Cheltenham Racecourse - The Festival

Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th March 2017

The Festival is the embodiment of everything that is great about Cheltenham. It is four days of atmosphere, anticipation and action, played out on a beautiful sporting arena that has no equal.

It features the best and the bravest horses and jockeys, nervous and excited trainers and owners, and a wide cast of human characters who come together every year determined to have the time of their lives. For racing's practitioners, Festival glory provides lifelong memories that will never fade and defines careers. Witness the sheer elation of winning connections as they return to the cheers of the crowd and you are seeing dreams fulfilled and years of planning and effort coming to fruition.

The Festival is one of those rare events that engages everyone who comes into contact with it, never failing to produce award-winning drama, enjoyment, camaraderie and sporting excellence in a cocktail for which no hangover cure is required. It truly is a life affirming four days with a great shopping village, come and see us at stand no. 31.

To buy tickets, visit

Cheltenham Racecourse - The Festival

What happens on each day?

Champion Day - Tuesday 14th March

The famous roar as the tapes rise for the first race on Tuesday signals the moment when the 12 month wait is over and racing’s favourite fixture is back. The first day of The Festival features the most important hurdle race of the season,

The first day of The Festival features the most important hurdle race of the season, the Stan James Champion Hurdle, won in 2016 by the wonder mare Annie Power. She scored in a course record time of 3m 45.10s, eclipsing the previous record of 3m 45.25s set by Jezki in 2014 and became the first mare since Flakey Dove in 1994 to win the Champion Hurdle and only the fourth in the race’s history.

There is also plenty of activity away from the racing on all four days of The Festival. Champion Day features a parade of past champions, entertainment around the racecourse, pre-racing interviews with racing celebrities in the parade ring and, of course, the legendary Festival Shopping Village. Don't miss the first day of another famous Festival week.

Ladies Day - Wednesday 15th March

Wednesday at The Festival is Ladies Day, giving you an opportunity to have some fun with our Ladies Day fashion awards.

The story of the ‘Comeback King’; Sprinter Sacre is not any normal horse and the horse known as the ‘Black Airplane’ won the 2016 renewal of the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in the most emphatic fashion to mark himself as one of the all-time greats with a scintillating second win in the Champion Chase. Ladies Day 2016 was bathed in late afternoon sunshine as Yvonne McAvoy took the honours with her stunning green outfit.

We are delighted to announce our Ambassadors for 2017 are: Roz Purcell – “Team Captain for Ireland” and Miss England Elizabeth Grant “Team Captain” for Great Britain.

Gates open at 10.30am with the first race at 1.30pm and the last race at 5.15pm.


Cheltenham Racecourse - The Festival

St Patrick's Thursday - Thursday 16th March

A real Irish flavour to this day is guaranteed, as we celebrate St Patrick's Day a couple of days early! The racing is as competitive as ever, with the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and the Ryanair Chase at the centre of the action addition to the racing, there will be plenty of Irish-style entertainment, as we party in full-on Festival Fashion.

Gates open at 10.30am with the first race at 1.30pm and the last race at 5.15pm

Cheltenham Gold Cup Day - Friday 17th March

The climax of the entire Jump racing season is the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, the highlight of the best day's racing of the year, with an atmosphere to match.

Gates open at 10.30am with the first race at 1.30pm and the last race at 5.15pm.


Cheltenham Racecourse - The Festival

What to wear

Being spring in England, the weather could do anything it wants to, so make sure you dress for it! Tweed items are both warm and comfortable, and are one of the more commonly seen items of clothing at the racetrack. Team them up with some leather wellies and long shooting socks and you will have nice warm feet throughout the day. Or if we get our early summer again, why not bring out that summer dress again (not you guys of course…) and show it off around the racetrack? Make sure you have some warmer gear too, because no matter how warm it is at midday, by the evening the temperature will have dropped.

For Ladies Day, you will need something a bit different though. The racecourse holds competitions for Best Dressed, Best Hat and Best Accessories, so it is a brilliant excuse to dress up like a queen for the day! Believe me, nothing is too extravagant for Ladies Day, and since there are fewer and fewer occasions to get dolled up, why not go an extra mile (or two) to see if you can win some of the fantastic prizes on offer?

For the accessories, make sure you have a bag large enough to carry around everything you might need (including an umbrella!). You will also need some gloves or wrist warmers to keep your hands toasty, as well as something to stop the chilly wind nipping at your ears. Why not head over to Timothy Foxx to pick up some of their super-warm ear warmers? Or in the case of the summer sun, make sure you have a sunhat and some UV protecting sunnies to help you eye up your potential winners in the parade ring.

And last but not least, jewellery. Since it’s spring – the time to start anew – why not have a look at some of our New Arrivals? It’s a good excuse to treat yourself to something shiny and new! Although, let’s face it, with Hiho jewellery, who really needs an excuse?! 

Our Hints and Tips

·         It is worthwhile having some spare clothing in the back of your car as no matter what the weather starts out like, you may well end up having to wring out what you are wearing, and there is nothing worse than a long car journey in wet clothes!

·         Don’t forget to drink plenty of liquids. You will be on your feet for a long time and you will need to stay hydrated to avoid the paramedics having extra work. Unfortunately, alcohol doesn’t count…

·         Allow plenty of time to get in and out of the raceground as the access is not brilliant and there can be very long queues.

·         It’s always worth a small flutter on the day, but make sure that you have in mind your own limit as to exactly how much you want to risk and do not go over it. Nothing ruins a day more than losing more money than you have!

Where to stay

There are several really nice places to stay in the area. Why not visit to see the brilliant selection of accommodation available. Just type Cheltenham Racecourse into the Search Box, and away you go! Or if you want the more luxurious approach, take a peek at some of the top quality hotels available at

Where is it?

Cheltenham racecourse is just north of Cheltenham on the A435. It is very clearly signposted from almost every direction, although if you want to use your SatNav, the postcode is GL50 4SH. Visit Google Maps here to see where it is.


To get up to date weather information, visit the BBC website here.

Some of the information above is excerpts taken from