Set in rolling countryside on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border, Newmarket is rightly considered the birthplace and global centre of thoroughbred horse racing, training and breeding, with royal connections stretching back to James I, who had a palace here.
Visit early in the morning and you’ll see some of the 3,000 horses homed here out on The Gallops or making their way around the town – equine takes priority in Newmarket!
It was Charles II who popularised horse racing and it’s from his reign that it became known as ‘The Sport of Kings’.
But there doesn’t have to be a race meet on to enjoy Newmarket. Discover Newmarket run a series of fascinating, behind the scenes experiences including guided tours of the famed Gallops and The National Stud or visit the National Horse Racing Museum, housed on the former site of Charles II’s palace and opened by Elizabeth II in 2016.
Driving along the High Street at the worldwide home of thoroughbred horse racing you’d have little idea that behind the clothes stores, coffee shops and restaurants is a Royal Palace!
Charles II had a sporting palace and stables built that spans five acres in the heart of the town. As well as the National Horse Racing Museum it houses a National Gallery of British Sporting Art and the flagship home of Retraining Racehorses.
Outside the town there’s Wild Tracks for the adventurous and Phoenix Cycleworks, a 3.5 acre destination for mountain bikers – one of only a few of its kind in the country.