One of the things you get to enjoy when living in the country are country events: Food Festivals, Farmers' Markets, the Hodder Valley Show and Point-to-Points. Whittington Races is one of them.
Established since 1936 and organized by the local Hunt, the Whittington Races or the Vale of Lune Point-to-Point is a big country event. Think travelling in convoy, picnic hampers, kids, dogs and an easy afternoon sipping wine away with friends while watching the races and winning a little cash on the horses, or in my case - losing some. ^_^
This is the kind of event where the more people, the merrier. We usually organize a group of friends and travel in convoy - each car carrying some essentials for the picnic. And because children and dogs are welcomed, this is a truly family friendly event.
There is usually a fun section for the kids and it's safe enough that you can let them wonder around the fair in groups when they are a little older. The responsibility for them is still yours, though, regardless of you being with them or not, so make sure you have a way to get hold of them or a meeting point in which they need to check in with you. I usually write my phone number on my daughter's arm for any public event, so if she gets lost, she or anyone helping her can get hold of me. Regarding the fun fair... I usually give my little one a budget for the day. I would recommend that tactic to anyone taking children as the inflatables, toys and sweets will empty your pockets faster than you can say your name otherwise.
It's always great bumping into people you know and if you live in the area there is a big chance that will happen in the beer tent. This year's tent was set right in front of the race course, so it was a brilliant spot for watching the races. There are usually food stands too, so if you don't want to bring your own picnic, fret not. You will not go hungry or dry.
It usually costs around £20 to £25 per car to get in and while it's pram friendly I didn't notice any wheelchairs, but I'm sure you could if you wanted to. And while you are on your way there, don't forget to stop at Kirkby Lonsdale for a flyer. This is a quaint little town right at the edge of Lancashire, almost in Yourkshire, full of indie shops and cute pubs to eat and drink.
Check the weather forecast before you go. Lancashire is not know for being England's sunniest spot and if we have enjoyed heavy rains for a week or so prior to the races the event could be cancelled. I would also think twice before attending if rain is on the cards as you are exposed to the elements during the event. It is wise to layer on clothes too. You can always take them off if you are too hot, but you can't wrap up if the wind picks up and you haven't brought any layers with you.
There are rumours that Whittington Races will either not continue or change location next year due to the land the course is set at being used for farming. I guess we will have to wait and see, but there are other Point-to-Points worth attending. Click here for more information on other events. The next one in my calendar is the Skipton Races on May 6th.
All in one, a brilliant family event and I have a ball every year we go.
Food: Depends if you bring a picnic or not.
Children: Yes, and dogs too!
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