The Festival of Speed - How to Arrange your Special Weekend

By: Keith McGregor

The Festival of Speed, held at Goodwood in West Sussex, is one of the biggest motoring events in the world. Well over 150,000 people attend each year for the three day event and the festival has been described as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.

The Festival of Speed celebrates the culture and history of motor sport and cars. There are many events throughout the weekend including motorbike racing, off-road driving and the chance to see Formula 1 cars, Rally cars and many other racing cars.

It is also the only festival in the world where you can see a range of racing cars from Steam cars to Formula 1 all in one place.
The festival is held over three days, the 11th, 12th and 13th of July and it runs from 9am to 6pm each day. Many people attend the Festival of Speed so it is best to arrive at 7am when the gates open. Friday is the first chance to see the racing cars and to explore the many exhibitions around the festival. Most people will return to a hotel in Chichester, because it is so near to Goodwood, but there are many other friendly hotels in West Sussex for you to stay in throughout the weekend. Saturday is the official practice day where two hundred racing cars and motorbikes have two practice runs up the hill. Sunday is when the action begins as the cars race against the clock for awards. There is also a breathtaking display from the Red Arrows.

You can take food with you for a picnic during the day, alternatively you can purchase your food from one of the many caterers at the Festival.

The first Festival of Speed was held in 1993 where 25,000 people attended the event. It is now held every year at Goodwood and has become the biggest
motoring event of its type in the whole world. There is also a Junior Festival of Speed held at the same time as the main event. This festival for children includes Wacky Races, a Junior Off-Road Challenge, Graffiti Art and Display Teams.

Other events at Goodwood include the Goodwood Revival which takes place over a weekend in September.

If you are planning to attend the Festival of Speed, it is best to book your weekend well in advance to avoid disappointment. You cannot purchase tickets on the day as they are only sold before the festival begins. You must keep your ticket with you at all time throughout the festival. Under twelve’s will not need a ticket to the festival but will need a ticket to the Grandstand. Accommodation in West Sussex is normally reserved long in advance so it is best to book your hotel as early as possible. It is easier to stay in B&Bs or hotels close to Goodwood, such as accommodation in Chichester.

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