Where Can I Find Horse Racing Near Belfast?

Are you a horse racing enthusiast looking for exciting equestrian fixtures near Belfast? With iconic racecourses like Down Royal, said to be hosting races since 1685, Northern Ireland offers some of the best horse racing experiences.

This blog will guide you through the top venues for horse racing near Belfast and what to expect at these memorable events. Let’s get ready to discover thrilling equine sports right on your doorstep!

Horse Racing Near Belfast

There are two main horse racing venues near Belfast: Down Royal Racecourse and Downpatrick Racecourse.

Down Royal Racecourse

Down Royal Racecourse, steeped in history since 1685, is one of the top horse racing venues near Belfast. Its prime location, merely a half-hour drive from the city centre makes it an easily accessible equestrian delight.

This venue is not just about horse races; its role as part of Northern Ireland’s vibrant culture shines through with each event. Boasting bars like the Bushmills Bar and Dark Horse Wine Bar on site, it ensures attendees also experience local flavours amidst high stakes races.

On your way to Down Royal Racecourse, you might want to stop for a pint at Gowdy’s pub, a popular spot among locals and visitors alike. Famed for hosting both Flat and National Hunt racing throughout the year now sets its sight on your next unforgettable horse race experience!

Downpatrick Racecourse

Downpatrick Racecourse, located just one mile from the historic town of Downpatrick, is known as the home of National Hunt Racing in Northern Ireland. This racecourse offers an exciting and exhilarating experience for horse racing fans.

With its stunning surroundings and challenging track, it attracts both seasoned jockeys and enthusiastic spectators alike. Whether you’re looking to witness thrilling jumps or immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of a race day, Downpatrick Racecourse is the place to be.

Soak up the local culture and enjoy a day filled with equestrian excitement at this renowned racing venue near Belfast.

Don’t miss out on all that Downpatrick Racecourse has to offer! Experience top-class horse racing events, indulge in delicious food and drink options available on-site, and embrace the lively energy of this popular racecourse.

Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to horse racing, Downpatrick Racecourse guarantees an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more. Get ready for heart-pounding action at this iconic venue where passion meets skilled horsemanship amidst breathtaking scenery.

Other Racing Venues

In addition to Down Royal and Downpatrick racecourses, there are other venues in Northern Ireland where you can enjoy horse racing near Belfast. These venues also offer thrilling races and a vibrant atmosphere for horse racing enthusiasts.

So, if you’re looking to expand your horizons and experience different racing tracks, be sure to explore these other options in the region.

Upcoming Fixtures and Events

The upcoming fixtures and events in horse racing near Belfast include the Ladbrokes Festival of Racing, Christmas Party Nights, Molson Coors Race Day, and Boxing Day Races.

Ladbrokes Festival of Racing

The Ladbrokes Festival of Racing is one of the most anticipated events in the horse racing calendar. Held at Down Royal Racecourse, this festival showcases thrilling races and top-notch competition.

Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or new to the sport, you won’t want to miss this exhilarating event. The festival offers a range of hospitality packages for those looking to make their day extra special.

Plus, with various food and drink options available on-site, you can indulge in delicious treats while enjoying the action-packed races. So mark your calendars and get ready for an unforgettable experience at the Ladbrokes Festival of Racing.

Christmas Party Nights

Experience the magic of horse racing during the festive season with exciting Christmas Party Nights at Down Royal Racecourse. This is your chance to combine thrilling races with a fun-filled celebration.

Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, where locals and visitors alike come together for an unforgettable night out. Enjoy cheering on your favorite horses while indulging in delicious food and drinks from various bars on-site, including the popular Bushmills Bar and Dark Horse Wine Bar.

Get into the holiday spirit as you mingle with friends, colleagues, or fellow racing enthusiasts amidst dazzling decorations and live entertainment. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to make lasting memories at one of Northern Ireland’s premier horse racing venues.

Molson Coors Race Day

The Molson Coors Race Day is an exciting event held at Down Royal Racecourse in Northern Ireland. It is one of the highlights on the horse racing calendar in Belfast, attracting both avid racing fans and casual spectators.

On this special day, you can expect thrilling races featuring top-class horses competing for glory. As you cheer for your favorite horse, make sure to take advantage of the fantastic hospitality packages available, which offer a range of food and drink options to enhance your race day experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned punter or simply looking for a fun day out with friends and family, the Molson Coors Race Day guarantees an unforgettable time filled with adrenaline-fueled excitement.

