Exeter Racecourse

Welcome to our official guide to Exeter Racecourse.

We explore this great little jump racing racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a course guide, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!

Find out more about Exeter racecourse today:

Exeter Racecourse


Perhaps one of the most scenic horseracing courses in the UK due to its location in the Haldon Hills, the racecourse has been part of the city’s culture for centuries and is a popular venue for all types of events.

Owned and managed by the Jockey Club, it is the highest racecourse in the UK, standing at 850ft above sea level in the picturesque Haldon Hills. The course was originally a two-mile oval-shaped track, but an additional flat track was added in the 1850s to take its length to three miles. A steeplechase route matches the original course layout, with eleven fences; two of which are open ditches and one a water jump.

Today, Exeter hosts 17 jump racing fixtures annually and a variety of private conferencing and business events. The location of makes it extremely popular with tourists and so when not in use for horseracing, is used by the Caravan and Motorhome Club as a major caravan and camping site!

Known as one of the most progressive racecourses in the British scene due to its business development and diversification, Exeter is as good at hosting seasoned racegoers as it is families visiting the races for the first time, and has a friendly and ‘local’ reputation. Those living nearby flock to the racecourse for its annual charity events as well as its hospitality and dining options (several offered year-round, even not on racedays), live music nights and various private functions.

Exeter isn’t the biggest or most popular racecourse in the world, but it’s certainly one of the most welcoming!

Racecourse History

Exeter was one of several horse racing venues opened in the mid-17th Century by Charles II, who loved and wanted to encourage the development of the sport. In the early 19th Century, the course hit all-time popularity as National Hunt racing became a mainstream spectator sport, but world wars and other such external forces unfortunately quickly waned the public’s appetite for it.

Interestingly, the last duel in Devon happened at the racecourse – albeit not on a race day! Sir John Jeffcot, a judge, and Peter Hennis, a doctor, engaged in a duel because of an accusation of Hennis ‘spreading gossip’. Hennis was fatally wounded in the duel and died a few days later; and it’s believed Jeffcot fled to Sierra Leone.

On a horseracing note, Exeter battled back to regain some of its lost popularity through hard times, and in 1911, a grandstand was built at the cost of £1,000. By 2006, the racecourse had three stands, one of which was opened by Princess Royal, Anne.

Main Races and Events

The Haldon Gold Cup is Exeter’s main race, and takes place annually in October or November, depending on how the dates fall. A limited handicap, the race is a Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase open to horses aged four or over, run over two miles and 1 ½ furlongs, with twelve fences to jump along the way.

The Haldon Gold Cup was interrupted in 2005 as the horse Best Mate very suddenly died after being pulled up by his jockey, Paul Carberry. The news went national and it remains an urban legend that Best Mate is buried under the course – he isn’t, as government regulations at the time wouldn’t allow it.

Exeter Course Map

Exeter Racecourse Map
Map Courtesy Racing TV

Sat on top of Haldon Hill it is no surprise to find that Exter is a hilly course which suits strong galloping types. It is a right-handed and oval-shaped track with a chase course on the outside and hurdles one on the inner. It is a relatively short run-in but a stiff uphill finish means that stamina at any distance is often required,

Exeter Racecourse Address

The official racecourse address is:

Exeter Racecourse
Haldon Hills

How To Get To Exeter Races

The ways to get to Exeter racecourse are:

  • By Road – it is easily accessible by road off the A38, just five miles from the M5 southbound – however, traffic does get fairly congested on race days, so it’s always advised to leave plenty of travel time and plan to arrive early. Parking is free at all events and fixtures. Details for your sat nav are Exeter, Devon EX6 7XS
  • By Bus – On race days, free buses run to and from the course from Exeter St. Davids Rail Station and Exeter City Bus Station to offer connected travel.
  • By Train – Exeter is about two hours on the train from London Paddington (dependent on service levels) and is accessible by coach from almost anywhere in the UK.
  • By Air – the nearest airport is Exeter International, situated about a 15-minute drive from the course. There is space for helicopters to land at the course itself, but only on race days, and only when arranged in advance.

Hotels Near Exeter Racecourse

There are plenty of hotel options situated throughout the city of Exeter, as well as several slightly closer to the racecourse. The Exeter Court Hotel and The Willows are the closest; both mid-range informal hotels with breakfast options. The nearby Nobody Inn is a charming 17th Century hotel and Lower Thornton Farm is a family-run local B&B. All of the usual hotel chains you’d expect can be found in the city centre, with varying room packages available.

