Days Out: Medieval raceday at Wetherby Racecourse

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With its first race meet taking place in 1891, Wetherby Racecourse has a long and rich history of horse racing.

But go racing on Saturday, February 6 and you’ll find yourself stepping back in time – to 1461 to be exact.

The annual Totepool Towton Medieval Raceday sees the racecourse transformed into medieval England, complete with battling knights and medieval cookery using seasonal foods and authentic methods and recipes.

Racegoers will not only be able to see the sights of the Middle Ages, but smell and hear them too as the Paddock Enclosure is filled with the distinctive smell of wood smoke while musicians play authentic medieval music.

The feature race of the day is the Grade 2 Towton Novices’ Chase, named after the Battle of Towton, fought just ten miles from the racecourse on Palm Sunday in 1461.

Fought during the War of the Roses, the battle was the largest and bloodiest ever fought on English soil.

But the action isn’t confined to the racecourse – between races there will be fighting and weaponry displays with bills, pollaxes, swords and archery (weather permitting).

Visitors will also be able to get up close and personal with magnificent birds of prey, and watch Middle Age craftsmen and women sewing, spinning, basket weaving and whittling.

Advance and group booking discounts will close on Saturday January 23, 4pm. Any tickets bought after 3pm on January 29 will be retained for collection on the day.

FACTFILE

Address: Wetherby Racecourse, York Road, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 5EJ

Opening times: Gates open 10.30am, first race is 1pm

Admission: Entry to Paddock Enclosure £17, children aged 17 and under go free.

Attraction website: www.wetherbyracing.co.uk

Telephone: 01937 582035

More: www.yorkshire.com

Wensleydale Creamery supplied picture of Managing Director David Hartley. Picture: Daniel Oxtoby

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