Raceday FAQs

What you need to know

Do you have a question about racing at Cheltenham? Read on to find the answers.

Are there any bus facilities?

National Express our exclusive bus and coach partner will be operating special charter coach services from many locations across the UK, for all four days of The Festival™ in March. All services will operate right to the racecourse entrance, arriving with plenty of time to spare before the races start, with time to celebrate winnings afterwards! Customers can purchase coach travel by clicking here.

Stagecoach service D runs every 10 minutes during the day and between 10 minutes and every hour on Monday to Saturday evenings (The service runs hourly on Sundays). Further details can be found here. Service 527 also provides a regular service from Cheltenham Centre to Bishop’s Cleeve and Gotherington via the Racecourse Roundabout. For local Stagecoach information please call 0870 6082608. At The Festival up to 70 buses will be operating, picking up at Cheltenham Spa Railway Station and outside WH Smith in the centre of town before dropping off at the Racecourse. Return buses pick up from the Racecourse with stops at Pittville Street and then the Station.  

Are there disabled viewing areas available on site?

A number of viewing areas are provided by Cheltenham including; on the balcony of The Centaur with lowered rails, opposite the weighing room beside the Paddock; opposite the Princess Royal Stand by the running rail and outside the Mandarin Foyer. Viewing areas in Tattersalls can be found by the running rails opposite the Tattersalls Sales Arena as well as the Level 2 Terrace outside the Winged Ox Bar. The Best Mate disabled viewing platform can be found on level 2 in the middle of the Best Mate Stand. Full accessibility details can be found here.

Do you have a site map?

​You can view site maps here

How do I find Cheltenham racecourse?

Our postcode is GL50 4SH for use with GPS equipment. However on a raceday customers are strongly advised to follow the yellow, temporary signs when entering Cheltenham and the local area and not the brown permanent signs. Further details can be found here.

What different enclosures do you have at the racecourse?

Club - Only available on Saturday of The November Meeting and all four days of The Festival™, The Club Enclosure gives you the widest choice of viewing and refreshment options, including access to: wonderful views from our main grandstand viewing steps and the lawn running from The Princess Royal Stand to the finishing line; the paddock and winners’ enclosure viewing to study the horses pre and post-race; the centre of the course by the final fence (weather permitting); a wide choice of bars, betting and eating options; all the bookmakers in the betting ring; extensive totepool betting facilities; The Centaur and Hall of Fame; public areas of The Princess Royal Stand and of the Shopping Village.

Tattersalls - Only available on Saturday of The November Meeting and all four days of The Festival™, The Tattersalls Enclosure gives you a good choice of viewing and refreshment options, including access to: our Tattersalls grandstand viewing steps and area past the finishing line; the paddock and winners’ enclosure viewing to study the horses pre and post-race; a wide choice of bars, betting and eating options; all the bookmakers in the betting ring; extensive totepool betting facilities; The Centaur and Hall of Fame; and a number of trade stands. During The Festival™ you will also have access to the area in front of the Guinness Village.

Club/Tattersalls – On a number of days combined tickets are available for these enclosures. The Club/Tattersalls Enclosure is a popular choice, offering the best viewing and refreshment options, including access to: wonderful views from our main grandstand viewing steps and lawn; the paddock and winners’ enclosure viewing to study the horses pre and post-race; the centre of the course by the final fence (weather permitting); a wide choice of bars, betting and eating options; all the bookmakers in the betting ring; extensive totepool betting facilities; The Centaur and Hall of Fame; and a number of trade stands. Please note that with a Club or Tattersalls ticket you can enter through any of the four entrances Best Mate, Hall of Fame, Centaur and North.

Best Mate: With a Best Mate ticket you may only enter the racecourse through the Best Mate gates located at the South gate. Directly opposite the main grandstand, The Best Mate Enclosure offers tremendous value with a great view of the racing and a variety of food choices plus extensive betting facilities and bars. The Best Mate grandstand is a modern, bright and comfortable facility, arguably the best of its type on any racecourse in the UK.

