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    Major Greyhound Racing Tracks in the UK
Major Greyhound Racing Tracks in the UK
Greyhound Racing Tracks. Source: Midjourney

Major Greyhound Racing Tracks in the UK

Greyhound racing boasts a rich and storied history in the UK, tracing its origins to the early 20th century. The sport made its British debut with the first recorded race at Belle Vue, Manchester, in 1926. It quickly soared in popularity, and by the mid-20th century, over 70 greyhound tracks were operational across the country. However, the following decades witnessed a decline in the sport's popularity due to evolving societal attitudes towards animal welfare and the emergence of alternative entertainment and gambling options.

Current Landscape of Greyhound Racing Tracks

Despite fluctuations in its popularity, greyhound racing continues to be a favoured pastime in the UK, with the number of tracks remaining relatively stable in recent years. Currently, there are 21 licensed greyhound racing tracks operating in the country:

1. Brighton and Hove Stadium, Brighton and Hove

2. Central Park Stadium, Sittingbourne

3. Crayford Stadium, London

4. Doncaster Stadium, Doncaster

5. Harlow Stadium, Harlow

6. Henlow Stadium, Stondon

7. Kinsley Stadium, Kinsley

8. Monmore Green Stadium, Wolverhampton

9. Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle upon Tyne

10. Nottingham Stadium, Nottingham

11. Oxford Stadium, Oxford

12. Owlerton Stadium, Sheffield

13. Pelaw Grange, Chester-le-Street

14. Perry Barr Stadium, Birmingham

15. Romford Stadium, London

16. Suffolk Downs, Mildenhall, Suffolk

17. Sunderland Stadium, Sunderland

18. Swindon Stadium, Swindon

19. Towcester Stadium, Towcester

20. Valley Stadium, Ystrad Mynach, Wales

21. Yarmouth Stadium, Great Yarmouth

Influencing Factors on Track Numbers

Several factors have contributed to the changes in the number of greyhound racing tracks in the UK:

Legislative Changes

Legislation has played a pivotal role in shaping the industry. The Betting and Gaming Act of 1960, which legalised off-course betting shops, reduced the necessity for gambling at racetracks. More stringent regulations introduced by the 2005 Gambling Act have also caused some smaller tracks to shut down.

Animal Welfare Concerns

The treatment of racing greyhounds has been a significant concern, leading to calls for tighter industry regulations and, in some cases, outright bans.

Market Forces and Economic Factors

Like any industry, greyhound racing is affected by market dynamics and broader economic conditions. Shifts in leisure activities and consumer behaviour have exerted competitive pressure on the sport, resulting in periods of both expansion and contraction.


Greyhound racing has seen a decline in attendance over the decades. In the 1940s, the sport attracted millions of spectators, but by 2019, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) reported approximately 1.9 million attendees across the 21 licensed tracks. Despite this decrease, the sport still draws significant interest in certain areas.


Betting remains a crucial aspect of greyhound racing, sustaining its popularity. In 2020, the total off-course betting turnover on British greyhound racing reached around £229 million, while on-course betting turnover was about £1.62 million.

Safety and Regulation

The safety and regulation of the greyhound racing industry are overseen by the GBGB, which enforces various measures to ensure the welfare of greyhounds and the integrity of betting practices.

Welfare Regulations

The GBGB mandates regular inspections of tracks, maintains detailed records of greyhounds from birth to retirement, and monitors injury rates. In 2019, the injury rate for racing greyhounds was 1.15%, with 4,970 injuries recorded from approximately 431,000 runs.

Betting Regulations

The UK Gambling Commission regulates wagering on greyhound races, ensuring fair play, promoting responsible betting, and preventing criminal activities related to gambling.

Greyhound racing is one of the largest sports in Britain, with over 3.2 million annual visitors. The British Isles host a total of 50 racetracks, including 30 in Great Britain (27 in England, 2 in Scotland, and 1 in Wales) and 19 in the Republic of Ireland, with an additional 2 in Northern Ireland. The Greyhound Board of Great Britain oversees most tracks in the UK, while the Bord na gCon regulates those in Ireland.


England is the epicentre of greyhound racing, with many prominent tracks:


Opened in 2014, Towcester is now the most important greyhound track in the UK, hosting the prestigious English Greyhound Derby.

Towcester Racecourse. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Towcester Racecourse. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Belle Vue

Located in Manchester, Belle Vue is historically significant, having hosted the first greyhound race on an oval track in 1926.


Romford Stadium in London is renowned for its legacy and popularity, having won the British Greyhound Racing Board’s “Racecourse of the Year” award twice.

Romford Greyhound Stadium, 1980. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Romford Greyhound Stadium, 1980. Source: Wikimedia Commons


Greyhound racing enjoys immense popularity in Ireland, with major events like the Irish Greyhound Derby held at Shelbourne Park in Dublin.

Shelbourne Park

Opened in 1927, Shelbourne Park hosts the Irish Greyhound Derby, the largest race in Ireland.

Drumbo Park

Located in Northern Ireland, Drumbo Park hosts the Northern Irish Derby and has grown significantly since its opening in 2010.

Dundalk Stadium

A multipurpose stadium hosting both greyhounds and horse racing, Dundalk Stadium is one of the most expensive and significant racecourses in Ireland.

Veterinary Clinic at Dundalk Stadium. Stadium: Eric Jones
Veterinary Clinic at Dundalk Stadium. Stadium: Eric Jones

Scotland and Wales

Scotland and Wales also have notable greyhound racing tracks, such as Shawfield Stadium in Scotland, which hosts the Scottish Greyhound Derby, and the Valley Greyhound Stadium in Wales, which hosts the Glamorgan Cup.

In summary, greyhound racing in the UK has experienced significant changes over the years due to legislative, societal, and economic factors. Despite these challenges, the sport remains a popular form of entertainment, with dedicated tracks and significant betting activity. The industry's future will likely continue to evolve in response to ongoing regulatory and market pressures.

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