Kempton Park Racecourse Guide

Welcome to our official guide to Kempton Park Racecourse. We explore this great jump and all-weather flat racing racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to both of the tracks, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!

Kempton Racecourse

Overview of Kempton

Kempton Park lies just 16 miles from central London. This proximity to the capital along with its picturesque setting of grassland, woodland and two beautiful lakes, makes Kempton Park a well-attended and well-enjoyed venue by many.

Kempton Park Racecourse hosts both National Hunt jump racing and flat all-weather racing across two tracks.

The National Hunt course is a triangular track of one mile five furlongs, with a 220-yard run-in. It hosts many great meetings throughout the year with the biggest it’s fantastic Boxing Day event.

The flat all-weather racing takes place on a fairly new track (constructed in 2006) that is right-handed and measures eight or ten furlongs, depending on the race and whether the inner or outer curve is used. The all-weather course is floodlit and surfaced with Polytrack, which can only be found on two other British racecourses – Chelmsford City and Lingfield Park. Kempton is widely considered one of the best-designed courses in the UK.

Despite this, the Jockey Club (the current owners of the site) announced back in 2017 that Kempton Park was due to close by 2021 and as such, would ceased to be used for horseracing. The company intended to sell the site to property developers for homebuilding, and confirmed that any profit made from the sale (estimated to be about £100m) would be put into the Jockey Club’s planned £500m investment programme, to be spent on projects such as the development of Sandown and a new all-weather track to be installed at Newmarket. The local council of Kempton were not supportive of the plans initially, and racing fans and firms rallied to lodge petitions and crowdfund their opposition support. All seems to have gone quiet on the closure front for now, but it seems certain that a public decision and declaration will be made soon – not least because it’s due to close by the end of next year!

Racecourse History

Kempton Park Racecourse was born from an idea by investor Samuel H Hyde who stumbled upon Kempton Park and Manor in 1872 and saw it was for sale. Some six years later, he had leased the grounds and built the racecourse. The site is noted in the Domesday Book along with the manor, although today, no buildings of the house still exist (although there are some Victorian gateposts still in place).

In 1889, the course was notified that the Prince of Wales would be attending some upcoming races. In just 21 days, Kempton Park constructed a fully functioning Royal Box – a timeframe still considered impressive today!

Kempton Park was an invaluable resource to the British forces during World War I, being requisitioned for the war effort and used as a transport depot for military vehicles. As a result, the ground was not left suitable for racing to resume immediately after the war, so races continued while it was fixed at Gatwick, Hurst Park and Sandown.

Since then, Kempton Park has continued to flourish and remains an important venue in British horseracing. The current grandstand was completed in 1997, and the all-weather track installed in 2006.

Main Races and Events

Kempton Park has a jam-packed schedule annually, but there are three standout races that attract more attention and attendees than others – and all are around the Christmas period. The King George IV steeplechase is a National Hunt race held every Boxing Day (and famously won by Kauto Star on multiple occasions, as well as Desert Orchid), it is a Grade 1 event run over three miles and eighteen fences. The same day sees the Kauto Star Novices Chase run, a race that was the first Grade 1 race to be won by a female jockey in the UK, when Lizzie Kelly took home first place with horse Tea For Two. it is always one of the hottest novices chase of the whole year. The third most popular event at Kempton Park is held on the 27th December, the Desert Orchid Chase, a Grade 2 race run over two miles and twelve jumps.

Kempton Racecourse Map

Kempton Jumps Track
Courtesy of At The Races.

Kempton chase and hurdle course are right-handed , triangular and flat. It is a fair course and suits most horses. The fences are known to be relatively easy fences. Although the bends are tight it can suit galloping types as well as the more speedy horses.

Kempton AW Track
Courtesy of At The Races.

Kempton’s all-weather flat racing track is Polytrack. It is a flat, oval-shaped track with two loops. The inner track is used for races over five, nine and ten furlongs and it has a two furlongs home straight – this tends to suit more handy types. The home bend on the outer course is more sweeping and the straight is longer – almost three furlongs.  Over both five and six-furlong races, there is a relatively short run to the first bend.

Kempton Racecourse Address

Kempton Park Racecourse
Staines Road East
TW16 5AQ

How To Get To Kempton Park

  • Car – Kempton Park can be found on the A308 between Sunbury-on-Thames and Hampton Court, less than a mile from Junction 1 of the M3. Limited free parking is available but once it fills, you can expect to pay around £5 for a space. The info for your sat nav is Staines Road, East Middlesex, TW16  5AQ
  • Train – The easiest way to get to Kempton Park Racecourse is by train, because the course has an on-site railway station! Kempton Park Station is 200yds from the course’s north entrance, and trains run every half hour from London Waterloo.
  • Bus – coaches and shuttle buses run from the nearby BP site, 10 minutes away, on major event days.

Hotels Near Kempton Park Racecourse

Most racegoers choose to stay in London when attending Kempton Park but if you’d prefer to be closer to the action, there’s still options available. Nearby Sunbury-on-Thames is home to the budget M3-side Travelodge Sunbury (rooms from £19!), the town centre Premier Inn Sunbury and the reasonable home-style Aidos Heathcroft House. For the best prices and deals check out below:

Best Kempton 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, check them out today:

Betting Shops Local to Kempton Park

Independent bookies can be found down by the track, and there are standard betting kiosks and Tote facilities available in all enclosures at Kempton Park.

Nearby Sunbury-on-Thames itself isn’t big enough to warrant many bookmakers in the town centre, but you will find a branch of William Hill and a Ladbrokes here. Surrounding residential areas also have some local betting shops, including a Coral, another William Hill and a Bet 2 Net.

Kempton Park Fixtures

Due to Covid19 many fixtures have been cancelled and rescheduled, we will update you when we can.

Kempton Park 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 Kempton Park (nearest town is Sunbury on Thames):

Other Events Held at The Track

Racing takes place at Kempton Park almost every month of the year, but there’s lots of other things going on at the course too. A local produce market is held weekly, as well as a bi-weekly antiques fair and seasonal occurrences of wedding fairs and other exhibitions. The conferencing and exhibition centre at Kempton Park Racecourse is licensed and often fully-booked as it’s considered a great ‘get-away’ from London for business purposes.

Kempton Races

Kempton Races Summary

Kempton is one of the busiest racecourses in the UK with all-weather racing taking place all year round. However, Kempton will always be most well-known for itse national hunt and particularly as the home of the King George VI Chase held every year on Boxing Day – a race won by racing legends such as Kauto Star and Desert Orchid. Kempton is a splendid course with a great atmosphere and customer service, whether you are attending for jumps or flat, you are assured of a great day out.

Other UK and Irish Racecourses to Visit

Our team as of April 2021 have reviewed these racecourses that are also worth a vist: