Goodwood Revival

Goodwood Revival is a 3 day motor racing event celebrating the glamour and thrills of motor racing from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.   Set at the Goodwood airfield the circuit was built around the perimeter of the airfield and first used for racing in 1948.  The Revival started in the 1998 and is famous for visitors attending in period costume.

The car parks open from 7:00 with gates opening from 7:30 and it’s well worth getting there early, particular if you’re only going for one day.

Car parking is free, and if you’re lucky enough to have your very own classic vehicle (and it gets there without breaking down) there’s also a special car park for classic vehicles closer to the ticket gates.  It’s a  also a great opportunity to see a huge range of classic cars and bikes, all driven down by their owners to watch the racing – a great spectacle to see (and maybe plan you next Goodwood auction purchase) as you queue to get into the site.


Outside the Circuit

The first area you get to once through the ticket gates has a whole host of exhibitions, stands, fairground, auction house (we love it there, but keep your hand in your pocket unless you want to buy a Ferrari 330!) and even a cinema with drive-in theme.

There’s plenty to see and do here, but we prefer getting into the main circuit first, and then visiting on our way out at the end of the day.

To get to the circuit you take a footbridge which leads you over to the outer perimeter.

Outer Perimeter

As you go over the road and off the footbridge you enter the outer perimiter of the race circuit.  There’s so much to see here, ranging from stalls, exhibitions, talks, places to eat, places to dance and live music.  In keeping with the war-time theme there’s a dig for victory garden and talks on make do and mend.  You’ll also find the hair salon here if you want to get perfect victory rolls.

If you’re looking for viewing areas for the racing (and don’t have grandstand tickets) you can try either clockwise around to the left, all the way through the food areas, to where you’ll find a grassy bank – or anticlockwise around to the right to the east straight where you’ll find some standing rails.

Once you’ve seen the area and want to head to the inside of the track, there’s find a tunnel under the race track just a little way around to the left from where you came off the foot bridge.

Inner Perimeter

Inside the track is one of our favourite areas, with access to the paddocks where you can get up close to the cars and bikes taking part.

There’s more to eat and drink here, and then access to the militaria exhibition and also some viewing areas inside the circuit. For the viewing areas as you come out of the tunnel head to your right, through the paddock and then across the grass airfield, past the military exhibition, to a raised bank on the east straight.  We find this a good place to watch if you don’t have grandstand tickets and there is also a tunnel which takes you to the outer perimeter if you want to watch from there as well.


There’s a smaller paddock to the right as you exit the tunnel as well as larger ones around to your left.  They’re under cover as well which can be nice on a hot day and you’ve decided to wear you best period heavy tweed!

The Paddocks are an incredible opportunity to get up close to the racing machines that you’ll see out on the circuit throughout the weekend – many of them with famous provenance and irreplaceable value.

You’ll be able to see (and hear!) the cars starting up, and smell the aftermath of the race as they cool down afterwards.


Also in the inner area you’ll find an exhibition of WWII vehicles and ‘planes (some of which you’ll wonder if they took off from the airfield which you’re currently standing on!)

The display is normally located to the right as you come out of the tunnel, through the paddock, and as you cross over the grassed airfield to the east straight.


The Racing

There’s so much to see and do at Goodwood Revival that we’ve only just got to the racing!  You’ll be able to see 2 and 4 wheel racing across three decades, from mini’s battling it out on the circuit to the roar of early formula 1 cars – there’s something for everyone.

If you’re going to be moving around it’s worth planning out your day first with which races you want to watch so you make it back to your stand or viewing point in time for them- and also there’s the Goodwood radio channel which keeps you up to date with everything that’s happening both on and off the track.  You can tune into this on ‘normal radio’ even as you’re driving into Revival in the morning, but in addition you can buy ear piece radios along with your programme both in advance or on the day.

‘What to Wear?

Revival is well known for being the speed festival where visitors dress up in period costume, and its great fun.  Both race participants and event goers will be dressed up in their favourite decade from the 40’s to the 60’s, and you can do as much or as little as you like.

Don’t worry if you don’t want to dress up, you won’t stand out – and if you do you’ll blend in well – although maybe not so much on the way home at the service station! (Which may be why you see so many people putting their finishing touches on in the car park in the morning).

Where to Sit /Stand

If you are going just to watch the racing then it’s always best to get Grandstand tickets, and the covered grandstands can be pretty handy if you’re worried about the weather as well.

However, for us there’s so much to do both inside and outside the track in addition to the racing we find that we don’t spend as much time watching the circuit as we think we will.  Revival is also one of the better vents for being able to watch from one of the banks around the circuit (which doesn’t need a grandstand ticket).

We find the best places are to head around the outside perimeter either clockwise or anticlockwise until you pass through all the entertainment areas and you’ll find some where to be able to sit or stand.  In addition if you head into the inside of the track and then to your right through the militaria exhibition you’ll be able to watch from the inside of the eastern straight.