Fontwell Park Racecourse


Type:Sports Ground

Junction A27 / A29, Fontwell, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 0SX

Tel: +44 01243 543335

Fontwell Park Racecourse


Fontwell Park Racecourse is a horse racing course located in the village of Fontwell in West Sussex, England, owned by ARC Racing. It features the only figure-of-eight chase course in the country and an oval hurdles course.

Fontwell Park’s founder Alfred Day came to The Hermitage, on the north side of the Chichester to Arundel road, in 1887 to train racehorses. While researching the history of the area, he found a reference on a 1630 map to "Fontwell". This was the name of the spring in front of his house, the only watering-hole on this major south coast route, and which the Romans had originally called "Fons". Passing monks are said to have added the "well" part of the name. Day brought the name Fontwell back into use. As time went by Day was able to buy more land in the area so that by 1924, with the support of the local gentry, he had obtained a license from the Jockey Club to create a racecourse at Fontwell. The hurdles track was a conventional oval shape, but the steeplechase course was designed as a figure of eight to make best use of the limited space available.

There was a huge crowd at the first meeting on 21 May that year. Those who became Club members could enjoy the gardens Day had laid out over many years, which included a maze in the style of the one at Versailles, and relics from other stately homes. What had been the farmhouse became Fontwell House, the members’ restaurant. In keeping with the garden-like setting, the grandstand and the weighing room were built with thatched roofs. The inaugural race was won by the 5/4 favourite Gem, ridden by champion jockey Fred Rees.

It was the course where Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, had her first winner as an owner when Monaveen won the Chichester Handicap Chase there in October 1949.[2] In 1984 John Francome rode his 1,036th career winner at Fontwell Park, passing Stan Mellor's record for a National Hunt jockey - Francome's record has subsequently been beaten.

The feature race of the season at Fontwell Park is the Grade Two National Spirit Hurdle run over a distance of two miles and four furlongs in February. It is a recognised Cheltenham Festival trial. My Way de Solzen, trained by Alan King, won the race in 2006 before winning the World Hurdle. Lough Derg, trained by David Pipe and owned by Bill Frewen, took the prize in 2008 and 2009. Trenchant (Alan King/Robert Thornton) took the prize in 2010 and Celestial Halo (Paul Nicholls/Harry Skelton) was the winner in 2011.

A new £6.5m Grandstand opened in the Premier Enclosure in August 2010 and is sponsored by events and plant hire company Winner Group. The new facility includes a panoramic hospitality lounge for 350 people on the middle floor, twelve boxes on the top floor and a ground floor suite with new catering and betting outlets. The stand has been designed to cater for weddings, conferences, meetings and public shows.

There are 24 race meetings at Fontwell Park each year, including the busiest fixture of the year on Boxing day.


Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Paddock admission from£14.00 per ticket
Premier admission from£19.00 per ticket

For on the day prices, add £5. Prices subject to change for 2018.
On the day concessions give a £3 discount.



  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors
  • Wheelchair user accessible


  • Catering for groups
  • Full liquor licence
  • On-Site cafe/restaurant
  • Outdoor eating area
  • Picnic area
  • Picnic Site
  • Restaurant

Children & Infants

  • Family Friendly, Children Welcome

Establishment Features

  • All weather attraction
  • Conference facilities
  • Dogs admitted on a lead
  • Groups welcome
  • Licensed for weddings & ceremonies
  • Live Music
  • Meeting rooms
  • Team / Corporate Activities

Leisure Facilities

  • Themed Nights

Parking & Transport

  • Coach parking
  • Free parking
  • On site parking
  • Railway station within walking distance

Payment Methods

  • Delta
  • Delta accepted
  • Maestro
  • MasterCard
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Visa
  • Visa accepted

Provider Preferences

  • In countryside
  • Outdoor Attraction

Specialist Features

  • Family Fun
  • Marketed Towards Children
  • Marketed Towards Families
  • Marketed Towards Senior Citizens
  • Marketed towards student/youth


Map & Directions

Road Directions


From The West: Follow the A27 past Chichester until you get to the Fontwell Roundabout. Stay in the right-hand lane and take the third exit signposted A29 Bognor Regis. The entrance on racedays can be found 400yds from the roundabout on your right hand side.

From The East: Follow the A27 towards Chichester until you get to the Fontwell Roundabout. Stay in the left-hand lane and take the second exit signposted A29 Bognor Regis. The entrance on racedays can be found 400yds from the roundabout on your right hand side.

From London: Follow the A3 (Junction 10 on the M25) south towards Portsmouth. Join the A27 eastbound towards Brighton & follow the A27 past Chichester until you get to the Fontwell Roundabout. Stay in the right-hand lane and take the third exit signposted A29 Bognor Regis. The entrance on racedays can be found 400yds from the roundabout on your right hand side.

Public Transport Directions


The nearest station is Barnham. Trains run regularly from London Victoria, Portsmouth, Brighton, Barnham, Winchester and Southampton. Arundel Station is also just three miles from the track. On racedays, a shuttle bus service runs between Barnham station and the racecourse (FREE shuttle bus), starting from 2 hours prior to the first race and returning immediately after the last.


  • Regional and Miscellaneous -Tourism South East Member 2019 Tourism South East Member 2019 2019

Opening Times

Open Christmas
Open New Year
Open (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)

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