How to Survive a Day at the Races

The nearby Cartmel Racecourse hosts several weekends of horse racing in the summer, and I had heard they were a lot of fun. I hadn’t been to a horse race since I was a kid up in New Hampshire at rockingham park, and it had been fun then, so why not now? I’m not a big gambler, but the weather was good and we had a free Saturday so off we went.

Admission to the cheaper side was £13, and it was fine, unless you’re looking to sit in the grandstands or for a restaurant, the less expensive tickets will work out.

You can bring your own food and drinks! Even alcohol! They sell it on the course but you can even drive your car in and tailgate with a BBQ! (Provided you make sure it isn’t smoking prior to the races starting since it could affect the hordes). Definitely pack at least a picnic.

Bring a few pounds to lose and Learn what kinds of bets you can make. This varies with the type of race and number of entrants. You can generally just pick a winner but there are a lot of other complex bets you can make with higher odds. Even though I’m not much of a gambler putting a pound or two on each race makes it much more exciting! At the races we went to, there were various stands with different odds for each horse. Different companies use different formulas so you can shop around for the best odds if you wish. Sometimes there is a time limit after the race to collect your winnings so make sure you know what it is, otherwise they may not have to pay you!

Dress up, or not, your choice. On the inexpensive side of the races, the outfits ranged from fancy dress to cocktail dresses with everything in between. We fell somewhere in the middle with a casual sundress and jeans and a button down but there didn’t seem to be any strict rules.

People watch. From stag and hen dos to jockies and people at the carnival, there is no shortage of interesting people. Seriously.

Have you been to the races? Share your experience!

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