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Cheltenham Festival: last-minute tips for first-time female racegoers

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

If “what to wear” is the most burning question – continue reading!

Check your tickets: are you lucky enough to get a hospitality package at one of the restaurants? Then you probably shouldn’t be worrying too much about wrapping up warm as you’ll be sitting most of the time at a jam-packed restaurant watching the races on a screen.

If you have tickets for Best Mates, Tattersalls or Club Enclosure, there is no difference – you will be on your feet all day. There is a very limited number of seats at the cafes which normally get occupied first thing in the morning.

Comfortable footwear is absolutely crucial, and if waterproof, you will thank yourself later. Got Fairfax & Favor boots? You’ll be alright!

Absolutely don’t – in no circumstances – wear Ascot-type outfits, making fool of yourself. Cheltenham style is all about Fedora hats, tweeds, cashmere, leather, country-style chic… If you feel that something is missing, don't worry: the Shopping Village has got all you might need.

Remember, the Festival takes place in March when the British weather is at its worse! It could be all four seasons in one day, and it will definitely be cold and windy. Woollen, roll-neck tops or large scarves are your best friends! Definitely take a big dome-shaped brolly with you. I would also recommend wearing gloves.

Other Cheltenham "Do Nots":

- bare legs;

- high heels;

- silky skirts.

Some other practical tips

Take some snack bars in your bag, but generally queues to the cafes drop throughout the races.

Considering parking your car at the racecourse car park? It is on a slope and has a grassy surface which turns into a wet, messy sludge at this time of year so your footwear will be dirty and your car will need a man (or two) to push to the exit, so bear that in mind. Consider a pick up or public transport instead.

If you are definitely going by car, pack and leave in your car spare socks and comfy shoes to change out of your soggy footwear upon returning to your car. At least you will be driving home in comfort!

Finally, enjoy your day!



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