Ripon Racecourse Guide

Welcome to our official guide to Ripon Racecourse. In this section we explore this beautiful flat racing racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the tracks, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!

Ripon Races


Referred to by locals as Yorkshire’s Garden, Ripon is a hugely popular destination in North Yorkshire. Located in a cathedral city a little over 20 miles from Leeds and running a full summer program of Flat events, Ripon is a premium location for racing in the North of the England.

Ripon may not the busiest and most hectic racecourse in the UK, but it’s certainly one of the most picturesque. Based in the cathedral city of Ripon, a popular tourist attraction in its own right, the racecourse is referred to as Yorkshire’s Garden for good reason.

Owned by Go Racing in Yorkshire, Ripon is a well-designed and largely relaxed day out. The family days are a huge draw, and unless you’re attending in the Club Stand, there is no dress code. Shirts are mandatory though, no matter how bright the sun may be on a summer’s day.

The track itself hosts Flat racing over 1 mile, on a right-leaning oval. The turn here can be very sharp, so when placing a wager, concentrate on horses with high numbers. The opposite is true on straight sprints, which tends to favour horses in a lane closer to the stand rail.

Overall, Ripon racecourse is not as glamorous as other courses when it comes to prestige racing. For a fun day out, however – without or without the kids in tow – it’s hard to beat.


Ripon is a small racecourse, but it holds a notable place in history – in 1723, the city of Ripon was the first in the UK to permit female jockeys to race. This is part of Ripon’s illustrious history of horse racing, which dates back to the 17th Century.

The course as we know it, however, opened in 1900. During World War One, Ripon Racecourse temporarily closed and acted as an RAF base. Civilian aircraft were still permitted to use the grounds into the 1920s, but eventually Ripon entered its own as a must-visit attraction for relaxed, enjoyable equestrian events.

Main Races and Fixtures

Ripon offers a wide array of family-friendly events and racing meets throughout the summer months. The fixture calendar for this course runs from June through to September, offering a mixture of afternoon and evening race meets. As discussed, due the season in which these meets take place, all of these events are Flat races.

A typical fixture list for Ripon Racecourse will look like this:

  • June Ripon’s opening month hosts three events. These include two evening race meets, the second of which features the Wells Memorial Cup as a feature race. June also hosts Ripon’s Ladies Day during the afternoon and evening, which is referred to as, “the Royal Ascot of the North.”
  • July One evening meeting which encompasses Gentleman’s Evening, with a featured race of the Handicap Stakes. July will also see Ripon host the first fixture of the Go Racing in Yorkshire (GRIY) Festival, celebrated with the Bell-Ringer Handicap.
  • August – The biggest month in Ripon’s calendar, with five meets. The first two events of August are Family Days, the first of which encourages children to attend in fancy dress. These are followed by an afternoon meet that hosts the Great St Wilfrid Handicap, the most prestigious and valuable race in the Ripon calendar. The month is rounded out by an evening meet, and a final Family Day on August Bank Holiday Monday, which features the Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy.
  • September – The final month of racing in Ripon sees two afternoon meets. The first will host the City of Ripon Handicap race. The second is a season-closing Beer and BBQ festival, headlined by the Cathedral City of the Dales Handicap.

Always be sure to investigate that a racing event is going ahead before making arrangements and check an official fixture list released by Ripon Racecourse directly. All race meets are subject to change due to a wide array of external circumstances.

Ripon Racecourse Map

Ripon Racecourse Map
Map Courtesy of At The Races.

Ripon Racecourse Address

The official correspondence address of Ripon Racecourse is:

Boroughbridge Road
North Yorkshire

How to Get to Ripon Races

Ripon no longer has a railway station, with the closest being Harrogate some ten miles away. Harrogate is reachable from most major cities, though you may need to change at Leeds. You should also fly into Leeds and continue your onward journey from there is you are planning air travel.

Upon arrival in Harrogate, take a bus to Ripon Town Centre. From here, a shuttle bus collects racegoers from the bus station and escorts them to and from the racecourse. If you prefer not to wait, you can take a public bus or a taxi. The journey should only take around five minutes.

If you prefer to drive to Ripon, it’s easy to access from the A1.  If travelling from the south, leave at Junction 48. This is shortly beyond the Harrogate exit. From here, follow the brown signs that will clearly direct you to Ripon Racecourse.

If travelling from a northerly direction, leave the A1 at Junction 50 to join the A61 – Ripon Racecourse is literally around the corner. Traffic can build up in either direction, so leave plenty of time for your journey.

Hotels Near Ripon Racecourse

If you’re planning to stay in Ripon, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to hotels. Just be aware that Ripon is a popular tourist destination outside of racing meets, especially during the summer months when the season unfolds, so plan ahead.

The Old Deanery and The Royal Oak are a little over a mile away from the racecourse. The Ripon Spa is a little further, closer to 1.5 miles away, but still easily accessible.

These are all small unique hotels, so they may sell out. Do not despair if that’s the case – there are a plethora of hotels and B&Bs in the area. You just may need to travel slightly further to make your way to the racecourse.

Also, check out the fantastic range of brilliant hotels available via below:

Best Ripon 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:

  • bet365 Horse Racing
    Bet365 Horse Racing

    New Customers Only. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfred Horse Racing
    Betfred Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30 IN BETS

    New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. Doesn’t apply to customers who place their first bet on the Virtual Grand National. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply

  • Coral Horse Racing
    Coral Horse Racing

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. PayPal and certain deposit and bet types excluded. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply

  • Ladbrokes Horse Racing
    Ladbrokes Horse Racing

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply

  • William Hill Horse Racing
    William Hill Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS

    New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days. Full T&C's Apply

  • Unibet Horse Racing
    Unibet Horse Racing Logo

    New customers only. 18+, Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in. Full T&C's Apply

Ripon 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 Ripon:


Other Events at Ripon 

Ripon Racecourse is available for private hire throughout the year, but no other major events unconnected to racedays typically unfold at the venue.

Ripon Racecourse Guide


To come.

Other Racecourses

Our team as of August 2020 have reviewed the other following racecourses, all of them definitely worth a visit: