Brighton Racecourse Guide

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Welcome to our official guide to Brighton Racecourse.

We explore this great seaside racing racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the track, local hotel picks, fixtures, travel information and betting guides.

If you are looking for the latest betting tips for Brighton, check out our full guide to Brighton Racecourse tips.

Find out more about Brighton racecourse:

Brighton Racecourse Guide

Overview of Brighton Racecourse

Just a mile northeast of the seaside resort of sunny Brighton sits Brighton Racecourse, well known for its scenic surroundings looking out across the coastline and the beautiful Sussex countryside.

Brighton is one of just two racecourses in the UK that doesn’t technically join to form a full circuit; instead, it’s a horse-shoe shape of one and a half miles in length (12 furlongs). The finishing straight is four furlongs long with a steep descent followed by a slight ascent to the finish.

Today, races are only run up to one and a half miles, but it has previously been extended to accommodate other longer races.

Hurdle races were also held at Brighton historically but not anymore!

Today, Brighton racecourse is one of the country’s smallest (in terms of audience capacity, prize money and race calendar density) courses but also one of the friendliest and fun.

Its location in a well-known seaside town means that it is well-frequented, but the crowd here are often less formal than at other racing events.

Brighton is family-friendly and well accessible, and draws in a variety of race-goers, from the local area, staycations from across the UK and tourists from further afield.

Brighton’s average prize fund sits at around £26,000, and only Chepstow and Southwell offer less than this. However, that’s not to underestimate it – Brighton racecourse has had its fair share of memorable moments!

Sheikh Mohammed, a prominent and well-known horse owner, had his first winner at Brighton Racecourse back in 1977, and jockey Steve Cauthen won his 1,000th race here.

Being situated in an area where event space is in demand, it is no surprise that Brighton has diversified into the likes of music gigs, antique fairs, car rallies, exhibitions, conferences and weddings/private occasions.

Racing aside, the course is a major events venue for the town.

Brighton Races

Brighton Racecourse History

The first public racing at Brighton Racecourse was in 1783 when the Duke of Cumberland announced a meet and declared the doors open to the masses.

Before this, it’s believed that racing took place at the site from around 1713, but only privately and on exclusive terms to those of certain social standing.

According to legend, George IV (then the Prince of Wales) invented hurdle racing at Brighton – but with sheep, rather than horses! Needless to say, the sport has developed a long way since.

The first grandstand was built on Brighton Racecourse in the 1800s, but it burnt down.

It wasn’t until 1905 however, that the course became popular with the public, following a very public dispute with the landowner. That season he had not received the traditional annual gift that he usually did from the race organisers, and so he threatened to put a stop to all racing and plough up the land in place of any events taking place. He had made a start on the ploughing before an angry crowd descended on the course and stopped him. Racing resumed not long after!

In the 1850s, the railway connected Brighton to London, so the course soared in popularity. Meets began to take place more regularly, and the crowds continued to rise.

In 1965, a new stand was built for £400,000, and in 1998, £4m was spent on refurbishing the whole place.

In 2012, Brighton Racecourse became part of the Arena Racing Company family.

Main Races and Events at Brighton Racecourse

The highlight of the racing calendar at Brighton Racecourse is the Brighton Festival. Run across three days in August annually, the event is run in conjunction with Marathonbet, who offer a packed schedule of live entertainment alongside the standard horseracing you’d expect to see. Some 15,000 people attend each day, and there are enclosures and facilities for all levels of desired race day experience.

Brighton Racecourse Map

Below is the Bright racecourse map;

Brighton Racecourse Map
Courtesy of At The Races

Brighton is a tricky track. It is left-handed, one and a half miles in length and forms a horseshoe shape. It has steep ascents and a rise to the line. It suits handy types and those that like to go with the pace.

