York Racecourse Guide

Horse race in progress with spectators watching from a multi-tiered stadium

If you are heading to York Racecourse soon, you will be in for one magnificent day out. The tradition of horse racing in York dates back to the Roman times. Records say there were many gatherings around the city of York in wide open spaces, especially in the Forest of Galtes and Acomb Moor; it is said that when the river Ouse was frozen over, members of the aristocracy continued to race. 

In this article, we will discuss all the information you require to get to York Racecourse, provide information once you arrive at the venue and what to expect when you get there. 

York Racecourse is known as one of the premier tracks in Europe; it has won many awards and accolades over the years and still maintains its traditional high standards with racegoers. The first recorded horse race dates back to 1709 when, at the time, a significant amount of work was carried out to improve the course and the spectator areas due to flooding. The flooding continued, and in 1730, York Racecourse was moved to Knavesmire, where the racecourse remains today. 


What’s on at York Racecourse

York Racecourse offers many celebration and special event packages to suit all needs. Race days are the main focal point; we have set out the 2024 season at a glance for what’s forthcoming:

15/05/2024 Dante Festival Day 1 11:15 TBC TBC
16/05/2024 Dante Festival Day 2 11:15 TBC TBC
17/05/2024 Dante Festival Day 3 11:15 TBC TBC
25/05/2024 William Hill Bronte Cup 11:15 TBC TBC
14/06/2024 Mid Summer Raceday 11:15 TBC TBC
12/07/2024 William Hill Summer Stakes 11:15 TBC TBC
13/07/2024 65th John Smith’s Cup 11:15 TBC TBC
26/07/2024 EBF Lyric Stakes & Live Music 11:15 TBC TBC
27/07/2024 Sky Bet York Stakes & Live Music 11:15 TBC TBC
27/07/2024 Sky Bet York Stakes & Live Music 11:15 TBC TBC
21/08/2024 Juddmonte International 11:00 TBC TBC
22/08/2024 Pertemps Network Yorkshire Oaks & Ladies Day 11:00 TBC TBC
23/08/2024 Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe 11:00 TBC TBC
24/08/2024 Sky Bet Edor 11:00 TBC TBC
08/09/2024 YorkMix Family Raceday 11:15 TBC TBC
11/10/2024 Finale Friday 11:15 TBC TBC
12/10/2024 Coral Sprint Trophy 11:15 TBC TBC


Above, we have highlighted many racing events at York Racecourse from mid-May towards the end of August 2024. Please allow plenty of time to arrive for the first race; gates open at 11.15. 


What is the York Racecourse Address?

Any racegoers travelling to York Racecourse in the foreseeable future who want to experience York Racecourse’s fantastic racing in 2024 can get there by the address below. 

York Racecourse

Knavesmire Road


O23 1EX


How to Get to York Racecourse?


Arrive by Car

York Racecourse is just outside the city of York, with good motorway links on the M1 and A1., from the North and South of England.

  • Leaving from the south: Head onto the A34 towards the Midlands/ Oxford/M4
  • Head onto the M40 to A43/B430. Take exit J10 from M40
  • Follow A43 to the M1 or A1 
  • At junction 44, take the A64 exit to York, continue on the A64
  • Take exit towards York (SW)/A1036
  • Leaving from the North, Head onto A19
  • Merge onto York/A19. Continue to follow the A19
  • Exit onto Shipton Road A19
  • Head towards the Mount A1036
  • Continue to follow A1036 until you exit on Knavesmire  Rd


Arrive by Train

From King’s Cross station in London to York Central is approximately 2 hours and fifteen minutes. There are usually 64 trains operating from Kings Cross to York, and the tickets for this journey start from £16.50

From Newcastle station to York Central is approximately 1 hour and sixteen minutes. There are usually 150 trains daily going through Newcastle to York. Tickets for this journey start from £8.70


Arrive by Bus

Before leaving for York Racecourse, and you are going by train, simply ask for a ticket with TransPenine Express services to York Racecourse; your ticket will be valid for the day’s racing between York station and York Racecourse. This bus service operates up to every ten minutes. Please note: This service runs on Race days only.


Arrive by Air

There are other exciting and luxurious ways to travel to York Racecourse, one of which is by helicopter; you can organise this travel by getting them to pick you up from your home or arrange to pick you up from a pre-planned destination. 

The plane is another favoured form of transport; the nearest airport to the races is Leeds/Bradford Airport (LBA), which is 23.5 miles away; another alternative is Manchester Airport (MAN), 62.8 miles away. Newcastle  (NCL) is 80.3 miles away, Liverpool (LPL) is 83.6 miles away, and Birmingham (BHX) is 106.6 miles from York Racecourse.


