Welcome to our official guide to Fakenham Racecourse. In this section we explore this racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the track, the major races, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview of Fakenham Races
- 2 Fakenham Racecourse History
- 3 Fakenham Racecourse Map
- 4 The Main Races and Events at Fakenham
- 5 Fakenham Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Fakenham Racecourse
- 7 Hotels near Fakenham Racecourse
- 8 What Are The Best Online Fakenham Betting Sites?
- 9 Betting Shops Local to Fakenham Racecourse
- 10 Fakenham Weather Forecast
- 11 Other Events Held at The Racecourse
- 12 Summary of Fakenham Races
- 13 Other Racecourses in The UK and Ireland
Overview of Fakenham Races
With the Prince of Wales acting as the course Patron and an almost square-shaped track, it is the only National Hunt horseracing venue in Norfolk and is truly unlike any other. The racecourse is situated in the beautiful Norfolk countryside, just south of the market town of Fakenham. It is the only jumps course in the county, and the only other track in Norfolk is Great Yarmouth.
Fakenham boasts His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, as its Patron. It currently has a small race schedule of six fixtures a year.
The track is a mile in circumference and almost perfectly square in shape. It’s left-handed with sharp turns and short run-ins on both the hurdles and steeplechase course (the latter of which sits outside the former). It is considered the tightest jumps track in the UK and suits handy front runners. Quick jumpers always do well as they waste less time in the air and more on tackling the sharp turns. Trainers & jockeys often complain that the going is tougher than advertised at Fakenham, and it’s not uncommon for there to be a fairly high number of casualties for a well-run race at a minor track as a result. It also acts as the home of the West Norfolk Hunt’s point-to-point racing.
Fakenham is much more than just a horseracing venue. It is also home to a popular camping and caravanning site that is open every day of the year and offers 125 pitches. Being just 10 miles from the North Norfolk Coast and 10-mins walk from the town centre, its ideal location ensures it is always well patronised.
For a brief time, Fakenham was also a greyhound racing track, but it never joined the governing body of the National Hunt Greyhound Racing Club and remained independent and – unfortunately! – somewhat unpopular, never gaining the traction to operate after a year in action. The racecourse has, in recent years, diversified into corporate hospitality and private events, and continues to gain popularity as a venue in all aspects of its business.
Fakenham Racecourse History
It didn’t begin formal operations until 1905 but before that, horseracing took place locally. The West Norfolk Hunt had long been staging meets in the area since 1839, and in 1886, one of their meetings was attended by the Prince of Wales, and he later became President of the club. In 1904, the Prince of Wales offered up a trophy for the winner of the Hunters’ Steeplechase and when it took place, on site at what was then to become the racecourse, in April 1905, it was awarded to L A North’s Ivanhoe.
A course seemingly well in favour with the British Royal Family, the Queen became Patron of the course in 1952, and remained as such until 2002.
The venue wasn’t known as Fakenham Racecourse until 1964, re-branding from the West Norfolk Hunt name for main events. In 1972, the course saw the completion of the stable lad’s hostel and in 2001, a new grandstand and hospitality facilities opened. The year after, The Prince of Wales, now Prince Charles, took over as Patron.
Fakenham Racecourse Map
The course is left handed and very sharp in nature, it is also known for with a short run-in on both courses. The tightest jumps track in the country and, in theory, ideal for handy, front-running types.
The Main Races and Events at Fakenham
Fakenham doesn’t have a particularly busy racing schedule, with just six fixtures a year, but the most prominent of these is the Fakenham Silver Cup. This class three handicap hurdle race is run over two miles and comprises part of the Spring Festival held at the course every March. The Silver Cup prize fund is £20,000 and is often accompanied by several charity events alongside it on the day itself – including most recently dog displays in aid of local animal charities and a collection for a local group that feeds the homeless and stocks food banks with the meat of locally-shot game birds.
Events at Fakenham change name often, as they tend to be named after short-term sponsors and so may present under different titles each year.
Fakenham Racecourse Address
How To Get To Fakenham Racecourse
- By road – it can be reached by road following signs to the town of Fakenham, and on race days, yellow AA signage is up. Car parking is free for standard parking, or £8 per vehicle for upgraded Member’s Enclosure parking.
