Silverstone – spectators’ experiences

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David Coulthard, Red Bull-Ferrari, 2006Tell us about your experiences of visiting Silverstone.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

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569 comments on Silverstone – spectators’ experiences

  1. Stacey said on 4th February 2009, 11:03

    Hi people
    Been reading a lot of your notes. I am returning to silverstone this year for the 4th year running. we are going in the copse C terrace which i think are fantastic seats. As regards to getting there in the morning we went there the first year and just traveled up just for race day. we were stuck in traffic for about 4 hours. it was stupid and we ended up getin to the track late and getting quite rubbish places as we only had general admission. I would advise anybody to either camp or get a hotel that is near to the track. i am stayin in whittlebury park grounds which is a 5 min walk from the copse corner which is brilliant and they also have their own private path into the stadium i would advise anyone to go there. they have bars, disco, resturant etc on site which wil be nice. jsut hope the weather is better than last year. any more questions ask me

  2. Clare msj said on 9th February 2009, 17:28

    Hi,
    2009 will be the seventh year I have been the Silverstone for the F1, and we have camped there all but the first year. I really enjoy the camping part of it, theres a growing group of us who descend upon Litchlake Farm campsite each year – its right near the Luffield stands, which was pretty darn convenient when we had seats in those stands for a couple of years. Have seats in Club for 2009, is the third year we have been there – i think it is my favourite of all the places i have sat at for the race – prices for seats there shot up this year big time though! Is worth it for the overtaking though – have always managed to see a fair amount from there. In previous years it had been really quite good value there – we paid £140 a couple of years ago to sit there, but I think they have made it a gold stand now when it used to be silver, plus the price hike for the fact it is the last at Silverstone makes it quite expensive to sit there now – but it is our favourite so we parted with our pennies!

    As for other places to sit – is really good to watch the cars at Maggots/Becketts, although i dont rate the stand there – its quite far back. Luffield was good, we’ve sat in two of them – seen a decent amount of stuff go on there. Were at Stowe last year – was good, but a lot more seemed to happen at Club which we could just see disappearing off into the distance. Sat in the Pit Straight the very first year we went, right by the back end of the grid. Wasnt my favourite place to sit, but it wasnt bad – I enjoyed seeing the start and the pit lane stuff.

    Getting out of the circuit on the Sunday has always been quite slow, even after hanging around at the track for a bit after, and then going back, dismantling the tents and casually packing up, we still managed to take roughly an hour and a half/two hours to do a journey which would usually take an hour. I havent actually experienced the drive in on Sunday morning to comment.

  3. richard said on 16th February 2009, 14:28

    Hi have booked tickets in stowe a and camping at whittlebury golf club.We were wondering are you allowed to return to camp site once you are in curcit.Is it a case of once you enter silverstone you are there for the day.

  4. Clare msj said on 17th February 2009, 10:47

    You can leave the ciruit as many times as you want during the day, you just get a stamp on your hand at the gate when you leave the first time. We usually nip back in between the track action to use the showers and stuff because you dont have to queue like you do first thing in the morning or in the afternoon when everyone gets back.

  5. 2009 will be my 6th year at Silverstone.

    have done general admittance, Stowe x 2, Pit straight A and Club. Back at Club agin for 2009. Club was fantasic in the wet in 2008, and probably just edges Stowe as my favourite. Have sat in pretty much every spot throughhout the course of the weekends.

    Pit straights are good on race day for all the build up, start, pit stops, & podium etc, but no real chance of seeing much action in the race. They do come past very much as a blur.

    Copse good for the start, and occasionally during the races. Spoilt IMO by the tarmacing the run off which means you can get away with running wide with very little penalty.

    Maggots, Becketts – grandstand is miles away from the track – separated by a large path, general addmitance banking, safety fences, grass run off etc. The GA banking at the exit is very good though seeing the cars coming towards you really shows off the ability of them to change direction quickly.

    Stowe & Club are my favourites, plenty of action and you can follow an individual car for 30+ seconds.

    Not a fan of Abbey / Bridge / Farm areas.

    The rest of the complex is good for getting pictures as the cars are going slower, and you have the backdrop of the BRDC club house & pitlane entry. Also its covered. Ideal for watching qually on a Saturday in the rain!

