- What should I wear?
- Where is the best place to see the horses?
- Is it easy to place a bet with a bookmaker?
- What is the Tote?
- How long does the racing last?
- What food and drink will be available? Can I bring my own?
- What time should I arrive?
- Is car parking free?
- Do I have to pay for my children?
- Can I bring my dog?
- Can I bring a camera?
What should I wear?
Jackets and quite often ties are generally the order of the day in racecourses’ Premier Enclosures, although full morning suits are sometimes required - on Derby Day at Epsom, for instance, or at Royal Ascot if you’re lucky enough to be in the Royal Enclosure. Many racecourses expect people to be smart-casual in their Grandstand Enclosure but there is no dress code in the Silver Ring or Course Enclosure. Refer to individual racecourses for details.
Where is the best place to see the horses?
Every enclosure will offer good views of the racing. Beforehand, though, runners can be seen in the Parade Ring or Paddock, where jockeys mount their horses. This is an excellent place to experience the atmosphere of the event. Spectators are also often struck by the magnificent physiques of the horses when seen close up. After the race, the horses make their way from the track via the Horsewalk to the Winner’s Enclosure, which is sometimes situated at one end of the Parade Ring. If you’re in the Silver Ring or Course/Garden Enclosure, you won’t be able to get to the Parade Ring or Winner’s Enclosure.
Is it easy to place a bet with a bookmaker?
Yes. Simply tell the bookmaker the horse's number, the type of bet and the amount you'd like to bet (see our betting guide for further details). In return, you’ll receive a ticket confirming your bet and which you will need to claim your winnings.
What is the Tote?
The Tote, with its red booths, offers pool-based betting, making it even easier to understand. Your money goes into a pool and anyone who wins will get a share of that pool. There is no need to understand the bookmakers’ odds here.
How long does the racing last?
Most meetings usually stage 6 or 7 races, about half an hour apart. During the winter, afternoon meetings start around 1pm, one hour earlier than during the summer. There are lots of evening meetings in the summer too, usually starting around 6pm.
What food and drink will be available? Can I bring my own?
Modern racecourses offer a wide variety of food and drink outlets, ranging from restaurants (pre-booking is advisable), bars and cafeterias to temporary fast-food vans and kiosks. Picnics are allowed in the Silver Ring but not the Premier or Grandstand Enclosures. Barbecues are not usually permitted and nor are spectators allowed to bring their own alcohol.
What time should I arrive?
That’s down to personal choice. Racecourse gates open around two or three hours before the racing. Arriving an hour early allows fans to get a feel for the facilities and enjoy the building atmosphere. At weekends and during school holidays there are often special activities for children, live music and entertainments before and/or after racing.
Is car parking free?
Usually. Special arrangements sometimes apply at major meetings, necessitating pre-booking.
Do I have to pay for my children?
Accompanied children aged under 18 usually enter free, though bigger meetings may charge.
Can I bring my dog?
In normal circumstances, racecourses do not allow dogs, which should also not be left in parked cars.
Can I bring a camera?
Photography is allowed for private rather than commercial use but spectators are asked not to take flash pictures near the racehorses.