The Northumberland Plate Day, and Ladies Day at Newcastle Races are two of the biggest racing events on the calendar in the North East, but they’re by no means the only ones. There are over 400 racing events this summer, with something for everyone at each event. The whole race day experience has been taken up a notch, as I experienced at Newcastle Ladies Day.
Disclaimer: I received 2 complimentary tickets to Newcastle Ladies Day Party in the Park on behalf of Great British Racing and Newcastle Racecourse, in exchange for social media and blog coverage.
Like everyone it’s been a while since I attended the racing due to the couple of years of crowds being on hold, but it was something I always enjoyed in the past, with Plate Day and Ladies Day in the calendar early. I’ve also enjoyed days at both Hexham and York Races too, and these are just some of the 40 plus locations where you can enjoy the Great British racing in the UK.
Ladies Day this year was unlike any other I’ve experienced, as I was invited by GBR and Newcastle Races to attend their Party in the Park area, hosted by sponsors Gainford Group. Like thousands of other racegoers we got our fascinators and frocks ready, and turned up for a fun day of racing, fashion, food and entertainment.
Party in the Park Newcastle Races Experience
The Party in the Park section is unlike any of the other areas at the racecourse, as it’s in the middle of the track, so you have to cross over to get to it. You arrive through the hospitality marquee area, and are escorted over the track by security who also give you a run through of safety for when the horses are running.
From here we were given our table, which was set up with a drinks package including two bottles of wine and some beers in a big bucket. The menu for the food, and the raceday program were all on the table too. Staff are on hand, as it’s table service if you want anything else in addition to the package, and there are all sorts on the menu including cocktails and soft drinks.
There were tables under the marquee cover, and that’s also where the bar and the food prep area are, and then there were the private pod areas. These looked great, with the glass domes that had a set table inside, plus a private garden area with a picnic table outside too. They were separated from each other by white picket fences.
Within this section there were also a couple of betting stands, so you didn’t have to cross the track every time you wanted to put a bet on, and it had its own toilets. Both of these things were ideal, and probably the biggest benefit of a race day experience here. With it being so popular every year, attracting big crowds, having this type of ticket meant we didn’t queue for the betting stands, the toilets or for a drink throughout the entire day.
As each race is every half an hour or so, this was such a benefit and really made a huge difference to the whole experience. It was so convenient, and meant you could enjoy the time between races without missing anything, needing to go to the bar, or standing in a queue to pick your bets out. I don’t think I’d go back to a standard ticket again!
From this spot we had a fabulous view over the whole race course, including the track itself and the finish line, the hospitality, premier and grandstand areas, and the winners circle where the horses walked out from. It also meant you could see in real time right in front of you which horse won as it ran past.
Despite food and drinks being served to tables, it didn’t take away from the atmosphere at all. Everyone made their way to watch each race at the fence that cornered us off from the track, meaning it was still really exciting and didn’t lose the excitement of the races. The opposite in fact.
There are so many staff on hand to help with drinks and food, that you aren’t ever waiting long if you want to order. They have card machines for payments in addition to what you have included in your ticket, but it’s worth noting there is no cash machine in this section so be prepared with your betting money before making your way over.
The food was a slider menu, which included four different burgers, one of which was a vegetarian option, but you are asked at the time of booking if there are any dietary requirements so these would be catered for. A range of sides came with it including potatoes and vegetables. It was really good food, even being served outside we polished it off. Again it was ideal not to have to factor in standing in queues, or having nowhere to sit to eat it.
Throughout the day we kept going between our table to choose our bets and have food and drinks, and putting our bets on and watching the races. We had a couple of winners between us too, and struck up conversation with some of the more seasoned racegoers who were passing on their tips. We just went for the names we like and didn’t do too badly.
As well as the racing the Raceday Style Awards were also in full swing, with scouts picking out their picks for best dressed men and women on the day. The prizes were fabulous and there were plenty of amazing, flamboyant and different outfits to choose from.
After the racing had finished, you could stay for the after race entertainment, which was Rosie Ramsey’s live karaoke sing along, on the big stage that was set up by the racecourse. Alternatively, the Gainford Group after party was held at Aveika, and they put on buses from the racecourse into town.
Racing is Everyone’s Turf With Great British Racing
This was just my experience of the races at Newcastle Racecourse this summer, a brilliant day out with great service and a lot of fun seeing the horses. Great British Racing are spreading the message that racing is Everyone’s Turf, with a summer program of over 400 racedays still going on for everyone to enjoy.
There are further racing events being held at Newcastle Racecourse, or maybe you fancy another northern trip like Thirsk or Carlisle. They’re up and down the country, including recognisable courses like Epsom and Newmarket further south.
Great British Racing aim to deliver something for everyone in addition to the horses, a fun day out with friends or family, good food from a range of vendors and hospitality packages, and live entertainment post racing.
Find out more including upcoming racedays on the Great British Racing, Everyone’s Turf webpage here. A day out to the races has long been something I’ve enjoyed for many years, so it’s a campaign that fit naturally and I’ve loved being a part of it.
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