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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

This weekend will mark the last summer Bank Holiday Weekend and the beginning of the end of summer. With this in mind Great British Racing, horse racing’s promotional body, is encouraging families to take advantage of free entry for under 18s at racecourses across the country. So why not take advantage and have a day at the races?

Bank Holiday Races


Children at Ascot enjoying the racing
(Pic Dan Abraham –

Kids Go Free

It’s a little-known fact that under 18s go free to almost every British racecourse on almost every race day. So if you’re looking for a fun activity that won’t break the bank, a day out at the races might be for you.

Many family-friendly racedays include additional activities for families and young people, all taking place alongside a stunning backdrop of horseracing. This summer’s events include pony rides, fairground attractions, football training, bouncy castles and face painting.

Fun for the whole family

Great British Racing has been taking this message to families nationwide via its StirrUpSummer campaign, which has included partnerships with popular DJ and presenter Sara Cox, YouTube sensation Caspar Lee, and X Factor stars, Reggie N’Bollie. 

Upcoming Events

Next weekend alone offers free entry for under 18s (in some cases under 17s – check individual website for full T&Cs) at the following racedays across the UK:

Saturday 26 August

  • Goodwood Racecourse – August Bank Holiday Raceday
  • Cartmel Racecourse – Totepool Cartmel Cup Day
  • York Racecourse – Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival

Sunday 27 August

  • Goodwood Racecourse – August Bank Holiday Raceday
  • Great Yarmouth Racecourse – August Bank Holiday Family Fun Day
  • Beverley – A Sunday Hop

Monday 28 August

  • Ripon Racecourse – Bank Holiday Family Day
  • Chepstow Racecourse – Bank Holiday Family Raceday
  • Epsom Racecourse – Family Fun Day; Superheroes Return
  • Cartmel Racecourse – Coral Bookmakers August Bank Holiday Monday
  • Southwell Racecourse – Nottinghamshire Sports Day

Speaking about the campaign, Sara Cox said: “Racing is such a brilliant day out and the fact that under 18s go free, not just during the summer holidays but throughout the year, makes it even better.

“There is so much do – from seeing the amazing horses in the paddock before the race, to watching them thunder past you and enjoying all the other activities around the course. If you’ve never been before then I’d definitely encourage you to give it a go this summer.”

For full Bank Holiday listings and information, head to