Welcome to our official guide to Royal Windsor Racecourse.
We explore this great flat racecourse (sat in the shadow of Windsor Castle) in detail, looking at its royal history, the main races, a guide to this unique and quirky track, top local hotel picks, the racing fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather.
Find out more about Royal Windsor racecourse today:
- 1 Overview of Royal Windsor Racecourse
- 2 Royal Windsor Racecourse History
- 3 Main Races and Events at Royal Windsor Racecourse
- 4 Royal Windsor Racecourse Map
- 5 Windsor Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Windsor Racecourse
- 7 Hotels Near Royal Windsor Racecourse
- 8 Betting at Windsor Racecourse
- 9 2021 Royal Windsor Racing Fixtures
- 10 Windsor Racecourse Weather
- 11 Other Events at Windsor Racecourse
- 12 Popular Questions
- 13 Royal Windsor Racecourse Summary
- 14 Other United Kingdom and Irish Racecourses
Overview of Royal Windsor Racecourse
Royal Windsor racecourse is one of only two figure-of-eight courses in the UK, and is situated n 165 acres of stunning Berkshire countryside.
Horse racing, as a pursuit, has been linked with royalty for centuries and is known as the ‘Sport of Kings’. In keeping with this, racing at Windsor racecourse takes place just a short distance from Windsor Castle and is often frequented by members of the British Royal Family.
The course is located on the bank of the River Thames, sitting on a large island between the Thames Channel and the Clewer Mill Stream backwater passage.
Now a course for flat racing only (it used to host jumps as well), it is the only figure-of-eight flat course in the UK, as the one other, at Fontwell Park, is a national hunt track. As a course shaped as it is, Windsor racecourse is neither primarily left-handed or right – it is both!
Royal Windsor racecourse hosts five notable races a year but is an events venue in its own right, and hosts conferences, business meetings, wedding, occasions and music gigs.
The course’s extensive outdoor spaces in picturesque settings suit a variety of large trade shows, including car shows and festivals, and is unrivalled in the area as a photography spot for special occasions.
A quirky track, it only suits a certain type of horse and can throw off even the most experienced of racers if they’ve not run here before. The home straight is about five furlongs long, with a slight kink in the track three furlongs out. The bends are tight, and due to the layout of the track, the longest race it can accommodate is 1 mile 3 furlongs.
Alongside events, Royal Windsor Racecourse is used extensively for filming for TV and films; primarily due to its size and ability to accommodate large crews and sets.
It remains an extremely popular venue year-round – from both die-hard racing fans and those just hoping for a glimpse of royalty.
Royal Windsor Racecourse History
Windsor Great Park was ringfenced and preserved as a royal hunting ground 700 years ago, and when you visit and see the surroundings, it’s easy to understand why it’s been so enjoyed by royalty for so long.
Racing was recorded back at the site as long ago as 1600, and in the 18th Century, it was the home to the Egham Meeting: then more important than Royal Ascot.
Throughout the 1800s, the popularity in steeplechase racing rose and the course became a favourite amongst military and hosted professional racing meetings.
Windsor found its niche in not competing with the now more popular Ascot racecourse instead, it boasts a smaller and more relaxed atmosphere with its Monday night racing hugely popular throughout the summer.
It is a course hot on emerging horse talent where top trainers love to send their horses to “learn their trade”.
In 1923, before photo-finish cameras, one camera there managed to catch a triple ‘dead heat’ and the image remains a historical feat.
Three years later, Prime Minister Winston Churchill introduced a betting tax, and the independent bookmakers at Windsor refused to take bets from punters: going on strike. It wasn’t believed at the time that this would have any tangible impact, but it worked and the tax was withdrawn. Churchill even went on to buy and train horses!
During World War II, Windsor was the only course in the UK not to close – in fact, one ‘doodlebug’ bomb dropped on the course during racing! Thankfully, no lives were lost.
In 1998, Windsor finally curbed its national hunt racing in order to better preserve the track for flat. It was a well-advised move, and the course continues to boast world-class racing today.
Main Races and Events at Royal Windsor Racecourse
The main race to take place annually at Windsor Racecourse is the Royal Windsor Stakes, scheduled in May each year and run over 1 mile and 31 yards, it is a race for colts and geldings aged three years and over.
First run in the year 2000, it’s a fairly new event and has been abandoned three times in its history since, so isn’t quite yet at its 20-year anniversary!
The racing calendar is far from full at Windsor, as the venue is used for so much else, but you can also attend the Leisure Stakes, Midsummer Stakes, August Stakes and Winter Hill Stakes here.
Royal Windsor Racecourse Map
Below is a map of Windsor racecourse:
Royal Windsor racecourse is a unique flat track that forms a figure of eight, meaning that in certain races horses have to travel both left and right-handed.
The maximum race length held at the track is over 1m 3 furlongs.
Races up to 6 furlongs take place over the straight track. Although the home-straight is 5 furlongs it is generally considered to be a sharp track, suiting more speedy types.
Windsor Racecourse Address
The official address for Royal Windsor racecourse is:
How To Get To Windsor Racecourse
The most popular ways to get to Windsor racecourse are:
- On Foot – the course is just a mile and a half from Windsor town centre, the racecourse is easily accessible and well signposted by road.
- Train – the nearest train station is Windsor and Eton Central, and taxis wait outside.
