Established in 1539, Chester Racecourse is officially the oldest racecourse still in operation in England. The 260,000m2 site, which is relatively small in comparison to many other major English racecourses, is frequently featured on many Channel 4 racing shows. Described as England's finest walled city, Chester has existed for more than 2,000 years and is the birthplace of the famous James Bond actor, Daniel Craig.
A brief history
One of the most significant events in the history of this site occurred in 1533, when a football match was organised and subsequently banned by Chester for being too violent. As a compromise, the Mayor Henry Gree permitted the introduction of horse-racing to the area, which continued in subsequent centuries, although a grandstand was not designed until around 1810. Chester Racecourse has also been rebuilt on two occasions: firstly at the turn of the 20th century, and again in the 1980s, following a devastating fire in 1985.
Major events at the venue
One of the main events in the Chester racing calendar is the Chester Racecourse Polo Club, which has cemented its reputation as one of the leading racing events in the region and involves teams competing to win a coveted prize of £10,000. Chester Racecourse also offers excellent hospitality packages and is a popular venue for many special events like corporate functions and weddings.
Chester Racecourse is now the home of the renowned 1539 Restaurant and Bar, which serves delicious British-inspired dishes as well as a range of tantalising international dishes. The restaurant also features a fabulous roof lounge, which offers outstanding views over the racecourse and is a great venue for relaxing evening summer drinks.
Places of interest nearby
Probably the most famous attraction in the area is Chester Zoo, which exhibits more than 12,000 animals and has been voted the most popular zoo in the country. Chester is also home to a remarkably well preserved city centre, which features many picturesque Tudor buildings, elegant hotels near Chester Racecourse, and a formidable ancient cathedral.
Chester is home to an ancient amphitheatre, which dates back to the Roman period and was once a strategic military training centre and entertainment venue, although the site is now in ruins. Another attraction that is suitable for people of all ages is the Blue Planet Aquarium in nearby Cheshire Oaks, which showcases more than 100 living displays and offers visitors the opportunity to dive with sharks.
Places to stay nearby
Choose the exquisite Chester Grosvenor Hotel if you're looking for deluxe accommodation in an award-winning Grade II listed venue. For affordable, stylish hotels near Chester Racecourse, consider the Holiday Inn Express Chester, or choose the sophisticated and conveniently located Mill Hotel & Spa overlooking the canal.
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