Located in the southwest of England, around 40 miles to the east of Bristol and 80 miles west of London, Swindon Greyhound Stadium has now been providing exciting dog racing action for over 70 years. In addition to the greyhound racing, the track – which is alternatively known as Abbey Stadium – also plays host to the Swindon Robins speedway outfit, making it a hugely popular destination for sports fans in the area.
One of the busier tracks in the country, Swindon provides everything you need for a cracking night out at the dogs, including a restaurant, two snack bars, and a bar in line with the winning post.
What’s On Offer at Swindon?
Greyhound fans are spoilt for choice at Swindon, with the track staging a regular programme of five meetings per week.
- Monday – 12 races, Doors Open: 10:30am, First Race: 11:13am, Last Race:1:59 pm
- Wednesday – 12 races, Doors Open: 10:30am, First Race: 11:13am, Last Race: 1:59pm
- Thursday – 10 races, Doors Open: 1:30pm, First Race: 2:27pm, Last Race: 5:14pm
- Friday – 12 races, Doors Open: 10:30am, First Race: 11:13am, Last Race: 1:59pm
- Sunday – 12 races, Doors Open: 5:30pm, First Race: 6:19pm, Last Race:9:16 pm
- Circuit Length – 452m
- Run to First Bend – 100m
- Sprint Distance – 262m
- Middle Distances – 476m (standard) – 500m
- Stayers Distance – 682m
- Marathon Distance – 896m
On top of the greyhound action, the stadium also acts as the traditional home of the Swindon Robins Elite League Speedway team. Five times league champions, the Robins experienced a brief hiatus from the sport between 2020 and 2022 – firstly, as a result of the health crisis, and latterly, due to uncertainty surrounding the development of the stadium. They are, however, expected to re-enter the league in 2023, with fixtures usually taking place on Monday and Thursday evenings.
What Can You Expect?
The good news for dog racing fans on a budget is that the Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday fixtures are all completely free to attend. These are there an excellent way to experience live greyhound action at a minimal cost. Standard admission to the far busier Sunday evening meeting is priced at £6 per adult and £2 for children, with the adult ticket price including a racecard.
“Thursday Treat” & “Trackside Special”
In addition to the standard entry options, the track also offers a number of special deals. Thursday racegoers can take advantage of the “Thursday Treat” deal, which includes entry, race card, burger, and a pint for just £5. Sunday’s “Trackside Special” package is priced at £10 per person and includes entry, two drinks, a burger, and a free £1 bet. Note that this deal is only available to groups of four or more and must be booked and paid for in advance.
Sunday racegoers may wish to avail themselves of the cracking value “Sunday Scorcher” deal. Priced at £25, this package includes entry, racecard, and a three-course meal at the trackside Abbey Restaurant. It gets even better than that, as customers who purchase one “Summer Scorcher” deal, will receive another for that day completely free of charge. This deal must also be booked and paid for in advance.
How to Get There
The stadium address is Swindon Greyhounds, Abbey Stadium, Lady Lane, Blunsdon, Swindon, SN25 4DN. Those driving to the course are advised to approach via the M4 before turning onto the A419 which leads to the track. Upon arrival at the venue, racegoers will find ample parking available in the large car park just outside the track.
Swindon Train Station is the closest to the venue but is still around a 15-minute drive or taxi journey away. Alternatively, the number 4, 11 and 12 local bus services all stop within a short walk of the stadium.
How to Get in Touch
- Tel: – 01793 721253
- Email: – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: – @SwindonRacing
What Else Do I Need to Know?
The history of greyhound racing in the Swindon area dates back to the 1930s, with the town boasting a pair of independent tracks at Wroughton and in the town centre during that decade. However, both failed to take off and proved to be rather short-lived affairs.
Building work for the new stadium then began in 1947 at a rural location near Blunsdon just outside the city centre. Named in honour of the nearby Blunsdon Abbey, Abbey Stadium staged its first speedway fixture on 23 July, 1949. Greyhound racing came a little later on the 1st November 1952, with an enthusiastic crowd of 2,000 racegoers turning up for the inaugural meeting.
1958: National Greyhound Racing Club
Initially an independent or “flapping” track, the stadium later passed into the hands of the Bristol Greyhound Racing Association, who also owned Oxford Stadium and the Eastleigh venue in Bristol. That change ultimately led to Swindon becoming an officially recognised track when joining the National Greyhound Racing Club in April of 1958 – the same year in which the track’s signature event of the Silver Plume took place for the very first time.
1983: ADT Ownership
The next change in ownership came in 1983 when the track was purchased by the car auction company, ADT, which used the site’s extensive car park to conduct its sales.
1997: Bristol Stadiums Group
The stadium remained in the hands of ADT until 1997 when purchased by the Bristol Stadiums Group, which transferred their entire operation including the racing office, bookmakers, trainers, and Bookmakers Afternoon Greyhound Service contract to the site, following the closure of the Eastleigh track. The track remains under the same ownership to this day, although the company now goes by the name of Stadia UK.
2007: Housing Development
Having enjoyed a relatively smooth time of things throughout much of its history, the rockiest period has come during the current century. In 2007, it was announced that a significant section of the site would be repurposed as a housing development. Initial fears that this may lead to the ultimate closure of the track thankfully did not come to fruition, but the related 2016 building works did see the circuit length shortened due to a relocation of two of the bends.
2018: Arena Racing Company
2018 then saw the greyhound side of the operation receive a significant boost when signing a deal with the Arena Racing Company agreeing to stage meetings every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
2022: Uncertainty for Swindon
The building works may not be done with just yet though, with the Swindon Robins withdrawing from the 2022 Speedway season due to concerns about the potential impact of further developments on the track. Hopefully, the impact of future works will prove to be minimal, enabling this excellent track to remain on the map.