Newmarket has gone through a transformation recently and is celebrating 350 years of horse racing.
The town already attracts thousands of people to its race meetings, concerts and horse sales. However, the town is working hard to attract even more visitors to sample the rich cultural and historical delights it has to offer.
The 4 star Bedford Lodge Hotel offers excellent meeting space, modern bedrooms and an amazing Spa. The Rowley Mile racecourse offers large modern conference and exhibition space (when not being used for race meetings). Situated on the High Street, The Jockey Club Rooms enable delegates to dine in elegant and unique historic surroundings. Even the world-renowned Tattersalls race horse sales centre offers its space for hire.
The newly developed area round Palace House in the centre of Newmarket offers corporates an additional exciting facility. The Palace was built by Charles II when he effectively transformed the small town of Newmarket into England’s capital during the racing season. The whole court travelled to Newmarket with the king – whose love of horseracing was instrumental to popularising the sport for subsequent generations. Even the king’s many mistresses travelled with the entourage…and Nell Gwyn’s cottage can be found opposite Palace House.
Palace House is now home to an astonishing collection of fine sporting art. Opposite the Palace, on the site of the Charles II training stables (and more recently the Rothschild’s training yard) is a stunning new heritage centre – celebrating the town’s status as the world-wide home of flat racing. The 5 acre site includes: a new museum detailing the history of the town and horse racing; a restaurant called The Tack Room; an outdoor horse exercise arena to rival Olympia; classrooms for student and corporate use and home for up to 8 retired racehorses who are learning new skills to help them enjoy life after racing.
Horses are definitely the focus of Newmarket, but you don’t have to be a big fan to enjoy the town. Even the complete horse novice will probably enjoy the gorgeous foals at the National Stud; or a guided tour of a famous trainer’s yard.