The Cheltenham Festival is the pinnacle of the National Hunt season. It is the meeting to which all owners, trainers and jockeys aspire, drawing on the best horses from Britain and Ireland to compete over 4 days of fierce rivalry and to great acclaim.
The Festival was first staged in 1911 with Red Splash winning the first Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1924, which was worth £685 to the winner This compares to the £327,000 Sizing John took home when he prevailed in 2017!
The Festival was extended to 4 days in 2005 and now well over 200,000 people attend, drinking over 20,000 bottles of champagne and 220,000 pints of Guinness and betting over £500 million whilst cheering home the champions of their sport.
Map of the Racecourse
Tuesday 16th March 2021 – Champion Day
The first day of The Cheltenham Festival features the most important hurdle race of the jumps season, the Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy.
Wednesday 17th March 2021 – Ladies Day
The feature race on Ladies Day is the The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase which is augmented by a further 3 Grade 1 races, the Glenfarclas Cross-Country race and 2 extremely competitive handicap hurdles.
Thursday 18th March 2021 – St Patrick’s Thursday
St Patrick’s Thursday is celebrated at Cheltenham Festival with two fantastic feature races, The Ryanair Steeple Chase and The Ryanair World Hurdle.
Friday 19th March 2021 – Gold Cup Day
The final day of the Festival features the biggest race of the week, The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase, was won for the second year in a row by Al Boum Photo, ridden by Paul Townend and trained by Willie Mullins.
Travelling by car
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH. The parking scheme at Cheltenham Festival is colour coded. Your car park label will have directions on the back. When you get close to Cheltenham Racecourse you will see yellow temporary signs which are put in place for the racing. You should follow these and not your Satnav. Traffic during the Festival can build up at peak times, therefore we would advise that you arrive early to avoid delays. Your parking zone will match your car parking label colour.
Travelling by train
Cheltenham Spa train station is a 10 minute taxi ride from the racecourse. Trains from London to Cheltenham Spa take about two hours whilst trains from Bristol take only 35 minutes. Stagecoach will operate a special dedicated shuttle bus service from the Railway Station to inside the Course. During the Festival there is also the unique opportunity to arrive directly at the back of the main Grandstand at Cheltenham on an impressive steam train. The train travels from Toddington Railway Station, allowing you to arrive in style and miss all the traffic! The 35-minute journey will take you through the beautiful countryside of the Cotwolds, Malverns and Vale of Evesham. Allocated seating is provided on the train and there is a full cash bar service also available.
Travelling by helicopter
There is a helipad at the racecourse. We can liaise with the racecourse on your behalf should you wish to fly in or can book helicopters if required.
Your badges, tickets and car parking passes will be sent out to you with a full itinerary approximately two weeks before the Festival. We can deliver via courier or Royal Mail Special Delivery. If you would like your tickets delivered overseas, please give us plenty of warning and leave time for the delivery to arrive before you set off.
There is no official dress code at Cheltenham, but it is recommended that you dress for the weather. Gentlemen would normally wear a jacket and tie in the Village and hospitality areas.
Shopping at The Festival
There is a large shopping village at The Festival with plenty of shops selling a huge number of different goods. There is something for everyone including racing fashion for men, women and children, luxury home accessories, furniture, artwork and much more!