Out & About Olly goes to Newbury
This past Saturday I attended the Betfair Super Saturday at Newbury racecourse. The racecourse itself is set in over 360 acres of which is also home to its own onsite hotel – The Lodge, which has a total of 36 ensuite bedrooms with all prices include a freshly cooked breakfast in the morning, it is the perfect place to stay when Newbury holds meetings over multiple days, or if you have far to travel.
Upon entering the gates the Grandstand Enclosure is on the left, this overlooks the racecourse but does not overlook the finish line. It has all betting facilities inside and outside, the facilities outside being the on course bookies and they are in-between the grandstand structure itself and the racecourse (similar to most other racecourses). Although the Grandstand doesn’t overlook the finish line it does have a better view of the final jump, which for me personally is one of the most anxious parts of the race, seeing the horse you’ve backed 10 lengths in front but knowing it still has to make that final jump, then when it does you hear the roar of the crowd edging it to finish.
Food and drink facilities are well set out and well-staffed meaning there was no excessive amount of queuing when purchasing beverages and food. There is also two further floors in this Grandstand, the first of which offers a bar and outside steps to view the racing. The second offers the racegoers restaurant and external terraces.
If however you are going to the Premier Enclosure then this is situated to your right hand side as you enter the main gates. This Enclosure offers guests the chance to overlook the finish line and a lawn in front of the Berkshire Stand to get even closer to the action. This was personally my favourite place to view the races from as it offered the best view to see those close finishes. The Premier Enclosure offers limited undercover seating but does offer multiple viewing terraces giving you great views of the whole racecourse. There is also the Long room and Paddock View Bar on the second floor which has open viewing of the finish line. This stand is also home to the Hospitality boxes, being positioned on the higher floors. Reception of the Berkshire Stand also offers a complimentary bag holding service, this is perfect for those of you that are going to be staying at a hotel after racing, please note however that bags must be picked up within 15 minutes of the finish of the last race.
To the right of the Berkshire stand is The Hampshire Stand, this is home to the Champagne & Seafood Bar, Tote betting facilities. The Lambourne Suite & Bar and covered terraces are on the first floor and the Hennessy Restaurant is on the Second. The whole of the Hampshire stand is glass fronted and built at an angle overlooking the final stretch of the racecourse. This offers guests the best possible views of the race. Behind the Berkshire Stand is the Parade Ring & Winners Enclosure, this is accessible by all guests and is of a large size with viewing steps to offer betters views if it is busy. This part of the racecourse is currently undergoing some refurbishment and although that didn’t cause any problems with the viewing in the winner’s enclosure it will no doubt improve this part of the racecourse for future racedays.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Newbury racecourse and will definitely be returning in the near future for another day of great racing. I would also recommend on guests arriving around an hour before the first race, this will offer you time to look around the whole course and checkout the facilities it has to offer like the Copper King Bar, rocking Horse Nursery and the Fish and Chip Café.
How to get to the racecourse
Transport links to the racecourse are extremely good with the racecourse having its own train station – Newbury Racecourse. It is about an hours train journey from London Paddington with a change at Reading station, with trains running regularly from Reading to Newbury racecourse on racedays.