Set in the parklands of Lord Hesketh’s private estate, situated in the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside, Towcester Racecourse is host to eighteen National Hunt winter races held between October and June. Towcester is one of the most scenic racecourses in the country and the only racecourse to offer free admission to almost all fixtures held at the course.
The first race meeting took place at Towcester in 1928 with the formation of the Towcester Racecourse Company, instigated by Lord Hesketh of Northamptonshire. The racecourse was built on the grounds of the Easten Neston estate, property of Lord Hesketh, with its main grandstand built to accommodate spectators for Towcester’s inaugural race.
In 1997 a second grandstand known as the Grace Grandstand was built on the racecourse, the culmination of a £7.5 million investment to attract corporate clientele and improve the facilities for conferences and other non-racing events.
In addition to the new grandstand, the investment was used to develop a restaurant, a range of food outlets, bars, additional betting facilities and a number of private balconies. In 2002, as a means of increasing the popularity of racing at Towcester, the Towcester Racecourse Company made admission to all fixtures at the course free of charge.
Since then Towcester’s spectatorship has increased dramatically and it is now one of the most popular racecourses in the country. In 2006 a charge was brought in for the Boxing Day and Easter Sunday races but all other races continue to be free.
In 2004 Lord Hesketh put the entire Easten Neston estate up for sale but after a period of debate he eventually decided to retain ownership of the racecourse and only a small part of his estate was sold to a Russian businessman.
The racecourse at Towcester is a testing, right-handed track covering a distance of 1 mile 6 furlongs which includes a mile-long uphill finish. Races at Towcester are particularly popular among racers and fans because of the difficulty of the course, especially the uphill gallop required by horses on approaching the finishing line. There are eighteen National Hunt fixtures held at Towcester every year as well as various non-racing events.
Boxing Day/ Easter Sunday: The Boxing Day and Easter Sunday meetings are arguably the most popular race events at Towcester. Each year the fixtures attract crowds of 9000 strong to watch a day of high quality racing on one of the country’s most difficult courses. The fixtures also provide entertainment for all the family including a bouncy castle and crèche facilities for children.
Non-Race events: In recent years, the racecourse has been developed into a popular conference and seminar venue offering a range of corporate facilities in its Grace Grandstand. The racecourse hosts a variety of other non-racing events throughout the year to promote the site and raise income, including gigs, greyhound racing, car boot sales and exhibitions.
Admission to fixtures at Towcester Racecourse is free of charge for all spectators with the exception of the Boxing Day and Easter Sunday races which cost £10 per person (Children Under-16 are free) For tickets to the Boxing Day and Easter Day fixtures contact the racecourse on 01327 353 415. There is no dress code at the racecourse but spectators dining in the restaurant are required to wear smart casual attire.
In addition to standard tickets, hospitality packages are available which start at £55 per person. Packages include a four-course meal, entertainment and a private balcony which provides a spectacular panoramic view of the racecourse.
Towcester is easily accessed by road but is relatively difficult to get to using public transport.
By Road: The racecourse is situated just below the intersection of the A43 and A5, a mile from Towcester town centre. To reach the racecourse, leave the M1 at Junction 15a and continue through the town centre following signs for the racecourse. All car parking at the racecourse is free of charge.
By public transport: Towcester’s nearest train station is Milton Keynes and its nearest bus station is Northampton, both approximately 11 miles from the racecourse. The easiest way to get to the racecourse from either station is by taxi (e.g. Towcester Taxis: 01327 351 385)
By air: Towcester’s nearest airport is Luton, approximately 38 miles from the racecourse. Helicopters are permitted to land at the racecourse by prior arrangement only.
For information about races or for general enquiries use the following contact details:
Address: Towcester Racecourse, London Road, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 6LB
Tel: 01327 353 415
Fax: 01327 358 534