As the northernmost racecourse in the UK, Perth already has a claim to fame that sets it apart from competitors. The fact that is also located beside the legendary Scone Palace ensures that it’s a fantastic day out for enthusiasts of National Hunt racing.
Unlike most British race tracks, Perth bends to the right. Stretching to a little over a mile in length, this course is the exclusive domain of National Hunt racing. The bends are long and the fences comparatively simple to clear, so picking a frontrunner with great acceleration is often advisable. However, stamina is also required to successfully see out a victory on this track.
The Perth season is designed to appeal to tourists and holidaymakers, running from April through September.
This may not appeal to hardened racing aficionados, but it certainly makes for a fun day out for casual attendees. This leads to a relaxed atmosphere throughout the venue. The fact that you visit can also be tied in with a day trip around historical Scotland is just a bonus.
Perth has been hosting horse racing events since the 17th Century. Previously, these meets took place in the North Inch Park, also located in Perth. Alas, a ban on alcohol was enforced in this open ground in the early 20th Century. This deterred many attendees from indulging their gambling habits.
Lord Mansfield, owner of the Scone Palace Parklands and avowed equestrian enthusiast, offered to provide land for the construction of a specialist racecourse.
As of 1908, Perth Racecourse was open to the public, remaining a key location in Scottish sport to this day.
Main Races and Meetings
As discussed, Peth runs a season from April to September. This ensures that it captures that all-important tourist spending power – but also means that events are unlikely to be cancelled or shortened by unpredictable weather conditions. A typical Perth fixture list, which is exclusively made up of National Hunt meets, looks like this.
- April – Perth kicks off its season with the Perth Festival, a three-day celebration of National Hunt racing. There are countless headline races at this event, including the Stallions Gold Castle Novices’ Hurdle, the River Tay Handicap Chase, the Hunter Chase, the Fair Maid of Perth Chase and the Highland National – arguably the jewel in the venue’s crown. The best and brightest jockeys and runners descend upon the Highlands for the Perth Festival, so if you only make one trip in the year, this weekend is worthy of serious consideration.
- May – May sees two events at Perth. A traditional raceday is largely a warm-up for the much-vaunted Ladies Day, which features all the usual awards for impressive
- June – The Gold Cup is one of the biggest racing events in Scotland, and that’s the focus of Gold Cup Day in early June. This event frequently sells out in a flash, so book early if you’re keen on some weekend racing in the sunshine. Later in June comes the BRAW Raceday, which is headlined by the Inveralmond Handicap Steeplechase, the winner of which takes home the Kilmany Cup.
- July – July is a little lower-key, with no significant races to speak of. Perth does host two events during this month though, so it’s a great chance to enjoy some world class National Hunt racing.
- August – August at Perth is defined by the Summer Carnival Raceday, which takes place around the Bank Holiday Weekend. The Stone of Destiny Handicap Hurdle is the featured race here, but there’s plenty more entertainment to sink your teeth into throughout the day.
- September – September sees the end of Perth’s season, but dry your eyes – the venue makes sure to close out with a memorable month. An Autumn Raceday early in the month is another chance to get through the gate, but it’s the self-proclaimed Glorious Finale at the end of September that really captures the imagination. This is a two-day event, followed by drinks and dancing, with tweed clothing recommended. See out the season in style.
Always be sure to investigate that a racing event is going ahead before making arrangements and check an official fixture list released by Perth Racecourse directly. All race meets are subject to change due to a wide array of external circumstances.
The official correspondence address of Perth Racecourse is:
Scone Palace Park
How to Get There
If travelling by public transport, rail is the easiest way to access Perth Racecourse. Perth has its own station which is located just three miles from the venue. This station boasts a busy taxi rank, so you won’t struggle to find somebody willing to make the short drive to the track.
Alternatively, make your way to Mill Street in the centre of Perth. From here, a Stagecoach bus service runs to and from the track for a return fare of £4. If you prefer to fly, Dundee is the closest airport at around 20 miles away. Edinburgh and Glasgow are 40 and 70 miles from Perth respectively, so landing at such destinations is largely impractical.
Driving to Perth is also comparatively simple. Leave the M90 at Junction 11, which is signposted Scone Palace & Blairgowrie. This will place you on Dundee Road, which you should follow through two sets of traffic lights. Take a third, which will be signed as Blairgowrie & A93. Take another left to Stormontfield Road and follow the brown signs from here.
As Perth is such a tourist hotspot, it’s advisable to book accommodation early to avoid disappointment. It is also worth asking if a hotel will offer a discount to racegoers, as this is common practice in the area.
The Holiday Inn in Perth is the closest hotel, just a mile from the racetrack. Slightly further afield is a Mercure and an extremely budget-friendly Travelodge. Equally reasonable is the Premier Inn, located in the city centre of Perth.
For a less corporate and more authentically Scottish experience, give consideration to the Royal George, Leonardo Boutique or Parklands Boutique. You’ll have to travel a little further to the racecourse from these hotels, but they’ll offer a memorable stay.
Other Events at the Course
As you may expect from such a scenic location, Perth Racecourse is a hugely popular venue for private bookings and parties. Other than this, no events are open to the public – but don’t forget, there are countless tourist attractions in the local vicinity.
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 Perth:
Our team as of August 2020 have reviewed the other following racecourses, all of them definitely worth a visit:
- Aintree Racecourse Guide
- Ascot Racecourse Guide
- Ayr Racecourse Guide
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse
- Bath Racecourse Guide
- Beverley Racecourse Guide
- Brighton Racecourse Guide
- Carlisle Racecourse Guide
- Cartmel Racecourse Guide
- Catterick Racecourse Guide
- Chelmsford City Racecourse Guide
- Cheltenham Racecourse Guide
- Chepstow Racecourse Guide
- Chester Racecourse Guide
- Curragh Racecourse Guide
- Doncaster Racecourse Guide
- Downpatrick Racecourse Guide
- Dundalk Racecourse Guide
- Epsom Racecourse Guide
- Exeter Racecourse Guide
- Fakenham Racecourse Guide
- Ffos Las Racecourse Guide
- Fontwell Racecourse Guide
- Galway 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
- Leopardstown Racecourse Guide
- Lingfield Park Racecourse Guide
- Ludlow Racecourse Guide
- Market Rasen Racecourse Guide
- Musselburgh Racecourse Guide
- Naas Racecourse Guide
- Navan 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 Guide