Do children need tickets?

Children aged 18 and under gain FREE entry to the racecourse for all fixtures except The Festival. During all four days of The Festival children aged 5 or over will be charged full ticket price. Please note children must be accompanied by an adult.

Can I upgrade my ticket?

Club and Tattersalls are combined at all fixtures except The Festival™ and The November Meeting Saturday. Those in Best Mate can buy an upgrade into Club, Tattersalls or Club/Tattersalls area for all race meetings excluding Gold Cup Day. This can be done at the ticketing point at the entrance of the Best Mate Enclosure. Those in Tattersalls can buy an upgrade into Club on The November Meeting Saturday and the first three days of The Festival™. Upgrades are not available on Gold Cup Day.

What happens after racing has finished?

On certain race meetings, the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham Sale opens its door to the sale of National Hunt horses after the last race. As well as the Tattersalls Ireland Cheltenham Sale, the Final Flight Bar remains open till late after racing on selected fixtures (Friday and Saturday of The November Meeting and all four days of The Festival™). For more information regarding the activities after racing on each fixture please check the individual fixture pages within the website prior to racing.

Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code at Cheltenham. As we race largely during the winter months, the weather can be unpredictable, so we would advise you to dress accordingly. At The Festival™, many ladies wear hats, but with the weather rather than high fashion in mind. Gentlemen usually wear a suit or similar in the Club Enclosure and in restaurants and hospitality facilities. Fancy dress is permitted as long as the outfit is not offensive and we reserve the right to decline entry should the need arise. On BetVictor Gold Cup Day and during The Festival™ fancy dress is not permitted in the Club Enclosure.

Do I have to pay for parking?

Parking is free at all of our meetings except Friday and Saturday of The November Meeting (£4 in advance, £5 on the day) and all four days of The Festival™ (£12 in advance, £20 on the day). There are plenty of parking spaces at Cheltenham, although we would advise you to arrive early.

Is there anywhere to leave my bike?

There are 52 secure bicycle parks next to the Centaur and Best Mate enclosure entrances.

Can I bring my own food?

We kindly ask that you do not bring your own food or drink into the racecourse. There are mobile catering units operating throughout the day in all enclosures, which do change from meeting to meeting. Typically offering food such as fish and chips, hog roasts, burgers and hot dogs, sandwiches, teas and coffees and doughnuts. Food is also available from a variety of our bars. Hip flasks are not permitted.

Can I get a refund?

Please go to our Refunds page for more information on our refund policy

Can I get a refund if the meeting is abandoned?

Full refunds for tickets will be given if racing is abandoned before the first race. A 50% refund will be given if racing is abandoned before the third race or feature race. Regrettably, no cash refunds can be given on the day. Customers are requested to apply for refunds by post within one month of the fixture except for tickets purchased in advance, for which refunds will be processed automatically.

Are there any cash machines in the enclosures?

Yes, there are cash points situated around the Racecourse. These are located in The Centaur entrance, in the Best Mate Enclosure and in the Hall of Fame. Additional cash points are installed during larger meetings in temporary locations.

Can I bring a bag and leave it somewhere?

We do recommend that you leave luggage and other items at home, if at all possible. However, with a focus on increased security measures, the left luggage facilities at Cheltenham will no longer be located within the enclosures. A limited service will be provided within temporary facilities external to the enclosures (North and Centaur entrances). There is also a left luggage facility external to the Best Mate entrance at The November Meeting and The Festival™. Please note that any items wishing to be left may be subject to rummage searches and are left at the owners risk.  

Where is lost property?

If you lose or find something please visit the main reception in the Hall Of Fame.

Can I purchase tickets on the day?

We strongly advise that tickets are purchased in advance. Early bird discounts are in place to ensure that you get the best possible price when booking in advance. Discounts end midnight the day before racing. Tickets can be purchased on the day at each of the entrances with the exception of Gold Cup Day. This is subject to availability on each day of racing.

