Hexham is the only racecourse to have survived in Northumberland. It is situated above the historic market town of the same name, in a natural amphitheatre, on Yarridge Heights, and has been the scene of National Hunt racing for over 200 years. Perhaps the most famous of its races is the Heart of All England steeplechase, dating back to 1907. It is a left-handed course and its severe undulations make stamina a pre-requisite for success. The circuit measures one mile, four furlongs.
Racing in the area dates back to the 1720s, when meetings were held on Tyne Green, but records show
that some 70 years later racing was moved to Yarridge Heights. By the mid nineteenth century Hexham was in decline, with Wark Races having lured many of the punters away.
The site was by then being used for agricultural purposes and by 1880 Hexham races had come to an end, or so it seemed. However, local man Charles William Chipchase Henderson of the Ridings came to the rescue ten years later. Permanent buildings were put up, beech trees planted and the land bought from the Bywell Estate, all paid for out of his own pocket. He died in 1914 but to this day his descendants are still controlling shareholders and some of the original buildings bearing his racing colours still exist.
During the Second World War the buildings and course were requisitioned as an ammunition site but racing recommenced in 1946 and has continued to the present day. The 1990s saw many improvements carried out, including the installation of a watering system and the construction of a lake.
Meetings and Tickets
Meetings are held between Feb and Dec and a fixture calendar is available online.
Tickets can be ordered by telephone (01434 606881 or 604392) or by post. An order form is available online although this has to be printed off and sent by post with your cheque.
- Prices range from £10 (Tattersalls) to £15 (Members’ Enclosure) with a £2 reduction for Seniors in the Tattersalls.
- Children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult
- Discounts of 20% apply to groups of 20 to 100
An Annual Badge makes financial sense for the keen race-goer with prices as follows:
- Double £170
- Single £100
- Senior Double £140
- Senior Single £80
These badges allow entry not only to all of Hexham’s meetings but also to 28 other National Hunt and Flat events at courses from Brighton to Perth.
Eating and Drinking
There are various possibilities ranging from bars which serve hot and cold snacks to restaurants, including the Pavilion Restaurant, which serves a buffet-style lunch including a starter table, carvery, salad bar and huge choice of sweets and cheeses for £48. All have Tote betting and closed-circuit TV monitors.
No jeans or trainers are permitted in the Club Enclosure or Restaurants and football attire is banned throughout the course.
The Racecourse Office
Telephone 01434 606881
Fax 01434 605814
For enquiries about conferences, corporate entertainment or weddings, contact the Marketing Manager on email@example.com
Hexham is 20 miles from Newcastle and 35 miles from Carlisle. The racecourse is two miles south west of the town of Hexham and is easily reached by the A69 (between the B6305 and B6306). If using Sat Nav, the postcode to use for the course is NE46 2JP and not that shown for the Racecourse Office in the Contacts section above.
Hexham railway station (1.7 miles from the course) is on the Newcastle to Carlisle line and a courtesy bus service is available on race days.
The nearest airport is Newcastle (17 miles away) or prior arrangements can be made for helicopters to land at the racecourse.