Hexham racecourse is located in the market town by the same name in Northumberland County, North East England. It is the only surviving recourse in the area, and has events screened on At The Races.
Racing at Hexham has been happening since the 1720s. It has however been threatened by closure many times, either from financial difficulties or competition from more attractive courses. The most famous race hosted here is the Heart of All England steeplechase, which has been running since 1907.
Charles William Chipchase Henderson has a special place in the history of the course. He acquired the property at a time when racing had virtually died in 1880, putting up racing and viewing facilities, some of which exist to this day.
Racing at Hexham was stopped during the Second World War, during which it was used as an ammunition site. Racing returned in 1946, and has been continuing since. A lot of upgrades were introduced in the 1990s, part of which included the construction of a lake within the premises.
The racing circuit extends over a length of one and a half miles. It is generally flat, with an uphill climb close to the finish, which gives way to a perfectly flat distance in the run in which extends about 150 yards. The track is oval in shape, with another straight along the center which gives it three long stretches. It is used for national hunt races. Racing is left handed, with steep deeps that require racehorses to put every bit of stamina to use.
Acces by road is made easy by the clear signposting. The closest railway station is Hexham, 1.7 miles from the course. Air access is through the Newcastle airport 17 miles away or helicopter landing on the course which requires prior arrangements.
The Heart of All England Hunter chase is Hexham’s premiere race. The Northumberland Day also attracts a good number of viewers. Racing takes place between February and December.