Naas Racecourse Hotels

Navan Racecourse
Gordon Flood /

Lying in the traditional racing heartland of Country Kildare, and only around 18 miles to the southwest of the capital city of Dublin, we find one of Ireland’s premier dual-purpose tracks. Adjacent to the town of Naas from which it takes its name, this thoroughly modern venue mixes a state-of-the-art raceday experience with all the charm of the Irish countryside, creating an irresistible combination for racing fans in the local area and those from further afield.


With Naas itself not short on character, and the racecourse sitting so close to the delights of Dublin and the wonderful Irish countryside, racegoers may not need too much encouragement to extend their trip with an overnight stay – particularly those making the trip across the Irish Sea. And, luckily, for those seeking to linger a little longer, there are no shortage of accommodation options available.

Nod off in Naas

Situated but a stone’s throw from the track, the town of Naas scores top marks for convenience. And with attractions including Mondello Park International Motor Racing Circuit and the popular Moat Theatre, the 20,000-population town has more than just proximity going for it. There is craic aplenty and for those who fancy a post-race tipple, Main Street is home to a vibrant pub scene with Kavanagh’s, McCormack’s Pub and Tommy Fletcher’s amongst the highly rated offerings.

Lawlors Hotel Naas
Lawlors Hotel
17 min walk

Lawlors Hotel is just a 17-minute walk to Naas Racecourse or a very speedy 3-minute car journey. The hotel is located in Poplar Square and has a restaurant, including a carvery, as well as a traditional Irish bar. There are also two different beer gardens for guests to enjoy in the warmer months.

Osprey Hotel Naas
Osprey Hotel
30 min walk

Osprey Hotel is a 30-minute walk to Naas Racecourse or an 8-minute cab ride. Here you'll find a 20-metre swimming pool, along with a state-of-the-art leisure facility. There is a restaurant that serves international cuisine options with local produce and a bar with a heated outdoor terrace.

The Town House Hotel Naas
The Town House Hotel
30 min walk

The Town House Hotel in Naas is just a 30-minute walk the racecourse or a quick 8-minute car journey. The hotel has a restaurant, free parking and a bar with a 24-hour front desk. It also offers full Irish breakfasts, along with continental options.

Doze in Dublin

As the recommended point of arrival for racegoers travelling from the UK – and enjoying excellent transport links with the track in general – Dublin is the obvious choice for those seeking to combine their racecourse excursion with a city break. You can either drive from Dublin to Naas in around 1 hour and 10 minutes, or you can hop on a bus, which takes around 1.5 hours.

Attractions within the Emerald Isle’s number one tourist destination include a museum dedicated to Irish Whiskey, the National Wax Museum and plenty more besides, whilst the city’s vast number of traditional pubs provide ample opportunity to sample a pint of the black stuff in the land of its birth. Or, of course, you could head straight to source and check out the Guinness factory! Unsurprisingly, you are never too far away from a hotel in Dublin, with the selection of accommodation options running into the hundreds.

Harding Hotel Dublin
Harding Hotel
55 min drive

Located next to the famous Temple District, the Harding Hotel in Dublin is just a 55-minute drive to Naas Racecourse. The hotel has a bistro-style restaurant, as well as a lively bar. The restaurant serves a fusion of Irish and international cuisine and they often feature live music.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Dublin
54 min drive

The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel is in the city centre of Dublin and is just a 54-minute drive to Naas Racecourse. There is a restaurant that serves Irish cuisine, as well as a bar that serves signature dishes and cocktails.

The Westbury Hotel Dublin
The Westbury Hotel
1 hr 3 min drive

The Westbury offers luxury accommodation in the heart of Dublin with multiple restaurants that offer contemporary dining, a bar that serves cocktails and afternoon tea, and a fitness suite. The hotel is just over an hour drive to Naas Racecourse.

Wind Down in Wicklow

Of course, a day of revelling at the track is more than enough for some racegoers, who may be seeking something a little more tranquil than a Dublin pub crawl to combine with their racing trip. Only 25 miles to the east of the track, the beautiful Wicklow Mountains National Park is tough to beat for serenity, with the Glendalough Valley in particular home to a number of excellent walks and an impressive array of historical sights and wildlife. The accommodation options in the vicinity of the park are mainly of the B&B variety with the ones lying on the western edge of the park within easy reach of the course.

