For a very enjoyable day out over the Christmas period, why not head to the races! Horse racing is a big social event in Ireland with some of the best race meetings on during the festive season. So whether you want to study the form, back a few horses, enjoy a few pints of Guinness, or quite simply soak up the excitement and the atmosphere, then head to a race meeting near you this Christmas!
The first on the winter racing calender in Ireland is Punchestown, which starts on the 17th and 18th of November. The highlight of these two days racing is the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle and when the races are over, you can browse around the onsite Christmas Stalls where you are sure to find a few stocking fillers!
Another early season race meeting is The Fairyhouse Festival held on the 1st and 2nd of December with another meeting on the 15th. This well known race course is where the Irish Grand National has been held here for over 130 years. Fairyhouse is located in Ratoath about 20km from the Dublin city.
Leopardstown Festival starts on the Saint Stephen’s Day, the 26th December. It’s a very fitting date for a race meeting as Saint Stephen was the patron Saint of Horse! The festival runs until the 29th December. Leopardstown has a complimentary creche facility on-site for children aged between 2 and 10. It opens an hour before the first race and closes after the last race. Leopardstown is in Foxrock, Dublin 18 about 6km south of the city.
The Limerick Racing Festival begins on the 26th and runs to the 29th December so it’s a great excuse to get the family out of the house for some fresh air during the Christmas! This annual event has become one of the chief highlights of the holiday season in Limerick attracting optimistic race punters from all over the country. There is live music every day after the races which add to the atmosphere. The racecourse is about 4km south of the city.
No matter where you’re spending Christmas in Ireland there’s sure to be a race meeting near you with lots of smaller meetings taking place too like Wexford on the 1st, Clonmel the 2nd, Dundalk the7th, Navan the 8th 16th and 22nd , Punchestown the 9th and 31st, Kilkenny on the 14th, Mallow on the 16th, Downpatrick the 21st, Downroyal the 26th, Thurlas the 23rd and Tramore on the 31st.
(For other horse racing fixtures in Ireland click here)
If you’re thinking of hitting the races this Christmas and need to find a hotel, it might be an idea to start looking now. Remember not all hotels in Ireland are open over Christmas so advance booking is essential. Check out our hotels now.
We hope you enjoy a day out at the races this Christmas in Ireland. Remember if you’ve any comments or questions on this article just drop us a line in the box below and we’ll get back to you…