Of the 20 officially registered greyhound tracks on the British mainland, one of the newest is to be found in the town of Harlow. Lying just 30 miles from the centre of London on a patch of land known as the Pinnacles, the purpose-built Essex venue provides excellent facilities, including a selection of bars and catering options.
With a regular programme of four meetings per week, taking place on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, and Wednesday evenings, the track is amongst the most frequently used in the UK. Acting as the base for a handful of the most successful British trainers, the track hasn’t taken long in establishing itself as one of the country’s most respected dog racing venues.
What’s On Offer at Harlow?
Officially registered with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB), the track plays a major role in providing a steady stream of action for online and betting shop punters, as well as those making the trip to the track.
Wednesday is the busiest day of the week, with a 12-race morning card being followed by a 10-race evening fixture. Rounding out the weekly offering is a 14-race Friday morning meeting, and a 12-race Sunday morning card for weekend racegoers. Early meetings begin at around 10:50 am, with evening racing then commencing shortly after 6 pm. In addition to the regular programme, the track also plays host to a small number of Saturday morning meetings spread throughout the year.
Due to their more punter-friendly time slots, the Wednesday evening and Sunday morning fixtures tend to be the most popular, with the bigger meetings seeing the track come close to reaching its 1,500 maximum capacity.
- Circuit Length – 334m
- Sprint Distance – 238m
- Middle Distances – 415m (standard)
- Stayers Distance – 592m
- Marathon Distance – 769m – 946m
What Can You Expect?
All racegoers attending the track on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday morning can gain entry to the track completely free of charge. Wednesday evening and Sunday morning fixtures are priced at £5 for adults and £2.50 for children and concessions, whilst under 5s go free. Standard entry grants access to the trackside viewing area, the on-site bar and fast food facilities.
Those looking to add a little extra to their race day experience may wish to take advantage of the track’s excellent value “Winning Deal”. Priced at £12 for adults and £5 for children, this package includes entry, a racecard, a £1 Tote bet, a reserved table, a fast food meal, and a drinks voucher. Winning Deal tickets must be booked at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
Trackside Restaurant & Executive Suites
The next step up from the “Winning Deal” is to make a booking in the trackside restaurant or executive suites. Only available at select meetings, prices and packages vary throughout the year but are usually only available to larger groups. The best advice is to keep an eye on the track’s official website for all the latest deals.
Relaxed Dress Code
In common with the majority of greyhound tracks, Harlow operates a very relaxed dress code. Barring anything likely to prove offensive in nature, racegoers are largely free to dress as they please. In addition to the greyhound racing, the track also occasionally acts as the venue for other events, with boxing, darts and wrestling all having taken place at Harlow in the past.
How to Get There
The stadium address is Harlow Greyhound Stadium, Stadium Way, Off Roydon Road, Harlow, Essex, CM19 5DY. The track is linked to both the M11 and the A10 via the A414, and once on the A414 motorists will find the stadium to be very well signposted. Parking at the venue shouldn’t prove to be an issue, with the track’s extensive car park able to accommodate up to 400 vehicles.
Harlow Town Railway Station sits within the town centre, around a five-minute drive or a 30-minute walk from the stadium. Lying on the West Anglia Main Line, the station receives regular services from London Liverpool Street, Stratford, Stanstead Airport, Cambridge and Bishop’s Stortford. Public transport options from Harlow Town centre include the 380, 381, and 382 bus services, all of which stop around a five-minute walk from the stadium.
How to Get in Touch
- Tel: – 01279 426 804
- Email: – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: – @HarlowDogs
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Having only opened for business on the 15th of March 1995, Harlow doesn’t boast quite the storied history of many longer-running tracks. It was in 1993 that Toni Nicholls first purchased the patch of land at the Pinnacles, just to the west of the nearby Harlow Town FC Stadium. Toni’s company of Leaside Leisure Ltd wasted little time in redeveloping the land, installing the track, executive suites, restaurant, conferencing and banqueting facilities, and car park in the space of a year. The first trials then commenced in October of 1994, before the track’s official opening night early in 1995.
2005 saw a change in ownership, with the track transferring from Leaside Leisure Ltd, into the hands of Barclay Entertainment. Owned by successful Essex businessman Dave Barclay, the company has continued to invest in both facilities and the promotion of the track. Shrewdly run to a sensible budget, the track may not be the most spectacular in the land, but has always been on a firm financial footing and operated within its means.
A real greyhound enthusiast, Barclay has ignored numerous offers from developers keen to use the land for other purposes, and it appears that his determined approach is beginning to pay off. The 2008 closure of the nearby track at Walthamstow saw the venue receive a major boost, with Chris Page arriving as general manager, followed by trainers John Coleman, Mark Wallis, Mick Puzey, Graham Sharp and Kelly Mullins. Wallis then put Harlow in the headlines just one year later, when sending out Kinda Ready to win the 2009 English Greyhound Derby.
First Ever Live Sky TV Meeting
That increase in profile was no doubt a significant factor in the track being awarded its first-ever live Sky TV meeting in 2011. Further cementing itself in the greyhound landscape when introducing a Greyhound Sales date in 2013, the track’s current programme was set in 2018 when agreeing to a deal with SiS to stage meetings every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday morning, and on a Wednesday evening. A true dog-lovers racing venue, Harlow is well worth a visit should the opportunity arise.