    Been to many other races in Europe & Silverstone is tops for the variety of food & drink available, and the off track entertainment (bands & competitions in the e-zones) and the after race GP Party where you see Tony Jardine hosting a load of drivers and other “known names” being much less guarded than they ever are on TV or in the press, plus a good band after.

    Have stayed in hotels twice – OK transport wise, but lacks the atmosphere of camping. Have always camped at Whittlebury in the past (kind of “posh camping”) good shower facilities and permanent buildings (Golf Club) with bars / restuarants etc. Also a chance to get a few autographs if you are into that sort of thing as many drivers stay at the Whittlebury Hall Hotel which is on the same site.

    Couldn’t get a good plot for 2009 though (They have golf course plots – nice and flat but all sold out, or farm plots – not such good ground) so am off to Silverstone Golf Club Camping down between Stowe & Club. Seems similar to Whittlebury but on a smaller scale. If anyone has first hand experience of it, I’d love to hear!

  6. Andrew White said on 12th March 2009, 21:55

    Has anybody had any experiences of Woodcote A?

    I’ve just bought a last-minute ticket for that grandstand after my original plan to go to Valencia fell through. It was the only decent seat left really.

    Thanks :)

  7. Feline-Fan said on 29th March 2009, 11:33

    Anyone know, given past experience, how soon before the race weekend, we can expect our tickets for Silverstone? Thanks

    • Clare msj said on 7th April 2009, 11:45

      I think we usually get ours about a month before. It has been as late as two weeks before though.

    • I got my tickets yesterday via first-class delivery. If you ordered more than about a week ago and you haven’t got your tickets by, say, Wednesday, I suggest you ring the circuit to find out what’s going on.

      If you ordered tickets more recently, it may be slightly longer while the circuit sorts through the vast number of tickets it needs to send out. Even then, expect tickets by the end of next week.

  8. Inez said on 1st April 2009, 18:19

    Hi, I’ll be going to Silverstone for the first time (for quali’s saturday ’09). It’s general admission, so where is the best spot to head for??

    Any advice would be gratefully received. Thanks.

    • Clare msj said on 13th April 2009, 18:25

      Maggots/Becketts section is good for general admission. Reckon the GA there is better than the grandstand – its a lot closer! And near Club is my favourite place to watch from geberally, we usually find ourselves there for qualifying, and its where our race seats are as well this year. Luffield sections will have a good atmosphere – especially if there is a last dash for pole – was really good sat there the other year when Jenson was going for pole (was the year of single lap qualifying both on the saturday, and they thought it was going to rain, so a whole bunch of them went slowest in the first session so they would be first out in the second – Jenson didnt so he was last to run for pole – was ace!) and he had the fastest two first sector times – he didnt quite get it in the end, but the cheering and all that was real fun!

  9. Andrew said on 6th April 2009, 14:08

    I will be attending my first GP this year and we have tickets for Luffield A, which seems to get mixed reviews.

    Can anyone provide some advice on camping, I was looking to book into Whittlebury park but they only have lakeside plots left, is it still worth camping there? The other concern is Whittlebury park is the opposite side to Luffield and I know its quite a race to get the best spots on race day, should I consider another campsite. Im looking for good atmosphere, clean toilets and showers, and bands n beers.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Clare msj said on 13th April 2009, 18:20

      Litchlake Farm Campsite is right by Luffield entrance – we have camped there fore the last five years. It is rather expensive at £20 per person per night, but would be extremely convenient for Luffield. Best to be there by Thursday evening-ish as its first come first served – we arrive on Wednesday afternoon and are among the first there – we like to guarantee a nice short walk and a nice flat pitch – some of them can be on a bit of a slope – not really a huge slope though, but its annoying in a tent! the atmosphere is good there, its right next to the fun fair thing, with the beer tent and music and all that – so good if you dont mind a bit of noise late into the evening – you just hop over the fence to get to that. And there are enough toilets and showers not to be a major problem, although the later on in the weekend it gets, the higher the chance of them being a little cold and maybe muddy. (I’ve been relatively lucky, in all five years only had a cold shower once – so its not that bad!) I would recommend Litchlake – the only real downside is the cost unfortunately. It used to be £20 per car!

