Goodwood, UK

Glorious Goodwood, in West Sussex, on the South Coast of England. And truly glorious it is. The majestic drive into the course over the rolling countryside, through the Goodwood Estate is a pleasure in itself.

Some of my earliest great racing memories are from Goodwood and from those meetings outside of the main festival meeting (which is held annually at the end of July) too. Glorious Goodwood attracts the international set, as well as being well supported by the locals. The other meetings are well-supported by the local contingent.

How to get there

If coming from overseas, the best airport is London Gatwick, where you can hire a car and drive to Goodwood in just under an hour. You can also get the train to Chichester (the nearest town to the racecourse) – which also takes just under the hour. From there you would have to get a taxi to the course.

Accommodation

Chichester has a few good hotels, but early booking is essential. There are a lot of outlying villages with good guesthouse/pub/B&B accommodation. Places you could look are Bosham, the Witterings, Fontwell and even Bognor Regis. Brighton is also worthy of consideration, depending on what you’re looking for nightlife wise.

Chichester itself has a super 900 year old Cathedral – St. Richard’s, which is well worth a look, time permitting.

Great range of eating places, which I hope to visit again in the near future and will update this piece accordingly with recommendations.

Racecourse

For the Glorious festival, there are 3 enclosures: the Richmond – access only for annual members during the Qatar Festival. For all other meetings outside of this meeting, this would be the premier enclosure. The other 2 enclosures are the Gordon and the Lennox. For those that like to graze, there is a picnic area – Trundle Hill where you can view the action for free:

Trundle Hill looming in background

Entrance during the Qatar festival is around £47 for the Gordon enclosure. For the Lennox it’s about £25.

See https://www.goodwood.com/ for more information on ticketing and hospitality.

There are plenty of food snacking options and bars for all.

Solow before winning the Sussex Stakes in 2015 for French trainer Freddy Head

General vibe

Goodwood is full of gentleman wearing the eponymous Panama hat. Never will you see so many of them in a confined space!

Due to the wide cross-section of society that attend, you have everything from haute-couture, to jeans and t-shirts.

If attending the Gordon enclosure (and it goes without saying the Richmond too) – there is a minimum dress code.

Crowd around parade ring

Summary

Goodwood is a great experience. The festival which runs from Tuesday through to Saturday, is packed with top class international racing. Any day would be a treat.

The locals are very friendly and do try to stay a night at least, in Chichester to soak up the festival atmosphere.

The town itself is definitely worth a look, good selection of shops and pleasant architecture. There is also the Festival Theatre where many a world-leading actor and actress has graced the boards down the years.

The whole trip is a pleasure, from driving across the Sussex Downs to get there, to the apres-racing in Chichester, the racing and the fond memories you will take with you!