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Horses at the Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival

This year, hop on a train and make your way to the annual Cheltenham Festival. It’s one of the biggest events of the year, so come along and join in the fun of this four-day Jump racing festival, including Gold Cup Day.

Book up to 29 September 2023 on selected routes

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When is Cheltenham Festival?

Cheltenham Festival will take place between Tuesday 14 March and Friday 17 March 2023.

What to expect at Cheltenham Festival

Enjoy the very best of Jump racing at the Cheltenham races. It’s a fun, exciting and popular event taking place over four days. There’s plenty going on, including:

  • Champion Day – the first day of the festival featuring one of the most important races of the season – the Champion Hurdle
  • Ladies Day – a chance for the ladies to dress up and watch the races in their finest clothes
  • St Patrick’s Thursday – celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style with plenty of horse racing and a trip to the Guinness Village
  • Gold Cup Day – the most exciting day of the year. Don’t miss the Cheltenham Gold Cup

How do I get to Cheltenham Racecourse?

The nearest station is Cheltenham Spa. There is another station at the racecourse but this is a tourist attraction and not part of the general network.

Cheltenham Spa is just 3 miles from Cheltenham Racecourse. During the festival, a shuttle bus will run to and from the races.

Trains run from other parts of the country too, but may not go directly to Cheltenham Spa.

How do I get from the station to the festival?

A shuttle bus service will be running between Cheltenham Spa and Cheltenham Racecourse via the town centre. You can buy bus tickets for £6 when you arrive at the station. The last shuttle to the racecourse leaves at 13:15.

A taxi from Cheltenham Spa to the racecourse takes about 10 minutes.

Feeling active? Then why not walk or cycle along the Honeybourne Line to the festival.

Will strike action affect my journey?

Extra trains will be provided for the majority of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, however, planned strike action will mean only an extremely limited service on Thursday 16 March and Saturday 18 March.

Racing at the festival begins on Tuesday 14 March and ends with Gold Cup Day on Friday 17 March.

Due to industrial action at a number of rail operators, a very limited train service will be able to serve Cheltenham on Thursday 16 and Saturday 18 March, and customers are warned to seek alternative ways to travel to/from the racecourse. The small number of services that can operate will be extremely busy, and last trains will leave much earlier than usual.

On Tuesday 14, Wednesday 15 and Friday 17 March, however, 11 extra services each day are being laid on to take customers to and from the festival.

Those looking to travel by train on these days are being warned that a queuing system will be in place at the station for the return journey and customers will have to wait to safely board a train.

Where can I park?

Cheltenham Spa car park will be shut from Saturday 11 March and reopens on Sunday 19 March. This is so the car park area can be set up and used for a queueing system and shuttle bus service linking the station to the racecourse.

The drop-off and pick-up area remains open throughout the event.

There will be no on-street parking close to the station. Alternative parking can be found at:

  • NCP, The Brewery Quarter, GL50 4EJ
  • Arle Court Park and Ride, GL51 6SY (locked daily from 20:00 to 07:00)

Stay a while

Once you’re here, there’s no reason to race away. Visit the historic spa town of Cheltenham itself and enjoy a range of parks, galleries, and other cultural delights as well as great food and shopping.

Find out more about what Cheltenham has to offer.