Cheltenham Festive Guide for Total Newbies

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If your biggest passion in life is horse racing, there are fewer better places to be than Cheltenham. All over the course, you’ll have the chance to place bets on your favourite horse or go for the favourites on Cheltenham tips for whichever race you’re considering. However, it’s not just about placing bets. In fact, Cheltenham has lots to offer. It’s a chance to dress up, meet people, enjoy great food and drink, enjoy live music and let your hair down. Or if you fancy a change from the festival itself, why not head into Cheltenham? You won’t be short on things to do!

Cheltenham View

Races Not to be Missed at Cheltenham

There are lots of different races on offer at Cheltenham. However, if it’s the best of the best that you want to witness, be sure not to miss the grade one races. These are the highest class of race, which are otherwise known as the ‘classics’ here in the UK. In these types of races, all the horses are of the same weight, regardless of their rating. 

There are lots to choose from, but we highly recommend witnessing some of the grade one races which kick off on Tuesday 10th March 2020. They begin with the 13.30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Be sure to check out the other grade one races such as the 14.10 Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase, the 15.30 Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge and the 16.10 OLGB Mares’ Hurdle.

Other grade one races you don’t want to miss throughout the week include:

  • 13.30 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Wednesday)
  • 14.10 – RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Wednesday)
  • 15.30 – Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Wednesday)
  • 17.30 – Weatherbys Champion Bumper (Wednesday)
  • 13.30 – Marsh Novices’ Chase (Thursday)
  • 14.50 – Ryanair Chase (Thursday)
  • 15.30 – Stayers’ Hurdle (Thursday)
  • 13.30 – JCB Triumph Hurdle (Friday)
  • 14.50 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Friday)
  • 15.30 – Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup Chase (Friday)

Things to do at The Festival and in Cheltenham 

Every year, there’s plenty to do at the Cheltenham Festival, including food outlets, a shopping village and live music. For those looking for a more exclusive experience, there is ‘The Orchard’. This can be found in the club enclosure where you can experience premium brands, a whisky bar and a DJ booth. There are also private boxes and hospitality pods available too.

In 2020, there will be a brand-new experience available called ‘The Park’. This will feature a live DJ set from BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw or Laura Whitmore, plus Roman Kemp and Marvin Humes from Capital FM. Live music will also be played from The Wandering Wings all day long. As well as multiple bars and street food stalls, there will also be a Ferris wheel and even a Love Island bar! ‘The Park’ is a members-only area so make sure to confirm your tickets today if you’re interested.

If you want to go further afield, consider heading to Cheltenham it’s self where you’ll find plenty on offer.

Perhaps you want to relax and unwind from the hustle and bustle that comes with the festival. There are several spa’s available for this purpose, including the Ellenborough Park Spa. There is also Dunkertons Organic Cider which does guided tours, and of course, you have the many bars and pubs available in Cheltenham town centre.

If you’re into art and history, there’s the Wilson Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum which hosts a programme of exciting temporary galleries and permanent exhibitions. Or to really ‘get away from it all’, consider ‘The Romantic Road’, A classic car hire or luxury chauffeur tour which was dubbed by The Telegraph as one of the best drives in Britain. We also recommend tours available with Anne Bartlett, allowing you to explore the Cotswold countryside and Cheltenham itself.

Dressing to Impress

There is no official dress code for the Cheltenham Festival, however smart dress is preferable. Just remember that the festival takes place during the winter so dress accordingly

Many ladies choose to wear hats, but again, check the weather forecast before making your final choice. 

For the guys, a suit or something similar is needed in the enclosures and hospitality facilities. Additionally, make sure you wear suitable shoes as two-thirds of the car parks are in fields.

Fancy dress is allowed, but please don’t wear anything offensive, and have a smart change of clothes if you intend to go into the club enclosure.

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