Also, check out the fantastic range of brilliant hotels available via Booking.com below:


Exter Betting Shops

Betting on-site at Exeter can take place either with independent trackside bookmakers, at a betting kiosk or through the Tote. Online options with ‘preferred betting partners’ are also available through the Jockey Club, but be warned – you may need to get onto the WiFi to be able to access them!

In Exeter city centre, you won’t find a large amount of betting shops to facilitate your flutter, but there are branches of Betfred racing, William Hill racing, Ladbrokes racing and Coral racing.

Other betting shops are available but are primarily found in residential areas of the city.

Best Exeter Online 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 for new customers:

  • 888 Racing

    888 Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30

    New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F – A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market – Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • MansionBet Racing

    Mansion Bet Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £20

    New customers only, min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from UK Debit card only. Paypal not accepted. Min odds evens (1/5 per multi selection). 2 x £10 Free Bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned, no cash out.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfred Racing

    Betfred Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30 IN BETS

    New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. Doesn’t apply to customers who place their first bet on the Virtual Grand National. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Coral Racing

    Coral Horse Racing

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. PayPal and certain deposit and bet types excluded. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Green Racing

    Mr Green Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £10 ACCA BET

    New players only. Qualifying bet(s) must have minimum odds of 3/1 and must be settled before triggering free bet. Free Bet must be used on an accumulator with 3 or more selections. 18+. begambleaware.org.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • William Hill Racing

    William Hill Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS

    New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Ladbrokes Racing

    Ladbrokes Horse Racing

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Unibet Racing

    Unibet Horse Racing Logo

    New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetVictor Racing

    Betvictor Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £40

    18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus, a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Play Sport

    Mr Play Sport
    BET £10 GET £15

    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at a min. odds of 1/1 (2.00) or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetBull Free Bets

    Betbull Casino Logo

    New users only. Min deposit £20. Place qualifying bets of £20 to £100 in first 7 days after deposit to unlock free bets. Free bet rewarded as 4 free bets that total first deposit amount. Min odds 1/1, 3+ legs & expire in 7 days. Winnings credited in cash. Full T&Cs apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

Exeter Racecourse Fixtures

The current Exeter race meetings for 2021 are:

Friday 9 July – Outdoor Cinema (The Greatest Showman)
Thursday 7 October 2021 – The Season Opener
Tuesday 19 October 2021 – Best Mate Beginners’ Chase Day
Tuesday 2 November 2021 – Haldon Gold Cup Day
Wednesday 10 November 2021 – Midweek Racing
Sunday 21 November 2021 – Mansion Bet Devon Air Ambulance Raceday
Friday 3 December 2021 – Festive Raceday
Saturday 4-18 December – Christmas Parties

Exeter 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 Exeter


Other Events Held at Exeter Racecourse

The Devon National (name to be determined by sponsor) is a very popular race locally and with burgeoning horseracing trainers. A 21-fence race spanning three miles six furlongs, the prize fund often reaches over £15,000 and is well-attended.

It sporadically hosts live music through spring and summer evenings, often part of events fundraising for charity. It also hosts weekly car boot sales on the course on Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays; where these dates do not clash with race days.

Exeter Racing

Popular Questions

? How long is Exeter Racecourse?

Exter is a 2-mile oval-shaped course with 11 fences, it is a hilly and a testing course, which is actually the highest in the UK.

? Are dogs allowed at Exeter Racecourse?

Dogs on leads are allowed onto the centre of the course at Exeter racecourse.

However, no dogs, with the exception of Guide Dogs, are allowed into enclosures and the stand areas.

? What is the address of Exeter Racecourse?

The official racecourse address of Exeter racecourse is:

Exeter Racecourse
Haldon Hills

Summary of Exeter Racecourse

Exeter is a beautiful countryside course which hosts national hunt racing. Welcoming and friendly its main race is the Haldon Gold Cup which has been won in the past by many greats such as Best Mate. If you are looking for a course with real charm look no further than this little gem.

Other Racecourses in the UK & Ireland

Our team as of November 2021 have reviewed these racecourses that are definitely worth a visit:

As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.