Things to do in Newmarket
Whether you’re a devoted horse-racing fan or just a lover of beautiful English towns, Newmarket is sure to appeal. Located in the Forest Heath area, close to Cambridge and Ely as well as Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall, this is the perfect place from which to explore this popular region.
Newmarket has been associated with horses and racing since King James 1 arrived in 1605 and declared Newmarket the second capital of England. Successive royal family members came to appreciate the flat land as an ideal location for galloping their horses, King Charles 1 in particular. He visited the town regularly bringing with him a strong love of horses and racing, and it was he who commissioned the first grandstand on Newmarket Heath. Thus the Sport of Kings was born with Britain’s first race, The Town Plate, in which Charles 11 rode his own horse and won! Surprise, surprise. Newmarket hasn’t looked back since. Explore our Sport of Kings Trail to discover more about the surrounding areas. Or read our guide to Suffolk horse riding to see a range of stables and riding schools.
Racing’s early administrative body – The Jockey Club – created its home here, and now there are said to be some 2,500 horses training in the town at any one time.
If this is your particular fascination, you’ll be pleased to find the National Stud here, the National Horseracing Museum, Tattersalls Sale Ring, and also the impressive Newmarket Racecourses themselves.
Keeping to an animal theme, you might be interested to visit the Newmarket based Animal Health Trust. This fantastic charity has now been going for more than half a century, and in that time has helped thousands of horses – as well as cats and dogs. It not only provides specialist veterinary and diagnostic services, but also leads the way in terms of animal health research. Its HQ is found in Kentford, within Newmarket, and has a library facility open to visitors, as well as a visitor centre.
There are other places of interest for the curious visitor too.
Newmarket boasts impressive features like the grand Clock Tower in High Street, the King Edward VII Memorial Gardens, the War Memorial Gardens, or Cleveland House.
And for some, it might just be the idea of the retail therapy which has the most appeal. Newmarket’s shopping heart is, in essence, centered around the High Street itself. Here, you’ll find the likes of superb ladies boutiques and shoe stores, as well as long established clothing company, Goldings of Newmarket.
Eating out in Newmarket
When it comes to finding places to eat and drink in Newmarket, there are plenty of possibilities too.
The town has a number of established restaurants serving all types of cuisine, so you are guaranteed a great choice of top quality places to dine.
Newmarket has a true English-town feel, with a delightful community spirit and a population of around 17,000.
Whatever time of year you choose to visit, and however long your stay, this is a worthy stop and a haven for tourists and home-seekers alike. It may have built its reputation around one very specific sporting arena, but it has a very special and much admired personality all of its own.