When the sun’s out and the weather’s warm you can’t beat a day at the races. It’s a great excuse to put on your glad rags, enjoy a shandy or two and bellow encouragement at your chosen racehorse. Bath Racecourse is always fun, regardless of whether you’re a professional punter or a loose-change chancer.
In total, the racecourse hosts 23 race days throughout the spring, summer and autumn, including the Bath Cup Festival, a newcomer to the national racing calendar that takes place in September. The course itself is a one-and-a-half mile left-handed oval track. What sets it apart from other racecourses is the fact that it’s 780 feet above sea level, making it the highest flat course in Britain.
The only slight downside is that Bath Racecourse isn’t in the city centre. It’s on Lansdown Hill, between Bristol and Bath. That’s not to say that it’s a complete inconvenience. If you’re staying at our Bristol East (Emersons Green) hotel, the racecourse is just a 20-minute drive away through the Somerset countryside. There’s plenty of parking available and it’s free. Although, if you leave your car overnight, then be warned that it becomes vulnerable to wayward golf balls from the nearby golf course.
Bath has a long history of horse racing. The first recorded race was held back in 1728, although the first major meet didn’t take place until 1811. In those days, people used to watch from their carriages at the side of the track. Today, things are rather different, especially following the racecourse’s redevelopment in 2016 when they introduced a canopied roof garden, along with other refurbished facilities such as bars and a brand new parade ring.
In terms of racecourse etiquette, if you’re booking the roof garden or another hospitality package, then there’s a strict formal dress code. On the other hand, if you’re just getting tickets for the grandstand, then smart casual attire is advised; although fancy dress is permitted, up to a point.
Even when there aren’t any races taking place, Bath Racecourse is still a lively venue, hosting all kinds of events throughout the year. These include live music, firework shows, conferences, fairs, mud runs, and it can even be booked as a wedding venue.