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Cheltenham Festival: March 14th-17th

Matt Crisp March 3, 2017

Here’s a date for your diary – this year’s Cheltenham Festival will be taking place between March 14th and 17th, and it’s certainly not one to be missed… so make sure you sort out your coach hire well in advance to avoid any potential problems with getting your party there and back.

There’s an awful lot to see and do besides watching as much horse-racing as you can, so come up with an itinerary before you go that details exactly what you want to get up to before going home again. Make sure you bring your camera with you as there are all sorts of statues of legendary horses cast in bronze waiting to be discovered, from Golden Miller and Dawn Run to Best Mate and Arkle… the perfect photo opportunity awaits!

You’d also be wise to make your way to the trophy room before leaving, with all the amazing trophies on display before they’re taken to the winners’ enclosure. You’ll need a Club or Tattersalls ticket to get inside so bear this in mind. There’s also a Hall of Fame (again, open to Club and Tattersalls ticket holders) that showcases the Gold Cup winners silks, the history of Cheltenham itself and all sorts of racing information, including a hologram of Desert Orchid.

And then, of course, there’s the Guinness Village where you can go to relax and spend all your horse-racing winnings! Lots of traditional bands take to the stage and play all day so it’s the perfect place to unwind after the racing has come to an end. What you will need to bear in mind is that this year, the organisers are cracking down on anti-social behaviour and to this end have brought in drinks restrictions, where punters will only be able to buy four alcoholic drinks at a time.

Chief executive Ian Renton was quoted by ITV as saying: “Our message is enjoy yourself and have a great day out at the races but don’t come here purely to drink. We want to ensure all racegoers can enjoy their race-going unhindered by people drinking irresponsibly.”

Don’t worry about feeding yourself, either, since the Festival is home to all sorts of mobile catering units across all the enclosures and there’s sure to be something for everyone. You’ll be able to find hog roasts, fish and chips, hot dogs, burgers, doughnuts, sandwiches and more, and there are all sorts of bars that also offer food as well as drink.

If you’re looking for something extra special, head to the Golden Miller Champagne Bar, which will have all sorts of different platters and amazing tapas towers that will keep you well fed. If you’re looking for a great view of the racing, however, consider booking the Panoramic Restaurant on the fifth floor of the grandstand, which overlooks the Winning Post, or Chez Roux at Cheltenham on the third floor of the Long Run boxes. There’s a balcony you can use to watch the horses charging up the hill. Amazing!