Going to The Cheltenham Festival

Posted by Claire on 1st Mar 2024

Going to The Cheltenham Festival

Why everyone should experience the Cheltenham Festival.

If you aren’t a horseracing fan, then you may not have heard of the Cheltenham Festival, or if you have, you probably haven’t taken any notice of it. Everyone has heard of the Grand National, and for many families, it’s the only time a bet is placed in a whole year. Well, The Cheltenham Festival is similar to the Grand National meet, only a whole lot better! And here’s just a few of the reasons why:

Horseracing fan or not, the roar of the crowd as the first race on the Tuesday gets underway will send chills down your spine and make the hairs on your arms stand up. There’s simply nothing like it.

Fairy tales do come true, and they often happen at Cheltenham. If you know who Sprinter Sacre is, you’ll know this is true. Standing shoulder to shoulder with grown men, full of emotion and screaming your chosen horse home is so wonderful for the soul, and something that can’t be experienced anywhere else

Great shopping and horse racing may not always go hand in hand but Cheltenham is at the heart of luxury country-style fashion. From beautiful feathered hats, to leather boots, belts to fur coats, Cheltenham offers high end shopping to men and women alike. Just be aware, you might need to take your credit card.

Who doesn’t like a flutter on the horses? The best thing about the Festival is that it can turn up some surprises, meaning even if you don’t have the knowledge or inclination to study the form book, you can still get lucky with an each way bet on an outsider you like the name of! You can get close to the horses in the pre parade and parade rings, so you can get a good look at each of the runners – maybe one will give you nod and a wink, to let you know they’re out to win!

Cheltenham attracts a different crowd of people. If you go to some of the other big racing meets, the Grand National or St Leger for example, you’ll see under dressed ladies, barefoot and falling all over, and groups of suit cladded young lads, who are more interested in drinking each other under the table than enjoying any racing. The Festival is for those with a love and appreciation of great sport, and while of course you can still enjoy a beer or two, the horses are the main attraction. There’s no dress code at Cheltenham, so you don’t have to get ridiculously dressed up. Whatever the average temperature, Cheltenham racecourse is about 10 degrees below it, so warm but smart clothing is the order of the day, this goes for Ladies and Gentleman.

Offering a buzz of excitement that I am yet to experience anywhere else, the Cheltenham Festival has something to offer everyone, from seasoned race goers to first timers. It’s about the unity of people, regardless of gender, age or class, all coming together to appreciate the greatest of athletes –the racehorse.

Cheltenham 2024 runs from 12th – 15th March. Gluttony and Gambling Week is nearly upon us.