So presumably you’ve got somewhere near Cheltenham. For me I always fly from Belfast on the Monday night before. I always stay in Birmingham. Far cheaper accommodation and right beside a main train station (New Street)
The train up to Cheltenham Spa is always very busy so it’s advisable to pre-book, pick up your tickets earlier and then get straight in the queue.
Online booking can save you a few quid too. To be fair to staff at New Street they run it like clockwork. The 9:30am train always works for us. Gets in at the Cheltenham Spa train station around 10:15/10:30am, depending on slight delays of boarding. Now the fun begins. The station here is tiny. So all of a sudden you have 300 people trying to get through a small walkway. Once through there will be an even bigger queue for the double decker’s ready to take you straight to the course. It’s normally £5 return from the station.
Traffic is always busy as you can imagine so allow 30mins to get from the station to the course. If you have time it’s worth getting off in the town centre somewhere maybe for a pint or something to eat, even to check the local bookmakers offers. You should still have plenty of time to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the 15min walk to the course from the town centre. On the way you’ll meet all sorts of promo girls handing out scarves, free bets, paper hats amongst all other types of promo stuff.
Once at the course especially if it’s your first time it’s worth getting acclimatized to your surroundings. Depending on your ticket will depend what areas you will be allowed in.
“If you are simply a festival fan then the Guinness village is probably the one for you, love music and big screens and a steady access of pints will no doubt be the ingredients for a good day”.
I always go for club enclosure as it gives you access to all the main areas from the parade ring right through to the winning post. There is also access to tote and plenty of bars and places to eat.
When racing is finished hopefully you’ll be quid’s in and can enjoy a post-race drink in the Arkle Bar. Then a dander back into town and enjoy the night before the last train. One last bit of advice, getting a taxi after racing will be absolute gold dust for a few hours and if you do get one be prepared to pay over the odds, so if you can pre-arrange one all the better.
Article by @partydoco