Newmarket Ladies Day

Every British racecourse lays on at least one Ladies Day over the course season, and the iconic Suffolk venue of Newmarket joins in the fun with one of the biggest and best around. Known to horse racing fans as the headquarters of flat racing, the track’s prestigious July Festival provides the stage for this celebration of style, socialising, and fun.

Enjoying a prime slot in the midst of the summer months, this extremely well-attended fixture sees the high standard of the action on the track more than matched by the facilities and entertainment in the stands. If you fancy a Ladies Day that has it all, you could certainly do far worse than come to this belter!

Key Facts

  • When Is It? – Newmarket Ladies Day takes place on the opening Thursday of the three-day July Festival, which is held in early July each year.
  • Ticket Prices – Ladies Day offers excellent value for money, with standard admission priced between £16 and £38.
  • Where Is It? – Newmarket Racecourse lies just outside the Suffolk town of the same name, around 65 miles to the northeast of London.
  • Major Races – The feature contest on an excellent seven-race card is the Princess of Wales’s Stakes, which sees a field of classy performers do battle over a mile and a half.
  • Verdict – Newmarket is widely recognised as one of the UK’s flagship racecourses and delivers on that assessment with a truly top-class Ladies Day. With food and drink options aplenty, a Style Awards competition, top-class racing, and more, you won’t be disappointed by one of the biggest Ladies Day events of the summer.

When Is It?

Newmarket’s July Festival unsurprisingly takes place in early July each year. Held on the opening Thursday, Ladies Day ensures the meeting gets off to a flying start, as the fans flock in their droves to the picturesque Suffolk venue.

Expect a spectacular display of fashion in the stands, with many ladies opting to wear a hat or fascinator for the occasion. With over £5,000 on offer in the Style Awards, donning your most dazzling outfit may well reap rewards. With a buzzing atmosphere in the stands, and food and drink options always within easy reach, it’s no surprise that this is just about the biggest social occasion of the year at the track.

All that, and we still haven’t mentioned the racing which isn’t too shabby either. Gates open at 10:50am, leaving plenty of time before the first race which gets underway at 1:20pm. The last of the day’s seven contests then begins at around 4:40pm. The end of the action doesn’t mean the end of the entertainment though, with many sticking around for Newmarket’s official Après Racing party.

How Much Are Tickets?

There are three main enclosures on offer at Newmarket, all of which are very reasonably priced compared to other UK Ladies Days, especially given what you get for your money.

Garden Enclosure

From £16 – The most relaxed area of the track, racegoers are invited to bring their own picnic into the Garden Enclosure should they wish. With children’s play areas, and basic food, drink, and betting facilities, this is a hugely popular area for those bringing the kids along – but may not be the best choice for a Ladies Day group.

Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure

From £26 – Located halfway up the home straight, this area affords good views of the racing and grants access to the Parade Ring and Winners Enclosure. More relaxed than the Premier Enclosure in terms of the dress code, this popular section of the track features a range of bars and “Grab & Go” food vendors.

Premier Enclosure

From £38 – Situated just beside the winning post, the track’s most luxurious enclosure offers the very best views of the racing, and also grants access to the Pre-Parade Ring, Parade Ring, and Winners Enclosure. Offering an excellent selection of bars and eateries, this is the enclosure of choice for those seeking a classy race-day experience.


In addition to the three main ticketing options, Newmarket also offers a range of hospitality packages, including restaurant deals, Private Boxes and the beautiful Trackside Pavilion areas. See the hospitality section of the track’s official website for further information.

The prices quoted above refer to a single adult ticket when purchased in advance. Note, however, that parties of 10 or more are advised to contact the track, as group discounts may be available.

Getting There

  • Racecourse Address – Newmarket July Course, Newmarket, CB8 0XE
  • By Road – The A11 and A14 are the major approach roads to the course. The A11 can be accessed via the M11, and the A14 is linked to both the A1 and M1. Once onto the A11 and A14, follow the signs to Newmarket, and then those which direct you towards the Newmarket July Course. Ample free parking will be available on the day.
  • By Rail – Newmarket train station enjoys strong links with several major cities including Newcastle, Manchester, and Birmingham, and receives regular services from London King’s Cross. From the station, you then have the choice of a 10-minute taxi journey to the course or a complimentary shuttle bus service from the train station. This service begins around two hours before the first race. Return journeys from the track to the station then commence around 45 minutes before the last race and continue for two hours. Walking is also viable, though perhaps not in your finest heels.
  • Public Transport – Those travelling from Newmarket also have the option of the number 12 local bus service which stops at the Horse Racing Museum and The White Lion in the centre of town. Do be aware however that this service will drop you off around half a mile from the course, meaning you will face a 10-minute walk for the final leg of the journey.

The Racing

Whilst the food, drink, fashion, and social elements are the main selling points for many Ladies Day attendees, Newmarket also ensures that the action on the track is well up to scratch. There are seven cracking races on offer over the course of the day, four of which are rated at Listed level or above – signifying events of excellent quality. The Group 2 double bill of the July Stakes for the youngsters, and Princess of Wales’s Stakes for the 1m4f stars, always generate a real buzz in the betting ring and invariably attract a star name or two.

Elsewhere on the card, the female performers appropriately kick off the day’s entertainment in the opening maiden event. Later on, the big field events of the Weatherbys Hamilton Handicap and bet365 handicap provide a decent opportunity to back a winner at a big price.

Newmarket Racecourse

Newmarket Grandstand

Newmarket Grandstand (Mark, Flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0)

First opening way back in 1667, Newmarket is not only one of the UK’s most prominent racecourses, but also one of its oldest. The vast site encompasses two separate main tracks – the Rowley Mile Course and the July Course. No prizes for guessing that Ladies Day at the July Festival takes place at the latter.

The July Festival itself made its debut all the way back in 1765. Should you attend, you will be participating in a racing tradition which has existed for over 250 years! The track itself may be old, but the facilities certainly are not. Those visiting the course in the 21st century can expect an experience rich in heritage but with a fully modern sheen, complete with impressive stands, top-class restaurants and more. Throw in the wonderful backdrop provided by the track’s countryside setting, and you have a raceday which is tough to beat.

The July Course also benefits from operating exclusively during the warmer months of the year, meaning there is at least a fair chance (that is, of course, by British standards) that the sunshine may opt to join in the fun. No matter which area of the track you choose to attend, you are sure to be in for a good time. However, for those who like to know a little more about what lies in store, we conclude with a list of the food and drink options contained within the Grandstand & Paddock, and Premier Enclosures.

Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure Bars

  • Soviet Star
  • Height of Fashion
  • Royal Academy
  • Marwell
  • Abernant
  • Stable
  • Final Furlong
  • Gentleman Jim
  • Cocktail Box

Food Outlets

  • Smoke Shack
  • Powters
  • Mr Whippy
  • Coffee Shed
  • Warrens
  • Noodles
  • Oh So British
  • Pizza
  • Chicken Kitchen
  • Burgers and Fries
  • Hog Roast
  • Project Doughnut

Premier Enclosure

Things are, predictably, a little swankier in the course’s top area but there is still plenty of choice and something for everyone.


  • Sweet Solera
  • Adnams Southwold
  • Chief Singer
  • Cocktail Paddock
  • Prosecco Prego
  • Gin & Fizz

Food Outlets

  • Stravinsky’s – Short Order Restaurant
  • Mozart’s – Bistro Style Restaurant
  • Duck Truck
  • Pizza
  • Coffee Shed