There are few racecourses in England with the charm of York. Originally a common pasture on the south west of the city, over 350,000 spectators flock to the Knavesmire each year to soak up the atmosphere at the horse races in York. Without the pomp and strict dress code of Royal Ascot or the chilly climate of the Cheltenham Festival in March, York Races provides the perfect combination of glamour, fun and sporting excellence for both families and groups of friends looking for a fun day out.
One of the oldest and most prestigious racecourses in Great Britain, a day at York Races is fun for even non-horse racing aficionados.
The Jewel in York’s Crown
York Racecourse hosts 17 days of flat racing in 2016 from mid-May until early October, with the highlight of the calendar being the four day Ebor Festival 17th – 20th August. Sporting action includes some of York’s oldest, richest and most famous races, such as the Juddmonte International, won in 2012 by Frankel who is considered by many as the best thoroughbred in history. Ladies’ Day on Thursday 18th August sees racegoers decked out in their finery with months of preparation going into finding the ideal outfits for dedicated followers of fashion. Top prizes are always on offer for the highly coveted title of ‘Best Dressed Lady’ and racegoers on this popular day could be in with a chance of winning a trip to Dubai this year. The Ebor Fashion Lawn, set in the heart of the racecourse, provides an opportunity to enter in the Best Dressed competitions and is also a perfect location for racegoers to view the latest racing fashions up close.
Racing to the Beat
York Racecourse also hosts a Music Showcase Weekend in July each year. This two-day event has become a firm favourite with both music and racing fans alike. Bands such as Kaiser Chiefs and The Corrs take to the stage at York Races after a day of top class racing to entertain racegoers of all ages.
A Day Out with A Difference
A day out at York Races is an event for the whole family, with free entry for under 18s. Racing is not all about betting and the entire family can enjoy picking out their horse in the paddock before experiencing the thrill of cheering their choice home in the finish. A day at York Races provides a chance to spend quality family time on the beautiful lawns around the racecourse as well as an opportunity to get up close to both the human and equine athletes. Not many sports these days allow the opportunity for autograph hunting, with but world famous jockeys such as Frankie Dettori are always happy to oblige young (and not so young) fans with a selfie or an autograph in their racecard on their way to the paddock. Extra family entertainment is also provided on many racedays, especially on York Racecourse’s traditional Family Sunday, which is held in September each year. Pony racing, an interactive racing zone, bouncy castles and special appearances from family favourites such as Paddington Bear will ensure the younger members of the family are kept thoroughly entertained. There are also numerous food and drink options on site, including Charlotte’s Real Yorkshire Ice Cream, fish and chips – with fresh fish from the Yorkshire coast – and 100% British beef burgers.
Get Your Heart Racing
Racing fans seeking to make the most of a few days of racing in the historic city of York will enjoy a stay at the nearby Ibis Hotel in the city centre. There are many sights to see around this beautiful city by day and a vibrant nightlife for those who wish to continue on the fun after their day at the races. York Races provides the perfect excuse for an exciting city break in this picturesque city.