How to plan a perfect summer day out at the races
- Credit: Chelmsford City Racecourse
From getting your tickets to choosing a restaurant and placing your bets, Nathan Holmes from Chelmsford City Racecourse shares it all to ensure you have an amazing day at the tracks.
Q: Is horseracing a traditional summer event?
A: For many yes, and for me certainly – it just isn’t summer without attending at least one raceday. It's the perfect way to let loose with friends, catch up with colleagues and take the entire family for a day out. We're able to race all year round, so there's always lots on offer.
As the UK’s newest racecourse, we’ve made it our priority to ensure we always craft an authentic, quality experience for everyone that visits us. We take pride in being the home of horseracing in Essex, hosting over 60 meetings per year and attracting some of the most successful trainers and jockeys from around the world.
Q: When will horseracing resume?
A: We open our doors on July 20. It will be the first time in nearly 18 months, so we’re all incredibly excited. We’re kicking off our summer programme with regular racing throughout August and September with some great concert-racedays as well. You can visit our website to view our full schedule for the year.
Q: What time does raceday begin?
A: This will depend entirely on the time of the first race – you can check this out online. The racecourse will open two hours before the first race begins so there’s plenty of time for you to get settled, have a drink and lay your bets.
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Q: Where can we eat?
A: We’re fortunate enough to have three permanent restaurants on-site, all offering a unique experience. You can enjoy fine dining at our Club Restaurant & Lounge, which overlooks the entire racecourse, to ensure you don’t miss a minute of action.
At our Fairwood restaurant, you’ll have front-row views of the winning line and can enjoy a fantastic selection of seafood and cold meats, and a brilliant carvery in the winter.
Within our Sports Bar, we also have The Grill Kitchen, which is a great place to socialise, have a beer and cheer your horse home. It's got a great new menu featuring things like gourmet burgers, salt and pepper squid, Louisiana chicken strips and loads more, it's perfect for everyone!
Q: What should I wear on raceday?
A: We are fairly casual, but always encourage visitors to dress for the occasion – it can help you make the most of the experience.
Q: Will I need to make any preparations beforehand?
A: If you’re travelling by public transport, I would always recommend scoping out the journey beforehand, and checking any travel restrictions that may be in place. Both Braintree and Chelmsford stations are less than 15 minutes away with taxis available at both stations, making travelling to the racecourse simple and stress-free.
Q: What else is on at the racecourse in 2021?
A: On top of our standard racedays, we have feature days such as our annual Ladies Day which has built a cult following, Family Fun Day and Ministry of Sound Classical which always features the Chelmsford City Cup.
On August 14, chart-topping DJ Example will perform and on September 11 we have NOW That’s What I Call The 80s Live, which is going to be great fun. In 2019 we partnered with Clockwork Orange to create Clockstock, a festival with the biggest dance acts on the planet.
It was a massive success with 13,500 people coming along as well as being nominated for Best New Festival among others. We’re picking up where we left off with Clockstock 2021 on September 18 and a mini version, Clocky in the Garden at the end of July.
The calendar’s packed with some unbelievable events, something which I think everyone is after right now!
Q: Will I need to pre-book tickets?
A: You’ll need to book tickets online for non-raceday events and our first raceday back in July, but from August, raceday tickets will return to being available at the gate, though you can earn a discount by pre-booking.
We also offer memberships and season tickets that can help save you money and make your day at the races a truly unforgettable one.
Visit chelmsfordcityracecourse.com to book your tickets.
Call 01245 360300 or email email@example.com.