Goodwood racecourse is situated at the top of the South Downs in Sussex and on a clear day enjoys beautiful views of the Solent. It is a flat course with an undulating six furlong track, with a triangular loop attached by two bends for a longer race.
It hosts 22 flat races between May and October including the famous five day Glorious Goodwood Festival, one of the highlights of the summer social scene, once referred to by King Edward VII as a “garden party with racing tacked on”.
Petworth Park had for many years been the venue for the annual races of the officers of the Sussex Militia, but in 1801 the owner, the Earl of Egremont, brought an end to the arrangement. So the officers turned to their Colonel, the third Duke of Richmond.
He obliged by turning part of his nearby estate at Goodwood into a track. He was delighted with the proceedings and the following year organised a three day meeting under Jockey Club rules and had a small wooden stand built for his guests.
Goodwood quickly grew in popularity, particularly in the years after World War II, with an all time high in spectator numbers being reached in 1953, when 55,000 watched the Tuesday of the July fixture.
At that time this was the only fixture on the Goodwood calendar, the August fixture which had been implemented in 1946 having been dropped just two years later. Extra racing was gradually introduced from 1965 and when Sunday betting was legalised in 1995, Sunday racing was introduced.
Since 2003 there have been 21 fixtures and in 2007 a 22nd was introduced. Various phases of redevelopment have taken place since the Sixties. The most notable features include the bronze horse by Dame Elizabeth Frink unveiled in 1980 by the Queen, and the Sussex Stand built in 1990 and commended by the Royal Fine Arts Commission.
For details of all fixtures see the Goodwood website
Sun 24 Aug 2008 is Family Day and entertainment is put on for children who also get a free ice cream or free gift.
Tickets are available for £27, excluding Glorious Goodwood. For £125 the Champagne Offer includes champagne, entry and race cards for four people but must be booked ahead at least 7 days in advance. Entry to this enclosure during Glorious Goodwood is solely for members, their guests and corporate clients.
Tickets are priced at £19 for all meetings, except Glorious Goodwood and a £4 discount is given if booked at least 14 days in advance. Tickets are available for Glorious Goodwood at £30 and £33, although if booked online at least 14 days ahead, the prices are reduced to £26 and £28. Various discounted tickets are offered for different sized groups if booked 7 days ahead. These range in price from £14 to £28. See the website for full details.
Tickets cost between £9 and £17 depending on the meeting and discounted tickets ranging from £6 to £13 are available for groups if booked 7 days ahead. See the website for full details.
Entry to the 3 Furlong Picnic Park costs from £38 to £95 on the Saturday of Glorious Goodwood.
Children under the age of 17 are admitted free of charge for all events, with the exception of Glorious Goodwood, and discounts are available on each race day for the over 65s.
Car parking costs £5 (£8 for Glorious Goodwood)
A limited number of memberships are available, costing £265 for existing members and £415 for new members. For more details see the member’s brochure
Eating and Drinking
There is a good variety of places to eat and drink in each of the enclosures. In the Richmond Enclosure you can have a four course meal at the Charlton Hunt Restaurant, seafood specials at the Double Trigger Restaurant or for something less formal you could opt for the carvery.
There is also a good choice of fast food available in the other enclosures, including organic burgers and sausages. Light snacks are also available. Tables can be reserved in the restaurants in the Richmond Enclosure at all meetings and at the Gordon Restaurant during Glorious Goodwood, by telephoning the caterers, Payne and Gunter, on 01243 755123.
Food and non-alcoholic drinks can be taken into the Lennox Enclosure only. Picnics can also be consumed in any of the car parks.
In most enclosures the dress code is informal, although tops must be worn at all times and fancy dress is not permitted. In view of the nature of the ground, stiletto heels are not advisable. In the Richmond Enclosure many ladies wear hats at the Goodwood Festival whilst men often follow the example of Edward VII, a Goodwood follower in the early twentieth century, and wear a Panama hat and linen suit. Those men not wishing to follow suit are required to wear jackets and ties, cravats or polo neck jumpers. The dress code for the Richmond Enclosure is more relaxed for other meetings, although jeans and shorts are not permitted at any time.
Goodwood is situated six miles north of Chichester, between the A286 Midhurst road and the A285 Petworth road. It is 60 miles from London and 30 miles from Southampton and Brighton.
Chichester station is some six miles from the racecourse and has a regular service from London Victoria (1 hour 40 mins). There is also a coastal service between Brighton, to the east of Goodwood, and Portsmouth to the west. A shuttle bus service runs to and from the station to coincide with the races, with the last bus leaving soon after the end of the last race.
Heathrow is 90 minutes from Goodwood and Gatwick is 60 minutes away. Goodwood airfield is two miles from the racecourse and suitable for small aircraft, and helicopters can land at the course by prior arrangement.
Goodwood Racecourse Ltd
See enquiry form on the official website