is most pronounced coming downhill to the sharp final turn on the round course before the closing straight. Even the straight course has a pronounced downhill section which can easily throw less nimble horses off balance.

The all-weather track at Lingfield is Polytrack which was first laid in 2011 and then relaid in 2012. It sits inside the turf track and thus has much the same topography. Half of the left-handed course is flat but horses must first climb a hill and then descend it coming into the sharp final turn. It is very much a course for speedy, well-balanced horses as stamina is not an important attribute.

As you might have come to expect by now, the turf jumps course at Lingfield is also undulating in nature. Coping with the various rises and falls is the main challenge for jumps horses as the fences are relatively easy. Lingfield does often pose a real test of stamina for National Hunt races though as the ground gets soft very easily. In fact, no course has more jumps meetings abandoned in an average year than Lingfield.

Dress Code

Racecourses up and down Britain understand the importance of comfort to racegoers. Lingfield is one of those courses that does not impose a strict dress code for most of the course in an attempt to ensure that nobody is put off from a day at the races. While they prefer smart casual attire, Lingfield Park won’t turn anybody away with a general admission ticket for their choice of clothing (within reason).

Lingfield does have higher standards of dress for their hospitality packages. Men are required to wear a shirt (although ties are optional) and, while there is more leeway for women, they are advised to dress appropriately for the weather.

The Stands

General admission tickets to Lingfield Park come with access to the main grandstand. These tickets come with a very good view of the finishing straight of all three courses and access to a whole host of food and drink options. While Lingfield has a lot of choice for racegoers, it’s not set on a sprawling site which makes finding somewhere to eat, drink and watch the racing nice and easy. It also means only short walks to areas like the pre-parade ring, betting facilities and the popular Paddock Lawn.

Lingfield operates different hospitality options depending on the size of the day’s racing. The options include the Trackside Restaurant which boats panoramic views of the course and a private table, the Premier Viewing Lounge which is on the first floor and thus provides better views of the course, and individual suites which are perfect for those looking to entertain guests.

Upcoming Fixtures at Lingfield Park

Date Time Type Surface
Thursday 2nd May 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Saturday 11th May 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Thursday 16th May 2024 Evening Flat AWT
Thursday 23rd May 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Tuesday 28th May 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Thursday 30th May 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 1st June 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Tuesday 4th June 2024 Evening Flat AWT
Saturday 8th June 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Monday 10th June 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Thursday 20th June 2024 Evening Flat AWT
Saturday 22nd June 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Saturday 29th June 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Tuesday 2nd July 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Tuesday 9th July 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Wednesday 10th July 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Tuesday 23rd July 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Wednesday 24th July 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 27th July 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Tuesday 30th July 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Monday 5th August 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 10th August 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Tuesday 13th August 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Thursday 22nd August 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Tuesday 27th August 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Saturday 31st August 2024 Evening Flat AWT
Wednesday 4th September 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Thursday 5th September 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Tuesday 10th September 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Wednesday 11th September 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Saturday 14th September 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Tuesday 12th November 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Wednesday 13th November 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Tuesday 19th November 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Thursday 21st November 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Thursday 28th November 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Tuesday 3rd December 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Wednesday 4th December 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Monday 9th December 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Wednesday 18th December 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Sunday 22nd December 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT
Tuesday 31st December 2024 Afternoon Flat AWT

Major Meetings

A meeting at Lingfield Park

Lingfield holds the distinction of being the only racecourse in the United Kingdom to hold all three types of racing (Flat, National Hunt and all-weather). The course takes advantage of this by holding some high calibre meetings across the three codes of racing. As time has gone on the all-weather racing has grown in prominence, although the All Weather Championships were moved from Lingfield to Newcastle in 2021.

The best Flat races at Lingfield are the Derby and Oaks Trials held in early May while the Winter Derby is the biggest meeting on the Polytrack. The National Hunt racing has traditionally been of a lower calibre at Lingfield but the course hope that will change with the new Winter Million meeting and its mixture of jumps and Flat turf racing.

Winter Derby

The Winter Derby is one of just two Group races held at Lingfield and one of four Group races held on the all-weather in Britain. The 1m2f race is supported by big names from Flat racing with Frankie Dettori riding his fourth winner in 2020 and John Gosden taking it increasingly seriously. Decent weather cannot be guaranteed in March but a good day out can be at Lingfield for all who attend the Winter Derby.

Derby and Oaks Trials

The Epsom Derby and Oaks are two of the biggest Flat races in the world. Every trainer wants their horse to be well prepared ahead of their trip to Epsom and the Lingfield Derby and Oaks Trials do a great job in that regard. The Flat track at Lingfield poses a real challenge to the horses including a tight corner much like the one found at Epsom, so these two Listed races are a great way for connections to see if their horses are up to the task. The Derby and Oaks Trials meeting is supported by the Group 3 Chartwell Fillies’ Stakes, a seven furlong contest for fillies and mares aged three and older.

All Weather Vase Day

The blow of the move of the All Weather Championships from Lingfield to Newcastle was softened with the creation of the new All Weather Vase Day. Like the Championships, the races on Vase Day are open to qualifiers who have earned their place in the various fields with their performances earlier in the season. The new meeting stays on Good Friday, when the All Weather Championships traditionally took place at Lingfield.

Winter Million Meeting

Arena Racing Company, the owners of Lingfield Park, made a raft of changes to the racing calendar at their courses ahead of 2022. The creation of the new Winter Million Meeting in January was one such addition with the aim of boosting the quality of jumps and Flat turf racing at Lingfield. The new three-day meeting features a day of Flat, racing including the new Coral Winter Oaks, sandwiched in between two days of quality jumps racing. This makes it rather unique on the British calendar and it is hoped that this will help it become a popular fixture.

History

Lingfield Park track in black and white
Duncan Miller / Flickr.com

Lingfield Park was established in 1890 and immediately received support from the upper echelons of society as the Prince of Wales opened the new venue and allowed the course to use the Prince of Wales feathers, which remain part of the course’s branding to this day. For the first four years of its operation, Lingfield was used exclusively for jumps racing before meetings on the Flat began in 1894. It was the Flat that really helped increase the profile of Lingfield in the 20th century with the Derby Trial Stakes introduced in 1932 and the Oaks Trial following soon after.

1987: Golf Course Constructed Nearby

Lingfield’s growth continued smoothly until WWII when the War Office requisitioned the course. Much of the site was used to hold Italian prisoners of war while the home straight was given over to the Home Guard who practiced for attacks and marches. The first move to make Lingfield Park more than just a racecourse came in 1987 when the owners constructed a golf course in nearby parkland.

UK’s First Artificial Track

At the same time, the course applied for planning permission to install the UK’s first artificial race track. Construction on the Equitrack surface began in 1988 and it was opened on 16 November 1989. This new track was revolutionary but it wasn’t exactly loved, so trainers, owners and jockeys were all delighted when a much-improved Polytrack surface was installed in 2001.

Racecourse Upgrades

The Polytrack was paid for by Arena Leisure PLC (later to be Arena Racing Company). They also ploughed a lot of money into Lingfield between 2002 and 2004 with upwards of £5.5 million spent on the main grandstand and other facilities for racegoers. Further investment took place a few years later when the four-star Marriot Hotel was constructed on the site at Lingfield. The hotel opened in May of 2010.