Wolverhampton Racecourse Hotels

Wolverhampton Racecourse
Derek Harper / geograph.org.uk

Wolverhampton Racecourse has proven to be a pioneering course in British horse racing. The bold decision to get rid of the turf track and replace it with an all-weather surface in 1993 has been the making of Wolverhampton which now has around 80 meetings and welcomes about 120,000 fans each year.


As one of the busiest racecourses in Britain, it is imperative for Wolverhampton’s success that racegoers have plenty of places to stay. That is very much the case with options far and wide including right on site.

Stay on Site

Racegoers and those who use Wolverhampton Racecourse for conferences or business meetings couldn’t have things any easier in terms of accommodation as there is a hotel right on site. Wolverhampton Racecourse Holiday Inn comes with all the amenities you’d need for a night’s stay including comfortable rooms, free parking and a big breakfast in the morning. Business travellers have a host of facilities to take advantage of.

The Holiday Inn is well within walking distance to Wolverhampton city centre and Molineux, the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers. It’s also easy to get to from around the country, just 15 minutes drive from the M6 and the M54 and an easy walk from bus and train stops.

City Centre Stays

The proximity of Wolverhampton Racecourse to the city centre throws open a large number of possibilities in addition to the Holiday Inn. Big-name chains, such as Novotel and Premier Inn, have a presence in Wolverhampton with hotels that receive consistently good reviews. Other budget-friendly options in and around the city include Barons Court Hotel and Ely House Hotel.

If comfort is more important than price then Wolverhampton has some very good options. The Mount Hotel is a stylish hotel with a gym and a high-quality restaurant on the western outskirts of Wolverhampton and is the best of these options.

Midlands Full of Varied Options

If you don’t mind travelling a short distance to the racecourse on raceday then Birmingham is a very good option. Like Wolverhampton, Birmingham has several big chain and budget options but many more four-star hotels for people who want to stay in real comfort. Slightly further away lies Stoke, Derby and Coventry all of which are only short commutes from the racecourse.

Away from big cities and towns and the Midlands has some excellent country retreats. Often with health spas and other facilities, these are a great option for people who either want to stay away from Wolverhampton or who are looking for a longer stay with a trip to the races included.

About the Racecourse

Wolverhampton Racecourse
Derek Harper / geograph.org.uk

Wolverhampton Racecourse is situated in Dunstall Park, one mile outside of Wolverhampton city centre. Being on the doorstep of a city with all that that brings is a real boost to the course which attracts good crowds all year round for its 80-odd meetings.

Getting to the racecourse from the city is a matter of a simple walk or cab journey. That makes it particularly easy to get to a day at Wolverhampton races via public transport. Regular trains and a Metro service run from Birmingham City Centre and take about 20 minutes. Many people coming from around the country will connect to trains from Birmingham but there are direct services to Wolverhampton from Liverpool and Manchester.

Driving to Wolverhampton Racecourse is straightforward from the M6 and then the M54 whether from the north or south. The journey continues from Junction 2 of the M54 onto the A449 towards Wolverhampton. There are 1,500 free car parking spaces at the racecourse and many other places to park in the city centre.

Wolverhampton Business Airport doesn’t get a lot of traffic but some owners do fly into there or use the helipad on-site at Wolverhampton Racecourse. Otherwise, international racegoers can get to the course quickly from Birmingham International Airport.

The Course

The introduction of the all-weather track at Wolverhampton in 1993 was revolutionary first for the course and then for British racing. Back then nobody in racing could imagine that all-weather racing would kick on to the extent that Wolverhampton would host several qualifying races for the grand All-Weather Championships.

The original all-weather surface at Wolverhampton was fibresand before being replaced by Polytrack in 2004. Fast forward 10 years and the Polytrack had gone with a Tapeta surface installed instead. Tapeta is much more like the sort of surfaces found in American racing than in the rest of Britain. Indeed, horses who have gone on to do well in big American meetings such as Breeders’ Cup winners Conduit and Muhannak have won races at Wolverhampton.

The track is considered fair by most owners, trainers and fans. However, it is important for jockeys to make sure they are racing prominently coming into the final turn. It’s a pretty sharp turn and the closing straight is less than two furlongs so it is very difficult to make up the required ground.

Dress Code

Wolverhampton adopts a smart casual dress code for the majority of racedays. This means that sports shirts, t-shirts with offensive slogans, ripped jeans and casual shorts are not permitted. Although the comfort and enjoyment of racegoers are paramount, Wolverhampton will refuse entry to anybody who is deemed to be dressed inappropriately. Suits and smarter wear are encouraged for Wolverhampton’s feature meetings.

The Stands

As with all other British racecourses, Wolverhampton offers a range of options for a day at the races. A general admission ticket gives racegoers entry to the Grandstand Enclosure. It’s the most popular way to enjoy Wolverhampton Racecourse and is by no means basic. Tickets provide a very good view of the final furlong, a whole host of places to eat and drink and public areas such as the parade ring. The Premier Enclosure is on the first floor of the main grandstand. Tickets to this section provide the same level of access as the basic ticket but come with dedicated bar and lounge facilities.

Hospitality options at Wolverhampton begin with the Horizons Restaurant. This large area is spread out over three tiers and has panoramic views of the track right by the winning post. Ticket holders to the Horizons Restaurant get further exclusive bar access and a three-course meal. Another similar option is the Ringside Restaurant, tickets to which also feature a three-course meal. For a really exclusive day at the races, private boxes are available for groups of various sizes.

Major Meetings

Wolverhampton Parade Ring
Gordon Griffiths / geograph.org.uk

Wolverhampton is an incredibly busy racecourse but the quality of its cards are spread out pretty thinly over the course of the year. The Listed Lady Wulfruna Stakes is the highest calibre race held at Dunstall Park.

Lady Wulfruna Stakes Day

The Lady Wulfruna Stakes is a big target for some trainers of older horses. The race was first run in 2002 and was awarded Listed status just five years later. It is a chance for racing fans at Wolverhampton to see some of the best jockeys in the business in action and also horses who go on to even bigger things. The race, which takes place in March, is supported on the card by the Lincoln Trial Handicap, a warmup race for the first big handicap of the turf Flat season.


Wolverhampton Aerial
Russell Friend / Flickr.com

The installation of an all-weather track and floodlights in 1993 has been the defining decision of Wolverhampton Racecourse’s history. It turned a course that was struggling somewhat into one of the busiest in the country with some years seeing around 100 meetings take place at Dunstall Park.

Early Change of Location

Wolverhampton’s history with racing goes back a long way before 1993 though. The first racecourse in the city was on what is now known as the West Park. That held racing from 1825 until the land was sold in 1878. The closure of that course did not end the appetite for racing at Wolverhampton as the course at Dunstall Park was opened in 1887.

1993 Revamp

The revamp of Wolverhampton which began in 1993 was formally finished in 1994 when Queen Elizabeth II opened the new floodlit all-weather surface. Wolverhampton maintained its reputation for being forward thinking as they installed the Polytrack surface in 2004 in a bid to improve the fairness of the track and therefore attract better horses.

Further Investment in 2014

That commitment to all-weather racing was strengthened further still by major investment in 2014. The laying of the new Tapeta track made Wolverhampton the first course in the country to use the surface to the instant delight of jockeys and trainers. Further investment has gone into the Holiday Inn Hotel and the various bars, restaurants and food outlets around Wolverhampton.