Listowel, Ireland

Listowel is one of 2 tracks in the County of Kerry, the other being Killarney. It stages 2 main festivals, one in June and the main Harvest Festival meeting in September. Both mixed cards.

Getting there

Listowel is in the North of the County of Kerry. It can be reached by car and a bus service on racedays. See https://www.buseireann.ie/ for details.

Accommodation

Listowel town has a few places to stay, among them the Listowel Arms Hotel: https://www.listowelarms.com/

However Kerry, as a County has numerous options – Ballybunion, near to Listowel, then 40-45 minutes South – Tralee and Killarney and even Dingle. It just depends what you’re looking for, from your break.

Racecourse

Firstly beware of the public canteen area, it serves hot roast dinners and similar, but you are expected to stand and eat it on a bar height table. It’s far from ideal.

If you want to eat in a more civilised manner, you will have to pay for a seated 3-course lunch option in the restaurant. See here for more details: https://listowelraces.ie/

There are the usual mobile units selling local speciality sausages and similar.

Well-served with bars.

The Kerry National is the flagship race of the Harvest Festival in September, which is run on the Wednesday. Montys Pass was a previous winner of this, who of course went on to win the Aintree Grand National.

General vibe

Exceptionally popular, on the Friday of the Harvest Festival meeting in 2019, they attracted a crowd just shy of 30,000, which to put in context – the Irish Derby at the Curragh in the same year, attracted a crowd of about 12,000!

There is a Ladies Day and all the usual attractions for the kids, making for a day out for everyone.

Summary

The Harvest Festival meeting is like one big last hurrah, before the winter sets in. Fun to be had, whether you’re going there for a few drinks and the betting is a side issue, or whether you’re really into racing.

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