Are dogs allowed?

Regrettably, dogs other than guide dogs are not allowed within the enclosures.

How can I book hospitality?

Hospitality can be purchased via our website or by calling the hospitality team on 01242 537653.

Can I visit the gallops?

During The Festival™, those with a Club or Annual Members badge for the day may visit the gallops between 7.30am and 8.30am. This is accessed through gate 21 only (beside North Entrance)

Can I walk the course?

In the interests of providing the best possible ground for the horses, the only people allowed to walk around the course on racedays or in the build-up to race meetings are the “connections” of runners.

During a race day, can I cross the course?

At all meetings racegoers may cross the course to watch racing from the centre, weather permitting. On days where there is a separate Club enclosure, this access only applies to those with Club badges.

Where can I bet once inside the racecourse?

If you are likely to have a flutter, you will need cash for betting. Most bookmakers take a minimum bet of £5, but this is clearly displayed on their boards. The tote will take bets from £2. Tote betting vouchers can be purchased with credit and debit cards at various tote information points. They are available in £2, £5, £10 and £20 denominations. To order totepool betting vouchers in advance call 020 8874 6411. If you need a little help learning about the different types of bets, betting systems and strategies then take a look at the OLBG Betting School.

How much are racecards?

A racecard is a good investment, with a detailed guide to everything that is going on each day plus features and tips. These cost from £3 on the day (at The November Meeting and The Festival™ this costs rises to £4) or from £2.50 in advance. If you want to do some homework beforehand, race details and tips are in the sports pages of national newspapers, or online at www.racinguk.com.

Where is the first aid?

First Aid staff will be on duty at every meeting. At The November Meeting and The Festival™, a pharmacy is available above the Winner’s Enclosure.

Can I take photographs on the course?

As is standard practice across commercial sports and leisure venues, racecourses seek to protect their image rights in their terms and conditions of entry. These regulations are in place to ensure that any commercial income streams generated are protected and available to be reinvested into racing. Whilst racecourses do not wish to dissuade customers from taking pictures of their day out, and sharing them on social media, this must remain at a personal and private level. Photographs published for a commercial purpose or on a large scale where they are available for download, even at no cost, cannot be considered as being for personal and private use. Consequently such photography is not permitted without accreditation, which has normally been provided to those that are working for news outlets or major photography agencies. The existing RCA terms and conditions for amateur photography state: 10.1 You shall not use any device or technology to capture, record, store, transmit or broadcast any data relating to any race, fixture or other race-related activity at the Racecourse, unless you are expressly permitted to do so by Condition 10.4. 10.4 You may use mobile devices and point-and-shoot or compact cameras to capture images for your own private and domestic use (but you shall not use professional level photography or filming equipment). The following rules apply: (a) photography on the racing surface is strictly forbidden; (b) flash photography is strictly forbidden; and (c) you must not allow a third party to use such images for any commercial purpose and will notify the Operator immediately if you become aware of any unauthorised use of those images.

Are there disabled car parking facilities?

The main parking area for Disabled Car Parking is the red car park, please follow directional signage (highlighted by the use of the universal disabled sign) on approach. This is situated near to the steam railway line, and a buggy service operates on all racedays between there and the North Entrance. We strongly advise racegoers to arrive early to secure a place in this reserved parking areas as once it is full, Blue Badge holders will be parked in alternative locations. When wishing to return to your vehicle please call 07899 235 004 when the buggy driver will be able to arrange to collect you from outside North Entrance, until one hour after the last race when the service closes.

The drop off and pick up positions are a distance from the main entrances and exits of the venue, so please do bear this in mind when planning your visit. We would always encourage those with mobility problems to travel by car rather than coach, minibus, limo or taxi. There are car parking charges for all racegoers on Friday of The November Meeting and BetVictor Gold Cup day (£4 in advance or £5 on the day) and at The Festival™ (£12 per day in advance or £20 per day during the event) when Blue Badge holders will be charged.

