The UK has a long history of horse racing tradition, boasting some of the world’s best and most iconic tracks. Famous racing venues include Aintree, famous for hosting the Grand National every year, Cheltenham, known for its prestigious festival and Ascot recognised worldwide for the yearly Royal meeting held there. These events all have illustrious histories with countless legendary moments, they are extremely popular with fans, many of whom take advantage of free bets listed by sites like oddschecker who cover all major events at these racecourses. Of course, betting has been an important part of UK horse racing history, with the nations tracks hosting some of the biggest shocks wins and surprising narratives the sport has ever seen.
Based in Merseyside, just outside of the city of Liverpool, Aintree Racecourse is one of the UK’s most iconic sporting venues. It was built in 1829 as a place for Liverpool’s growing number of competitors and fans to enjoy racing. It is most famous for the Grand National, which started in the late 1830s as “The Grand Liverpool Steeplechase” before countrywide interest made it a national event. Throughout its history, Aintree has had its ups and downs, from structural problems to numerous changes of ownership, but the Grand National has kept it alive throughout, creating an emotional attachment with fans that means they’ll never give up on the magical venue. In addition to the Grand National, Aintree hosts many smaller race meetings throughout the year and has even hosted the British motor racing Grand Prix five times. Outside of sport, Aintree has also hosted concerts from Michael Jackson, P!nk, Kaiser Chiefs and The Chemical Brothers, so it has a special place in the hearts of people who aren’t into horse racing too.
Cheltenham Racecourse is easily one of the most picturesque sporting locations in the UK. It features two separate courses, old and new that are used for different races, perfectly situated at the foot of the Cotswold Hills, which gives it an amphitheatre like feel. It was first used in 1815, with races incorporating the steep Nottingham and Cleeve Hills nearby, but organisers faced opposition from the church which meant they had to move to the current site where it has been since the 1830s. The Cheltenham Gold Cup began in 1924 and soon helped make Cheltenham one of the UK’s top racing venues. It is the location of the Steeplechasing Hall of Fame and has regularly hosted live music events such as Greenbelt Festival Wychwood Festival.
Ascot Racecourse, which is based in the town of the same name, is seen as the nation’s classiest racing venue thangs to its proximity to Windsor Castle and the fact it is owned by the Crown Estate. It was even founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and has been owned by the royals ever since, Her Majesty the Queen is known to be a frequent visitor and there is even a race named after her parents, The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The Royal Ascot meeting is held there every year, attracting hundreds of thousands of fans who love the grandeur of the venue. Outside of horse racing, Ascot is also used as an events venue available for hire, with many large weddings held there each year.
While it doesn’t have the worldwide reputation that others on this list do, due to not hosting such large-scale events, Newmarket Racecourse is the underrated grassroots home of British horse racing. It was founded in 1636, making it one of the UK’s oldest sporting venues, and it houses the largest collection of training yards in the country. It is made up of two individual racecourses, known as the Rowley Mile and the July Course and is also home to the National Horseracing Museum. It hosts both the 1000 Guineas and the 2000 Guineas, two of the five Classic Races of the UK, and countless other race meetings throughout the year with its wide track making it perfect for group races.
You can find more informative reading in our section on Horse Racing..