Wicklow Mountains National Park in Ireland
Wicklow Mountains Nat'l Park
40 min drive

Located to the south of Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains National Park is one of six national parks in Ireland. Recreational activities in the park include hiking, rock climbing, rowing, diving, fishing and more. In terms of getting to Naas Racecourse, it's approximately 40-minutes, depending on where you're staying within the national park.

About the Racecourse

Naas Track
Gordon Flood /

With the ability to stage both flat and National Hunt action, Naas is billed as a year-round racing venue and certainly lives up to that description, with at least one meeting in every calendar month. All told, the track lays on around 18 fixtures per season, with the National Hunt campaign operating between November and late March, before the flat action then takes over during the warmer months of the year. A particularly punter-friendly track, 11 of those 18 meetings take place on either a Saturday or a Sunday, making it perfect for combining with a few days away.

Lying so close to the Irish capital, the recommended ferry crossing for racegoers making the trip from the UK is that which leaves from Holyhead and docks at Dublin. Alternatively, those based in Scotland, or the extreme north of England, may wish to cross from Cairnryan over to Larne in Northern Ireland, before travelling towards Dublin from there. And for those flying across the Irish Sea, the closest airport to the track is that of Dublin International, which enjoys regular arrivals from many major UK cities.

Upon arrival in Dublin, those completing the journey by car should take the R410 onto the N7 before leaving the motorway at exit 9 and following the signs to the track. And for motorists arriving from the south, the instructions are essentially the same, in being to follow the N7 to exit 9 and continue on to the course. For those using satnav, Naas Racecourse, Tipper Road is the address to select. Once at the track, racegoers will find free car parking available, operating on a first come first served basis. Alternatively, for those hoping to leave the car in Naas town centre, a 24-hour parking facility is available on Friary Road.

For rail travellers, Sallins Station, just outside the town of Naas is the closest to the track. Enjoying strong links with Dublin Heuston Station, the station is around six minutes from the track by taxi, or alternatively Naas Racecourse operates a free shuttle bus service to and from the track on all race days.

In addition to the train, a number of bus services operate between the Irish capital and Naas. JJ Kavanagh & Sons travel between Dublin and Naas town centre over 20 times per day, whilst the 126 service stops very close to the track. And for those flying into Ireland, a bus service from the airport to the track operates on most race days. Options aplenty!

The Course

Measuring around 1m4f in circumference, the left-handed track at Naas is broadly oval in configuration and considered to be one of Ireland’s stiffer tracks. Featuring gentle bends and a long uphill home straight of around 4f, the course is well suited to the long striding galloping type of performer.

In addition to the main oval, the flat course also features two chutes; one which leads into the straight back towards the stands and contains the starting points for events over 7f and 1m, and another running directly into the home straight which enables both 5f and 6f contests to take place on a completely straight sprint track. Whilst running uphill for much of its duration, the ground of the sprint course is at least admirably even throughout, following extensive levelling works to eradicate a number of ridges in the turf.

Those tackling the chase course are faced with eight fences per circuit, the final two of which lie in the home straight. Stiff but fair, Naas tends to boast one of the lowest fallers to runners ratios in all of Irish racing. Lying to the inside of the chase course, the hurdles track is the tighter of the National Hunt layouts and features six flights per lap, with the final two again positioned in the home straight. Over both hurdles and fences runners face a run in of a shade over a furlong having negotiated the final obstacle.

One notable feature of the course is the fact that it tends to drain very unevenly, with the first half of the circuit often riding significantly slower than the final bend and home straight. Whatever the going conditions around here though, stamina at the trip is one of the key factors for success over all distances, whilst prominent racers tend to be favoured both on the flat and over jumps.

In terms of the draw, low numbers enjoy a slight edge over the 1m2f and 1m4f trips. On the sprint track, the bias tends to depend on the weather, with high numbers fairing best on soft going, and low stalls holding the edge on quicker ground.

Dress Code

In common with many Irish tracks, there is no official dress code in place at Naas, with racegoers largely free to dress as they please, whilst of course avoiding anything indecent or likely to cause offence. Do bear in mind however that many racegoers do lean towards the smarter side of the sartorial spectrum, particularly on the bigger race days. As always with British and Irish racetracks, remember to factor the weather into your choice of attire, as a burst of wind and/or rain would be a far from unusual occurrence in the east of Ireland.

