Newbury Racecourse Hotels

Newbury photo finish
Barry Skeates / Wikipedia.org

The Berkshire-based Newbury Racecourse is one of the leading racing venues in the country. Although the independently run course does host a wide range of events and conferences throughout the year, it is its busy schedule of racing that makes it so popular. Across the entire calendar Newbury features an impressive 29 meetings, serving up both flat and jump racing. With many high class races taking place at these meetings, the modern and sleek facilities at Newbury are not the only thing you will be impressed by.

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Hotels

Although many people like to head to Newbury Racecourse for an afternoon, or evening, before popping home, there are those that like to save the journey till the day after and make it more of an occasion. Should this apply to you, we are glad to inform you that the racecourse has several affordable places to stay in the immediate vicinity as well as decent options further afield.

Within Walking Distance

Thanks to the racecourse’s proximity to the town centre, it is perfectly possible to stay at a hotel that is only a pleasant walk away from the racecourse. There are a good selection of city centre hotels that around a 20-minute walk away, depending on where they located. The closest, option, however, is definitely the Lodge at Newbury Racecourse, which is located on the grounds of the racecourse and is just a 1-minute stroll from the entrance gates.

The Lodge at Newbury Racecourse
The Lodge at Newbury Racecourse
1 min walk

You can't get much closer to the racing action than the Lodge at Newbury Racecourse. Located on course, the Lodge offers 36 rooms to lucky punters who manage to score a room on race day. The hotel offers breakfast in the morning with an outdoor seating area to enjoy a drink al fresco.

The Elephant at the Market Newbury
The Elephant at the Market
22 min walk

The Elephant at the Market is located in the centre of Newbury close to the train station and just a 22-minute walk from the racecourse. The hotel has a restaurant and bar that serves wood-fired pizzas, steaks, as well as Sunday roasts.

House of Fisher - Central Gate Newbury
House of Fisher - Central Gate
29 min walk

The House of Fisher - Central Gate in Newbury is a 29-minute walk to the racecourse or an 11-minute drive. This is an aparthotel so the accommodation offers small apartments kitted with a small kitchen so you can prepare your own meals. You are also within easy reach of pubs and restaurants being in the centre of Newbury.

Outskirts of Newbury

Dotted across Newbury, particularly on the edge of the wonderful North Wessex Downs, there is a substantial variety of other hotels, typically smaller in capacity but regularly loved by guests. North, west and south of the racecourse you’ll find an array of options, including a good selection of country pub hotels and also a Travelodge. These options are around a 10-15 minute drive to the racecourse. We should also note that the popular Highclere Castle isn’t far away at 7.3 miles south of the racecourse, so perhaps you can attend the races and do a bit of sight-seeing all in one weekend.

The Carnarvon Arms Newbury
The Carnarvon Arms
13 min drive

The Carnarvon Arms is a traditional pub hotel near Highclere Castle and a 13-minute drive to Newbury Racecourse. There is, of course, a bar and restaurant with a full English breakfast each morning made with locally sourced ingredients. There is also a spacious outdoor terrace to enjoy a drink on a sunny day.

Travelodge Newbury Tot Hill
Travelodge Newbury Tot Hill
13 min drive

Travelodge is a good go-to option when you just need a place to rest your head, especially if you are spending all day at the racecourse. It is a 13-minute drive to the racecourse and includes a King sized bed with the option to add a breakfast.

The Furze Bush Inn Newbury
The Furze Bush Inn
16 min drive

The Furze Bush Inn is a traditional pub hotel with a bar and restaurant, as well as rooms. The pub has a spacious outdoor beer garden with a children's playground, as well as a pool table and darts. It's about a 16-minute drive to Newbury Racecourse.

 

Reading for More Choice

Although Newbury, or the outskirts of Newbury, has around 15 to 20 hotels to choose from, you may find some of these are fully booked, or simply more expensive, when there is a big race meeting on. Should this happen your best bet is to look at what options there are in Reading. As the most well populated town in the UK, it is a place that has no shortage of places to sleep. Coming in all kinds of shapes and sizes, it is extremely easy to find a hotel to suit your needs and budget. Best of all, you can get a train between Reading and Newbury Racecourse in just 23-minutes!

The Roseate Reading
The Roseate Reading
38 min drive

The Roseate Reading is just a 6-minute walk to Reading station where you can hop on a train to Newbury Racecourse in 23-minutes. This five-star hotel offers luxurious rooms, a fine dining restaurant, and a cocktail bar. The hotel also has a spa that includes treatment rooms, as well as a sauna, a steam room, and a gym.

