Gatwick: Off to the races
When most people hear the name Gatwick, they automatically think of Gatwick Airport. But Gatwick has a lot more to offer visitors than just a way in and out of the UK. It has some great hotels nearby such as Copthorne Hotel London Gatwick and Copthorne Hotel Effingham Gatwick, as well as a number of exciting race venues (of both the four-legged and four-wheeled varieties) within close reach.
The area in and around Gatwick is therefore a great place to stay and play. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping fun or just have some time to kill before your next flight, you’ll get a chance to do both at these three racetracks.
Credit: John Hoy/Lingfield Park
Experience the lively atmosphere and the thrill of horseracing year-round at the all-weather Lingfield racetrack. The track features a number of Family Fun Days throughout the year, and other annual racing high points including the Churchill Stakes in November and Winter Derby in March. And don’t miss a beat at Hooves & Grooves’ music race nights on selected Saturdays from June to August.
If you’ve got a bit of a gambler in you, place your bets and cheer on your horse and jockey as they sprint around the course. There are race-day packages to suit all budgets, whether you’re looking for a bit of casual, low-cost entertainment or a fancy day out in all your racing finery. Check out Lingfield’s website for the race schedule; you can buy tickets online, by phone or at the main entrance on race day. No matter which horse crosses the finish line first, a visit to Lingfield makes for a winning day out.
Credit: Epsom Downs
The first recorded horserace at Epsom took place in 1661, and the races are still going strong at Epsom Downs today. Take in all the action from the premier enclosure of the Queen’s Stand, with its perfect view of the Winner’s Circle and finishing line, or the atmospheric Grandstand, where the Duchess’s Stand is located. Alternatively, get closer to the action and watch from trackside. Whatever your favourite vantage point, you’ll have plenty of refreshments to choose from as you cheer on your chosen horse to victory. Check out Epsom Downs’ website for the race schedule and more details.
If you get a kick out of high-octane horsepower, TeamSport’s Crawley indoor go-karting track is just the spot to channel your inner F1 racecar driver. From the driver’s seat, tackle the facility’s two twisting, turning tracks that were custom-designed by pro racing engineers.
Take to the curves and pick up speed along the straights as you try to out-drive friends, family, locals and fellow visitors. Recharge between races at the on-site cafe or urge others on from the spectator area. TeamSport is open seven days a week and provides everything you need for a great day of racing, from friendly and helpful staff to race wear, changing rooms and, of course, their cutting-edge go-karts. Prepare to be thrilled!