Kelso Racecourse

18-20 Glendale Road, Wooler, Northumberland, NE71 6DW - Map & Directions
01668 281041
Kelso Racecourse Entrance
Kelso Racecourse Entrance (Walter Baxter /

Kelso is a racecourse located in Scotland and on its own website describes itself as ‘Britain’s friendliest racecourse’. In both 2007 and 2012, the Racegoers Club voted Kelso as the Best Small Course in Scotland and the North of England and it is undoubtedly an excellent and welcoming course. The first recorded race in Kelso was officially in 1734, however the site of the current course was not built until 1822. Flat track racing was run there until 1888 but now it is officially an exclusive National Hunt course. The site at Kelso is situated just two miles north of the town centre.

The main grandstand was built alongside the course in 1822 prior to opening and has remained pretty much untouched, besides mandatory modern furnishings. Kelso is located just off the A698 and can be accessed by the A68 and A7 when travelling from Edinburgh, or the A699 when travelling from the west. It is recommended that visitors to the course do so by car, as the nearest railway station is Berwick-on-Tweed, which is 22 miles away. With a lack of bus options, the only way to get from the station to the course would be via a taxi, making accessibility somewhat difficult.

Ticket Prices

Ticket prices at Kelso vary depending on the day of the week, with weekend fixtures being more popular and in demand and consequently more expensive. For a weekend meeting, entry to the paddock costs £15 whilst access to the Members Enclosure is priced at £20. On weekdays, these prices are reduced to £13 and £16 respectively. Those under the age of 17 are allowed free entry when accompanied by a full paying adult.

The Course

Kelso Racecourse
Kelso Racecourse (Jim Barton /

The steeplechase course at Kelso is left-handed and 1m3f circumference. It is particularly undulating whilst also being considered sharp and galloping. There are nine fences, which are unevenly distributed so it is a difficult course for inexperienced horses. The hurdles course has a back straight that turns away slightly before the steeplechase course, so the circuit is only 1m1f in length.

The reduced circumference makes this course a lot sharper and more suited to more agile horses. Both courses have a long uphill run-in so pace and stamina is required in order to be successful and Kelso is undoubtedly a challenging track.

Major Meetings at Kelso

The Grandstand from Berryhill
The Grandstand from Berryhill (Oliver Dixon /

There are 13 race meetings at Kelso each year and the major steeplechase race is the King’s Own Challenge Cup, which is run over a testing distance of 3m1f. The most prestigious hurdles race run each year at Kelso is the Grade 2 Premier Kelso Hurdle. The Kelso Hurdle is a 2m2f race that was first run in 1993 and takes place each year either in late February or early March.

Dining and Hospitality

Private boxes with exceptional hospitality are available to hire at Kelso and they come in three separate price packages, with the most expensive being the Tweedie Platinum, which is priced at a still-very-reasonable £80 per head.

The Hamilton package comes in two different categories – Silver and Gold – and they cost £60 per person and £65 per person respectively. The cheapest hospitality package available is the Pavilion Package which is valued at £55 per person.


Swap Start/End

Grudge Matches