Top Ten Racecourses in the United Kingdom

The UK is blessed with a host of amazing racecourses spread right across the country. Each course is very different and all offer their own unique charm but which are considered the best and what justifies such a title?

Our teams have visited, researched and reviewed every single British Racecourse looking at a range of factors including the track, the main races held, customer service, local hotels, food and drink options, ease of travel and more, so that you can plan a perfect day the races.

So sit back and check out our current list, which looks at both national hunt racing and flat racing courses.

Our current Top 10 racecourses are:

Top Ten Racecourses

Top 10 Racecourses in the UK

If you have any further info or you think there’s a course we have missed please do drop us a message. The list is not in any order of preference.

Cheltenham Racecourse

How could Cheltenham racecourse not make the list? The HQ of national hunt racing, the home of the Cheltenham Festival and the Gold Cup, is a stunning natural amphitheatre of a venue.

Set in the beautiful Cotswold Hills with knowledgeable crowds, top-class horses, drama and steeped in history, it is a must for any racing fan.

When visiting we would recommend you go for a few days and enjoy a full meeting so you can soak up the atmosphere of the town and really appreciate the experience, whether that is to the Cheltenham Gold Cup Festival or one of the smaller meetings (such as the Cheltenham November meeting). Hosting exclusively national hunt races, it really should be top of any list.

Other top national hunt races held at the track include the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and The Arkle.

Aintree Racecourse

Another national hunt course and the home of the Grand National – a racecourse at the heart of the vibrant and fun-loving city of Liverpool.

The crowds at Aintree racecourse are always bright, colourful and “up for it”, plus the horse racing is top class.

The Grand National course is known the world over as the ultimate test of any National Hunt horse – it is a track where history and legends are made.

It’s perfect for a day out with friends and every racing fan needs to see the Grand National ran live once in their lifetime!

Chester Racecourse

The oldest course in the world had to make the list of the best British racecourses.

Set within ancient Roman surroundings and with a tight whizzing track, Chester is a firm favourite with race-goers of all ages – thoroughbred racing has been taking place there for centuries!

A day at Chester Races isn’t just about the racing but it’s a fabulous social occasion, the crowds look great, families are well looked after, plus food and drink options are superb. So if you are looking for great racing and an amazing social occasion to boot – Chester is for you!

The Chester May Festival is their main attraction and definitely worth a visit.

Ascot Racecourse

Ascot racecourse is the true Royal Course and the home of Royal Ascot – one of the most prestigious social events held anywhere in the world annually. Attended every year by Queen Elizabeth herself and other members of the Royal Family, many of the races are Group 1 races and are named after Royalty, such as the Queen Anne Stakes and Prince of Wales Stakes.

It also now hosts the annual Ascot Champions Day held in October where the season superstars meet for big money and prestige.

However, a day at the Ascot races is more than a posh day out, hosting flat and National Hunt racing (including the Clarence House Chase) throughout the year the venue has had a multi-million make-over, its hospitality is outstanding, crowds beautiful, travel easy and it has seen the best horses in the world take to its turf.

A top pick.

York Racecourse

A jewel in the crowd of Yorkshire, a day at York Races is like no others and easily made into our Top 10 Racecourses.

With a history dating back to the 1700s, it still hosts a clutch of top Group 1 races throughout the year including the Nunthorpe Stakes over 5 furlongs – a race that attracts the top sprinting talent from the world over!

York also hosts the brilliant Ebor Meeting with the Ebor itself the richest handicap in Europe with a prize pool of over 1 million pounds!

If you are looking for a racecourse with charm, character, history and class, York is for you.

Newmarket Racecourse

Of course Newmarket made the list!

Recognised as the home of flat racing, the town is dedicated to thoroughbred horse racing and it seems that everywhere you turn and everyone you speak to works in the industry; the town is always buzzing.

Similar to Cheltenham it is somewhere that any horse racing fan should take a few days visiting to really soak it all up.

With two courses, loads of amazing races (including the 2000 Guineas, the first leg of the UK triple crown) and the biggest concentration of training yards in the UK, it’s a special place.

Enjoy!

