Oswestry Racecourse is a gem of a site situated at 1000ft on the Welsh/ English border in the Oswestry uplands with far reaching views to the east and west. At 22 hectares this is a large area of countryside to wander around the 3km figure of eight 18th century horse racing track.
Informal carpark located at South Common. Grid ref: SJ 259 305, open all the time.
Take the B4580, signposted Llansilin from Oswestry town centre and follow the road out of the town and up the steep hill for about 2 miles. At the crest of the hill follow the signs to Racecourse Common. Grid reference: SJ259 300
Lat/Long: 52.866857, -3.1021975
Open all the time.
Oswestry Racecourse is a 22 hectare area of common land of the Oswestry uplands offering views into England and Wales. The figure of eight walking route around the site follows the old horse racing track (one of the first in the country) and takes visitors through open woodland / scrub, rough and unimproved grassland and into heathland which is slowly being restored on the north common.
Perched on the crest of the hills to the west of Oswestry, Oswestry Racecourse comprises a 18th century racecourse located on a high plateau between the north Shropshire plains and Welsh hills, providing extensive views of surrounding countryside. Consisting of a patchwork of scrub, scattered trees, bracken and wildflower rich grassland supporting a wide range of birds and insects.
Easy, level walking along wide rides and extensive path network. Peace & quiet. A registered common and wildlife site.
This 22 hectare site is managed by Shropshire Council in close association with the Oswestry Racecourse Management Association and FORCE – Friends of Oswestry Racecourse who undertake regular conservation tasks to maintain and improve the site.
Expansive open space with informal and public footpath network. Access for horse riders. Offa’s Dyke National Trail crosses common. Picnic area; seats situated at various location.
By the eighteenth century the area was being used for racing horses, with one of the reasons for the race meetings being to bring together the local landowners and gentry of Wales and England.
Signs of this historic use are still evident. Much of the figure of eight racetrack forms the main walking route around the site. The remains of the grandstand are still present.
The development of the railways spelled the end of racing on the site as people and horses could travel to grander racecourses. The last race meeting was held in 1848 – the very same year that the Shrewsbury to Chester railway line opened.
Things to see and do
- Walk the 3km figure-of-eight route of the racecourse taking in the far reaching views.
- Take an Identification book and a pair of binoculars to explore the varied flora and bird life.
- Learn about the heritage of one of Britain’s earliest racing tracks, taking in the remains of the Grandstand, the Janus sculpture and the horse racing circuit.
Tanat Valley Coaches route No 78.