Boxing Day Races

The Boxing Day Races are an exciting horse racing event that takes place at Down Royal Racecourse near Belfast. Held annually on December 26th, this event attracts both avid horse racing fans and those looking to enjoy a fun day out with family and friends.

With its rich history dating back to 1685, the racecourse provides a picturesque setting for thrilling races during the festive season. Whether you’re cheering on your favorite jockey or just soaking up the lively atmosphere, the Boxing Day Races at Down Royal are not to be missed.

So mark your calendars and get ready for a memorable day of horseracing action!

What to Expect at a Horse Racing Event

At a horse racing event, you can expect various hospitality packages, delicious food and drinks, and a specific dress code to follow.

Hospitality Packages

Hospitality packages are a fantastic way to enhance your horse racing experience near Belfast. At Down Royal Racecourse, you can enjoy VIP treatment with their exclusive hospitality options.

These packages offer luxurious amenities and prime viewing areas, allowing you to indulge in the excitement of the races while enjoying first-class service. Downpatrick Racecourse also offers hospitality packages that provide a premium race day experience.

With access to private suites or marquees, you’ll have the perfect spot to relax and socialize with friends or clients. Treat yourself to delicious food and drinks, all while taking in the thrilling atmosphere of live horse racing.

These hospitality packages not only elevate your enjoyment of the races but also provide an opportunity for networking and creating lasting memories. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply want to make your day at the races extra special, consider booking a hospitality package for an unforgettable experience.

Food and Drink

At the horse racing venues near Belfast, you can enjoy a variety of food and drink options to enhance your race day experience. Down Royal Racecourse offers various bars on-site, including the public Bushmills Bar, Dark Horse Wine Bar, and outdoor options.

At Downpatrick Racecourse, there are also food and drink facilities available for racegoers to enjoy. So whether you’re in the mood for a refreshing pint or a delicious meal, you’ll find plenty of choices to satisfy your hunger and thirst while watching the thrilling races.

Dress Code

The dress code at horse racing events near Belfast is typically smart casual. While there may not be strict rules, it’s still important to dress appropriately for the occasion. Many racegoers choose to wear dresses or skirts with a nice top, or trousers paired with a smart blouse or shirt.

It’s also common to see men wearing suits or blazers with trousers and a collared shirt. However, if you prefer a more relaxed look, neat jeans and a stylish top are usually acceptable too.

Just remember to avoid wearing sportswear such as tracksuits or athletic shorts, as these are generally not considered appropriate attire for the races.

How to Get to the Racecourses

Transportation options include public buses, private shuttles, and driving your own car.

Transportation Options

Getting to the racecourses near Belfast is easy with various transportation options available. Whether you prefer public transport or driving yourself, there are convenient ways to reach the horse racing venues.

If you don’t have a car, you can hop on a train from Belfast to Downpatrick or Lisburn and then take a short taxi ride to the racecourse. Alternatively, buses also operate from Belfast city centre to both Down Royal and Downpatrick Racecourse, making it accessible for all.

For those who prefer driving, there is ample parking available at both venues so you can easily drive yourself and enjoy the excitement of horse racing without worrying about finding a spot for your car.

Parking Information

Parking at both Down Royal Racecourse and Downpatrick Racecourse is available for visitors. At Down Royal, there is ample parking on-site for those attending the races. The racecourse provides designated parking areas close to the entrance, making it convenient for spectators.

Similarly, at Downpatrick Racecourse, parking facilities are provided near the venue, ensuring ease of access to horse racing events. Whether you choose to attend one of the fixtures at Down Royal or visit Downpatrick Racecourse, rest assured that parking will be available for your convenience.

Directions from Belfast

From Belfast, getting to Down Royal Racecourse and Downpatrick Racecourse is a breeze. Both racecourses are easily accessible by car, with a quick 30-minute journey from the city center.

If you prefer public transportation, there are also bus options available that will take you directly to the racecourses. Whether you choose to drive or take the bus, you’ll be able to enjoy a day of thrilling horse racing action in no time.


You don’t have to travel far from Belfast to find exciting horse racing events. Down Royal Racecourse, located just 30 minutes away, has been hosting races since 1685 and offers a wide range of amenities.

If you’re interested in National Hunt Racing, Downpatrick Racecourse is also nearby. So grab your friends and head out for a thrilling day at the races!

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