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A Guide to Goodwood Racecourse in Chichester

You probably already know there are a plethora of big-time horse racing venues scattered across England. Some of them are so acclaimed that they are worthy of having their own individual page describing everything they have to offer.

That’s why we are here, and the subject at hand is Goodwood Racecourse. The horse track in the southern portion of England is the home to the celebrated Glorious Goodwood, which includes some notable Group 1 events like the Goodwood Cup and the Sussex Stakes.

Not only are we going to discuss the festival of events that take place at Goodwood Racecourse, but we will also talk about when and how the course was opened. We’ll uncover details about the facilities, including all three major enclosures. Don’t worry; we won’t forget to describe the layout of the course, or in this case, “courses.”

Finally, we want you to be more than aware of what can be found on the Goodwood property. It’s not just horse racing events taking place on the grounds at Goodwood. We’ll reveal some of the other outdoor activities to take part in when visiting Goodwood, along with explaining the most logical ways of getting there.

Start with this brief overview highlighting a few key points about the racecourse before diving into all the juicy stuff!

Overview of Goodwood Racecourse

Year Opened
1802
Location
Chichester, West Sussex, England
Owners
Goodwood Estate
Course Type
Flat
Notable Races
Steward’s Cup, Nassau Stakes, Goodwood Cup, Sussex Stakes
Official Website
View of Goodwood Racecourse

Some History About Goodwood Racecourse

If you are familiar with Goodwood, you know all about how amazing the place is. We can thank the 3rd Duke of Richmond, as he is the man responsible for getting horse racing started at Goodwood. Back in 1802, he thought that horse racing would be a fantastic way of entertaining the army officers.

The first race was so successful that by the next year, they decided to make it a three-day festival of events, using the rules laid out by the Jockey Club. Ever since then, the festival has steadily grown into today’s iteration – the Glorious Goodwood.

Owned and operated by the Goodwood House, Goodwood Racecourse has transformed into a massive sporting complex full of activities for the outdoor enthusiast. We will elaborate on this more in a dedicated section below, but there are a few important factors to take into consideration before we explain what the rest of the property is like.

Describing the Racecourse at Goodwood

The best way for you to get a feel for Goodwood Racecourse is to describe what it’s like in the most thorough detail we can. There are four courses and three enclosures that are all unique in their own rights.

The easiest way to clarify how interchangeable the racecourse is to simply tell you about the different turf courses that make up the racecourse.

The Steward’s Cup Course

The 6-furlong (3/4-mile) straight is known as the Steward’s Cup Course. Despite there being no turns on this course, it is anything but flat. After going uphill for the first 1/8 of a mile, the final 5 furlongs are a “downhill shot” for the jockeys and their Thoroughbreds. Expect to see horses picking up speed as they sprint towards the finish line.

As you can probably guess, this is the course used for the all-important Steward’s Cup.

The Craven Courses

If you look at a , you will notice how there are multiple courses wrapped up in one at Goodwood. The Craven Course represents 10 furlongs (just over 2,000 meters) and includes a pretty severe bend that the horses must negotiate.

The Gratwicke Course

At 1 mile 4 furlongs, the Gratwicke Course is a quarter-mile longer than the Craven Course. The difference is the starting point.

The Bentinck Course

Same thing here with the Bentinck Course. At 1 mile 6 furlongs, this course is like the Gratwicke Course, only the starting point is pushed back another 2 furlongs.

The great thing about having a track that is so versatile is that races of different lengths can be run without any confusion.

More racecourses around Great Britain would love to adopt this same philosophy. Not every venue has the capabilities of making it a reality, though.

Now that the first step of illustrating what the course setup is like is out of the way, why don’t we jump into what the three enclosures are all about? After all, if you attend the races, this is where you will be sitting. After , knowing what will be available at your disposal before you get there keeps you one step ahead!

Richmond Enclosure

If you have a seat inside the Richmond Enclosure, take a nice deep breath because you’ve made it to the top. The most exclusive and high-profile enclosure at Goodwood Racecourse is without a doubt the Richmond Enclosure.

From sophisticated bars like the 1812 Bar and the Champagne Lawn, the Richmond Enclosure was designed with the classy and upscale men and women in mind. The fanciest restaurants and best views of the racecourse are predictably located here. Just make sure you dress to impress. Once you have access to Richmond, you automatically are allowed to enter the Gordon Enclosure.

Gordon Enclosure

Don’t feel bad if you don’t have the money or wherewithal to snag a ticket into the Richmond Enclosure. The Gordon Enclosure is plenty nice enough for even the fanciest of folks. You can still book a private box or dine at a luxurious restaurant while hanging out in the Gordon Enclosure.

If you prefer more casual food, you will have that choice as well. The Gordon Enclosure is the perfect “middle ground.” You won’t feel out of place, as there is something for everyone here. All guests will also be permitted to enter the next enclosure on our list.

Lennox Enclosure

This is the most comfortable and least fancy of the three enclosures. The Lennox Enclosure is exactly where you will want to go if you are making this a family affair. If you are planning on bringing the children and need to keep them entertained, make your way to Lennox.

You will find great value in terms of food options, not to mention a large playground area for the little ones. Just don’t expect to be boozing around the picnic area, as alcohol is forbidden here. Also, if your ticket is for Lennox, don’t expect to be able to sneak into Gordon or Richmond. You have to pay the big bucks for that.

The Glorious Goodwood Meeting

So, we tried to paint a picture of what the layout of the racecourse is like, as well as what the three enclosures entail. Now it is time to dive head first into the most renowned races annually held at Goodwood Racecourse.

Sure, there is a Spring Meeting in May featuring three races, and there is an Autumn Meeting sometime in September. But everybody knows that horse racing at Goodwood is all about the inevitable “Glorious Goodwood Festival” that is held each year in late July or early August.

