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Three Yorkshire Courses Among the Top 11

  • All British racecourses accredited as ‘good’ or better by LiveTourism and VisitScotland
  • Three Scottish Racecourses secure five stars from VisitScotland
  • LiveTourism announce top 11 racecourses for raceday experience
  • Racecourses nationwide celebrate success with RCA Excellence Accolades

The Racecourse Association’s (RCA) Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme (QARS) in 2019 once again saw all British racecourses accredited as ‘good’ or better, demonstrating the continued investment in raceday experience by British Racecourses.

Each racecourse is visited by a trained assessor from LiveTourism or VisitScotland whose job is to objectively assesses the raceday experience. This assessment includes all customer touchpoints from the raceday and also comprises pre and post event information.

LiveTourism, responsible for all assessments in England and Wales, confirmed the top 11 racecourses for raceday experience in 2019 were (alphabetised): Aintree, Ascot, Beverley, Cheltenham, Chester, Newbury, Newmarket (July), Wetherby, Wincanton and York. The venues included in this prestigious list scored impressively throughout their assessments particularly in the core Racecourse section where the average score was 88.2%.

In Scotland, Ayr, Hamilton Park and Musselburgh all retained their five-star ratings, confirming the long-standing offering of excellence to racegoers and recognising their continued investment into the raceday experience. Perth retained their four-star rating and Kelso improved from a three-star to a four-star attraction for the first time, meaning that all racecourses in Scotland are now considered excellent or exceptional venues by VisitScotland.

RCA Excellence Accolades were presented to racecourses that achieved exemplary scores in specific areas of the assessments. These accolades were presented to racecourses at the 2019 Showcase & Awards at Hamilton Park Racecourse in November:

Fast Food Outlet

Goodwood—The Earls Lawn

Wetherby—Sweet Shop

York—Eat Between Our Races

Lovely Loos




Hamilton Park


Bar Area

Newbury—Rhododendron Bar

Quality Café/Restaurant

Ascot—Horsewalk Inn

Ayr—Silks Café Bistro

Hamilton Park—Dukes

Musselburgh—The Bistro

Sandown Park—The Brasserie

Staff Customer Service







Visitor Information & Signage



Chelmsford City





Paul Swain, the RCA’s Brand & Experience Manager, commented “The RCA’s Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme provides all racecourses with a recognised kitemark of quality from renowned experts LiveTourism and VisitScotland. The assessments are incredibly thorough and provide detailed feedback on every element of the customer experience. Combined with racegoer feedback, such evidence is invaluable as we strive to ensure racing remains a world class day out.

“I’m thrilled to see so many racecourses receive the recognition they deserve and the RCA looks forward to working alongside all racecourses to continue to enhance the raceday experience.”

Mandy Lane, LiveTourism Director, said “Our first year of assessments highlights the great work achieved in the customer experience at racecourses since the inception of the Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme. Striving for continual improvement is essential when consumers have many choices in how to spend their leisure time and money.

“The levels of commitment and innovative examples we have observed ranks racing competitively with many leading visitor attractions as a first-choice day out.”  

Riddell Graham, Director of Industry and Destination Development at VisitScotland, said “It is a testament to the dedication of the racecourse staff that they continue to strive for excellence in delivering a high-quality experience for all visitors. These racecourses continue to retain or improve on their star-rating awards in the VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme for Visitor Attractions.

“The impact of tourism goes far beyond the holiday experience, it is vital to the Scottish economy, and so ensuring that experience meets and exceeds visitor expectations is crucial in making Scotland a world class destination.”