For a long time Taunton Racecourse held the position of the 'youngest' racecourse in the United Kingdom - until Great Leighs and Ffos Las Racecourse burst onto the scene in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Although it may no longer be the freshest course on the block, Taunton sure knows how to please its regulars with National Hunt races to rival any of the bigger courses. As trainer Martin Pipe has his training stables not far from Taunton, you are likely to see one of his charges show off their skill; and with a bit of luck you might even catch a performance from Pipe's regular jockey Tony McCoy.
Address: Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, Somerset TA3 7BL
Phone: 01823 325 881
Horse racing has always been a much-loved past-time in the Taunton area. The earliest recorded races were staged at Broomhay, West Monkton in the late 1700s. Until 1812, when the complications of the Napoleonic wars put a stop to the racing at Broomhay, the site was a popular meeting point for the local racegoers. In 1913 the racing was moved to an area near the river known as Bridgewater - soon the fixtures made a name for themselves as the Bridgewater Hut Meetings. But the horse racing was doomed to lead a nomadic existence around Taunton, moving to Trull Moor in 1840 only to return to Bridgewater in 1855.
In 1927 Taunton Racecourse finally found its permanent home on Orchard Portman. It was the last racecourse to open its gates in the United Kingdom for 81 years, when Great Leigh was established in 2008, followed by the new newest racecourse in the country, Ffos Las.
Note: A free bus service is provided from Taunton Main Line Railway Station and Taunton Racecourse on race days.
The racecourse is located on the B3170 Road from Taunton to Corfe and Honiton. Take the M5 to Junction 25 and follow the signs to the racecourse.
The Orchard Restaurant: The Orchard Restaurant provides an excellent alternative to a more pricy private box. It affords a birds-eye view over the course and offers a delectable menu and impressive wine list. CCTV and totebetting facilities are available inside the restaurant, making it a convenient base for your raceday.
The Staplemead Suite: For private functions of up to 80 people, Taunton Racecourse offers the Staplemead Suite, a private box with wonderful views across the track and the winning post. A number of hospitality packages are available, sure to include the right choice of program and catering for every occasion.