Welcome to our official guide to Stratford Racecourse. In this section we explore this racecourse in detail, looking at its history, the main races, a guide to the unique track, local hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview of Stratford Races
- 2 Stratford Upon Avon Racecourse History
- 3 Main Races and Events
- 4 The Racecourse Map
- 5 Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Stratford Racecourse
- 7 Hotels Near Stratford Racecourse
- 8 Betting Shops Local to Stratford Racecourse
- 9 Best Stratford Races Betting Sites
- 10 Other Events Held at The Course
- 11 Stratford Weather Forecast
- 12 Summary of Stratford Races
Overview of Stratford Races
Stratford-Upon-Avon Racecourse, commonly shortened to just Stratford Racecourse, is a thoroughbred horseracing venue that hosts jump racing across the summer months.
Stratford Racecourse is situated just 3km south west of the Warwickshire town of and is a popular course and one that’s known for its informal and accessible events, making it an easy ‘first-time’ racecourse to visit for those who haven’t been to the races before. This makes it one of the most well-attended courses in the UK because of its broad appeal, even though it’s a small venue and not one that features notable prestigious races. Having a picnic in the centre of the race track is considered a ‘must’ amongst those attending and considered a rite of passage for locals.
A total of 17 jump meetings are run from March to November at Stratford Racecourse, all open to families and first-time attendees as well as more experienced racing fans.
The track at is speedy, left-handed and sharp, triangular in shape. It’s had a high number of falls and unseats in its recent fixtures, and these are primarily due to the size of the fences rather than their toughness. Races here are very well run and the water jump near the winning post is much feared. The horses that perform best are those that can jump quickly and accurately. It always makes for an exciting spectatorship!
The picturesque nature of the racecourse’s surroundings has gained it a good standing for its business and conferencing facilities, hospitality suites and dining options. A variety of dining and bar options are on offer for all, catering for all tastes, budgets and dietary requirements.
Stratford Upon Avon Racecourse History
Racing dates back to 1718 at Stratford, albeit at nearby Shottery Meadow, where a more informal racecourse was set. It was almost 40 years later until racing was fully and formally documented, notably because a celebrity at the time, David Garrick, formed a partnership with the close and founded a three-day meeting for a trophy in his (named) honour.
Leamington Spa Racecourse was founded in 1835, just down the road, and although it hit a heyday locally in the late 1800s, it never hit the same level of success as its Stratford neighbour and so folded and closed in the early 1900s.
Racing lasted less than a decade at Shottery Meadow, as local farmers protested, complaining of their crops being spoiled by horses and attendees alike. Racing resumed a year later, and the Stratford Race Company was founded in the 1900s – which continues to administer and operate races at the course to this day!
A new grandstand was built in 1955, and the first of the on-site restaurants in 1965.
Main Races and Events
There are several fixtures in the calendar that could be considered ‘main events’, but perhaps the biggest two are the Stratford Foxhunters’ Champion Chase and the Stratford Summer Cup. The former is run over three and a half miles and takes place in May; usually during an evening meeting; and is considered the ‘third jewel’ in the Hunter Chase crown. The latter is run over two miles and one furlong, takes place every July, and attracts crowds from all over the local area and further afield too, so it is best to book in advance for all enclosures – Club, Tattersalls and Centre Course.
The Racecourse Map
Racing takes place on a left handed and sharp track- races tend to be well run. There is a water jump near the winning post, however, this is not jumped on the final circuit. Jockeys tend to strike for home soon because of the short straight.
The official racecourse address is:
How To Get To Stratford Racecourse
There are a number of ways to get to the course:
- By car – the racecourse is well signposted by road. It’s a 15-min drive from the M40 and about half-an-hour from the M5. The course is a 20-min walk from the rail station with a taxi rank available outside (although due the informal nature of the course, many choose to walk).
- By air – the nearest airport is Birmingham, which is approximately a 40-min drive away. Helicopters can land in the centre of the racecourse racetrack by prior arrangement.
- By rail – the racecourse was at one point served by its own rail station, which is often referred to as information on the internet about it is ambiguous. However, this station no longer exists, and closed its doors for the final time in the late 1960s. Don’t be fooled by misinformation!
Hotels Near Stratford Racecourse
The town is a tourist destination in its own right, so there are plenty of hotel options around. The two closest accommodation options to Stratford Racecourse are The Hideaway, a private home available for rent, and 47 Wetherby Way, a B&B.
Other hotels in include Midsummer House, a popular tourist hotel with all the necessary amenities; The Three Gables, a beautiful Tudor building; the Crowne Plaza Stratford-upon-Avon, a chain hotel with everything you’d expect as well as rooms available with views of the River Avon; and the Hotel du Vin, a bright and contemporary hotel with a fantastic bar. For the best rates and booking info we suggest visiting Booking.com as below:
Betting Shops Local to Stratford Racecourse
Betting facilities on-site at Stratford Racecourse are Totepool kiosks and independent track-side bookies. Wi-Fi is available for online betting, as the mobile signal isn’t always the best on all networks.
Betting shops in Stratford include William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betfred and Coral, although as chains, they often focus primarily on racing at bigger and most prestigious courses than their local.
Best Stratford 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 with some amazing offers for new customers:
Other Events Held at The Course
Two of Stratford Racecourse’s other biggest events are their annual Family Day and annual Ladies’ Day. The Family Day incorporates a range of different activities and child-friendly attractions, and the Ladies’ Day sees the course take on an unusually more formal dress code.
Stratford 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 Stratford:
Summary of Stratford Races
Stratford is a popular jumps tracks and one that is certainly worth a visit. It is a very friendly and welcoming course and is very popular with friends and family looking to enjoy a day at the races. The racing is often competitive and races are well run and exciting, if not strictly of the highest quality. A fun, informal feel, great customer service and very well priced options in all areas (Club, Tattersalls and Centre Course) – it comes highly recommended with the teams here.