In addition to superb hospitality and catering, there is a strong family friendly feel to Thirsk, an aspect of the course that delights modern racegoers.
Thirsk is incredibly proud of its history. It all began in 1612 when James I offered a Gold Cup the winner of a race at Hambleton Hills, the original venue. The races moved to the current site, part of Squire Frederick Bell’s own estate, in 1855, and Hambleton Hills remains an training ground for the horses. The course flourished, with the addition of the Pavillion, popular events and the advent of the railway, and a strong tradition was born.
Nowadays, Thirsk Racecourse is a flat summer racecourse, with many days of races between April and September scheduled for 2016. Highlights for this year include Irish Day, Family Treasure Hunt Day, Champagne Tuesday and the Vintage Tea Party Evening.
Every enclosure offers excellent views of the entire course, with the Premier Enclosure being nearest to the finishing line. The Family Enclosure features a children’s playground, and a range of snacks and fast food facilities, plus the essential bar. There is a betting ring, Totepool betting windows and grandstand viewing. Special tickets allow cars access to a designated trackside area, meaning that racegoers are welcome to bring along their own picnic.
The Paddock Enclosure, also known as the Tattersall Enclosure, also has grandstand viewing and seating. Racegoers in this area have access to the Winner’s Enclosure and the Parade Ring. There is cafeteria style dining, in addition to snacks and fast food, and a number of bars. Several Totepool betting windows, the Betting Shop and the Betting Ring can be found in this enclosure.
Without doubt, the most prestigious area is the Premier Enclosure. Like the other areas, it features grandstand viewing and seating, plus access to the Parade Ring, the Winner’s Enclosure and the Finishing Line. More formal dining takes place in the restaurant, and there are a number of lounge bars serving snacks. The Hambleton Dining Room offers an a la carte menu for both lunch and dinner, and is located on the ground floor. A Champagne & Seafood Bar on the first floor serves up seafood and meat platters. There are also four premier bars in this area, with one being exclusive to the racegoers within the Champagne & Seafood area.
With such facilities and a welcoming attitude, Thirsk Racecourse is the ideal venue for occasions other than the races that have made it so famous. Excellent event management means that weddings, charity functions, family get togethers, celebrations, corporate functions, exhibitions and sports events are all held at the racecourse successfully. A first rate day out, whatever the occasion.
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