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(moneysaving tip: use your Tesco vouchers to get discounts on entry through the supermarket's website)
The 800 year old Royal Borough of Ayr has a long history of horse-racing, and the ancient Old Racecourse at Seafield has long since been replaced, by what is slowly becoming a State-of-the-art modern Racecourse that Ayr can be proud of on the other side of town.
A change of ownership in recent years has been a catalyst for a rolling programme of improvements which will take it into the 21st Century and will, it is hoped, include the addition of an entertainment and casino complex - watch this space! Add to this the presence on site of the award winning 4 star Western House Hotel with top class cuisine, and you've got the makings of a great day out.
People come from far and wide for a day out at Ayr races. The punters are friendly and the atmosphere is brilliant, especially if you back a winner or two. In the fashion stakes the ladies really go for it and the outfits (hats and all) are a sight to behold. There is usually entertainment laid on after the racing is finished but this can be very busy. If you plan on going out for dinner in Ayr on a race day be sure to book well ahead as the whole town will be heaving. An excellent day out!
For details of fixtures and other events held at the Racecourse, Western House Hotel, or in the Conference and Banqueting suite, have a peek at the website:
There is usually a plentiful supply of Taxis at Ayr Railway Station, but on Race Days they can sometimes be hard to find. Fear not, those of you who alight the train to find the Taxi Rank empty can easily get to the Racecourse on foot in around 15 minutes. At the gates of the Station's main entrance/exit turn right down to the railway bridge. Go under the railway bridge and cross the main road at the pedestrian lights. Head left towards the roundabout (Ayr College will be visible on your right). Cross the road at the roundabout so that you walk alongside the Civic Theatre (it will also be on your right). Head along this road past signs for Paisley University/Craigie Campus until you reach the Racecourse and the Western House Hotel. There should also be a shuttle bus from the Railway to the Racecourse.
The hotel within the Racecourse complex recently won 'Scottish Wedding Hotel of the Year', and has a bagpiper in full highland regalia on duty most weekends to pipe the wedding guests as they make their way through the delightful gardens into the Hotel. Locals report that the Hotel really does live up to its positive reputation. The wine fountain and chocolate fountain are popular additions to any function held here. The restaurant itself is actually quite small and intimate and the hotel doesn't seem to advertise its existance much, so perhaps it is pretty busy coping with residents. The function suite overlooks the bandstand and gardens, with the Racecourse just beyond it.
Plans have recently gone on show locally for the redevelopment of much of the racecourse's grounds and beyond. They include a Casino, Cinema Complex, Bowling Alley and more, and whilst this has not yet been started the regeneration of the Racecourse itself continues apace.