Brighton Racecourse Guide

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, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!

Brighton Races

Overview

Just a mile north-east 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 a slight ascent to the finish. Today, races are only run-up to the 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.

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 a 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

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 on each day, and there are enclosures and facilities for all levels of desired raceday experience.

Brighton 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 is:

Brighton Racecourse
Freshfield Road
Brighton
East Sussex
BN2 9XZ

How To Get To Brighton Racecourse

  • 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’s 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 minutes’ 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 in walking distance from the course.

If a B&B is more your style, you’ll find plenty on the beachfront overlooking the sea. For a full range of options, check out Booking. come below:
Booking.com

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:

Brighton Betting Guide

While attending Brighton doesn’t always mean you need to place bets, for many people, it’s the experience that matters.

There are loads of betting options for you when attending Brighton so let us get straight in.

Online Betting

With good mobile phone connections, betting online at Brighton is an excellent choice.

Be sure to check out some fantastic betting bonuses here:

Local Bookmakers

Here are the local bookies nearest to Brighton Racecourse:

  • William Hill – 231 Queens Park Rd, Brighton BN2 9ZA
  • Ladbrokes – 5 The Broadway, Whitehawk, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 5NF
  • Betfred – 64/65 Lewes Rd, Brighton BN2 3HZ

On Course Betting Shops

The on-course bookies should be found between the grandstand and the track, bookmakers will have a board each displaying odds, 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!

Brighton Races Fixtures

Due to Covid, some fixtures are being re-arranged, we will update asap.

Brighton Racecourse Weather

Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable. Here’s the current weather forecast for Brighton:
BRIGHTON WEATHER

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 that attracts enthusiasts from all over.

Brighton Racecourse

Summary

Brighton is one of our favourite courses in the country. It’s a great seaside resort with plenty of places to stay and feeling of fun at all times. The course itself is quirky and although the action isn’t as high class as some other course, the sense of occasion, atmosphere and beautiful surroundings more than makeup 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.

Other racecourses

Our team as of April 2021 have reviewed these racecourse that are also worth a visit: