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History, Horse Racing & Royalty in Nearby Newmarket!

Just a short drive or train ride away from the heart of Bury St Edmunds lies the wonderful town of Newmarket. Nick Gordon from Discover Newmarket shows us around.

Discover Newmarket - the Home of Horse Racing

Once the playground for the royal family, the town is recognised as being the Home of Horseracing and is well worth a visit when venturing into these parts. A day out in Newmarket is a wonderful opportunity to retrace some of the history that has shaped the town and to take in a spectacle that you won’t find anywhere else.

Here’s a list of things to do when planning a day out to Newmarket.

Visit The National Stud

This is the only commercial property of its kind that is open to the public in the UK and a tour around here any time from now until October is a must. At this time of the year there are loads of new foals on the ground, a sure sign that spring is around the corner.

Tours of The National Stud run daily Wednesday to Sunday. During the week the tours are at 11am and there are two timings available, at 11am and 1pm, on Saturdays and Sundays.

The National Stud is also home to the Wavertree’s Coffee Shop which is the perfect excuse to stop in for breakfast before your morning tour or indulge in some cake or a light lunch afterwards.

Tickets for Tours of The National Stud are available here.

Take a Walking Tour

This is the chance to retrace the steps of royalty and learn all about the significance of Newmarket to the royal family as well as why it was their sporting playground.

Taking place during the summer months, the History and Heritage Walking Tour will take you back to the time of King James I and will allow you to take in places of historical interest such as Palace House, the Jockey Club Rooms and their magnificent gardens, Tattersalls and the All Saints Church.

You’re likely to work up an appetite during the two hours so be sure to add the breakfast option. You can purchase your History and Heritage Walking Tour tickets here.

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Visit the National Horse Racing Museum

Another incredible experience that offers up a fantastic insight into the history and origins of this great town. Explore the work of some fantastic artists among the impressive sporting art collection in the National Horse Racing Museum. Pop over the road to learn more about the town’s early days and the evolution into the Home of Horseracing. There’s loads for the kids to learn as well as they make their way through the museum.

They’ll also love having a go on the racehorse simulator, dressed up in silks and pretending to be a winning jockey before seeing the horses stabled in the flagship yard of the Retraining of Racehorses charity.

Relaxing Day Out

Newmarket is also home to some wonderful eateries; tea rooms and coffee shops and visitors should pop in and sample some of their delights.

The Pantry offers an amazing breakfast, a smashing lunch and a wonderful dinner service while the award-winning Squires restaurant at the Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa offers visitors a modern dining experience. A tip to visitors, be sure to enjoy a drink in the Roxana bar when visiting.

Coffee lovers have found a new favourite in the form of Cortado Espresso Bar, tucked just off the High Street. It’s worth popping in for their avocado on toast topped off with a poached egg or to sit and sip a delicious coffee while admiring the work by renowned local artist Jacqui Jones and photographer Jayne Odell that adorns the walls.

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The Royal Connection

Newmarket was the sporting playground for the various royal pursuits of the time. It’s proximity to London meant that it was ideally placed. The famous Warren Hill, the centre of a vast network or training grounds for the town’s equine stars, was once used for the hunting of rabbits, hence the name.

It was during the rule of King Charles II in 1666 that the sport of horse racing flourished. Her Majesty the Queen is also a big fan of horseracing with several horses in training in Newmarket and her distinct racing silks can be spied at the National Horse Racing Museum.

Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the complex on the 3rd November 2016, continuing a long tradition of support for horse racing.

As it’s only a 20 minute drive and a short train ride from the heart of Bury St Edmunds, a visit to nearby Newmarket is the perfect addition to the itinerary when planning a visit.

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