Towcester Racecourse Guide

Towcester Course
Towcester Course (Philip Jeffrey /

Based in the lovely surroundings of the Easton Neston estate stands Towcester Racecourse, which claims to be one of the most picturesque racecourses in the country. We’ve been to plenty of attractive tracks in our time and this one is certainly a contender.

The racecourse is known for being a rather multi-purpose venue as it has also hosted greyhound racing on a regular basis since 2014. This is on top of 10 National Hunt fixtures that run between October and May.

Jump to: Course | Races | Useful Info | History


Swap Start/End

The Course

Towcester’s right-handed course is an extremely stiff one, largely thanks to a final mile which is uphill. It’s a particularly gruelling mile when the going is heavy and you can see many horses tail off here even if they look to be travelling well. At the same time, it’s a difficult place to make up ground so jockeys need to ensure they don’t linger too far behind before making their move.

The fences aren’t overly trying but on tough ground, tiredness can often lead to fallers towards the end of the race. There are also the two downhill fences, running away from the stands that can be tough to navigate cleanly even on the best of ground, particularly for novices.

Major Races

You won’t find much in the way of major races but that’s not to say talented horses don’t occasionally make an appearance. Refinement won here before winning the Punchestown Festival Stayers’ the following season and Albertas Run was victorious in a two mile Novices’ Chase, 18 months before his RSA Chase success at Cheltenham.


Towcester Grandstand
Towcester Grandstand (Ian Rob /

Although the focus is more on greyhound racing at Towcester these days, you can still have a great day out here watching the horses.

Useful Info

Dress Code

Towcester views a day at the races as a special occasion and encourages you to dress with this in mind. In the restaurant area, denim, sportswear, trainers and sandals are not allowed and this also applies in the Empress and Grace Stands where smart casual attire is the policy.

Ticket Prices

Towcester is very unique for allowing free entry for the vast majority of its racedays, an idea introduced in 2002 in order boost attendances. There is nothing you need to do and everyone is eligible, simply attend on the day and walk straight in.

For the odd raceday that does charge an admission fee, expect to pay around £10 for entrance. On all racedays you have the option to pay for some hospitality packages and these start at £25 per person for Afternoon Tea or £55 per person for a two course meal in the Pomfret Suite.


Due to most racedays being free, there is no membership scheme on offer at Towcester but there is the option of signing up for their free loyalty card.

Getting There

Towcester is far more tailored to car users as opposed those looking to travel by public transport. The nearest train and bus stations are to be found in Milton Keynes and Northampton, both 11 miles away, with the latter having slightly better connections. From Northampton bus station, you will need to take either the 88 or 89 service, which will take you just outside the racecourse in around an hour.


Free parking is available for all enclosures.


Aerial View of Towcester
Aerial View of Towcester (Chris /

Although the racecourse was only established under National Hunt rules in 1928, racing here dates back to 1876 when Elizabeth, the Empress of Austria stayed at Easton Neston. Being a keen rider, it was decided that a chase meeting should be arranged in her honour.

The Empress was so thrilled with what she saw that in return, she decided to set up a race meeting of her own to feature on Easter Monday, 1876. To prepare for this, a freshly laid course was placed in Easton Neston park. The meeting proved to be huge success and as a result, racing was scheduled for every future Easter Monday.

Lord Hesketh

In 1928, as well as holding its first official National Hunt meeting, the course was also put under control of the Towcester Racecourse Company, led by Lord Hesketh. A large and impressive grandstand was built for the inaugural meet and from then on plenty of money has been pumped into the course. Speaking in 2014, Lord Hesketh said that more than £15m had been spent, lots going on the greyhound track that opened in 2014.

The Fermor-Hesketh family have been owners of the course throughout its history, although in 2004 Lord Hesketh put the course up for sale. Following a change of heart, Lord Hesketh decided to sell only part of his share, this going to a Russian-born businessman. It remains at heart a family course and whilst unlikely to win many awards, retains a certain charm and is well worth a visit.