7 Of The Best Places For Boxing Day Racing In The UK

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And breathe…The run up to Christmas can feel like one hell of a slog, of last minute tree erecting, of eleventh hour gift shopping, and of nick of time turkey buying. And the day itself? Despite all of the mulled wine, family punch ups and snoozing on the sofa, Christmas day is undeniably for the little ones. 

For many of the rest of us, it feels like something to endure, to survive. And that’s why, we think, Boxing Day comes as a blessed relief, a time to get self-indulgent and to treat yourself to something adult again. Nothing so succinctly realises this as the boxing day races, and with that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL places for the best boxing day racing in the UK.

Wolverhampton

If you’re looking for a day at the races packed with good cheer and a fair amount of boisterousness, then Wolverhampton is a safe bet; guaranteed to offer fun and frolics by the bucketload. Whilst you may want to be drawing a line under Christmas, the event, held at Wolverhampton Racecourse, still has a festive feel very much in the air. There’s also a brass band blasting out the festive hits for those who are still very much in the Christmas spirit. If you’re bringing the kids, there are reindeer on hand and children’s activities to keep them entertained. 

Leopardstown

Cross the Irish Sea to experience the thrill of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival, a highlight of the Irish horse racing calendar. This prestigious event kicks off on Boxing Day and runs over four action-packed days. Leopardstown, located just south of Dublin, is a beacon for racing enthusiasts and social butterflies alike, offering a blend of top-class racing, hospitality, and live entertainment. 

The festival atmosphere is electric, with the Leopardstown Pavilion buzzing with excitement as punters and families gather to enjoy the races. The highlight of the opening day is the Racing Post Novice Chase, a race that has seen many champions etch their names into history. The event is also known for its unpredictably, with Leopardstown race results often throwing up some serious surprises!

With a variety of ticket options and hospitality packages, Leopardstown is a must-visit for anyone looking to indulge in the sport of kings while enjoying the festive cheer.

Wetherby 

Wetherby hosts the annual Yorkshire Christmas Meeting, and has been doing so for almost 80 years! It all began in 1940 and is as ‘traditional as turkey and tinsel’ (their words, not ours). It is true that this is a hugely popular event, and for many in the north an essential part of the festive season. It’s certainly not harmed by the complimentary mulled wine and mince pies on arrival. As such, that popularity means it’s essential that you book well in advance to enjoy this horse racing and betting spectacular. 

Kempton Park

It’s not just England’s north that knows how to throw a day at the races with all the pomp and ceremony which the festive season demands. Indeed, Kempton Park Racecourse in Sunbury on Thames, Surrey, just a half hour drive west of central London, throw one of the biggest events on the horse racing calendar. Boxing Day sees Kempton Park’s most popular race of the year, the King George VI Chase, which happens on the 27th too, for those who perhaps didn’t win as big on the sports betting as they were hoping to on the 26th!

Wincanton

Whilst it’s not obligatory that your Boxing Day Race location begins with a W, it certainly helps. Maybe it’s because W is for the ‘Win’…who knows? Anyway, Wincanton in Somerset is another hugely popular place for a day at the races, festive style. It’s also an event where kids (all the way up until 18!) go free, which makes it appealing for families. Indeed, it’s not just about the racing here, there’s also plenty of entertainment for the little ones and adults alike, including live music and loads of delicious refreshment options. 

Ascot

Ascot Racecourse, synonymous with British racing royalty, offers a splendid day out with its own Boxing Day race event. Although not traditionally held on the 26th, the festive meeting at Ascot is an event not to be missed, usually taking place on the weekend closest to Boxing Day. This allows for a continuation of the holiday festivities in a setting steeped in history and grandeur. 

The racecourse is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with seasonal decorations and a myriad of activities for all ages. The races themselves are a mix of high stakes and high spirits, with competitive fields and the opportunity to see some of the finest horses and jockeys in action. Ascot provides a perfect blend of tradition and family fun, with fine dining experiences, mulled wine aplenty, and a chance to don your winter best for a day of elegance and excitement at the races.

Huntingdon 

8’000 attend this great Boxing Day event annually, held at Huntingdon Racecourse in Cambridgeshire, which sees seven huge races over the course of the day. Again, kids go free to this event and all of the family entertainment on the day, including inflatables and magic shows, is free, too. For the adults, the Peterborough Chase Champagne and Seafood Bar is the place to be; a glorious relief from the turkey and mulled wine of the previous day. Huntingdon is on the mainline from King’s Cross, London, and is easily accessible from the station. A lovely day out, indeed.

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