Brands Hatch: A day at the races

In Counties, Days Out, Kent, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by GaryLeave a Comment

A wonderful day in the Kent countryside

Plenty of horses, but not an equine creature in sight. (Unless you count the prancing horse)

Never been to a motor race before? well give this a try.

A MkII Jaguar thundering up Hailwoods Hill towards Druids

Brands Hatch is my local motor racing circuit, and I love it.

There are other tracks over the world I like to visit, but this is my local one.

This place is steeped in history, and a walk around the circuit reminds you of this fact.

The circuit is a list of famous racers, Graham Hill (bend), Cooper & Brabham straights. Surtees, McLaren, Stirlings, Clark & Sheene curves and Hailwood & Hawthorn hill.

(Located in the South East of the UK - Zoom in for more detail)

If it’s your first time, then why not pick a club level event.

These days are good value, the crowds are less, so getting around and finding your favourite spot is going to be easier – and if you like the experience then come back for a major event.

Tickets & Programme from the AMOC Race meet at Brands Hatch

About the circuit

The track has two configurations the GP circuit, which is 2.4 miles (3.9kms) or the smaller Indy circuit of 1.2 miles (1.9kms), the club events generally run over the smaller layout, but not always.

The circuit started as a grass track in 1926, and racing has been held here regularly ever since. In the ’50s tarmac was laid and they changed to racing in the clockwise direction.

You can, of course find out more at the Brands Hatch site

About the day

So pick your group D event, or club level event, and arrive at the circuit.

Gates open at 8:00am but the first testing session starts around at 9:00am.

Then the sensory explosions of sights, sounds and smells will hit you.

Granted it's not a Formula 1 noise fest', but you can hear motors being driven to the max', tyres pushed to the limit, the smell of brakes 'cooking' under the strain and wonderful aroma of fuel & oil.

Guess that confirms I'm a petrol head.

These days are great value, the programme for the day will usually contain at least 5 races, plus a number of qualifying sessions. A family day out for around £35 as of 2016! (Kids under 13 are free, and the 13-15 year olds are around half price).

Expect there to be action on the track from 9:00am to 6:00 pm, with a short gap for lunch.

There may be a track parade, if not, there will be something to entertain you.

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Talking of lunch

Yep there’s plenty more than just the racing, grab yourself a bite to eat at either of the restaurants, Hailwoods or the Kentagon; or pack a picnic – there’s plenty of places to throw down a picnic blanket and enjoy the open space. You may also be tempted by an ice cream, there’s one or two vendors dotted around the circuit.

One of the differences between a club day and a major event is the number of catering outlets, generally there’s a much greater choice, but you get the crowds too.

Access all areas

The other great thing about the quieter club events is it’s so easy to explore the whole track.

There’s normally no extra charge for parking on the Southbank, the banked area with a great view of the first corner, and the Cooper straight. This means you can sit in your car and watch the action, and tune into Radio Brands Hatch to pick up the commentary.

You are also free to wander the paddock, where those not competing are fettling their thoroughbreds.

It's easy to see how even at the grassroots level, motor sport is expensive.

However don't be suprised to see gaffer tape and hammers being used to affect 'repairs'.

Or wander through the pits, ensuring you stay well to the back of the garage. It gives you a great alternative view of the event.

You will also find that certain grandstands are open and free – why not view the action from the grandstand at the top of Paddock Hill bend.

 This is a fantastic viewpoint that accentuates the natural amphitheatre that is Brands Hatch.

Explore the circuit

Brands Hatch is a wonderful circuit, full of elevation changes and tricky curves & corners.

Whether it’s the Indy circuit, or the full GP loop in use I recommend you walk the circuit. What’s better than a walk in the countryside?

 You will then find your own favourite spot, be it Paddock Hill bend, Druids, opposite the pits or one of the many other locations, you’ll only find by exploring.

What if we get bored watching cars going around in circles?

Well firstly, wash your mouths out – no, just kidding I understand that it may not be for everyone.

There is an adventure playground, a series of motorsport inspired shops, or you can just wander into the ancient woodland that surrounds the circuit.

So if you’re after a good value day for all ages, then I suggest you’ll do worse than spend a day at the ‘Hatch’

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Inspired to visit Brands Hatch in Kent?

It's a great experience and one that attacks fans of all ages , so why not give it a try?

You can stay at the Hotel within the circuit - the Mercure Dartford Brands Hatch Hotel & Spa, or a the pretty little village of Eynsford or Farningham

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About the Author


Gary, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born and raised in London. An IT guy who likes to takes snaps. Along with Janis his partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, over a Sherry in Seville, they decided that enough was enough with suits. The decision was made to take their knowledge and experience to create a blog to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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