Crowne Plaza Reading
Crowne Plaza Reading
37 min drive

The Crowne Plaza Reading is just a 16-minute walk from Reading station where you can jump on a 23-minute train to Newbury Racecourse or you can drive it in 37-minutes. The hotel is located on the River Thames and has a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, and gym. There is also a riverside terrace and restaurant, as well as a bar that does light bites.

Beech House Hotel Reading
Beech House Hotel
30 min drive

The Beech House Hotel is approximately a 30-minute drive to Newbury Racecourse or you can jump on the train at Reading and go straight to Newbury Racecourse, though you'll need to walk 33-minutes to the station or jump a quick 5-minute cab. The Victorian house hotel offers continental breakfast and a traditional full English.

About the Racecourse

Newbury grandstand
RacingKel / Wikipedia.org

Newbury Racecourse has benefitted from a large degree of investment over the years. For this reason, the site regularly hosts large exhibitions and conferences, plus weddings of many sizes. What this means for any racegoer is that you have the benefit of some truly excellent facilities that you will not find at a lot of other courses. Despite the premium feel to the place, you do not need to break the bank to enjoy an afternoon (or evening) meeting at Newbury. Ticket prices, as we will discuss later on, are certainly not anywhere near the upper end of the scale in UK terms.

One other benefit of the racecourse is that it is easily accessed via public transport. This is partly because Newbury Racecourse has its own dedicated railway stop, the aptly named ‘Newbury Racecourse Station’, which is perfectly situated directly across the road from the track. Extra services run on racedays to help minimise overcrowding but note that for smaller meetings, only one route (Newbury to Reading) stops here. If you are coming from further away though, you can simply get a train to Newbury’s main station and then change trains or walk the 15 to 20 minutes to the racecourse. Newbury station is served by trains coming from the likes of Reading, London Paddington and Exeter St David’s.

If arriving by car, note that there is now a road bridge over the railway line towards on the east side of the course and a subsequent new road layout. Traffic approaching from the east, west or north via the M4 (junctions 12 or 13) are best to travel along the A4 and follow the signs to the racecourse before entering via Hambridge Road. For racegoers visiting from the south, use the A339 and again follow signs which will allow you to enter via Racecourse Road.

Parking at Newbury is free of charge but as there are five different parking areas, ensure you head towards the correct one. Car Park 1 is reserved for Premier Enclosure ticketholders while Car Park 4 is for Premier and Grandstand Enclosure ticket holders. Car Park 5 is overflow parking, which may be opened for busier meetings.

The Course

Any jockey or trainer will be quick to tell you that Newbury is an incredibly fair course so should their horse lose, it is rare for them to have any real complaints. Flat races of up to a mile long take place on a long straight track while longer races begin on the left-handed round course. The same shape is in operation for the jumps racing course, which again has a reputation for being very fair so upsets are less likely here than elsewhere. As it is a rather undemanding course too, and one that attracts a high calibre of horse, fallers here are not a common sight.

Another interesting thing to note about the course is that on the turn following the finishing post there are a few large, modern looking buildings close to the outside rail. These have nothing to do with the racecourse, however, they are simply residential homes that were built when the racecourse sold a plot of their land for a rather tidy £42m in 2012. Not a bad place to live for any keen racing fan!

Dress Code

Newbury has kept their dress code nice and straightforward so there should never be any confusion over what is acceptable to wear. In the Grandstand Enclosure & Racegoers Restaurant, the only things prohibited are ripped or torn denim, sportswear and bare chests (sorry ladies). Fancy dress is permitted but it must be in good taste.

In the Premier Enclosure and hospitality suites, typically people come in smart attire and gents are asked to come wearing a collared shirt (tie optional). Smart denim and tailored shorts are acceptable in these areas but sportswear, ripped denim, denim shorts, vests, tracksuits, sandals and flip flops are not. The rules above apply to anyone in attendance over the aged over 12. There is no dress code for children younger than this, though we still recommend they wear a top!

The Stands

Newbury has three stands open to the public. The biggest of them, featuring a three-tiered raised viewing platform, is the Berkshire Stand. This large capacity structure includes a seating area, ample betting facilities, the Long Room Kitchen and the Berkshire Restaurant. Closer to the finishing post you have the sleek looking Hampshire Stand, with its large glass windows, that features the exclusive Hennessy Restaurant. Lastly, you have the Dubai Duty Free Grandstand, further down the home straight, which has a covered viewing area as well as food, drink and betting outlets.

With a Grandstand ticket, you will only be able to access the last of these grandstands and its adjacent outdoor standing area that goes right up to the outside rail. As such, it provides a fairly basic experience but one that meets all the requirements you would expect from a popular racecourse. A Premier ticket on the other hand not only gives you access to all three stands but also to all public parade ring viewing platforms. Many agree it’s a worthwhile upgrade as such, especially given that the price difference is not all great.