We are talking about a FIVE-day extravaganza of horse racing competitions.

This includes three Group 1 events and a Handicap event that boasts a quarter-million-pound prize-pool. The problem is, we can’t do these enormous events justice by simply giving you a couple of paragraphs about each one. The history behind them and the records that have been set are too noteworthy to just glance over in a few sentences.

What we did was prepare a formal, organized, and well-thought-out catalog consisting of all things about the Glorious Goodwood. Also known as the Goodwood Festival, its official name is actually the “,” thanks to its title sponsor.

We are going to tell you everything about the festival, including going over the schedule and highlighting the most significant events. We will focus on the Steward’s Cup, the Nassau Stakes, the Goodwood Cup, and the Sussex Stakes. Don’t panic; whatever is imperative to the Qatar Goodwood Festival will be revealed if you just click the button below!

There Is So Much to Offer at Goodwood

Hopefully, you took advantage of our page devoted to the five biggest days on the racing calendar at Goodwood. We have a feeling that not all of you will be able to sneak away in the middle of your summer for almost a week to attend horse races. This doesn’t mean there won’t be anything for you to do if you head to Goodwood at a different time of the year. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Goodwood Hotel

We can start with the Goodwood Hotel. Enjoy your time at Goodwood by staying at the hotel during your visit. Add to the luxury of your stay by dining at Farmer, Butcher, Chef, the scrumptious eating establishment right on site that takes advantage of the fresh produce grown on the Home Farm.

Golf

Golf fans will be licking their chops when they arrive at Goodwood. There isn’t just a single 18-hole golf course on the grounds at Goodwood. Try 36 holes of Championship golf, and it’s all right there – just book a tee time!

The Park Course is challenging in itself, although the Downs Course is the one designed for all of our “scratch” golfing friends. Either way, you are going to love your time on the links at Goodwood.

There Are Two Championship Golf Courses at Goodwood.

The golf courses at Goodwood are kept to a very high standard.

If you are rolling your eyes at the thought of how boring that game with a metal stick and a little white ball is, perhaps you prefer letting some steam out at the shooting range.

Shooting and Cricket

“Shooting parties” have been going on at Goodwood for as far back as people around the area can remember. If you want some target practice, check out the Clay Pigeon shooting grounds that is strategically positioned in a “bowl-like, arena-type setting.” Of course, cricket fans already know that the Goodwood House is credited as one of the “original homes of cricket,” as it was frequently played there as far back as the early 1700s.

Here is a link to some . The cricket pavilion is also home to many weddings and other large-scale events. Need more ideas and things to do at Goodwood? Okay, no problem!

Motorsports

The Festival of Speed is an awesome four days of celebrating memorable moments in the world of motorsports. Rather than focus on the Thoroughbreds, Goodwood Racecourse takes some time to pay homage to the most unforgettable memories of cars racing, not horses. Make no mistake, this is an event that motorsport fans in England won’t want to miss.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed Is a Must for Motorsport Fans.

Flying

Last but not least, Goodwood sports a flying school for all aspiring pilots. They’re an established school where men and women can go to earn a pilot’s license, but it isn’t only designated for those that want to pursue a career in flying airplanes. All sorts of ; just be ready for a flight of a lifetime!

How Do You Get to Goodwood Racecourse?

Great question! And one we intend on answering in full. If you are thinking about traveling to Goodwood, we want to fill you in on your best options. The great news for those who don’t live in the southern region of England is that you have a few different choices when deciding how to get there.

The racecourse at Goodwood is only about 60 km (just under 40 miles) east of the Southampton Airport. It is about the same distance from Gatwick Airport, the second-busiest airport in all of England. With more than 45 million people passing through Gatwick in 2017, we think you’ll be able to manage booking a flight.

Speaking of busy airports, Heathrow Airport (busiest airport in all of Europe) is just about 80 km (approx. 50 miles) north and will give you a chance to stop by London.

Top Tip:

If you want sightseeing and exploring the great city of London to be part of your trip, we strongly suggest either Heathrow or Gatwick. Both will allow you to check out some of London’s famous attractions without going too far out of your way.

If you don’t want to bother with renting or vehicle, or better yet, want to avoid parking when you arrive, you can always use the rail services or take the bus. It’s a little more than 90 minutes from London Victoria to Chichester via railway, and Stagecoach buses will provide complimentary transportation to and from Chichester Railway Station to the racecourse.

Arriving at Goodwood Racecourse means everything is right there in front of you. Bookmakers and Tote wagering facilities are conveniently located in front of all stands and enclosures if you want to try and test your luck by picking one of the Thoroughbreds. Combine that with the entertainment and food and beverage options available at Goodwood Racecourse, and you are looking at quite the afternoon!

The Highlights

Goodwood Racecourse isn’t your typical racing facility for Thoroughbreds. The land is so beautiful that the authorities in charge made the easy decision to develop the grounds into something much more. We wanted you to be aware of what the racecourse layout looks like, not to mention how all three enclosures are set up. We took a hard look at the rest of Goodwood and unveiled just how much there is to do there, other than horse racing.

Activities such as golf and flying give family members and friends something to do when the races aren’t taking place. We pointed out that the Goodwood Festival runs for five straight days towards the end of July or early August, giving fans nearly a week of nonstop, thrilling action.

With as much as there is to enjoy at Goodwood, it’s a great place to visit. We included some advice on getting there so that scheduling an expedition to southern England doesn’t feel too overwhelming. If you made it this far down our guide, you know how much fun there is to be had at Goodwood. Use this page as a foundation for setting up an unforgettable trip.

There are dozens of esteemed horse racing venues all over Britain. However, none of them are QUITE like Goodwood.
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