Where to Get Tickets

If you still need to book your race tickets online, entry is still accepted on the day of racing. However, constantly checking online before departing to the races would be a good idea. There are several payment options and various places to spectate from at the course. Again, check online for all available vacancies and book tickets via the York Racecourse online booking platform

York Racecourse is committed to including all people and accessibility for all, irrespective of disabilities. Set up by the York Race Course is an Accessibility Companion Admission scheme for any racegoer who needs physical assistance to get around the course by accompanying an accessibility companion; they will only be charged for a single admission. There are raised viewing platforms for wheelchairs, with magical views of the final straight and the winning post. Accessible toilets are available on every floor of each stand; additionally, wheelchair accessibility for catering is also available.

Children under 18 are admitted free but must be accompanied by an adult at all times, especially on music race days. There are baby-changing and parent and toddler facilities located in each enclosure.  


York Racecourse Enclosures


Hospitality Enclosure

Suppose you happen to be a badge holder for the County Stand (York’s Premier Enclosure). In that case, you will have access to York’s other enclosures, namely the award-winning Ebor Stand, the listed old County Stand, viewing steps of the  Melrose Stand, and the famous Champagne Terrace. You will have a selection of bar viewing areas and lunch or afternoon tea in the Gimcrack rooms. Have the opportunity to go down the winning post and have a chance to glance at the winners fleeting by. The parade ring and the winner’s enclosure are both close at hand.

Admission also includes a complimentary racecard consisting of a low-down on the horses and riders. Being the privileged recipient of a County Stand badge also allows you access to the Grandstand, Paddock, and Course Enclosure. 


Grandstand Enclosure

In May 2023, opening a new grandstand enclosure enhanced the racegoer experience and came with a new name. The Clocktower Enclosure will replace the term Course Enclosure. The site will keep its traditional atmosphere as a place where families and social groups can experience it; it will be where they can enjoy their picnics, still retaining that experience of being present at a world-class racecourse. On the day, entrance prices for the Clocktower Enclosure will start at £5 for adults and only rise by £12 for music and racing – further concessions for those over 65 and free entry for children under 18 on all race days. 


What to Wear?


The County Stand

The county stand is York’s premier enclosure; the dress code for men is a collared shirt, jacket and tie. Beyond this, there are no other formal dress rules. Short-sleeved shirts, bow ties, cravats and dress shorts are all accepted within the dress code. There is no proper dress code for ladies; however, many people love to dress up and be part of a beautiful experience for the day, especially when they know they will be part of a day at the races. 


The Grandstand and Paddock

The Grandstand and Paddock have no formal dress; you can relax and dress as you wish. Once more, many racegoers take the lead as if they are going to attend a wedding. They love to dress up and use the day at the races as an excuse to get glammed up.


The Clock Tower Enclosure

The Clocktower enclosure is a five-million-pound new development; it is a very relaxed area for families and social groups to enjoy picnics with family and friends while watching the racing. The Clocktower is the most flexible area on the course; relaxed, comfortable, and appropriate attire and footwear are to be worn due to the outside, you will be more exposed to the elements.


Food & Drink

York Racecourse caters to all food tolerances: vegan, vegetarian, soya-free, celiac food (gluten-free), and wheat-free. Within the confines of York Racecourse, there are many places to eat and drink.


Places to Eat Places to Drink
John Carr Bar, Gril l& Terrace The Alcove Bar
E.B.O.R Bistro -( Eat Between Our Races) Middlethorpe South End
Eclipse Restaurant Jubilee Bar
The Gimmick Restaurant Princess Nary Champagne & Wine Bar
The Melrose Club Lounge Rockingham Bar
Princess Mary Bar Shirley Heights Bar
Champagne Pavillion & Roof Terrace Veuve Clicquot Champagne Lawn
Edwardian Weighing Room Edwardian Weighing Room


Some other options include, The Lawn Bar, Acomb Bar, and the Premier Racing Lounge.


Contact Details


General Enquiries 01904620911
Contact Enquiry Form https://www.yorkracecourse.co.uk/contact-us.html
Postal Address York Racecourse, Knavesmire Road, York, YO23 1EX


Nearby Accommodation

Like with all sporting events, travelling to the event, in most people’s cases, will take time and effort, and what can be more relaxing than holding up to the nearest bed and breakfast or hotel before the event commences? 

  • Churchill Hotel: 65 Bootham, York, YO30 7DQ England
  • The Grand York: Station Rise, York YO1 6GD England
  • Wheatlands Lodge Hotel: 75/85 Scarcroft Road, York YO24, 1DB, England
  • Roomzzz York City: Terry Avenue, York YO23 1JQ, England
  • Middlethorpe Hall & Spa: Bishopthorpe Road, York YO23 2GA
  • No.1 By GuestHouse, York: 1 Clifton, York YO30 6AA, England
  • Malmaison York: 2 Rougier Street, York YO90 1UU, England.

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