The Stands

Naas operates just the one general admission ticket, priced at a very fair €15 for adults and €9 for students and OAPs, whilst under 18s are free with a paying adult. General admission affords access to all public areas of the course and a range of food and drink outlets including the Tote Bar and extremely impressive Circle Bar.

An alternative to general admission is the Golden Ticket, which for €35 grants admission, a €5 free bet, €5 drinks voucher and €10 food voucher. Hospitality packages in the panoramic restaurant begin at around €50 for a main course deal, rising to €72 for the three-course option. Private suites and group party bookings can be tailored to suit individual needs, with prices beginning at around €30 per head.

Major Meetings

Naas Racecourse horses cooling down
Florian Cristoph /

Boasting 10 graded or group class contests over the course of the season, Naas certainly isn’t short of highlights when it comes to the quality of the action on show, whilst the track’s family fun days and summer BBQ meetings have also proven to be a big hit with racegoers. As with all courses though, there are those meetings which stand tall above the rest:

Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle

Taking place at the beginning of January, Naas certainly kicks things off in style, with the opening meeting of the year featuring the track’s one and only Grade 1 event. Formerly known as the Slaney Novice Hurdle, and raised to top-flight status in 2015, the contest boasts a number of famous names on the roll of honour. Envoi Allen and Bob Olinger both won here on route to Cheltenham Festival glory, whilst Rule The World went on to claim top spot in the 2016 Grand National at Aintree. For the area’s National Hunt purists, this midweek meeting is one of the first dates pencilled into the diary.

Festival Trial’s Day

Another treat for jumps afficionados comes at the tail end of February, with one of the final trials days on either side of the Irish Sea ahead of the major spring festivals. Featuring a pair of classy Graded events in the shape of the BetVictor Steeplechase and BetVictor Novice Hurdle, in addition to a clutch of competitive maiden and handicapping action, this is comfortably one of the standout National Hunt meetings of the season here at Naas . Traditionally held on a punter-friendly Sunday, it is also one of the track’s best attended events.

Blue Wind Stakes Day

Of course, it’s not all about the jumps at Naas. For those who prefer the speed of the flat, this early May fixture could be the time to make that trip to County Kildare. Headlined by the track’s only Group level flat contest of the Blue Wind Stakes, this Saturday fixture also doubles as the course’s biggest family fun day of the year. With a realistic shot of spotting a future Group 1 star on the track, and a whole host of additional entertainment on offer for the kids, this is one of Naas’s major social events.


Naas Racecourse jockey
Gordon Flood /

Despite sitting in such an advantageous location, racing was actually a little late to arrive in this corner of County Kildare, at least in comparison to a number of other Irish courses. It wasn’t until 1921 that plans began to be drawn up for the establishment of a track in the area, with a conglomeration of 30 local farmers and businessman chipping in £200 apiece to raise the funds for the task.

1924: First Meeting

Established one year later in 1922, the Naas Races Company then set the wheels in motion, with the first meeting at the current site taking place on the 19th June 1924. Stemming from relatively humble beginnings, the facilities at the track initially weren’t of the highest standard, but that didn’t seem to deter the local racing fans too much, and over the years the quality of both the racing and race day experience has improved out of all recognition.

The most significant period of investment came during the 1950s. During the decade Naas saw the erection of the tote building, improvements to the enclosures and the construction of a new entrance off Dublin Road.

Notable Performers & New Races

The 1960s then witnessed the appearance of two of the most talented performers to ever set foot on the Naas turf. Having landed the 1963 Irish Derby and Eclipse, Ragusa strutted his stuff at the track in 1964, whilst in 1962 a horse by the name of Arkle recorded only his second career success in the Rathconnel Handicap Hurdle. That’s the same Arkle who went on to become the highest-rated jumps performer of all time.

The Slaney Hurdle and Newlands Chase were added to the programme during the 1980s, followed by a further four graded contests during the 90s. The flat wasn’t forgotten though, with 2001 seeing the first running of the Blue Wind Stakes, with the Listed class Fillies’ Sprint Stakes making its debut a year later in 2002.

Further Investment

Fast forward to recent years, and the promotion of the Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle to Grade 1 status in 2015 saw the action on the track hit new heights. And not ones to rest on their laurels, the management team have overseen €3.2million of further investment since 2018, helping to create one of the very best dual-purpose tracks that Ireland has to offer.