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Southwell Course Guide

2024 Race week 6 - 29nd August
(buy tickets)

Southwell racecourse stages racing on both the All-Weather and Turf tracks throughout the year, making it one of the country's busiest racecourses. After previously owning the UK’s only fibresand surface All-Weather track, Southwell switched over to a Tapeta surface seen elsewhere around the country as of 2021.

See the 2023 Race week 6 - 13th September - the Final - Highlights

The course is 3 miles from Southwell town centre in Nottinghamshire, with a 25-minute train journey from Nottingham and a 45-minute train from Lincoln to the track’s nearest station of Rolleston which is adjacent to the racecourse.

Racing can be traced back as far as the mid-1800s at Southwell Racecourse where informal races between local landowners took place in the nearby area. Due to the growing popularity amongst spectators, a temporary race track was laid nearby the current track. However, records show that the course crossed a public road and due to safety concerns a new and safer venue was sought. The current location nearby the village of Rolleston was identified and the course hosted it’s first race on May 16, 1898 where a huge spectator crowd amassed.


Like most racecourses, racing was halted and the course repurposed throughout the World Wars, where Southwell was used as a storage depot by the RAF. The unique All-Weather track was built in 1989 allowing for racing to continue year-round. In November of 1989 Southwell hosted the first All-Weather National Hunt (Jumps) meeting in Britain, before the surface was used exclusively for Flat racing.

Southwell’s original All-Weather fibresand surface was the only of its kind among UK racecourses and was renowned for closely resembling American dirt tracks as racing on this surface produced a strong kickback of sand and is much slower and deeper and therefore requires more stamina than the other surfaces. As of 2021 the surface was switched to the more common Tapeta surface seen at racecourses in the UK such as Newcastle with the first flat fixture on the new surface taking place on 7th December 2021 for the Winter Oaks Trial.

The Track

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The track is a flat left-handed (horses run anti-clockwise) 1 and 1/4 mile oval track with a 3f home straight and a straight course which caters for the 5 furlong sprints. The whole track can be floodlit using state of the art LED technology, allowing for evening races over all distances throughout the winter.

Due to the switch in surface it is hard to say whether there is any track bias (which was certainly seen previously on the fibresand surface), but time will tell!

Notable Fixtures
All-Weather Championships
Southwell, like Newcastle and Lingfield, host All-Weather Championship races, along with another 4 All-Weather tracks. The season starts with a bang on New Years Day for the first of the fast-track qualifiers where you can watch the Fillies & Mares compete for their place at finals day on Good Friday at Newcastle!


For the jumpers
Southwell will host 18 National Hunt fixtures in 2022. May is the month with two feature race days; celebrate all things country at the Countryside Evening where alongside top jumps action you can enjoy live music and watch a parade of hounds and shire horses, or if a parachute and sky diving display is more your style then the Military Meeting is the one for you.

There is a variety of amenities at Southwell which caters for all racegoers; whether you want to relax on a lawn with your own picnic, experience the renowned fish and chips, or head to the Sherwood Bar to relax in comfort whilst watching the horses parade, Southwell has a little bit for everyone! Take a closer look at the racecourse map.

Racing League will be utilising free space inside and around the track to put on a real show, including food stalls, entertainment zone, fan-team interaction space and more.

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