Top Ten Racecourses in the United Kingdom

James Dooley avatar

Written By:


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.


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 June 2024.

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

If you are looking for betting sites check out our best horse racing betting sites.