Newcastle Racecourse Guide

Welcome to our official guide to Newcastle Racecourse. We explore this busy flat and national hunt northern racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the tracks, the main races, top hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!

Newcastle Racecourse


Sport in the city of Newcastle is often linked to fanatical support of the local football team, however, this vibrant north-eastern hub has more to offer, though. Newcastle Racecourse, based in Gosforth Park, plays a prominent role in the UK’s racing calendar.

Founded on Gosforth Park, an 812-acre leafy area of Newcastle that also hosts two excellent golf courses, Newcastle Racecourse is a popular and UK racecourse.

With over 60 events held on the track each year, Newcastle is one of the busiest racecourses in the country. Somewhat fitting for an institution that has existed since 1882.

At the time of writing, Newcastle Racecourse boasts the only floodlit, all-weather straight mile track in British racing. Further planned developments and improvements have also been announced, with owners Arena Racing Company aiming to build more accommodation upon the land and provide further events and activities. As well as all-weather flat racing they also host excellent national hunt racing on the turf.

Newcastle Racecourse (Gosforth Park) is easily accessible from the city centre via public or private transport, and the wide array of events are sure to appeal to all tastes. The dress code is typically smart casual, though it always pays to research ahead of time as this can vary depending on the event.

History of Racing in Newcastle Upon Tyne

The North East of England has a long history with racing. Killingworth, a town located six miles north of Newcastle Upon Tyne, hosted race meets on behalf of King George II in the 18th Century.

Horse racing in Gosforth first took place in March 1882, the year that Newcastle Racecourse was officially opened. In September of the same year, the maiden race meeting of the course took place. Since then, the racecourse has experienced a range of peaks and troughs in popularity.

Newcastle Racecourse was struggling to make ends meet in the late 20th Century. After a brief high in the 1970s – especially the Fighting Fifth Hurdle of 1975, which is widely regarded as an all-time classic race due to a tight, three-way finish – local interest in the sport began to dwindle.

This was rectified in 1994 when Newcastle Racecourse was purchased by Northern Racing. The company was chaired by Sir Stanley Clarke, a noted and respected philanthropist and horse trainer. Investment was made to modernise the course, restoring Newcastle Racecourse to the hearts and minds of equestrian enthusiasts across the region and rest of the UK.

Another substantial change in fortunes arrived in 2002. David Williamson took on the role of managing director this year and had a significant impact on the financial affairs of the course. Over a six-year period, Williamson managed to more than double Newcastle Racecourse’s turnover, lifting annual takings from £2.5m to £6.5m.

Williamson also introduced key dates of the Newcastle Racecourse calendar, including Ladies Day, and has been credited with boosting the city of Newcastle’s economy thanks to his innovations. He also successfully promoted and elevated established events such as the Northumberland Plate and Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Williamson moved on in 2008, after being headhunted by Newcastle United FC. The last substantial change to Newcastle Racecourse occurred in 2016, when the track became an all-weather venue. Further developments on the site are planned, however, so watch this space.

Main Races and Meetings

The Northumberland Plate, held in June, is the oldest, biggest and arguably the most prestigious event at Newcastle Racecourse. This meet is also known as, “The Pitmen’s Derby” as the first event, held in 1883, was declared a day’s holiday for pit employees so they could attend.

Aside from the Northumberland Plate, other notable events in the Newcastle Racecourse diary include:

  • Eider Chase (February) – a tough staying race ran over fences and over 4 miles and half a furlong.
  • Burradon Stakes (March) – a listed race for 3-year-olds ran over 1 mile.
  • Chipchase Stake (June) – a Group 3 flat race ran over 6 furlongs.
  • Ladies Day (June) – the last Saturday of every July, is a glitzy and glam event.
  • Fighting Fifth Hurdle (November) – a Grade 1 national hunt hurdles race over 2 miles, which has been won by many greats over the years.