- By Boat – as a racecourse situated on an island, it’s not unusual to attend by boat. Direct river taxi services run on-demand from the Barry Avenue Promenade and it is a unique and charming way to travel. A trip along the River Thames to the venue is enjoyed by many.
- By Car – there is plenty of car parking spaces, the details for your sat nav are – Windsor Racecourse, Maidenhead Road, Berkshire sl4 5jj
Hotels Near Royal Windsor Racecourse
You won’t be surprised to hear that the accommodation options in Windsor are somewhat upper class but are definitely worth a visit for a special treat.
Notable hotels include:
- The Sir Christopher Wren Spa
- The Clarion Collection Harte
- Garter Hotel
- MGallery Castle Hotel
There is also a Travelodge in Windsor town centre, but it gets booked up far in advance.
Whichever option you go for, we suggest booking through Booking.com as below, as they often have some deals on:
Betting at Windsor Racecourse
There are lots of options when looking to place a bet at Windsor, the most popular are the below:
With 3G, 4G and on course Wifi excellent as you would expect, online betting sites or betting via mobile apps is a popular choice with punters at Windsor.
If you don’t already have an online betting account then check out the awesome online betting websites below:
- There are lots of new betting websites on the market, all of which have some great sign-up offers, as well as featuring other benefits. Check them out today.
- Our teams have reviewed what we think are the best horse betting sites on the market. These all have best odds guaranteed promises, a variety of betting payment methods and horse racing live streaming and more great benefits.
- As we mentioned mobile betting on apps are very popular, we have reviewed the top ones.
At British Racecourses, we often recommend betting online and via apps. This is because you can often get the best odds and great offers when signing up.
If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals for new customers:
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On-course Betting at Windsor
As well as more the modern method of online betting, you can still bet with traditional independent bookies on site.
Betting facilities are available in every enclosure at Royal Windsor Racecourse, at the side of the track (by the rails in the various enclosures).
It’s always worth a “bet on the rails” and is all part of the experience of going to the races.
Betting Shops Local to Windsor Racecourse
There are limited options should you wish to have a flutter away from the venue.
Windsor town centre only has a branch of Coral, but a short walk away you can find a William Hill. Neither are particularly popular or well-attended, however, so you may prefer to look online for competitive odds… or just wait until you arrive.
2021 Royal Windsor Racing Fixtures
Monday night racing is always popular throughout the summer, check out our fixture list below:
- 12 & 19April – afternoon racing
- 26 April – evening racing
- 3 & 31 May- afternoon racing
- 10, 17 & 24 May – evening racing
- 7, 14 & 21 June – evening racing
- 26, 27 & 28 June – 3 Day Festival
- 5, 12, 19 & 26 July – evening racing
- 2, 9, 16, 28 Aug – evening racing
- 8 Aug – afternoon racing
- 19 Aug – Racing League – Race Day 4
- 7 Sep – evening racing
- 4, 11 & 18 Oct – afternoon racing
Windsor Racecourse Weather
Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions.
Here’s the current weather forecast for Windsor Racecourse:
Other Events at Windsor Racecourse
The majority of occasions and events held at Windsor Racecourse are private attendance only, but there are some dates in the diary to which the public are invited.
These include a variety of charity fundraisers as well as a ‘Sounds of Ibiza’ festival run by notable nightclub group the Ministry of Sound, and annual jazz nights held in conjunction with Ronnie Scott’s.
As the course is the shadow of Windsor castle and set in the stunning Berkshire countryside it is popular for a wide range of events.
? What is the dress code for Windsor races?
The course operate a smart dress code.
Smart jeans are allowed as are tailored shorts.
Men are asked to wear a collared shirt, whilst t-shirts, sports attire, cargo style shorts and trainers are not permitted.
? Can you take a picnic to Windsor Racecourse?
You can’t take a picnic inside the main racecourse but there are lots of excellent great food outlets.
? How far is Windsor racecourse from Windsor train station?
The nearest train station is Windsor and Eton Central, and taxis wait outside.
It is about a 20-minute walk or 5-10 mins in a taxi.
? What is the postcode of Windsor Racecourse?
The full address and postcode is:
Royal Windsor Racecourse Summary
Royal Windsor Racecourse is a beautiful and unique course in the shadow of Windsor Castle and set in 165 acres of stunning and beautiful English countryside.
A small and compact layout means you always feel close to the action, with the pre-parade, parade and course all close together.
Hosting a range of summer evening meetings it’s easy to see why it is so popular with many people attending from London after a days work – often travelling by boat along the River Thames!
With great food options, friendly staff and a possible glimpse of the Royals – it’s a five-star course with a very English charm.
It made our Top 10 of racecourses and is highly recommended.
Other United Kingdom and Irish Racecourses
If you enjoyed our Windsor racecourse review, our team as of September 2021 have reviewed these racecourses that are definitely worth a visit, check them out today:
- Aintree Racecourse
- Ascot Racecourse
- Ayr Racecourse
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse
- Bath Racecourse
- Beverley Racecourse
- Brighton Racecourse
- Carlisle Racecourse
- Cartmel Racecourse
- Catterick Racecourse
- Chelmsford City Racecourse
- Cheltenham Racecourse
- Chepstow Racecourse
- Chester Racecourse
- Doncaster Racecourse
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- Newmarket Racecourse
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- Royal Windsor Racecourse
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