What Can First-Time Visitors to The Cheltenham Festival Expect?

Whether you are a horse racing fan or not, the Cheltenham Festival is a meeting for all. It is a four-day event in Jumps racing and it is the highlight on many people’s calendars each year.

Here is a look at what makes the Cheltenham Festival meeting special and what first-time visitors making the trip to Gloucestershire, England can expect to come across.

Best Racing of The Year

With 28 races at the meeting, all of which carry great prestige to them, the Cheltenham Festival sees the best horses competing from around the world. The feature race is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, and it takes place on the final day of the week. Last year’s winner Galopin Des Champs tops the  horse racing odds  at evens to prevail once again.

There are a total of five Championship races at the Cheltenham Festival and you can find   horse racing tips    on each of those contests. Irish-trained horses dominated the meeting in 2023, winning four of the five Championship races. They have some strong entries once again this year.

Irishman Willie Mullins was the leading trainer at the Festival in 2023, while Paul Townend rode the most winners. The pair are two names to keep an eye out for once again this year, including in the Queen Mother Champion Chase where they team up with  Dublin Chase winner  El Fabiolo.

Electric Atmosphere Across the Week

It is the atmosphere at the Cheltenham Festival that separates it from any other horse racing meeting around the world. With  over 60,000 spectators  at each of the four days, they create an atmosphere you will never forget.

Horse racing fans travel to the Cheltenham Festival from America, Ireland, the UAE, and other countries. Everybody is welcomed by the racecourse, and whether you are a regular horse racing racegoer or not, there is something for everyone.


The Cheltenham Festival is a great opportunity to wear your best clothes. Although there is not a strict dress code like at the racecourse, many of the racegoers dress up, with tweed one of the most common themes.

Hats and fascinators are popular with ladies at the meeting, while there are also prizes at the racecourse for various ‘best dressed’ categories. As always, check the weather forecast for the day you are attending, as it can vary greatly at that time of the year.

Food and Drink

When it comes to food and drink, there is no shortage of choice at the Cheltenham Festival. You can find cuisine and drinks from around the world, with stalls and indoor facilities around the racecourse.

If you want to spoil yourself, there are hospitality packages, such as a table inside one of the racecourse’s three restaurants or a private box to dine with your family and friends. These all include a great view of the finish line in the grandstand.

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival takes place between March 12-15, but those planning a trip in 2025 and beyond should check out the racecourse’s official website for announcements on future dates.