Cheltenham Racecourse Enclosures and Facilities

Cheltenham Racecourse is one of the country’s most prestigious sporting venues and offers visitors a huge range of viewing options – the enclosures include top hospitality, restaurants as well as outside viewing areas

Best Mate Enclosure

Named after three times Gold Cup winner Best Mate, the Best Mate Enclosure is located in the middle of the racecourse opposite the grandstands which gives racegoers great views of the racing. The enclosure has not long since been redeveloped and offers visitors an extensive variety of food, bars and betting facilities.

The Best Mate Enclosure is known for having a buzzing atmosphere and during the festival, the entertainment will often include leading ‘cover’ bands.

However, please note The Best Mate Enclosure doesn’t provide access to the Parade Ring or additional entertainment and activities such as the Shopping Village.

Grandstand Enclosure

The  Grandstand provides great views of the course, and there are numerous bars, food outlets and betting facilities. Patrons of the grandstand enclosure have access to The Centaur, the Paddock, unsaddling enclosure, the Hall of Fame, the Gold Cup and Festival Restaurants, the tented village and all bookmakers in the betting ring.

During the Festival, there is the famous Guinness Village which extends the Grandstand enclosure with extra viewing steps, bars, bands and entertainment.

The Premier Enclosure

The Premier Enclosure is the best sited enclosure at Cheltenham. It offers the best viewing, restaurants, bars and betting areas. The purchase of a Premier day badge for the Festival allows the race goers to use use the grandstand facilities as well.
The Premier Enclosure includes the new Princess Royal stand (when do we stop calling it new?) with added food and drink facilities as well as further steppings with an excellent view over the course. It also accommodates annual members facilities.
Situated in the Premier Enclosures are two of the most evocative bars on British racecourses. The Tommy Atkins Bar is so-called because the racecourse was used as a hospital in the First World War.
Nearby is the Arkle Bar (pictured) dedicated to the great steeplechaser who won the Gold Cup in 1964, 1965 and 1966, and the walls are covered with pictures and newspaper cuttings to ‘himself’.
Outside the Festival,  Cheltenham’s Premier and Grandstand Enclosures are combined to form a single enclosure.

 Parade Ring

The Parade Ring at Cheltenham is surrounded on three sides by terracing and overlooking balconies with direct access from the Grandstand and Premier enclosures. It not only affords excellent views of the runners parading before each race, but also the winners’ enclosure when victorious horses are greeted like no other winners in racing.

The Centaur

The Centaur is an indoors events facility, providing over 1000 additional seats at the Festival. There’s a big screen to watch all the racing, various betting outlets, bars and food vendors. This facility is available to race goers in the Grandstand and Premier enclosures and is popular both during and after racing.  After the last race during the Festival, there is live music.

The Shopping Village


It’s as if every purveyor of country clothing ups  sticks and descends on Prestbury Park to set up camp whenever there’s racing. There are dozens of stalls where hats sporting feathers (from game birds) vie for attention with waxed jackets. Rivaling the tweeds are works of art. The Shopping Village is well worth a visit but be warned that purchases are likely to leave blisters on your credit or debit card.