Southwell Racecourse

Rolleston, Southwell, Nottinghamshire, NG25 0TS - Map & Directions
01636 814481
Stands at Southwell
Stands at Southwell (Jonathan Thacker /

Situated near Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire, racing in Southwell dates back to the 19th century, although the first meeting at the current course wasn’t recorded until 1897. Southwell racecourse is one of only four courses in the UK to have an all-weather track and is the only one that features a fibre sand surface. The all-weather track opened in 1980 and due to the depth of the surface stamina is a big issue at Southwell. Racing takes place in every month of the year at Southwell, who expect to host over 70 days of racing each calendar year, with both flat and National Hunt featuring. Southwell racecourse has a strong affiliation with female jockey Hayley Turner, who grew up locally and had her first ever job at the racecourse before becoming a jockey.

Southwell racecourse is very accessible to all, whether driving or travelling by public transport. The nearest railway station is Rolleston, which is adjacent to the course and just a short walk away, making train travel a brilliant option. Rolleston station is on the Nottingham to Lincoln line, with frequent services to both stations. Those travelling by car should take the A617 towards Mansfield and Southwell, followed by the A612, where there will be signs directing drivers to the racecourse.

Ticket Prices

Standard ticket prices at Southwell allow customers entry to the grandstand enclosure for £12, whilst access to the premier enclosure is available for as little as £16. Visitors under the age of 18 are allowed entry to the course free of charge when accompanied by a full paying adult: note that some identification/age verification may be required. Similarly, carers accompanying disabled customers are also allowed in for free.

The Course

Track at Southwell
Track at Southwell (Tom Courtney /

Southwell racecourse caters for both flat and National Hunt races throughout the calendar year and there are three courses on site. The flat turf course is run left-handed over a tight oval measuring 1m1f in circumference. The all weather flat course is also left-handed and it is run over a distance of 1m2f, which includes a chute that joins the home straight to produce a 5f sprint course, which tends to be favourable towards low drawn horses. In winter, the flat turf course is used for both steeplechase and hurdles National Hunt races.

The steeplechase course consists of seven portable fences, three of which are typically positioned in the home straight. The hurdles races take place after the steeplechase races, as the steeplechase fences are removed and replaced with five different hurdles, two of which are in the home straight. The fibre sand surface on the all-weather track is particularly deep, meaning races on this course are a very good test of stamina: fitness and staying power are crucial at Southwell.

Major Meetings at Southwell

Southwell from Above
Southwell from Above (Chris /

As a relatively small racecourse, there are no major festivals or events that take place at Southwell on an annual basis. Despite this, there are a number of charity and sponsored race days throughout the year, particularly aimed at families and children in order to make the environment more family friendly and allow people of all ages to enjoy the experience.

In 2007, the Great Yorkshire Chase Hunt was held at Southwell because Doncaster was closed whilst it underwent redevelopment. Southwell itself was also closed temporarily in December 2012 when floods damaged the track and adjoining buildings, so scheduled meetings that were unable to take place were instead held at Wolverhampton and Lingfield. Whilst there are no huge events held here, over the winter period Southwell is one of the more active tracks and a good day out on a cold day.

Dining and Hospitality

Hospitality suites at Southwell are available for between 10 and 50 guests and the package includes a racecard and four-course lunch. Prices start from £63 + VAT per person, whilst a separate restaurant package is available for just £48 per person.


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