What a wonderful day out Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex is, so much to see and do for young and old, simply packed full of entertainment whether you are a petrol head or just having a passing interest in motor sport.
We were newbies to the Festival so when we arrived early on Friday morning, when to be fair the weather was a little damp, we weren’t sure what to expect. The first thing that hits you is the sheer scale of the event, its huge… the car parks alone stretch for miles (do make sure you make a note of where you parked because finding it later is a challenge).
Once inside you are straight in to manufacturer display areas that are located near the start line of the Hillclimb. Here you will find lots of sparkly new and exhibition cars from some of the world’s top car manufacturers. While making your way through the stands you can’t help but hear the cars roaring away from the start line, its amazing how exciting the noise is, and so you quickly move on to see some of the action.
The Hillclimb circuit is the centre piece of the Festival of Speed, weaving its way from the entrance/start line past Goodwood House and up to the forest finish line 300 feet higher on the chalky South Downs. The straw bale lined circuit lets you be safely close to the action so you can not only hear but smell the rubber being burnt! There are grandstands along the track but you can also just walk and find a good spot to watch the action.
There is a full programme on the Hillclimb throughout the day including vintage cars, grand prix motor cycles, Formula 1 cars, rally and touring cars and supercars… some racing, some doughnutting, some simply out on show!
Walk through all the paddocks and see all the cars up close, when they are not performing of course. From the Grand Prix cars who seem to have teams of people working on them with all the electronic gadgetry to the vintage cars where you can simple appreciate their beautiful designs and admire the nerve it must have required to drive them at fall speed with so little protection.
However there is so much more than the Hillclimb.
I was not expecting the air display to be so awesome, but the Red Arrows performing dare-devil stunts across the bright blue sky was pretty special. And as for the Eurofighter performing high-speed manoeuvres, wow!
The off-road activity centre looked great fun, and great to get some pictures of vehicles being pushed to their limits.
At the very top of the estate you will find the rally stage, see cars navigate this professionally laid out 1.5 mile circuit through the forest against the clock.
As we headed back down we discovered the huge display areas where there is everything from ‘cars of the future’ to the awe-inspiring prototype of the car that hopes to break the 1,000 mile an hour land speed. Just as we were wandering around this area we saw the amazing Moto X display with motorbikes quite literally flying through the air in every direction – definitely wish we had got their earlier as it was quite a sight.
If you are going over the weekend have a fantastic time… a couple of tips:
- take some good walking shoes, there is a lot of walking and standing
- prepare for all-weather – we had glorious sunshine (requiring shades and sunscreen), wind (jumper/coat needed) and rain (umbrella/waterproof) during the day
- take quite a lot of cash as most stands for food, programmes etc don’t do credit cards
- take some food along with you, no food is cheap… burgers are £6 ish
However, don’t let this put you off, it is a spectacularly good day and we would highly recommend it.
Source: Find Cottage Holidays