Newcastle All Weather Track


Newcastle All Weather Track
Courtesy of At The Races

Newcastle’s flat track is now an is an all-weather track, boasting the only aw straight mile course in the country. The surface is Tapeta and is the same as that at Chelmsford Racecourse and Wolverhampton Racecourse. The last furlong and a half is uphill, so stamina at the required trips are needed.

Newcastle Jumps Course

Newcastle Jumps Track
Courtesy of At The Races.

Newcastle’s jump racing course is a left-handed, galloping track with a steady climb from the home turn. There’s a clear emphasis on jumping over fences, as they are regarded as being stiff. It is widely acknowledged that a position towards the stand rail in the home straight can be an advantage in hurdles races so you will see many jockeys head over and try to bag that position from entering the home straight.

Newcastle Racecourse Address

The official correspondence address of Newcastle Upon Tyne Racecourse is:

Newcastle Racecourse
High Gosforth Park
Newcastle upon Tyne

How to Get To Newcastle Races

Newcastle Racecourse is located around 15 miles from the city centre. This makes it comparatively simple to reach, whether travelling by road, rail or air.

  • By car–  if driving to the track point your SatNav to Gosforth Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 5HP . This will bring you into the proximity of the racecourse. For your own protection, it’s best to rely on signposts once you’re in the vicinity, though. Directions are clearly posted with traditional brown-and-white tourist board signs along all key roads, including the A1 and A19.
  • Train – if you’re taking the train, Newcastle Central Station is the main railway station. From here you could take a taxi straight to the racecourse from outside the station. This will cost around £10 and the journey takes about 15 minutes. Another alternative could be to change trains and arrive in the Regent Centre Metro Station. This is just two miles from the racecourse, with free shuttle services operating on race days.
  • Bus – public bus services also run from Haymarket Bus Station, in the shape of route numbers 43 and 44. These will drop you right outside the racecourse, but Haymarket is a 15-minute walk from Newcastle Central Station. Taking a taxi straight to the venue is a more efficient use of your time if you arrive in the city by rail.
  • Air – flying is also an option if you’re travelling from afar. Newcastle International Airport is found around six miles away from the racecourse, and you’ll find no shortage of taxis outside the airport.

Hotels Near Newcastle Racecourse

If you’re planning an overnight or weekend-long trip to Newcastle Racecourse and Newcastle Upon Tyne in general there are a range of excellent options to consider, the Grand Hotel Gosforth Park should be your first port of call. This hotel is located within half a mile of the venue.

As you can probably imagine, this makes the Grand Hotel a popular choice. If this accommodation is fully booked, there are other options nearby.  Gosforth also boasts a Holiday Inn and a Premier Inn within 2.5 miles of Newcastle Racecourse.

If you’re seeking a more lavish experience – and have the budget to match – head a little further away. Jesmond Dene House is a luxury hotel, located 2.5 miles from the racecourse. For a full range of options to suit all budgets we suggest checking out below.

Best Newcastle Races 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 – simply follow the links for more information:

Newcastle Racecourse Fixtures

Due to current restrictions racing is happening behind closed doors, but we will update you with more information when we have it.

Newcastle 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 Newcastle Upon Tyne:


Other Events at the Course

Like any reputable racecourse, Newcastle Racecourse also offers additional entertainment. Live music is a semi-frequent occurrence, often tied in with a noteworthy racing meet.

The Pussycat Dolls and Jack Savoretti are slated to perform in 2020, while the dog days of summer will also see a celebration of dance music in the form of Summertime Live, headlined by Classic Ibiza.

Newcastle Racecourse is also available for private hire, should anybody be interested in holding a party, conference or celebration on the grounds.

Newcastle Race

Summary – Newcastle Racecourse Guide

Newcastle Racecourse, in the ground of  Gosforth Park, is a stunning and historic racecourse that is known for high-quality racing including the Northumberland Plate and Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Boasting both an all-weather flat racing course and tough national hunt track, it hosts racing throughout the year. The quality, great customer service and sense of fun makes it one of the most popular courses in the country. It is a course we love at British Racecourses!

Other Racecourses

Our team as of May 2021 have reviewed the other following racecourses, all of them definitely worth a visit: