Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Cheltenham 2009 - Queen Mother Day

Right n00bs, let's get this show on the road. I'm going to Cheltenham this year and I don't care if I go alone. I can't afford to do all four days and as I work in a bookies, I will probably be drafted in for Gold Cup day anyway, so my thinking was to go down for day 2 so I can see the brilliance of Master Minded up close and personal in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, as well as enjoying two other Grade 1 races and my first taste of Cheltenham festivities. If I enjoy it, I'll think about doing Gold Cup day next year, but for now who's with me?

I've taken the time to price things up for you lazy shower of bastards.

Having never been to Cheltenham, it's hard to know where to go, but from my research, the Tattersalls Enclosure looks about the best option in terms of price in relation to facilities. Promised "extensive viewing", a "wide selection of bars" and access to the paddock and unsaddling enclosure, it's £35 a pop if we book before March. For comparison, the cheap seats is £25 and the dearest is £65.

I've heard horror stories about trying to stay overnight down there as it's a tiny place with a great many people descending on it. However, if you lot are coming from Scotland, there's no way you'll want to do that journey in a day as it's as much as seven and a half hours if you're unlucky with connections and that. Here's what I propose then - my pal Neil who I went to Southwell with last week (and who I've known since my Uni days) is now based in Leicester. I've spoken to him and he's mad keen on coming to Cheltenham too. He reliably informs me that there's a cheap Travelodge right next to a Gala Casino, five minutes from the restaurant he runs (we're promised discount food and it'll be good, knowing him) and near some pubs and clubs. Leicester is only two hours away from Cheltenham, so it would be easy to get there in the morning and get to after the racing on the train and it's only 35-40 mintues from East Midlands airport, should you prefer to fly in.

The rooms at the Travelodge look like being £29 per night if booked soon, train tickets (Dundee to Leicester) are £37 each way if booked now (that's without any railcard discounts) and it seems that bmibaby.com will give you a return from Edinburgh Airport to East Midlands for £27.98 if you'd prefer, but then you'd have to faff about with MegaBus or something to Edinburgh, as well as a cab from East Midlands.

So a quick recap - here's a suggested plan of attack. All prices correct if booked NOW and are per person unless stated.

Tuesday 10th March. Megabus from Dundee to Edinburgh Airport (depart 17:00, arrive 18:45 - gives you all day to watch the racing at home) - £4.25; Flight (return) from Edinburgh to Nottingham (depart 20:15, arrive 21:25) - £36.03; Taxi to Leicester (www.checkercars.com) £37 a car (Split between a few, that's not too bad but there's probably buses or something cheaper, can be looked at); Hotel (£29) after a few quiet drinks (£whatever you want)

Wednesday 11th. Train to Cheltenham Spa (£13.50), entry to races (£35), beer/gambling (£whatever), train back (£13.50), hotel again (£29)

Thursday 12th. Cab to airport (£37), flight to Edinburgh (N/A), Megabus to Dundee (£4.25)

Estimated cost of EVERYTHING apart from food and beer/gambling money: £190

That's just a suggestion based on twenty minutes research. I'm sure you could get costs down even more with genuine effort. Maybe you could all pile over to Will's in Edinburgh and he could drive you down! I dunno, but you should definitely consider coming, it'll be awesome.

Keep on Scooping!

1 comment:

The Gambler said...

Theres a great pub called The Fox in a place called Great Barrington. Right on the edge of Cotswolds, proper racing pub. Festival mornings are great in there, Morning Line, Racing UK, card school and good banter. They do accomodation, not sure of avilability, or price but if u travel down by car its a great option.