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Cheltenham Festival

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  • #251
    Salselon
    Member
    • Total Posts 883

    Hello,

    I’m sure this has been asked before but I couldn’t find any old threads.

    I’m considering going to Cheltenham for Champion Hurdle day on the 13th. Is it necessary or worth it to pay for the top enclosure (club?) – as in is Tatts just too crazy to see anything?

    Also, I would be getting the train from London – currently £45 which is quite expensive … but, how far is the racecourse from the train station?

    Any other tips to avoid a disaster or make the day more enjoyable?

    Many thanks,<br>Andrew

    #27687
    dave 22
    Member
    • Total Posts 339

    the first day is the best day imo.<br>however, if your going for the best view, thats prob best from you tv at home so set the recorder! <br>the atmosphere is great but i was a member last year and i couldnt see a great deal unless you get in the grandstand 20 minutes before each race!

    #27688
    Stormont
    Member
    • Total Posts 300

    First off, the best experiences i have had with the festival have been in ‘club’ it gets so jammed in the betting ring in tatts (it is a jungle) but unless you’re not really having many bets and you get to the rails early for each race its fine.

    Secondly the station is a fair distance from the track, but i usually run back pushing a wheelchair (yeah, if anyone has seen a nutter running back towards the station pushing a wheel chair in the middle of the road……. thats me.lol. The taxi’s are quite expensive but not very constant with the pricing. One firm may charge you a fiver more than another. If i travel by train i usually get a taxi to the track and run/walk back because the wait for a taxi after the last could be hours.

    If you do walk back to the station just ask people every 5mins which way it is.

    #27689
    Stormont
    Member
    • Total Posts 300

    Quote: from dave 22 on 12:24 pm on Jan. 30, 2007[br]the first day is the best day imo.<br>however, if your going for the best view, thats prob best from you tv at home so set the recorder! <br>the atmosphere is great but i was a member last year and i couldnt see a great deal unless you get in the grandstand 20 minutes before each race!<br>

    Agreed there on both counts. It isn’t a great place for viewing unless you get high up in the stands very early….. sometimes i find the best viewing to be doin in the guiness enclosure.

    The Tuesday is the best day by far………. the atmosphere before the supreme novices is so cagey…….. everyone is so excited but frustrated at the same time………. the roar before the first just symbolises that.

    I always watch the channel 4 replays late at night when i get back because you don’t see everything from the track.

    You will love the festival, but it is rather addictive. I have been everyday for the last 3years but this year i may only get to one if that (if i go i will go on Tuesday too, so let me know closer to the time about trains etc) so i will be quite depressed when it gets to March.

    #27690
    warrej
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    There is a frequent bus service from the train station to the track.  It is less than a fiver return, and it is probably the easiest and cheapest way to get to the course and back.  If you arrive early (10ish or before) you can get dropped off in the town, where you can grab some breakfast and a pint, and then hop on the next bus to the course :)

    #27691
    Stormont
    Member
    • Total Posts 300

    Quote: from warrej on 12:51 pm on Jan. 30, 2007[br]There is a frequent bus service from the train station to the track.  It is less than a fiver return, and it is probably the easiest and cheapest way to get to the course and back.  If you arrive early (10ish or before) you can get dropped off in the town, where you can grab some breakfast and a pint, and then hop on the next bus to the course :)

    They charged me a fiver one way the last time i used that, they never seem to put enough buses on, especially coming back. I ve ran back to the station quicker than the bus has got there! but by the time i got there my train was delayed anyway :banghead:

    #27692
    clivex
    Member
    • Total Posts 3420

    Been for the last fifteen years or so…but only once more than one day…its enough

    Tatts is hard work…but one way to get a view is to sneak into the back through the top level bar. You can also get bets on by the paddock rather than the scrum out the front

    Im not sure about club. Every year we say we will do it..and every year we dont

    I have tended not to go on the first day in times past, ( used to like the odl wednesdaY) but now i think its the best day for all sorts of reasons.

    Buses specially laid on from the station are very regular. No problems there. Doesnt take too long.

    Train much nicer from london. Its a nice trip and great way to start the day

    Avoid the centaur centre. its vile…

    #27693
    cheltboy
    Member
    • Total Posts 129

    The buses are very frequent from the station. At a fiver they’re a bit pricey, bu they’re the quickest way to get back from the course to the town and the station. There is always a long queue for taxis but very few taxis there cos the traffic is so bad.  The buses also get priority to leave the course.

    #27694
    warrej
    Member
    • Total Posts 37

    Quote: from Stormont on 12:54 pm on Jan. 30, 2007[br]

    Quote: from warrej on 12:51 pm on Jan. 30, 2007[br]There is a frequent bus service from the train station to the track.  It is less than a fiver return, and it is probably the easiest and cheapest way to get to the course and back.  If you arrive early (10ish or before) you can get dropped off in the town, where you can grab some breakfast and a pint, and then hop on the next bus to the course :)

    They charged me a fiver one way the last time i used that, they never seem to put enough buses on, especially coming back. I ve ran back to the station quicker than the bus has got there! but by the time i got there my train was delayed anyway :banghead:<br>

    Don’t remember it being that expensive (have been the past 4 years).  Sure it was no more than about a fiver return, though I have been known to be wrong :-)

    I tend to walk the last mile or so on the way, but after a long day it is nice to sit on the bus and have a rest on the way back!  It takes a while to get to the town centre, but after that not too bad on to the station.  Usually only have to queue for around 10 mins for a bus on the way back.

