Which racecourse is closest to the City of London?

The City of London, a.k.a. The Square Mile, is the historic centre of the capital city. The closest racecourse is, in fact, Kempton Park, which is located on the A308, a.k.a. Staines Road East, between Sunbury-on-Thames and Hampton Court, approximately 17 miles, or 60 minutes’ drive, via the A4 and A316, to the southwest. Established in 1878, Kempton Park is best known as the home of the King George VI Chase – which, in terms of prestige, is second only to the Cheltenham Gold – run annually on Boxing Day.

Slightly further afield, at a distance of approximately 19 miles from the City of London, via the A3 and A307 – a.k.a. Portsmouth Road and Esher High Street – stands Sandown Park. Established in 1875, Sandown Park was the first purpose-built, enclosed racecourse in the country and, nowadays, is famous as the home of the Eclipse Stakes, run over a mile and a quarter in early July each year. During the winter, Sandown Park also stages five Grade 1 National Hunt races, namely the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase, Tingle Creek Chase, Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle, Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase and Celebration Chase.

Slightly further still, at a distance of approximately 21 miles down the A3, Epsom Downs is, of course, world famous as the home of the Derby Festival, which features the third and fourth Classics of the season, the Oaks and the Derby. The history of horse racing on the North Downs dates back to the second half of the seventeenth century and, today, in addition to the two-day Derby Festival, Epsom Downs stages another nine fixtures between April and October.

Although some distance beyond the western boundary of Greater London, Ascot, in the Royal County of Berkshire, is still only 33 miles or so from the City of London via the M4 motorway.

Founded in 1711, by Queen Anne, Ascot is famed as the venue for the Royal Meeting, staged annually over five days in June, but plays host to racing of the highest quality, Flat and National Hunt, all year round.

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