The winter holidays can often mean that most of us will be staying close to home over the festive season, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t use this opportunity to explore our beautiful nation.
And with the beginning of the year traditionally being of special significance to the horse racing and sports betting community, it can offer the perfect excuse to check out some of the UK and Ireland’s great horse racing heritage.
This picturesque spa town on the edge of the Cotswolds hosts the historic Cheltenham Gold Cup around St Patrick’s Day every year, and as such always attracts a sizeable and noisy contingent of Irish racegoers.
The carnival atmosphere can be particularly contagious as the punters speculate on the odds of their favoured horse, and the four days of racing serve as the perfect way to enjoy the crisp early spring air. If you’re looking for suitably racing-themed accommodation nearby, then Ellenborough Park should suit as it sits on the original site of the very first Cheltenham races.
Slightly further ahead in the calendar is the Punchestown Gold Cup that takes place in the self-proclaimed ‘home of Irish jump racing‘ in April. The prestigious racecourse is located just outside of Dublin and offers the perfect excuse to explore the surrounding area – not least the somewhat Father Ted-esque Punchestown Standing Stone.
But it’s undeniably the racing that attracts thousands of people to this celebration of horse-racing. And with sites like Betway offering an easy way to check the odds on an each way bet for this festival and all other major sporting events in the UK and Ireland, it’s a great way to see if you have the luck of the Irish.
And finally, if you’re really getting cabin fever over the festive period, then a visit to the Welsh Grand National should serve up the ideal combination of sporting exhilaration and fresh air.
Although not quite as famous as its English cousin, the racing event provides a suitably Welsh twist on the traditional racing entertainment with male voice choirs and opera singers delivering an atmospheric rendering of the national anthem before the racing begins on the iconic Chepstow racecourse.
If you’re lucky enough to have bet on a winning horse, then what better way to use those winnings than by booking yourself some deluxe accommodation at the St Pierre Marriott Hotel and Country Club that provides a suitably plush setting for your post-race celebrations.