- By train – the nearest train station is Kings Lynn, some 20 miles away, or Norwich, 25 miles away. Both are served by local bus services or can be travelled by taxi if pre-booked. Helicopter landing facilities are available in the middle of the track.
Hotels near Fakenham Racecourse
Fakenham is a fairly rural area of North Norfolk and so not served by chain hotels, but there’s plenty of beautiful accommodation options nearby. The Bull Inn in Walsingham is a great country pub with rooms available and numerous Airbnb properties are available throughout the region. Fakenham itself has a couple of basic and budget B&Bs but these do get booked up quickly, so make sure you book ahead of time. We often recommend booking via Booking.com which has great availability and rates:
What Are The Best Online Fakenham Betting Sites?
If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals for new customers:
Betting Shops Local to Fakenham Racecourse
Tote betting is available throughout the course and there are independent bookies track-side, but not as many as you’d find at bigger courses; so be prepared for queues! The town of has one betting shop – a branch of Betfred – but there are none others locally so you may be best to place a bet before you arrive if you have a brand preference. Mobile signal is patchy in this area but the town itself is fairly well covered so online betting is an option while you’re there.
Fakenham Weather Forecast
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 Fakenham:
Other Events Held at The Racecourse
The racecourse is a large outdoor venue for North Norfolk and so as such is hired often for private events. Many exhibitions and occasions are held here, alongside dog shows – a particular favourite locally amongst the rural communities nearby. It is a popular wedding venue and often used for photoshoots for country living-type publications.
Summary of Fakenham Races
Known as one of, if not the tightest jump course in the country, Fakenham doesn’t boast many meetings or necessarily high-class racing. Thay said it is a popular little Norfolk course hosting the only jumps racing in the county. It is popular with locals and families and is very much part of the local community. On our visits, we have always had a great time; great customer service, close finishes and value for money. Good things come in small packages and that definitely is true of Fakenham. Most definitely worth a visit.
Other Racecourses in The UK and Ireland
Our team as of April 2021 have reviewed these racecourses that are also worth a visit:
- Aintree Racecourse
- Ascot Racecourse
- Ayr Racecourse Guide
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse Guide
- Bath Racecourse Guide
- Beverley Racecourse Guide
- Brighton Racecourse Guide
- Carlisle Racecourse Guide
- Cartmel Racecourse Guide
- Catterick Racecourse Guide
- Chelmsford City Racecourse Guide
- Cheltenham Racecourse
- Chepstow Racecourse Guide
- Chester Racecourse Guide
- Doncaster Racecourse Guide
- Epsom Racecourse Guide
- Exeter Racecourse Guide
- Fakenham Racecourse Guide
- Ffos Las Racecourse Guide
- Fontwell Racecourse Guide
- Goodwood Racecourse Guide
- Great Yarmouth Racecourse Guide
- Hamilton Racecourse Guide
- Haydock Racecourse Guide
- Hereford Racecourse Guide
- Hexham Racecourse Guide
- Huntingdon Racecourse Guide
- Kelso Racecourse Guide
- Kempton Park Racecourse Guide
- Leicester Racecourse Guide
- Lingfield Park Racecourse Guide
- Ludlow Racecourse Guide
- Market Rasen Racecourse Guide
- Musselburgh Racecourse Guide
- Newbury Racecourse Guide
- Newcastle Racecourse Guide
- Newmarket Racecourse Guide
- Newton Abbot Racecourse Guide
- Nottingham Racecourse Guide
- Perth Racecourse Guide
- Plumpton Racecourse Guide
- Pontefract Racecourse Guide
- Redcar Racecourse Guide
- Ripon Racecourse Guide
- Salisbury Racecourse Guide
- Sandown Racecourse Guide
- Sedgefield Racecourse Guide
- Southwell Racecourse Guide
- Stratford Racecourse Guide
- Taunton Racecourse Guide
- Thirsk Racecourse Guide
- Towcester Racecourse
- Uttoxeter Racecourse Guide
- Warwick Racecourse Guide
- Wetherby Racecourse Guide
- Wincanton Racecourse Guide
- Windsor Racecourse Guide
- Wolverhampton Racecourse Guide
- Worcester Racecourse Guide
- York Racecourse