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Planning Your Day at the York Races

York Racecourse stages 17 race days between May and October every year, giving visitors the chance to experience world-class horseracing and entertainment. There is so much to enjoy at the York Races, and it has become one of the biggest draws to the city in the summer months. If you are planning to attend any race days in the coming months, our serviced apartments, York, are the perfect place to stay for a weekend of horse racing, music, food, drink and fun! Read on to find out about upcoming race days, getting to the Racecourse, which stand to choose, what clothes to wear and the food and drink options available.

Upcoming Races

  • Summer Music Saturday: 30 June 2018
  • John Smith’s Cup Meeting – York’s informal party highlight: 13 July 2018
  • Music Showcase Weekend – live music & racing combined: 27 – 28 July 2018
  • Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival inc. Ladies Day: 22 – 25 August 2018
  • The Press Family Raceday – a Sunday with the family: 9 September 2018
  • October Finale – last chance to come to York in 2018: 12 – 13 October 2018

Getting There

York Racecourse is a mile from the city centre and can be accessed by road and rail. Coach and minibus drop-off is at Coach C Car Park off Bishopthorpe Road. Drivers are advised to approach the Racecourse from the A64 junction, with free parking off Bishopthorpe Road. The drop off and collection areas are clearly signposted, and traffic management will be in place throughout race days.

If you are arriving at York by train, take the 197 shuttle bus between York Railway Station and the Racecourse. Head to stand RJ opposite the station, with times ranging from 11am to 1pm for races and 4pm to 6pm for evening events. Return fares are £3.00. Gates open at 11.15am on race days, and 4pm for evening events.

Horse and jockey at York Races

Which Area to Choose?

The County Stand – the premier stand, badges to the county stand allow you access to all other enclosures, including food and drink. There is a formal dress code for men, and it gives you great views of the races and access to the main betting ring.

The Grandstand and Paddock – the largest enclosure at York Racecourse, there are several bars with racing views and trackside viewing. There are several food and drink options, from sit down dining to food on the go. You also have access to parade ring viewing.

The Clocktower Enclosure – a relaxed grassy bank area with close up views of the finish line, there is a food court, bars and bookmakers in the enclosure too.

Horse race at York Races

What to Wear

The fashion at York Races is one of its defining factors, and every race event will see a rainbow of colours, styles and hats! The only formal dress code at York is for the County Stand though many racegoers will glam up for the day.

The County Stand is the premier enclosure, and the formal dress code for men requires a collared shirt, jacket and tie. On very hot days, the dress code may be relaxed, so guests are comfortable. There is no formal dress code for ladies, though the majority of female attendees will opt for ‘wedding’ clothes; dresses, jumpsuits, trouser suits, heels, hats and fascinators.

In the Grandstand and Paddock, you are still likely to find most people glamming up for the race day, and fancy dress is not unusual – though ensure it is family-friendly if you do want to go dressed up! The most relaxed area is the Clocktower Enclosure, where you are likely to find families and picnics. As it is outdoors, comfortable, practical and weather appropriate clothing is suggested.

Woman in a hat at York Races

Food and Drink

There are several places to get food and drink throughout the day at York Racecourse, and if you are vegetarian, soya free, coeliac or gluten intolerant, there are options available. You can choose from seated restaurants, food to go options and bars overlooking the lawns. There are plenty of places to get drinks too. County Stand badges have access to all the areas, in their own area and Grandstand, Paddock and Clocktower Enclosure.

If you are bringing a picnic to the Clocktower Enclosure, do not bring glass or portable BBQs for health and safety reasons, no gazebos are allowed and remember to clear up after yourself, leaving no litter.

People drinking at York Races

Music Events

York Racecourse holds music events throughout the summer, and this year, the music acts are Paloma Faith on Saturday 30th June, Tom Jones on Friday 27th July and Boyzone on Saturday 28th July. Though children under 18 are free on most race days, and under 16s require an accompanying adult for music events, tickets are £10 for under 18s.

On the Saturday music events, it is planned the live music will end by 7.30pm, and on the Friday event by 10.30pm. As the music events combine horse racing and the live music performance, it is encouraged you arrive for the whole day; 11.15am for the Saturday event and 4pm for Friday 27th July. The stage is located at the southern end of Bustardthorpe Lawn, parallel to the track, with closest access in the County Stand, Grandstand and Paddock.

People attending a music gig at York Races

For more information about York Races, head to the York Racecourse website, and if you are planning to visit on a race day this summer, get in touch with us today to find out about our accommodation and availability. We hope you have a fantastic time at the races!


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