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The Cheltenham Festival is one of Britain's proudest sporting traditions and a beacon-like sign that spring is truly in the air.

For four days in March each year, the eyes of the wider sporting world become transfixed on the Cotswolds, as the famous Prestbury Park amphitheatre bursts into life for the absolute best of National Hunt racing. 

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival takes place from Tuesday 12th March until Friday 15th March and every race can be viewed on the bet365 Sports Live Streaming platform. 

As with other major racing events, such as Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival has its very own unique dress code and formalities, including various enclosure offers for racegoers to enjoy. Here's our guide to the action off the racetrack. 

Horse Racing

Cheltenham Festival: Dress code

The Jockey Club, Cheltenham's governing body, has no formal dress code in place, but it is generally acknowledged that many do like to dress up for The Festival. 

Cheltenham Racecourse is the 'Home of Jump Racing' and The Cheltenham Festival is home to some of the finest racing in the world, and with the finest racing often comes the finest fashion.

Official partners such as House of Cavani and Holland Cooper offer racegoers the opportunity to pre-plan with Festival attire. 

With the Festival being in mid-March, the weather can unpredictable, ensuring racegoers have to plan accordingly. 

Cheltenham Festival: Gents attire

Gentleman are encouraged to don their finest suits for the races! The Cheltenham Festival is the perfect occasion to show off how adept you are at styling sleek winter outfits that won't leave you blue with cold if the weather is not obliging.

For that reason, many gents will add a smart overcoat to their Festival outfit and, in many cases, a suitable hat - odds-on to be a tweed flat cap! 

With the temperatures generally tending to rise come mid-March, and bright sunny afternoons more than possible, gents will often mix their outfit, potentially with shirt, tie and waistcoat plus an overcoat, while leaving the suit jacket at home - so as to avoid feeling overburdened with layers.

Cheltenham Festival: Ladies attire

Longevity and practicality are key factors for consideration for ladies bound for the Cheltenham Festival, with lots of walking to consider throughout the day, often on grassy surfaces.

Cheltenham is a fashion showcase and a chance to 'dress to impress'. The racecourse can be notoriously wet and windy, and many first-timers can get caught out by the conditions, ensuring 'layer up' is a motto for many.

Seasoned campaigners will advise such expert tips as: tights under trousers, a thin roll neck under another roll neck, silks scarves and those must-have: gloves. 

Sensible shoes are a must to allow for navigating around the course and enclosures, as well as coming to-and-from the car parks on the vast site. 

With the adage that when you are 'too cold, you can't get warm' in mind, bare legs, floaty skirts and thin materials are all generally considered fashion no-no's for Cheltenham.

Cheltenham Festival: Style Wednesday

Day two of the meeting is considered Ladies Day and, to coincide, Style Wednesday is a celebration of the glamour and glory of the Cheltenham Festival, showcasing the Festival's fabulous and timeless fashion.

The Slow Fashion awards celebrate vintage and borrowed items, as well as investment pieces that can be passed down through generations, an occasion to showcase your sartorial elegance and sophistication, while nodding to the traditional British Countryside look.

Cheltenham Festival: Enclosures 

Cheltenham's three main enclosures are the Club Enclosure, the Tattersalls Enclosure and the Best Mate Enclosure - offering something for all tastes and requirements.

Club Enclosure

The most premier enclosure and billed as an experience to remember with access to all public areas and spectacular views from the main grandstand, lawn or Winning Post.

In addition to paddock viewing access, you can enjoy the Hall of Fame and all the public areas of the Princess Royal Stand along with the widest selection of food and drink areas at Cheltenham, including all the Tattersalls Enclosure restaurants.

Tattersalls Enclosure 

The middle ground. This enclosure offers close up access to the Winner's Enclosure, standing access by the Winning Post and stunning views from the Tattersalls grandstand viewing steps.

Racegoers here can get up close and personal with the runners and riders in the Parade Ring, then head off to enjoy the racing from the Grandstand's viewing steps and the area past the Winning Post.

Best Mate Enclosure

The Best Mate is the cheapest of Cheltenham's enclosures but offers an atmosphere like no other.

The enclosure is positioned opposite the main Grandstand, providing an excellent view of the racing and top-class betting facilities, bars and a variety of food choices.

The Best Mate Grandstand is a modern, bright and comfortable facility and billed as the best of its type at any British racecourse.

There is no access to the Pre-Parade and Parade Ring but a head on view of the racecourse under a covered grandstand is accompanied by access to Best Mate Pavilion.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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