The Cheltenham Festival is a horse race meeting that first originated in 1860 with the National Hunt Chase. The meeting features a number of races including several notable Grade 1 races including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Festival Trophy.
When is the Cheltenham Festival?
The Cheltenham Festival is held annually across four days in March, usually coinciding with Saint Patrick’s Day. The traditional highlights of each day’s racing are:
- Tuesday – Champion Hurdle
- Wednesday – Queen Mother Champion Chase
- Thursday – Festival Trophy
- Friday – Cheltenham Gold Cup
Where is the Cheltenham Festival?
The festival is held at Cheltenham Racecourse in the village of Prestbury, near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. The original National Hunt Chase however was run at Market Harborough and ran at several locations, most notably Warwick Racecourse before being established in Cheltenham in 1911.
Address: Evesham Rd, Cheltenham, GL50 4SH
How do I get to the Cheltenham Festival?
Cheltenham Racecourse is located at Prestbury Park in the village of Prestbury, 1.5 miles north of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire in South West England.
Airport – Birmingham Airport is located approximately 48 miles north of Cheltenham, serving European destinations, as well as international destinations such as the Caribbean, India, Pakistan, Qatar and the UAE. There is a train station (Birmingham International) at the airport which connects to central Birmingham for onwards services to Cheltenham.
Alternatively, Bristol Airport is approximately 54 miles south of Cheltenham, with flights to many European destinations. The Airport Flyer Express bus service connects the airport with the city, for onwards travel by train to Cheltenham.
Bus – There is a bus service that runs to the racecourse from the station (Stagecoach lines D and E) all year round, with a journey time of just over 10 minutes costing £2.10 for a single or £4 return. During the festival, there is a shuttle bus that runs between the Cheltenham Spa Railway Station, Cheltenham Town Centre and The Racecourse (South Car Park) costing £3 single or £5.50 return.
Driving/Parking – From the M5 motorway exit at Junction 11 and follow the A40 where the racecourse should be signposted. If driving from Cheltenham, follow Evesham Road north for 5 minutes. During the Festival, car parking is chargeable – you can book in advance on the official website here or pay £25 upon arrival.
Train – Cheltenham Spa railway station is situated Bristol-Birmingham main line with services to Gloucester, Bristol, Swindon, London Paddington, Cardiff Central, the South West, Birmingham, the North and Scotland. There is a bus service that runs to the racecourse from the station (lines D and E) all year round, with a shuttle bus also running during the festival (see above).
Cheltenham Racecourse railway station is no longer part of the national rail network but is the southern terminus of the 12-mile long heritage Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway.
Thinking of catching a train to Cheltenham? Search and book your journey through the Trainline here.
How do I get tickets to the Cheltenham Festival?
To purchase tickets and for further ticket information, consult the official website here.