Horse racing, known as the 'Sport of Kings' is a popular sport in England. It likely takes its royal nickname due to the fact that some of the first competitive horse races were organised on private courses at Newmarket by King James I 1605 and flourished under Charles II. Horse racing increased in popularity over the following centuries and there are now 52 racecourses throughout England, the most well-known hosting some of the best racing in the world.
Each racecourse in England has a unique character, history and tradition that will guarantee a great sporting experience and a wonderful day out. All major racing venues can be easily reached by car, bus or train. The English racing calendar has two distinctive seasons; the Jump season that runs from October to April and the Flat season that runs from April to October. Flat racing is considered the more glamourous of the two events and is most prestigious in terms of prize money.
Major events in England's horse racing calendar include: the Grand National, the Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival, and the Epsom Derby. Royal Ascot in particular, is seen a glamourous event that sees racing fans taking flights to England from all around the world, many booking hotels, B&Bs and cottages in the town and the surrounding countryside. Betting on horses is big business and many of the big races with see fans travelling across the country to have a flutter.