The Nottingham Racecourse is set in the beautiful Colwick Park, which is just a short trip from the centre of Nottingham itself; it is very easily accessible by car, train or air. Owing to the fantastic facilities, the racecourse is often used for conferences, team-building days and wedding receptions, not to mention the stunning park surroundings.
Horseracing in Nottingham dates from the late 17th century, but the first meeting at Colwick Park did not take place until 1892.
The track was managed by the Colwick Racing and Sporting
Company until 1965, when the park was bought by the City Council, and the future of the racetrack was in jeopardy. It has only been under the lease of the Racehorse Holdings Trust (or RHT) that Nottingham Racecourse has really been secure, and has now become one of the most popular courses in the country. Nottingham Racecourse now boasts two stands with excellent views following the completion of the Centenary Stand and the recent refurbishment of the Grandstand.
The course at Nottingham is a flat, left-handed track with easy turns. The ovular part of the course is 1 ½ miles long with a 4 ½ furlong run-in. The one-mile record has been held by Blake’s Treasure since 1998, and the 2 ¼ mile record was achieved by Pearl Run in May 1990. Top jockeys at the course include Kieran Fallon and Pat Eddery, who is an 11-time champion. The leading trainers of recent times are Michael Bell, Henry Cecil and John Dunlop.
Entrance to Nottingham Racecourse’s Premier Enclosure allows you access to the Centenary Stand, Members’ Lawn and Lawn Bar, as well as the Centenary Bar and Summer Pavilion during certain fixtures. A ticket to the Premier Enclosure also allows you into the Members’ Betting Ring and the Rooftop Restaurant, which gives fantastic views of the track. Grandstand ticket-holders are not permitted in the Premier Enclosure so it allows for a more private enjoyment of the races.
Both Premier Enclosure ticket-holders and Grandstand ticket-holders have access to the Grandstand Enclosure, which provides access to the Parade Ring and Winners Enclosure, the Grandstand Steppings and Betting Ring, a Champagne Bar and a Children’s Play Area, which is unsupervised, so parents and guardians must provide their own adequate supervision.
Children’s entertainment is also provided at all weekend and evening fixtures, such as a Punch and Judy show and face-painting. Nottingham Racecourse provides free admission for children under 16 if they are accompanied by a full-paying adult, and discounted entrance for students and those aged between 16 and 21 if ID is shown. There are ample facilities for disabled race goers, including parking spaces and viewing ramps.
The Racing Season
The racing season lasts from April to November and the course offers 20 race days during this period. There are usually 6 races every race day, although this can sometimes rise to 7 or 8, and there is a 30 minute gap between each race.
Some of these are for specific groups, such as the Ladies’ Night, where prizes are awarded for ‘Best Hat’ and Best Dressed Lady/Gentleman, and the Family Day; both are usually held in July. The dress code throughout is smart casual; hats, ties and jackets are not compulsory. The racecourse provides a selection of packages to make your day at the races, from just £60 per person. With the cheapest option, you get a 3 course meal at a reserved table, afternoon tea or drinks reception, entrance to the Premier enclosure and an events programme.
Weekday entrance to the Premier Enclosure costs from £16 per adult and from £9 for students and those under 21; weekend and evening entrance is from £19 for adults. Entrance prices to the Grandstand enclosure start at £10 per adult and £5 for students, those under 21 and Jubilee Club Members (60+) during the week. At weekends and evenings, entrance costs are £13 for adults and £9 for others. It is advised that tickets are bought in advance, especially for the Premier Enclosure.
The racecourse can be accessed from the M1, A1, A52 and A46; Nottingham Midland rail station and Newark North Gate; and by East Midlands and Tollerton Airport.