Are there disabled toilet facilities on site?

Within the Grandstand, there are Radar toilets located outside the main function rooms near the clear lifts on all five levels. Other locations include the Centaur’s main foyer, the Istabraq bar, the Foyer under the Hall of Fame stairs and on both levels of the Best Mate Stand. All toilets can be accessed using a Radar Key. Please ask stewards in the proximity of each toilet for a Radar Key.

Other toilets with enlarged cubicles include Best Mate Caravan Club, Hurdlers Hall, the Mandarin Bar, Tote Terrace and the Gold Cup foyer. Extra disabled toilets are installed for The Festival™ which can be located in: Best Mate - at the back on the main marquee; Horseshoe Pavilion Restaurant (Unisex toilet); Champions Drive; The Guinness Village; Keith Prowse Facility; Needhams Boxes; and Long Run Boxes.

Where is the induction loop located within the racecourse?

There is an induction loop on the viewing steps of the Tattersalls Grandstand to enhance the commentary for those who use hearing aids.

Are there electric scooters available for hire at the racecourse?

Event Mobility Charitable Trust provides electric scooters and manual wheelchairs for the use of disabled, elderly and mobility impaired at Racecourses. To reserve an electric scooter or manual wheelchair you can book online at www.eventmobility.org.uk or contact the office on 01386 725391. The charity operates entirely from the generosity of donations and any contribution is greatly appreciated.

Can I collect my tickets on the day?

All tickets must be collected from the Ticket Collection Cabin on the main driveway by the stables. To print/download our new ticket collection location map please click here. Customers collecting tickets must present the card used to make the purchase together with proof of address and may be required to authenticate the card by signing a verification form or using the PIN number.

Are you on social media?

Yes, we can be found on Twitter (@CheltenhamRaces), Instagram (CheltenhamRaces) and Facebook (thehomeofjumpracing).

Where is the best place to meet friends?

There are meeting points that we advise within each enclosure. These include the Arkle Statue in Club, the Racecard stand in the Best Mate Enclosure and the Cheltenham Collection Shop in the Tattersalls Enclosure.

Will help be provided if my car becomes stuck in the mud within the car park?

Yes there will be parking stewards and tractors on hand to assist customers within the car park.

How can I listen to Cheltenham Radio?

Cheltenham Radio broadcasts live from every Cheltenham fixture (except Hunter Chase Evening). Previews, features, interviews, competitions, reviews and live commentaries all combine to give you the best of the Cheltenham atmosphere, with the latest news and views. You can listen live on 87.7FM within 5 miles of the course online by clicking here or via a Cheltenham Radio earpiece. Radio earpieces are available to purchase on site from racecard kiosks, subject to availability.

Can I smoke on the racecourse?

Smoking is permitted on the racecourse however not inside any buildings or designated non-smoking areas. The use of vapour cigarettes is also not permitted within our buildings and designated non-smoking areas.

Can I print my ticket at home?

All print at home ticket purchasers must ensure that they bring their ticket with them to gain entry into the racecourse. The ticket printed must include a complete QR code. Please do not confuse the confirmation email as your ticket (which has no bar code). Your tickets will arrive as a PDF attachment. The print quality of the ticket can affect the ability to scan the QR code, so please ensure that before you print your ticket, the ink in your printer is not running low.

Can I go on a tour of the racecourse on a raceday?

​Yes, tours commence at the time of gates opening until before the first race, for all meetings except The Festival™. All tours start at the Best Mate statue in the plaza at the bottom of the paddock and are free of charge. Included in the tour is a trip to the Weighing Room.

Are there coach/bus parking facilities at the racecourse?

Yes, coaches can be parked for free within the coach car park. The relevant signs will direct you to this area. Please note that buses with 15 seats or less will need to purchase a public car parking pass. The cost of this is £12 in advance or £20 on the day. We are unable to provide complimentary tickets to coach or bus drivers. The drop off and pick up positions are a distance from the main entrances and exits of the venue, so please do bear this in mind when planning your visit. We would always encourage those with mobility problems to travel by car rather than coach, minibus, limo or taxi.

