Taunton Racecourse in Somerset is located only 2 miles from Taunton town centre. It is easily accessible from Taunton railway station, with a courtesy bus being provided for race goers. Taunton station is on the London, Paddington line and the direct journey will take approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
Alternatively, for those driving to the racecourse, leave junction 25 of the M5 and follow the signs to Taunton Racecourse or enter the postcode TA3 7BL into your sat-nav. Parking is provided adjacent to the racecourse and is free.
The racecourse itself has been in operation since 1927, making it the youngest National Hunt course in England. The course was built on an estate owned by Viscount Portman. The land was previously the site of Orchard Portman House, the seat of the Portman family.
The house was demolished in 1840, leaving the estate as a perfect setting for the Taunton Racecourse Company to locate their new racecourse. Reminders of the site’s history are still visible today, with the estate’s Saxon church visible from the Grandstand.
Taunton Racecourse has been developed considerably since its humble beginnings in 1927. Where once a small wooden stand housed spectators, now punters can choose from two enclosures, both with high class facilities and unrestricted views of the course.
The course itself is a right-handed oval track jumps racecourse. The course is 1 mile and 2 furlongs in length and contains two long straights and two sharp bends. The hurdles course includes five fences, which is increased to seven fences and two ditches for the steeplechase course. Taunton is a relatively flat course, offering little in terms of climbs or descents.
In terms of feature races, although it doesn’t offer any nationally prominent races, Taunton Racecourse is a great place to see the offerings of top local trainers, such as Phillip Hobbs, Paul Nicholls and David Pipe. The season runs from November to late April with Royal Bath and West race day, in late February, and Ladies day, in early April, being particular highlights.