Best UK Racecourses

Goodwood Racecourse

The home of Glorious Goodwood – a superb and iconic flat racing festival held in British Summertime – Goodwood racecourse is a beautiful track set in the picturesque English countryside.

A natural amphitheatre for the sport with rolling hills, it has seen superb performances by many horses and jockeys over the years in everything from the Sussex Stakes to the Goodwood Gold Cup.

Similar to Wimbledon and Royal Ascot, the Glorious Goodwood Festival is seen as a social must-do for many, it’s a truly fantastic event.

Haydock Park Racecourse

A dual-purpose flat and national hunt racecourse sandwiched between Manchester and Liverpool which hosts racing throughout the year, on both the flat and National Hunt, Haydock Park is a fun, galloping course attracting great fun crowds from the surrounding areas.

Evening meetings are particularly great and well-attended.

Easy transport links, top-quality racing including the Haydock Sprint Cup, great customer services and buzzing crowds often see Haydock as an under-rated course but we think it’s a hidden gem.

Epsom Downs Racecourse

The home of the Epsom Derby (the second leg of the triple crown), on the stunning Epsom Downs, this is a racecourse to saviour.

The Derby meeting itself is attended by thousands in the stands and enclosures, as well as thousands in the centre of the course who picnic on the Epsom Downs and enjoy the horse racing and occasion in a more relaxed way.

Epsom is regarded as the ultimate test of any thoroughbred horse with its climbs, tight bends and downhill runs.

Whether you are choosing to attend the Derby or Oaks, or a more relaxed evening summer meeting, Epsom is a course that is welcoming, friendly and popular.

Windsor Racecourse

A small track within a stone’s throw of Windsor Castle, it is best known for its wonderful intimate evening meetings held in summer (often with Queen Elizabeth and other members of the Royal Family in attendance).

An unusual figure of 8 racecourse, where horses turn left and right, Windsor may be a tiny thoroughbred racing course but that means you are close to the action at all times.

The food and drink options are superb and you can even get to the course by boat along the Thames – what a way to spend a beautiful English summer evening

Summary of the Top 10 UK Racecourses

So that concludes our current list of the Top 10 Racecourses in the UK which has looked at both flat and national hunt racecourses hosting racing throughout the year – last updated in January 2022.

Our teams here regularly make sure the reviews are accurate but if you would like more information contact us today, or read our more in-depth guides which look at courses from Cartmel to Cheltenham racecourse, Ascot to Bangor – and everything else in between.

Enjoy your day at the races! We hope you have enjoyed our top ten racecourses

Best Current 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 for you lucky horse race fans:

  • 888 Racing

    888 Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30

    New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F – A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market – Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • MansionBet Horse Racing

    Mansion Bet Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £10

    New customers only. Min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from UK debit card only. Min odds Evens (1/5 per leg in multi selection). £10 Free Bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned, no Cash Out, max winnings £5k.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfred Horse Racing

    Betfred Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £60 IN BONUSES

    New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Coral Racing

    Coral Horse Racing
    GET £20 IN FREE BETS

    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.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Green Racing

    Mr Green Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £10 ACCA BET

    New players only. Qualifying bet(s) must have minimum odds of 3/1 and must be settled before triggering free bet. Free Bet must be used on an accumulator with 3 or more selections. 18+. begambleaware.org.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • William Hill Racing

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

    New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Ladbrokes Racing

    Ladbrokes Horse Racing
    BET £5 GET £20 IN FREE BETS

    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 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Unibet Racing

    Unibet Horse Racing Logo
    MONEY BACK AS A BONUS UP TO £40

    New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. 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

  • BetVictor Racing

    Betvictor Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £40

    18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus, a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Play Sport

    Mr Play Sport
    BET £10 GET £15

    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at a min. odds of 1/1 (2.00) or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetBull Free Bets

    Betbull Casino Logo
    UP TO £100 IN FREE BETS

    New users only. Min deposit £20. Place qualifying bets of £20 to £100 in first 7 days after deposit to unlock free bets. Free bet rewarded as 4 free bets that total first deposit amount. Min odds 1/1, 3+ legs & expire in 7 days. Winnings credited in cash. Full T&Cs apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

All of the above betting sites made our list of the best horse racing betting sites.

As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.