The Cheltenham Festival is held at Cheltenham Racecourse on 10 – 13 March this year. It is the biggest event in jump racing with about 65,000 racegoers attending each day so, if you’re planning to go, expect that your journey to and from your accommodation will take longer than normal.
If the sky’s the limit, there are facilities for landing your helicopter near the racecourse. But mere mortals will be considering the more prosaic options of motor vehicles and trains. The owners of Cheltenham, Jockey Club Racecourses, have been running the Festival for decades and they have great advice – take public transport if you can! You can take your car but bear in mind that parking is generally on grass (could be rather muddy for high heels or brogues), and it’ll cost you £25 on the day (£15 if pre-booked online via https://www.thejockeyclub.co.uk/cheltenham. If you’re part of a large group of 15 plus, private bus hire may be cost-effective but remember you will need a coach parking pass.
National Express is an official sponsor of the Festival and offers return coach travel from 25 different locations – including Birmingham, Liverpool, London Victoria and Manchester – from £24. The company also offers racecourse tickets and travel packages which you may want to explore. See https://www.nationalexpress.com/en/events/cheltenham-festival for more information.
If you live near a railway station, you may want to consider catching a train to Cheltenham Spa Railway Station. Be reassured, if you don’t fancy a walk, there are frequent bus services connecting the railway station, and indeed the town centre, to the racecourse, some two miles away. Stagecoach run the services and a single will cost you £3 with a return costing £5.50. The outward buses run from 9am to 1pm, with 80 buses lined up for the return journey at regular intervals from 3.30 to 7.15pm. Stagecoach also runs public services from Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cirencester. See www.stagecoachbus.com/promos-and-offers/west/cheltenham-races-shuttle-bus for more information.
Where to Stay
Time is running short if you are after accommodation in or near Cheltenham during the Festival and you may need to be flexible about both where you stay and the type of accommodation you book. The Racecourse recommends five hotels, the nearest of which is 6 miles from the racecourse. We spot checked two of them. The nearest hotel is full and the prices of one of the poshest are double the norm for race week… not ideal if you’re looking for value-for-money! So we recommend using the local tourist information centre at www.visitcheltenham.com or a search engine, such as www.tripadvisor.com, combined with a flexible attitude. For example, you may wish to consider staying in a Birmingham hotel. The train journey will take you about 40 minutes and you will have a much larger selection of accommodation that is also more readily available and cheaper than Cheltenham itself.
Once you have arrived at the famous Prestbury Park racecourse you will have many options of where to bet , eat and drink . Best advice is to plan your betting the day prior to attending the course and place some of your bets online where you will be able to take advantage of some of the many attractive betting offers for Cheltenham which can add significant extra value to your bets and hopefully a winning day .