Brighton Racecourse Address

The official address of Brighton racecourse is:

Brighton Racecourse
Freshfield Road
East Sussex

How To Get To Brighton Racecourse

The ways to get to Brighton racecourse are:

  • By foot or car – Brighton racecourse is just a mile from the town centre, so there’s not far to travel once you’ve made it there. Car parking is all free. Details for your sat nav are Freshfield Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 9XZ
  • By train – rail services run to Brighton from London Bridge, Kings Cross, Victoria, Eastbourne, Lewes, Hastings, Portsmouth and Worthing. From the station, you can walk, or take a taxi. For large events and race days, shuttle buses are available. Similarly, coaches and other bus services also run scheduled to coincide with racecourse events.
  • By air – helicopters may land at Brighton racecourse if arranged in advance. Gatwick is 30 mins away by train for international visitors.

Hotels Near Brighton Racecourse

Brighton is one of the UK’s most popular seaside destinations, so there are plenty of hotels to choose from!

You’ll find all of the usual chain hotels in the town centre or thereabouts, but there are also some independent accommodation options closer to the course.

The Studio at Bernard Road is just three minute’s walk away and makes for an easy stay, and Brighton Freedom Glamping is just five minutes in the other direction. There’s also a caravan and motorhome club within walking distance from the course.

If a B&B is more your style, you’ll find plenty on the beachfront overlooking the sea.

Brighton Betting Guide

While attending Brighton it doesn’t always mean you need to place bets, for many people, it’s the experience that matters. However, for those that do, there are loads of betting options for you when attending, check out the below:

Online Betting

With good mobile phone connections, betting online at Brighton is an excellent choice. If you are looking to open an online betting check out the below:

Local Brighton Bookmakers

Here are thelocal bookiesnearest to Brighton Racecourse:

On Course Betting Shops

The on-course bookies at Brighton will be found between the grandstand and the track, bookmakers will have a board each displaying the betting odds, and somebody will be there to take your bet, and payout any of your winnings.

Tote, traditional betting shops and independent bookies trackside can all be found at Brighton Racecourse on race days – and they’re well-versed in helping out novices, as they deal with so many tourists, so don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Best Brighton Betting Sites

At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.

If you are looking to bet online, we recommend the following great deals listed on this page.

Brighton Races 2024

Here is the horse racing calendar for Brighton Races in 2024:


Check out our guide for the full list of Britain’s horse racing fixtures in 2024.

Brighton Racecard

The racecards for the Brighton races are released the day before the races take place, find out where to view racecards here – tomorrow’s racecardsandtoday’s racecards. In these you will get an advanced look at all the runners and riders, some people like to do this and select their horses before getting to the track.

You can also of course purchase a racecard from the track which carries much of the same useful information.

Other Events

As a bit of a tourist hotspot, event-goers flock to Brighton Racecourse for much more than just the racing!

Notable events include the Classic Ibiza festival, where a full orchestra perform club classics, and the annual Antiques and Collectables Fair which attracts enthusiasts from all over.

Brighton Racecourse

Brighton Races Facts

  • Brighton racecourse is a horse racing venue located in the seaside town of Brighton in East Sussex, on the south coast of England.
  • The racecourse is situated on Whitehawk Hill, on the outskirts of the town centre.
  • It is one of the oldest racecourses in the country, having been founded in 1783.
  • The course is a left-handed, pear-shaped track with a circumference of just over a mile.
  • The main race is the Brighton Mile, which is run over a distance of 8 furlongs (1 mile).
  • The racecourse has a capacity of around 20,000 people.

Popular Questions

✅How long is Brighton Racecourse?

Brighton racecourse is one mile and a half miles long (one mile and furlongs).

It is one of a few British racecourses not to have a complete circuit. Instead, it is horseshoe-shaped.

✅Is there parking at Brighton racecourse?

There is parking at Brighton racecourse and it is free!

Details for your sat nav are Freshfield Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 9XZ

✅Who owns Brighton racecourse?

Brighton Racecourse is owned by Arena Racing, who own and run 16 other British Racecourses, including Bath, Doncaster and Newcastle amongst others.

Summary of Brighton Racecourse

Brighton is one of our favourite courses in the country.

It’s a great seaside resort with plenty of places to stay and a feeling of fun at all times.

The course itself is quirky and although the action isn’t as high class as some other courses, the sense of occasion, atmosphere and beautiful surroundings more than make up for it.

The three-day August Festival is a particular highlight.

This sunny, quirky seaside track should be on everyone’s bucket list! We love Brighton.