Donington Park

Things to do in Derby | Donington Park

One of the UK’s leading motorsport circuits, Donington Park was built during the First and Second World Wars and has hosted some high-stakes races during its time, including the European Grand Prix in 1993 which Ayrton Senna memorably won in the pouring rain, finishing a minute ahead of second-placed Damon Hill.

Opened in 1933, the track has had its fair share of trials and tribulations in recent decades including bankruptcy and falling into a state of disrepair during the 60s. But, having undergone a major site redevelopment in 2010, Donington has been restored to its former glory and has become a favourite circuit on the Superbike World Championship.

The race track holds a wide range of motorsport events including World Superbike, Superleague Formula, the British Touring Car Championship, and Truck Racing which is as fun as the name suggests. Spectators are welcome across the track, with the Old Hairpin Banking and McLeans both good positions to catch all the action, thrills and spills.

The track, including a main straight and the fast Craner Curves sequence, is two and a half miles long and used almost every weekend during peak season from March until the end of October. Big races to look out for are the British Superbike Championship, the Donington Historic Festival and the F3 Championships, commonly known as the feeder division before F1.

If you want to get to grips with the tarmac yourself, you can either sign up for one of their Track Day packages, including the Novice Only and Road Car Only events specifically designed for beginners. Alternatively, you can sign up for lessons in drifting, drive a high-performance supercar, a single-seater F1-style car or go off-road with a rally or mudmaster session.

The site has also hosted some of the biggest names in rock and metal through the decades. Running from 1980 until the mid 90s, Monsters of Rock welcomed big bands like Metallica and AC/DC to the stage in front of huge crowds, while the Download Festival, launched in 2003, brought a fresh generation of rock fans to the circuit. Our East Midlands Airport hotel is the closest at just two miles away, while our Derby South hotel is 11 miles away.

Superbike World Championship

British Touring Car Championship

Looking for a hotel in Derby?

Whether you want to sample Derby's vibrant nightlife, or explore some of the East Midland's top attractions, there are several well-located Derby hotels for you to choose from, all within a couple of miles of the city centre.