by Gary / 0 comments - Orginally published:22nd August 2016

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.

Brands Hatch is my local motor racing circuit, and I love it.  There are other tracks all 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.

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

These days are good value, and 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.

The pin image for our post - 'Brands Hatch: A day at the races'
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a copy of our amoc racing programme and tickets from a day out at brands hatch in august 2016
Your souvenir programme

Where is Brands Hatch?

How to get to Brands Hatch

- By Car
Brands Hatch is under 4 miles from the M25/M20 Junction along the A20.  There is plenty of free parking onsite, but there may be an additional cost for parking on the South Bank and the premium events.

- By Public Transport
It is possible to reach Brands hatch by a mixture of Train/Bus, depending on where you start from, but it may be a challenge.  Our advice is to stay close by and grab a taxi to the circuit.

The history of Brands Hatch

About the circuit
The track has two configurations: the GP circuit, which is 2.4 miles (3.9 km) or the smaller Indy circuit, which is 1.2 miles (1.9 km); the club events generally run over the smaller layout, but not always.
the view from the paddock hill bend grandstand overlooking the brands hatch motor racing circuitin kent, england
The view of Paddock hill Bend

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.

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Visiting Brands Hatch

About the day

So pick your group D event or club-level event, and arrive at the circuit.
Gates open at 8:00 a.m., but the first testing session starts around 9:00 a.m.
Then, the sensory explosions of sights, sounds and smells will hit you.

Three classic sports cars on the run down to graham hill bend at brands hatch motor racing circuit
The run down to Graham Hill Bend

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 the wonderful aroma of fuel & oil.
I guess that confirms I'm a petrolhead.

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 about half price).

a stream of aston martins from the aston martin owners club - amoc, entering the pits of brands hatch motor racing circuit in kent, england
The Aston Martin Owners club

Expect there to be action on the track from 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m., with a short gap for lunch.
There may be a track parade; if not, there will be something to entertain you.

Where to stay for Brands Hatch

Mercure Dartford Brands Hatch Hotel & Spa
You cannot get a better location than this for visiting Brands Hatch - It is just before the main entrance. You can walk to the circuit from here.

Eating at Brands Hatch

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 are 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.

Need a rental car?

You want to go to a motor race at a historic track in the UK but don't have a car. Why not hire one? Rental Cars will search for the best available options for your location.

A day at Brands Hatch

Access all areas

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

There's usually 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 in to Radio Brands Hatch to pick up the commentary.

Our black audi rs5 convertible parked on south bank of brands hatch with its roof down overlooking the brands hatch circuit
Parked up on the South Bank

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, motorsport is expensive.

Two mechanics working under the raised bonnet of a classic, bright red, triumph tr4a in the paddock of brands hatch motor racing circuit in kent, england
A Triumph TR4a in the Paddock

However, don't be surprised to see gaffer tape and hammers 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.

mechanics working on british racing green Austin Healey, raided on jacks, in the pits of brands hatch motor racing circuit in kent, england
An Austin Healey in the pits
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?
the view of paddock hill bend from the grandstand at brands hatch, visit brands hatch, things to do in kent, uk motorsport, uk racing circuits, visit a racing circuit
A view of Paddock Hill Bend from the Grandstand
 This is a fantastic viewpoint that accentuates the natural amphitheatre that is Brands Hatch.

What to see at Brands Hatch

Explore the circuit
Brands Hatch is a beautiful circuit, full of elevation changes and tricky curves & corners.
two porsches racing the drag uphills towards druids hairpin, under the palmer sport bridge af brands hatch motor racing circuit in kent, england
The drag uphill towards Druids hairpin
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?
A red ferrari chasing down a classic aston martin as they drop down paddock hill bend towards hailwoods hill at brands hatch motor racing circuit in kent, england
Dropping down Paddock Hill Bend
 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.
Family groups on the grass banks overlooking the circuit, race control and the pits of brands hatch motor racing circuit in kent, england
Overlooking Race Control

A great day out in Kent

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.
an aston martin vantage gt4 rounding druids hairpin at the brands hatch motor racing circuit in kent, england
An Aston Martin at Druids

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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