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

Overview of Ripon Racecourse

Referred to by locals as Yorkshire’s Garden, and the track as the”garden racecourse”, 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 racing 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 on a right-leaning oval. The turns 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 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.

History of Ripon Races

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 for Ripon Racecourse

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 Great St Wilfrid for short), 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 is a right-handed track which is oval in shape and measures 13 furlongs around. It has a home straight of five furlongs, and a straight six-furlong course which the sprints are ran over. Due to the tight bends, Ripon is known as being a sharp track.

Ripon Racecourse Address

The official correspondence address of Ripon Racecourse is:

Ripon Racecourse
Boroughbridge Road
North Yorkshire

How to Get to Ripon Races

  • By road – 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. Details for you sat nav are – Boroughbridge Road, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG4 1UG
  • By train – 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.
  • By bus – 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.

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 for new customers, as well as some racing tips:

Ripon Racecourse Fixtures

The current Ripon race meetings for 2021 are:

  • Wednesday 16th June – Evening
  • Thursday 17th June 2021 – Ladies’ Day
  • Monday 5th July 2021 – Evening
  • Saturday 17th July 2021 – Afternoon
  • Monday 2nd August 2021 – Afternoon
  • Monday 9th August – Evening
  • Saturday 14th August 2021 – Afternoon
  • Monday 23rd August – Evening
  • Monday 30th August 2021 (Bank Hol) – Afternoon
  • Tuesday 31st August 2021 – Afternoon
  • Saturday 25th September 2021 – Afternoon

Ripon Racecourse Weather Forecast

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 Racecourse

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

Summary of Ripon Races

A stunning racecourse, known as the “Garden Racecourse”, Ripon is another great Yorkshire track which hosts flat racing throughout the summer months. The quality of racing is good with the highlights being the Great St Wilfrid and the Listed Ripon Champion Two Year Old Trophy. Ripon however it not just known for good racing but as being a great day out for families and friends – it has a very relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. It really is a course for anyone, whether a racing fan or someone just looking for a great day out. It’s a course we like very much and is definitely worth a visit. 

Other Racecourses in the UK and Ireland

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