If purchasing in advance, online, which is recommended rather than buying on the gate, grandstand tickets typically cost £16-£20 while Premier tickets costs £24-£28. Note that for less popular meets, Newbury simply offers one standard admission ticket that allows access to all public areas, usually at a cost of just £15. Early bird discounts are available when booking in advance (usually two or more months) for selected meetings.

Upcoming Fixtures at Newbury

Date Time Type Surface
Friday 22nd March 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Saturday 23rd March 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Friday 19th April 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 20th April 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Friday 17th May 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 18th May 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Thursday 13th June 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Tuesday 25th June 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Thursday 4th July 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Thursday 11th July 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Friday 19th July 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 20th July 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Thursday 25th July 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Friday 16th August 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 17th August 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Thursday 29th August 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Thursday 5th September 2024 Evening Flat Turf
Friday 20th September 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 21st September 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Friday 25th October 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Saturday 26th October 2024 Afternoon Flat Turf
Thursday 7th November 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Friday 29th November 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Saturday 30th November 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Wednesday 18th December 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf
Saturday 28th December 2024 Afternoon Jump Turf

Major Meetings

Newbury Racecourse meeting
Rog Edwards / Flickr.com

Newbury is a very active racecourse with 29 racedays taking place each calendar year. As a result, you never have to wait long before the next fixture at the Berkshire track. Most do welcome a sizeable crowd to the course but both the flat and jump season have one or two highlight events, which we will pay special attention to.

Before then though it is worth mentioning that on two occasions per year, Newbury books a well-known musical act to perform after an afternoon of racing. Previous names to appear have included Jess Glynne, Olly Murs, Tom Jones, Rick Astley and Rudimental. As racing is included within the price of the ticket, entry to the course on these days will cost you a fair amount more with tickets usually starting from £40.

Lockinge Stakes Day

The flat season highlight at Newbury sees the Lockinge Stakes take place. It is such a special occasion because it is the sole Group 1 race to take place here. Newbury has many Group 2 and Group 3 events but this is the only one that is classified at the very top of level of thoroughbred racing. As it is one of the leading one-mile races on the continent, it always attracts a large and vibrant crowd to Newbury. Sunshine is often a feature of this meeting too as it takes place in mid-May so you can enjoy some top class action in style, accompanied by a refreshing drink.

Winter Carnival

The two-day Winter Carnival runs in late November and begins, on Friday, with Gentleman’s Day. Racecourses across the country are known for hosting ladies’ days but here it is the gents that have the chance to strut their stuff and wear their finest outfits. Prizes are on offer for those deemed the best dressed so it is an ideal time to dust off your fanciest suit and shoes.

The following day is ‘Trophy Day’ as it sees the running of the extremely valuable Ladbrokes Trophy handicap. Regularly attracting between 15-20 runners, it is a thrilling race sure to get the adrenaline pumping. The thrill does not stop when the racing is over either as there is normally a post-racing after-party scheduled once the on-track excitement has concluded.

Challow Hurdle Day

Much like the situation with flat racing, when it comes to the National Hunt sphere, Newbury has a lot of high quality races but only one at the very highest level (Grade 1). The race in question is the Challow Novices’ Hurdle which always runs on December 29th, regardless of what day this is. Carrying a festive feel about it, this popular meeting is the perfect chance to stretch your legs and enjoy some fresh air after enjoying some home comforts and Christmas overindulgence. Between 1995 and 2000, the meeting was abandoned on four occasions due to frost, waterlogging or snow but the racecourse has been far more resilient this side of the century.

History

Newbury Racecourse track
Matt Buck / Flickr.com

Compared to many other of the leading British racecourses, Newbury is relatively young. The first meeting to take place at its current location in the south east of Newbury occurred on 26th/27th September, 1905. Racing had taken place in the area a full century prior to this, at Enborne Heath before moving to Woodhay Heath in 1815, but racing here is not directly linked to the foundation of Newbury Racecourse.

John Porter & Edward VII

It was Kingsclere trainer, John Porter, who initially tried to get a new course built in Newbury but his proposal was rejected by the Jockey Club on a number of occasions. It was not because they deemed the idea to be flawed, rather they had strict requirements on any new racecourse builds. They did eventually sign off on a plan though after a coincidental meeting with King Edward VII led to a new proposal with his backing.

Newbury Racehorse Company

The approval of plans to build a new course led to the formation of the Newbury Racehorse Company in 1904. They purchased the necessary land and began construction of the stands and stables at a cost of around £57,000. The first two-day meeting in September 1905 featured flat racing but National Hunt followed very shortly after. Even as early as 1906 Newbury was hosting six days of flat racing and three involving jump events. Dual discipline racing has been an integral part of this success of this racecourse ever since so there really is something for everyone.