Kelso is often regarded as the friendliest racecourse in Britain and was voted such in a Sunday Times Survey. It is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking scenery in Scotland and that is one of the main features. The course is situated near to the borders and thus attracts spectators from both England and Scotland on a regular basis.
Kelso is the Scottish home of National Hunt racing, playing host to thirteen fixtures in the season. Racing at Kelso has taken place at several different venues over the years. It started around 1734 at Caverton Edge, about three miles from Kelso.
In the early 1760s, the course was established and became only the second Scottish racecourse to be mentioned in the first Racing Calendar in 1773.
The races were transferred to a new venue at Blakelaw in 1818. This was not a popular choice because it was further away from Kelso and had no grandstands. This led to the racecourse becoming less profitable after a slump in visitors.
The races were then moved from Blakelaw to their current home, Berrymoss, a popular choice with the locals, only one mile outside of Kelso. The first meeting at Berrymoss was in 1822, and horses have been racing there ever since.
Many trainers use races at Kelso in January and February as a trial for the National Hunt Festival and Aintree. This means the racecourse sees a good standard of jumpers at this time which is not common throughout other parts of the season.
Major Races and Events
Kelso plays host to thirteen races during the season, predominantly in January, April and May. In 2008, the racecourse will host a meeting on Valentine’s Day. All events held at Kelsom are single events, there are no festival meetings and no consecutive race days. There are meetings all through January to May. There are also four meetings in the Autumn season.
Tickets can sometimes be bought at the entrance depending on the meeting. If you prefer to book in advance, you can email using a form on the website or by telephoning the course on 01668 280800.
Ticket prices are £12 for adults, £8 for OAP’s and students with identification. Membership of the course is available and includes admission to every Kelso race. This costs £50 for juniors, £110 for adults and £90 for OAPs.
Kelso racecourse is north of Kelso, off the A6089 and the A699. From the south, take the A1(M) then pick up the A697 and A698. From the west, take the M6 leaving at Junction 44, then following the A7 and A698. The course is signposted.
The nearest rail station is at Berwick which is 22 miles away and is served by most major train lines. From the station it is easiest to arrange a taxi prior to arrival or ask about a bus service to Kelso.
- Kelso Races Ltd
- 18 – 20 Glendale Road,
- NE71 6DW
- Tel: 01668 280800
- Fax: 01668 281113
- Email: email@example.com
- Kelso Racecourse
- TD5 7SX
- Tel: 01573 224767