Chester Racecourse

The Racecourse, Chester, CH1 2LY - Map & Directions
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Chester Racecourse, also known as Roodee
The Roodee (David Dixon /

Otherwise known as the Roodee, Chester Racecourse is officially the oldest racecourse still in use in England with the first recorded race taking place there in 1539. Lying on the banks of the River Dee, the east side of the course is topped by Chester’s ancient city walls, which offers a free viewing opportunity for passers by, as the entire course is visible. A predominantly flat course, Chester has a strong affiliation with Bangor-on-Dee racecourse due to the two courses having the same Clerk.

The first grandstand at Chester was finished in 1817, before being rebuilt in 1900. After arson attacks in 1985, the entire stand was replaced with an improved one, which is still in use today. Chester is extremely accessible to the public, as it is just a short walk from the city centre. Chester is available via the M53, M56, M6 or A483 which all have direct links to Chester, with directions to the course well signposted on race days. If travelling by train, Chester station is just a 20-minute walk from the course through the city. Mersey Rail offers a circular bus service every six minutes on race days, which goes from the station to the course.

Ticket Prices

Tickets are reasonably priced for all race days, with entry to the course starting from just £10, whilst the Dee stand is a slight increase at £13. The Tattersalls Stand and concourse are priced a little higher, starting at £30 and £38 respectively, depending on the event. On all race days those who are aged 15-years-old and under are allowed entry free of charge.

The Course

Chester Flat Racecourse Map

Chester is well known for being the smallest racecourse of any significance in England, measuring at just 1m1f in a circle, covering 65 acres of space. The left-handed grade 2 course has a very short home straight (239yds) so horses with a long stride are at a disadvantage due to the tight turn into the finish.

Major Meetings at Chester

The May Festival
The May Festival (Jeff Buck /

The major meeting at Chester each year is the event that kicks off their season – the May Festival. The main race there without a doubt is the Cheshire Oaks, which often serves as a trial for the Epsom Oaks. The Oaks was established in 1950 and is a flat race run over 1m3f.

The other main race is the Chester Cup, which started in 1825 and is slightly longer, measuring 2m2f. As well as the May Festival, there are a number of sponsored and charity events throughout the year and with Chester being a popular racecourse a lot of their main race days are aired on Channel 4 Racing.

Dining and Hospitality

Chester Racecourse & Grandstand
Chester Racecourse & Grandstand

Hospitality at Chester offers a wide range of private boxes for those that prefer a little bit more privacy and luxury added to their race day experience. The hospitality boxes are priced in three tiers – Prestige, Vintage and Premier – priced at £246, £199 and £179 per person, respectively.

There are also chalets and paddock rooms on offer for groups of guests, all available at similar prices to the private boxes. Not only this, but on non-race days the hospitality team at Chester are more than happy to allow businesses to host private functions and conferences, as well as those wishing to make use of the facilities for parties, weddings and exhibitions.


Swap Start/End

Grudge Matches