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My husband and I have been members of Newbury Race-course for many years now and as this is it's Centenary Year I thought a review was due. It is a super place to go not only for the racing but much more, as my review will reveal.
A Little Bit of It's History ================== The Newbury Racecourse Company was formed in 1904 and the construction of the racecourse buildings and stables cost £57,240 which equates to £3,275,000 at 2004 prices. The first meeting was held on 26th September 1905 and the first race was the Whatcombe Handicap worth £160, a lot different to the prize money of today, which is in the thousands.
Over the past hundred years Newbury Racecourse has developed into one of the country's superior racecourses, with some of the finest racing both on the flat and over the jumps.
General Information ================ It is a great place to take the whole family, children under the age of 18 are admitted free and there is a large picnic area where they can safely run free. There is no entrance fee here but parking your car costs £5, incidentally all other carparks are free.
Every year they hold several special meetings. For example this year there is a Centenary Race Evening on 8th June with lots of additional activities for beginners as well as the experienced racegoer and the Centenary Celebration Ladies Day on the 16th June, when you have the opportunity to dress-up and dust off that hat lurking at the back of the wardrobe thats only bought out for weddings!! The number of meetings vary each year but for example from 23th January to 29th December 2005 there are 31 Racing Fixtures
At every meeting there have special packages which may include entrance fees, two or three course meals, free wine and a table for the afternoon. These vary in price from meeting to meeting, as do entrance fees, but details can be obtained from www.newbury-racecourse.co.uk, or by telephone.
Newbury Racecourse is disabled friendly. It has a viewing area opposite the finishing line, lifts in all stands and many wc's with disabled toilets.
There are two main restaurants, rather expensive but well worth the money for that special occasion or a treat for that prospective customer.
The Hennessy Restaurant has an a la carte menu from £45 and a package for £85 per person which includes:
Premier Enclosure Badge & Car Park Label Racecard Glass of champagne on arrival 3 course Luncheon Half bottle of wine per person Coffee and Mints Light afternoon Tea
The Racegoers Restaurant which has panoramic views of the track on three sides. The restaurant package in this restaurant offers:
Granstand admission ticket Table for the afternoon or evening Three-course lunch or dinner with coffee Racecard
This special package price is from £40 per person.
As I said this is quite expensive but there are plenty of other places to eat, we usually opt for the fish restaurant, which is really nice, in fact my husband says they serve the best fish and chips he has ever eaten. There are burger bars, fish bars and sandwich bars all at reasonable prices, so there is no need to go hungry, or thirsty for that matter as there are a lot of different bars and of course there is always the picnic area with its own bar etc. In fact sometimes on a warm sunny day, like lots of other people, we park in the main carpark, spread out a cloth, pour some wine and enjoy our own food.
Other facilities on site include a the Rocking Horse Nursery which is open all year round and the Newbury Golf Centre which offers some of the finest golf facilities in the area.
This Golf Centre has an 18 Hole par 71 course, a 20 bay floodlit driving range, 6 PGA qualified golf instructors, a fully stocked golf shop and a brand new club house, which also houses a snooker room with two full size tables. The golf course itself is set within the beautiful surroundings of the racecourse. The land is gently undulating and the make up of the subsoil and the excellent drainage allows the course to be playable throughout the year. The floodlit golf range has 20 bays and it is open 12 hours a day, 364 days a year.
One of the most popular features of the Golf Centre is the excellent Golf Academy, which offers superb teaching facilities for golfers of all levels. This combined with the floodlit driving range make the teaching facilities at Newbury Golf Centre the best in the area.
Travel ===== Newbury is uniquely situated in the centre of southern England. It has excellent communication links with the rest of the country and is well served by motorways M3 and M4 and trunk roads A34, A339 and A4 and a full rail network. The train is the ideal way to travel to Newbury as there is a main line station actually on the course. First Great Western Link have a wide range of value fares available to encourage you to leave your car at home and arrive at the racecourse feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Conclusion ========= If you have never been racing it will be an experience you will never forget. The staff are very friendly and will help the inexperienced racegoer to place bets etc. I don't like to bet myself, hate losing, but I still enjoy the day "people watching" especially at big race meetings when there are lots of famous people there. I also find it fascinating watching the bookmakers and the amount of money that changes hands and of course watching the races themselves, the beautiful horses, the jockeys in their bright colours and the noise of the excited crowds as their horse passes the winning post.
Thank you for reading my review and I hope you enjoyed it and visit Newbury Racecourse. If you live too far away I am sure that there is a Racecourse near you which will have many of the extra facilities that you will find at Newbury.
I detail below some relevant telephone numbers:
Racecourse - (01635) 40015 Hennessy Restaurant - (01635) 521081 - Sodexho Prestige the Racegoers Restaurant - (01635) 40015 - Marlene Golf Centre - (01635) 551464 - Nick Mitchell Rocking Horse Nursery (01635) 48969 - Rosina Corporate Hospitality (01635) 40015 - Sally The Event Centre (01635) 40015 - Robin Parker
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Oh I love Newbury Racecourse - was last there for the Hennessy meeting, it was fab! But then I now work for the tote in Yorkshire, so I'm getting into a load of the northern ones for free! Chester tomorrow, woo!! Glad someone else here likes a day at the races. Louise xx
teacherofhooch 27.04.2005 20:59
i have not been to this one but I do enjoy a flutter - I think the last one I went to was Wincanton one Boxing day. Kempton being far too crowded these days. Sounds like a good day out. One to put on the list. By the way what will win the 2.50 on Saturday? Linda
torr 14.04.2005 00:43
I've not been to Newbury for nearly forty years, so I'd be way out of date - but I did like it. Good review. Duncan x