As the only racecourse in Northumberland, Hexham boasts a unique location. Based in the rolling hills of The Last Hidden Kingdom, Hexham hosts fifteen National Hunt races throughout the year, commencing its season in March and wrapping up in December.
Hexham Racecourse is found in an undeniably beautiful location, with rolling hills and greenery surrounding the track. If you can tear your eyes away from the racing action, you’ll be sure to experience a moment of pure contentment simply drinking in the scenery.
Hexham is a left-handed course, around a mile in length over four furlongs. The course is far from flat, with a number if undulations dotted throughout. The final straight in particular has a steep descent followed by a climb.
This means that stamina is all-important when picking a potential winner. Try to avoid frontrunners, too. Almost all winners at Hexham overtake on the final straight. Horses must also be experienced with hurdling, with ten obstacles on the steeplechase run.
The dress code at Hexham is smart-casual, with the usual caveats surrounding weather. Northumberland can get pretty chilly during the autumn and winter, so be sure to wrap up warm.
Racing in Hexham dates back to 1720, when a venue was erected in Tyne Green to accommodate growing interest in the sport. in 1793 the site in Yarridge Heights – the Hexham Racecourse that we know and love – was opened.
Hexham Racecourse closed down in 1880 but was rescued by a local enthusiast. Charles William Chipchase Henderson plunged significant funding into the course, eventually purchasing the very land it was built on to protect the future of the venue. The Henderson family still retain a controlling interest in the racecourse.
Although the venue is almost 125 years old, it has obviously been improved and renovated over the years. Most recently the Grandstand was completely remodelled and redesigned.
Main Races and Meetings
Hexham Racecourse runs an array of National Hunt meets from March to June. The racecourse takes a summer break, then reopens for more festivities between September and December. Due to the location of the venue, it is not possible to host events during January or February.
March – Hexham kicks off its annual season two race meets. The course kicks off with Cheltenham Festival Raceday, celebrating the landmark event in British racing. This is followed by a second standard meet later in the month.
April – Hexham has a single standard National Hunt race meet in April.
May – May is a big month at Hexham, with three meets – two in the evening, and one during the daylight hours. The two former events are standard meets. The outlier is the Heart of All England Raceday, which unfolds on a Saturday afternoon and is headlined by the Premier Hunter Chase of the North.
June – Things continue to get crazy at Hexham in June, with three more meets. Ladies Day at the end of the month is the highlight of the month, with competitions for Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Couple, Best Hat and Best Dressed Little Miss. This event is preceded by two standard meets, with Ladies Day closing out the Hexham calendar for the first half of the year.
September – Hexham reopens its doors in September with a single evening meet, typically held at the very beginning of the month.
October – As we enter October, Hexham hosts two more events. The first is early in the month, dubbed the Autumn Raceday. The second is a traditional raceday held in the middle of the month.
November – Two more meets follow in November. The Winter Raceday is late in November, preceded by another traditional National Hunt meet two weeks previous.
December – The final event before Hexham closes up again for a short break is the Christmas Raceday in early December. Get into the festive spirit by entering the Christmas Jumper Competition and say goodbye to the calendar year, Hexham-style.
Hexham also hosts two point-to-point events for amateur jockeys. The Haydon Point to Point unfolds in late May, while the Border Point to Point is typically on the first weekend of December.
Double-check that a racing event is going ahead as planned before making your way to Hexham. The racecourse’s official website is the best source of information. Events can be cancelled at short notice due to external circumstances, including adverse weather.
The official correspondence address of Hexham Racecourse is:
How to Get There
If you’re planning to fly to Hexham, head to Newcastle Airport. This is a little over 35 miles from the racetrack. Alternatively, you can take a train. Hexham has a dedicated railway station, and a free shuttle bus service operates on racedays.
You can also reach Hexham Racecourse by bus – either to the course directly, or into Hexham bus station. Again, a free shuttle will get you to and from the track here. Both railway and bus stations also have taxi ranks. Either location is less than ten minutes from the track by road.
By road, you’ll need the A69 toward Newcastle. You can reach this from the M6 from Carlisle, or the A1M from Newcastle upon Tyne. Once you’re on the A69, you’ll reach the Bridge End roundabout. This takes you into Hexham town centre, which is just a couple of miles from the track.
Hexham Racecourse has its very own self-catering accommodation options. The Hexham Lodge can sleep up to eight people, while there is also a caravan and camping site within two miles of the venue. For a more traditional hotel, The Beaumont is around 1.5 miles from the racecourse.
If you cannot get into either of these locales, you’ll have to travel around five miles. Options here include the Langley Castle Hotel, Walwick Hall and Slaley Hall. The travel will be worth it – each of these fine hotels are a credit to their industry.
Other Events at the Course
Hexham Racecourse does not host any specialist events outside of racing meets. It is, however, available for hire for weddings, conferences and external parties. If interested, simply contact the racecourse. During the off-season, you will be able to enjoy the run of the racecourse and all it entails.
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 Hexham:
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