Widely regarded as the birthplace of thoroughbred horse racing, Newmarket lives for horse racing. One in three jobs in the town are built around the horse racing industry, and it’s clear that the sport runs through the veins of the locals. From the statue of the Queen attending her horses to Palace House – heritage centre for horse racing – every detail of this small market town is a testament to thoroughbred horse racing. If you’re wondering what to do in Newmarket or what to do near Cambridge while you’re visiting for the races, we’ve compiled some of the best things to do in this enchanting town.
Learn more about horseracing at Palace House
The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art is the natural place for any horse racing enthusiast to start when visiting Newmarket. You’ll find the National Horseracing Museum in the Trainer’s House and King’s Yard Galleries, which tells the story of horseracing and its royal connections, from King James I to our present Queen. Learn about some of horseracing’s most influential characters and see how the sport has influenced society over the years.
You can even meet some of the retired greats in the Rothschild Yard. Get up close and personal with thoroughbred racehorses, who are very friendly and love the attention from guests.
Go behind the scenes with discover newmarket
Discover Newmarket is the central point for Tourist Information in Newmarket and is the town’s official Tour Guide. They offer visitors a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Home of Horseracing to see the equine stars at work and learn about the fascinating history, heritage and culture of the town. Expert guides deliver tours for groups and individuals which can be organised for as little or as long as you want. They also run their most popular tours on set dates throughout the year which anyone can book onto.
Why not add a Race Day Tour to your day at the races or go on a Thoroughbred Breakfast and get a glimpse of life behind the scenes in a working racing yard. Take a tour of The National Stud and see the stallions before spending time with the mares and foals. Or visit some of the legends of the turf with a Dalham Hall Stud Tour.
Enjoy a decadent Champagne Afternoon Tea and Tour at the Jockey Club Rooms, one of the UK’s most prestigious members only clubs. To see the full range of experiences visit Discover Newmarket.
Visit the historic city of Cambridge
A city that has shaped the history of not only England, but the world. A historic seat of learning and education, Cambridge is a University city with an international reputation. Just 14 miles from Newmarket, Cambridge’s history, culture, architecture, dining and nightlife is well worth the visit.
One of the best ways to take in the city’s history is with a guided walking tour. Students of the University are more than happy to share the history, myths and stories of the college with tourists on guided tours. From the Bridge of Sighs to the Fitzwilliam Museum, and King’s College to the Botanic Gardens, there is so much to take in.
You can even go punting on the River Cam, which is a scenic and relaxing way to see some of the city’s most beautiful architecture. Afterwards, head to one of the many ancient pubs in the city, like the Fort St George or the Pickerel. If you’re staying in Cambridge for dinner, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From traditional pub grub to modern gastronomic dining, and world cuisines like Indian and Spanish to choose from, there’s something for everyone in Cambridge.