    #27695
    aston
    Member
    • Total Posts 168

    It will be my first time going aswell. Few of us heading over on the Monday and back Thursday night. Will be taking in the 3 days. Staying in Cheltenham, and really looking forward to it.<br>Anyone have any info on where the best places to find a few games of poker might be?

    #27696
    wilsonlwilsonl
    Participant
    • Total Posts 860

    Ditto – regarding the Tuesday. By far the best day.

    Have always preferred this one – over the last 10 years or so anyhow but the last few have taken in G.C day as well. The opening day is by far the better and as said earlier the buzz before the Supreme is brilliant – although have to admit that it’s seemed a touch quieter the last 2 runnings.

    Best Mate / Guiness enclosure for me. Less crowded most the time and better views, albeit with less facilities but all you need is the bars !!

    As for taxis post racing – forget it. Queue for the bus, they are long but go down quickly. Get off as soon as you hit the town centre and then drink your way back to the station (works for me :biggrin: )

    And for the poker Aston, sorry if you’re staying in Cheltenham it’s not much help but we’ll head back into Birmingham for a game.

    Lee

    #27697
    Kevin
    Member
    • Total Posts 295

    I went last year for the first time. going back this year all four days.

    The trains (from Birmingham) were OK on the way down. Complete nightmare on the way back when everyone is leaving at the same time.

    I tried driving and parking in Cheltenham town next. Found that to be the best by far. The walk to/from is easy and quite enjoyable. Better than queuing for busses/taxis.

    As for good views forget it. Set the VCR and enjoy the atmosphere. Found that it pays to get on early and get into a good viewing position as early as possible.

    The on-Course radio is worth every penny keeping you upto date with everything throughout the day. Comments from the paddock, commentaries & pundits views. Loads of people selling headsets and it really adds to the atmosphere.

    #27698
    Stormont
    Member
    • Total Posts 300

    Vodafone were handing out free festival radios last year, so i got my hands on loads of them :biggrin:

    Agree with the comment about it being less of a buzz, especially last year (although, if your a first timer this year) it will still seem like a huge buzz. Its been since they made it four days, IMO. Its still brilliant though, the fact that everyone looks frustrated that the time before the supreme seems to be going real slow……… you don’t really want to speak to anyone and then as soon as the commentator says "and their off for the 2007 supreme novices hurdle" that roar is something you will remember for a lifetime and the atmosphere becomes much more relaxed. People you only see for those 4 days of the year will remember you every year and will talk to you for ages and at the end of it you just say ‘see you next year’ even though you havent got a clue what their name is.

    There are 2 Irish lads i have seen every year, usually everyday. I will speak to them but havent gotta clue what their names are.

    The Guiness enclosure (part of tatts) is best for viewing, its towards the bottom of the hill, not as much atmosphere but much better viewing.

    Its always worth spending a bit more for club, i think because there is much more ‘breathing space’ infront of the stands. and ofcourse this allows you to go into the middle of the track for the cross country to get close to some of the fences.

    I really hope i can go on the 13th, im getting excited just writing about it

    #27699
    PAULCS
    Member
    • Total Posts 529

    <br>I’ll be taking the whole week off work and going down on the train from Middlesbrough for Tuesday & Friday this time. This season I thought about getting a Club 16-24 membership (£165) just to use at the Festival as that gets you into Club for all 4 days but decided to go for 2 days instead as the costs would just spiral if I spent the week down there! Club 16-24 also allows access to the Tote Terrace so does anyone know what race viewing is like from there?

    As it is I will be in the Guinness grandstand where the view is just fantastic but you just feel slightly out of the main atmosphere.

    Shuttle bus is fine as has been said but it’s tough to get on one on Friday night so best to leave straight after the County Hurdle if you want your train. Nearly found myself in trouble last year as I spent half the day explaining to drunks that my scarf was a Best Mate scarf and had nothing to with the Villa or West Ham!

    For anyone who is interested, the Premier Travel Inn still have a few rooms available – £364 for 5 nights (Mon-Fri) at their Gloucester (Longford) hotel.<br>

    #27700
    Stormont
    Member
    • Total Posts 300

    You should have gone for the 16-24 mate. Saves so much money on entrances.

    Ive had one for the last three years. You save money going to the festival alone.

    I hope to borrow a friends badge for the tuesday if i go…….. it will save me £65!

    I never went on the tote terrace……….. wouldnt even know where it was.lol. (well probably know what it is but not by that name)

    Are you travelling down from Middlesbrough and back on tues and Fri……….? you will be knackered

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