Find your pace at Oulton Park, Cheshire

by Paulvg46

Since the 1950s Oulton Park's track has hosted many racing events including rounds of the F1 championship. This guide offers tips on where to get the best views and where to stay nearby

The small winding roads leading up to Oulton Park (Oulton Park Circuit, Little Budworth, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 9BW; 01829 760301; www.motorsportvision.co.uk/oulton-park/), found near the idyllic rural village of Little Budworth (near Chester, Cheshire) may fool those who have never been to the track before because of the silence and echoes of the woodland noises nearby. Heading towards the main entrance of the track, remnants of the track's history can be observed, such as the grand Oulton Estate Entrance Lodge, a grand archway which is instantly a recognisable icon of Oulton Park (see my pictures). This represents most of what is left of the Oulton Estate of which the track now subsides upon.

The track is home to many racing events such as the Ginetta Championships (www.ginettacars.com), British Superkarts (www.superkart.org.uk) and Formula 3 (www.fota.co.uk) Single Seater cars.

The layout of the track is simple for all visitors to follow and is also well signposted. As you head from the main entrance, over bridge into the middle of the track, on your left is the easily identifiable paddock area and race control. To your 12 o'clock is Chequers, a great little place to warm up fingers and toes on those cold winter afternoons or rainy spring mornings! Chequers serve a great range of food including a great breakfast roll. Prices are quite dear at around £3-6 for different items but the quality of food is worth the cost!

Where to go

There are many different places to view the track. The Fogarty Moss Centre is available for, generally, an extra £17 which has an excellent view of: Old Hall Corner and Cascades - an exciting downhill section which is subject to a fury of overtaking on the opening lap, Lakeside Straight - watching the cars and bikes accelerate away from you at a rate of knots, and Hill Top - which is an awesome sight seeing the cars and bikes appear from out of nowhere. The grassy area nearby the Fogarty Moss Centre is an excellent alternative to view all the action; however this area gets extremely busy with spectators during the summer race events.

To get to Druid's corner you can follow the woodland walk path through the forest area, near to the Go-Karting Track, which is the closest spectator viewing point to the track apart from the pit wall itself! A double right hander, this corner is great to see drivers really push the limits of the tarmac and, for those who like mayhem, the site of some spectacular crashes.

Where to stay

Camping

So you've got the idea of going to the track, seeing where past F1 World Champions such as the great Jim Clark and John Surtees have driven, where are you going to stay? The track for some events does allow Overnight Camping for the dedicated individuals (it can get very cold up in Chester, so, from personal experience...be sure to take many layers), this is usually for an extra cost of £10 (online, normally £15).

The Elm Cottage Caravan Park (Chester Lane, Nr Winsford, Cheshire, CW7 2QJ) is 1-1.5miles away from the track and is a 4-rosette rated camping and touring park that is great for those in motorhomes at a cheap price (£15-20 for a night's stay).

Or perhaps somewhere warmer....

For those wishing to have a warmer nights stay, or to relax those neck muscles after a long days watching or racing then the lovely quaint inn of Alvanley Arms (Forest Road, Cotebrook, Cheshire, CW6 9DS) is the place to be. Also only 1.5 miles away from the track it is an AA 4-star rated settlement that welcomes all and is extremely cosy (food wise, the traditional Sunday roast beef is a must). The price for a room start at £55 and go up to £100+ including breakfast and so may not be for everyone’s budget! Generally rooms are available during the early months of the year and busier towards the summer months, this Inn is usually one of the first to go close to an event date.

How can I get involved?

It’s very simple! There are three ways you can enjoy the fun at Oulton Park.

i.) Spectate - There are many different events that occur throughout the whole year for a range of prices (£10-£25 Online) which is a cheap and great way to view Experienced Racing drivers on track (https://tickets.motorsportvision.co.uk/calendar/search.asp?circuit=op&type=all&grade=0).

ii.) Get out there yourself! Take your own car or bike round the track itself and see what it is really like to drive at high speeds in a safe and controlled manner! (http://www.clubmsv.com/).

iii.) For the seriously focussed - Practice, get your race licence and race for real! (http://www.racing-school.co.uk/index.asp).

The track also has a Go-Karting track for the children or for the kids inside all of us.

So whatever age you are, whether you prefer two - or four wheels - like the sun or rain, the lovely Cheshire countryside track at Oulton Park is definitely worth a visit or two.
 

Paulvg46

Currently a postgraduate student at the University of Southampton, studying Allergy with the School of Medicine having graduated from Biomedical Sciences. I love to get away from the hussle and bustle of everyday life and explore new surroundings. Skiing and surfing holidays have to be my favourite, combining sports with nature, there is no greater thrill! In 2010 I have entered myself into the British Superkart Championships travelling around the UK to circuits such as; Silverstone - Northamptonshire, Pembrey - Wales, Cadwell Park - Lincolnshire, Castle Combe - Wiltshire and many more. As a first time entrant in a National championship, I aim to provide others motorsport enthusiasts with travel tips that will help out first time viewers or the experienced enthusiast!