A quick guide to Goodwood
Part of the unique appeal of Goodwood Racecourse is its incredible setting.
High in the Sussex Downs and just over an hour from London, Goodwood is renowned as being one of the most beautiful racecourses in the United Kingdom, if not the world. It forms a key part of the magnificent 12,000-acre Goodwood Estate; situated just outside Chichester with stunning views out to sea and as far as the Isle of Wight on a clear day.
The estate boasts a four-star hotel, luxury spa and health club, championship golf course, one of Europe’s largest lowland organic beef farms, a motor circuit and aerodrome.
Famed for embracing innovation as strongly as it protects tradition, it stages two of the largest and most popular motor sport events in the world, the Festival of Speed (in June) and the Goodwood Revival (in September).
The Racecourse hosts around 130 Flat races on 19 racedays including two highly-regarded Group One races (Sussex States and Nassau Stakes, both run during Glorious Goodwood), six Group Two’s and eight Group Three’s annually.
The standard of horseracing during Glorious Goodwood is always exceptionally high, and the Sussex Stakes is the only race that wonder horse Frankel competed in (and naturally won) twice (2011 and 2012).
As part of Goodwood’s ongoing development and in order to grow the sport for future generations, Goodwood is working hard to make horseracing even more family friendly. The new playground in 2013 was a major undertaking which recognises that young visitors require additional activity around the racing to keep them engaged and occupied throughout the day. But Goodwood is going further, and laying on even more family friendly content at the weekend, family fixtures throughout the season.
In recognition that family days out can be hugely expensive, Goodwood prides itself on keeping costs low for those with children with no hidden extras. Accompanied under 18’s are given free admission at all afternoon fixtures, visitors are welcome (and indeed encouraged) to bring picnics to the Lennox Enclosure, there is plenty of free parking and any family entertainment laid on is complimentary.
Music is an intrinsic part of the Goodwood experience. At many of the racedays, there is live music of one sort or another.
During Glorious Goodwood, the racecourse stays open until 8pm and, whilst a singer and pianist entertains on the Richmond Champagne Lawn, there are rock and roll and swing bands on the East Parade Lawn (entertaining the Gordon Enclosure) and an Irish band will keep the party rocking in the Lennox Enclosure.
SPOILT FOR CHOICE
Goodwood Racecourse has three enclosures to fit any occasion: the Richmond Enclosure is the most exclusive, ideal for a smart day out and home to Members and the majority of hospitality guests. Tickets are available to the general public at all fixtures except Glorious Goodwood, and visitors flock to enjoy the well-appointed restaurants and bars, unrivalled finish-line positioning and a host of facilities. There is a dress code in the Richmond but it is far from onerous, with chaps requested to wear a tie, cravat or polo neck and a jacket. Jeans and shorts are not permitted, but that is the extent of it.
The Gordon Enclosure is open at all 19 racedays, offering the perfect setting to hang out with friends, have a flutter and enjoy the great range of food and drink on hand. It enjoys Parade Ring access and a covered Grandstand. Richmond and Gordon racegoers can take advantage of free trips to the start and enjoy the thrill of the ‘off’.
The family-friendly Lennox Enclosure offers an affordable and incredibly relaxed option. The playground makes it ideal for those with children and, with added entertainment and music at selected fixtures, it is fast becoming perfect for a truly family-friendly day out.