Thirsk Racecourse is situated in the wonderful old cobbled market town of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, forever immortalised as ‘Darrowby’ in the literary works of the World’s most famous veterinary author, James Herriot; who, interestingly, occasionally found himself detailed to work at the Racecourse on racedays! Herriot’s former surgery (and home) is now the World of James Herriot Museum – definitely worth a pre-race visit if time permits.
The Thirsk Racecourse facilities have benefited from huge and widespread investment over the past few years and really are up there amongst the best in the land. Numerous options to partake in light (or not so light!) refreshments are spread far and wide around the Racecourse. Experience fine dining a la carte in the historic Hambleton Dining Room; or Dine & View in style in the luxuriously appointed Thomas Lord Restaurant. Savour a delicious seafood platter with fine champagne on the Shrimp & Stirrup terrace; or grab some delicious Yorkshire fish & chips outside the James Herriot Hall. There’s something to suit every pallet and every pocket!
Renowned for its beautifully maintained paddock, Thirsk Racecourse has an idyllic country charm about it, yet it is a thoroughly modern venue with outstanding facilities; not least free Wi-Fi for everyone! Thirsk is ever popular across the generations and really is suitable for anyone, from the most seasoned racing ‘nut’ to the first time racegoer.
In 2017 Thirsk stages 16 days of fabulous, competitive flat racing between April and September, including a Family Sunday fixture with a ‘Discover Racing’ theme, 2 evening meetings, 3 summer Family Days featuring lots of fun for children and no less than 5 fantastic Saturday afternoon racedays.
The Thirsk season gets off to a big start on 22nd April with the first of its Saturday afternoon meetings launching proceedings for 2017. Hot on the heels of this come 4 more weekend race meetings, in each of the 4 proceeding weeks, including Thirsk’s spring highlights – the Totepool Thirsk Hunt Cup Day on Saturday 6th May and the increasingly popular Irish Day on Saturday 20th May.
Fast-forward into the summer months and there are numerous more opportunities to enjoy the exciting Thirsk action from amongst the charming and beautiful surrounds of one of the country’s prettiest racecourses. These include: Tuesday 20th June, featuring all the Royal Ascot action (broadcast live in between each Thirsk race); the self-explanatory Pennine Brewery Beer Festival Evening Meeting on Tuesday 18th July; the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival comes to Thirsk on Friday 28th July; and the summer highlight – Totepool Thirsk Summer Cup Day – will be on Saturday 5th August.
Encouraging families to make the most of the ‘kids go free’ value on offer, the Summer Cup Day action is rapidly proceeded by some wonderful Family Days, complete with lots of fun to keep the children entertained through the summer holidays, including Star Wars Family Day Tuesday 15th August; James Herriot All Creatures Great & Small Family Day Monday 21st August; and Pirates Family Day Friday 1st September.
But, we save the best ‘til last! The season climaxes in a frenzy of fashion with the famed annual Thirsk Ladies’ Day, Saturday 9th September. And what a day this is – where fashion meets the flat and the girls (and boys) never disappoint! Colour, Champagne, hats, competitions, flirting and fun define this fabulous occasion, which never ever disappoints. One of the highlights of the North Yorkshire social calendar, it’s the day we all look forward to all season long and tickets sell fast, so be sure to book yours now!
A warm welcome awaits you at Thirsk in 2017 – where the racing, facilities and friendly staff will make your visit a winning one, whatever the outcome on the track itself. Get a day at Thirsk Races in your diary now!
totepool Thirsk Hunt Cup Day – Saturday 6 May
Irish Day – Saturday 20 May
totepool Thirsk Summer Cup – Saturday 5 August
Ladies’ Day – Saturday 9 September.
Racing on the present site at Thirsk began on 15 March 1855 on what was then the Thirsk Hall Estate of Squire Frederick Bell, and indeed remains in the Bell Family to this day. Royal patronage was first welcomed at Thirsk in 1895 when the Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VII – attended the autumn meeting, for which a special grandstand was built as the Royal Pavilion, which stood on the Racecourse for some thirty years. Thirsk Racecourse is also a ‘Classic’ venue having staged the 1940 renewal of the St. Leger Stakes (the world’s oldest classic race) which was won by the Aga Khan’s Turkham and ridden by the greatest jockey of that era, Sir Gordon Richards.
Apart from James Herriot, Thirsk has another very accomplished son in Thomas Lord, who was born there in 1755. An accomplished cricketer himself, Lord founded the world’s most famous cricket ground, Lord’s. His old house in Thirsk is now the Town Museum.