Can limousines be parked at the racecourse?

Limousine car parking is available within the coach car park. Parking for a limousine will cost £20 on the day and can not be purchased in advance.

Can I leave my car overnight?

Any vehicle left on site overnight is at the risk of the owner. Vehicles left overnight without the relevant parking rights for the following day may be towed.

What are the dates for The Festival in 2018?

Dates for The Festival™ are Tuesday 13th, Wednesday 14th, Thursday 15th and Friday 16th March 2018.

What should I do if I have lost my ticket?

In the event that you lose your ticket please contact the racecourse or ticket line in advance of the raceday. The ticket line can be contacted on 0344 579 3003. Due to the volume of customers, lost tickets can not be replaced on the day of racing and a new ticket will need to be purchased in order to gain entry. Please keep your ticket safe.

What do I do if I have purchased a ticket but can no longer come racing?

Unfortunately no refunds can be given on unused or unwanted tickets. Your ticket can be gifted to someone else for use, however please note that in the case of ticket collection, the ID of the purchaser will be required.

My tickets have not arrived, what can I do?

​If you have ordered your tickets from Cheltenham Racecourse and they have not arrived please contact our ticket hotline on 0844 579 3003.

Do you have a children's area?

Positioned in The Centaur, signed off the walkway facing the racecourse we have a dedicated area for parents of babies and young children to provide a suitable environment and facilities to feed, change and rest.

Can I have a PA announcement done on race day or a note put in the race card or a message on the big screen?

At the smaller meetings during the season this can occasionally be arranged. Please email cheltenham.reception@thejockeyclub.co.uk for further details.

It’s my first time to The Festival™ - which enclosure do you recommend?

There are three enclosures available during The Festival™: Club Enclosure, Tattersalls Enclosure and Best Mate Enclosure. The Club Enclosure is the most expensive and allows access to all the public areas of the site. The Tattersalls Enclosure offers access to key areas like the Paddock, with course viewing found beyond the winning post and down by the last fence. The Best Mate Enclosure is the lowest cost enclosure and is situated on the far side of the course. This means that there is no access to the Paddock, Centaur, Shopping Village etc. but great views to enjoy the racing. All enclosures have a number of different bars and toilet facilities.

Click here to find out more

I can’t get my e-tickets to print what do I do?

Please contact the Box Office team as soon as possible on 0344 579 3003 and they will be able to help you. Please check you have your ticket before you depart, as this will make your entrance much easier. If you do not bring your e-ticket with you it could be that you will need to purchase additional tickets. We do not accept e-tickets on mobile phones, as they cannot be scanned on entry.

My e-ticket hasn’t arrived in my inbox, what shall I do?

Please contact the Box Office team on 0344 579 3003 as soon as possible and they will be able to help you. Please note that we do sometimes have issues with AOL and BT email addresses, in which case another email address will be required.

I’m working away from home and have no ID for ticket collect?

We accept driving licences, credit cards (this has to be different to the one that the tickets were purchased with), passports and utility bills as proof of ID. If none of this is available you will not be able to collect your tickets.

Where can coaches drop off passengers that are disabled?

Unfortunately at this time it is not possible to drop disabled passengers travelling by coach to the entrances. Please ask the steward at the entrances to the coach park(s) and they will park the coach as near to the front as possible. There is a 5-10 minute walk from the coach parks to the entrances.

Can I bring my baby to The Festival™ and is it OK to take them into the bars?

It is free to bring children under 5 into the racecourse at The Festival™ (for all other meetings children under 18 receive free entry). You are more than welcome to bring children into the bars but please do be aware that they can be very busy during race meetings.

I have forgotten my tickets and already left for Cheltenham?

You will need to purchase additional tickets on the gate and write to us after the event, both sets of tickets must be included in the letter. Please send the letter to Reception, Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 4SH

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