      • gail said on 5th July 2011, 10:12

        could you tell me what the dress code is or is it just wear what you want going general admission for three nights camping at whittlebury park

  10. thomas said on 5th May 2009, 15:30

    Hello All

    Really excited to be going this year to silverstone . i was thinking if i leave london around 5am it should be ok with no traffic . the when do the gates open ?

    thanks
    thomas

    • nottherealthef1fanatic said on 22nd May 2009, 20:15

      When I go to the grand prix i wake up at 4 and leave at around 4:30. The gates open at 5.

  11. Alex Ings said on 11th May 2009, 15:39

    Have got GA tickets for this years race. Am going to spend Friday wandering round the circuit getting some photos, will probably find somewhere to stay put on the saturday – any suggestions of good places?

    I’ve read elsewhere of people beginning to queue up outside the gates at 3am on race morning to ensure they get a good spot – is that really needed!?

    • Taz said on 18th May 2009, 13:27

      Hi Alex,

      I have found most places to stay in the local area get booked up months in advance, and can be very expensive.

      I am coming up from the south coast and staying over on Saturday night at a travel inn – only 19.50 for the night, with a 1 hour drive to the venue on race day.

      3am sounds a bit early, but if you want the best spots then you may well have to set your alarm for a very early start.

  12. Cheryl said on 18th May 2009, 17:56

    I booked a hotel in April for the Saturday night as we’d be travelling from Norwich and I didn’t fancy a really early start then traffic near the event.
    We’re staying in the Toddington Travelodge on the M1. It was £76 for a double room for one night. A bit pricey, but it’s what you pay for convenience. This hotel is approximately 45 minutes away from Towcester. Travelodge have never let me down, all their hotels are pretty uniform and a good standard.

    • Grant said on 17th June 2009, 16:10

      I have some accommodation available in Towcester for the night if you are interested. It is a self contained double on suite.

  13. Alex Ings said on 19th May 2009, 11:40

    Thanks for the info. We’re booked into Whittlebury Park campsite next to the track. When I said saty put I put watch from the same place all day, rather than wander round. Sorry for the confusion!

    I’m still not sure of where is the best place to watch from with a general admission ticket, or what time we need to get into the track to get a good spot, so any info is much appreciated :-)

  14. Christopher said on 19th May 2009, 14:31

    Does anyone know the easiest way to get from London to the track via public transport? Bus, train, doesn’t matter…flying into London & landing the morning of June 18, figure to make my way straight to the track. Thanks for any help…

  15. Damian said on 19th May 2009, 23:13

    I have tickets to the British GP. Copse A Terrece.

    What sort of time would you recommend getting to the track on Sunday. Also, with these tickets, are you able to wonder around the track, so gage other views etc?

    We are stating at Hamilton Fields, which I believe is a 20 min walk from the Copse entrance. Anyone stayed there before?

  16. nottherealthef1fanatic said on 22nd May 2009, 20:24

    I visited the F1 in 2008 and sat at Copse. I learnt two things. Firstly if you are going to Hinton in the Hedges park and ride, don’t go by junction eleven because that’s where all the traffic is, so take junction 10 instead. I did that last time (after getting lost) and saved me around twenty minutes. Secondly take your own chair because it saves you a lot of money (it costs £15). Finally get there early otherwise you won’t get a good view.

    Copse has many TVs to watch and has banked viewing. It is very well signposted. However I’ve been told that Luffield is the best because it is a slow corner.

    There were many salon races, GP2 and historic car challenges. I didn’t like the weather but the food is very good value. It cost £100 for me which is not bad. However I am going this year and I am staying at a hotel and I have a three day ticket. It is much better value costing £200.

  17. Alan S said on 26th May 2009, 20:13

    Going to my first GP this year and taking my 6 year old son. We are staying in Northampton and using the Sixfields park and ride.

    Can anyone give me an idea of what time we would need to leave on the Sunday. Want to enjoy the full experience.

    • Taz (@taz) said on 27th May 2009, 19:17

      Hi Alan S,

      The park and ride sites are open from 2am on the Sunday. The first buses will depart for the circuit at 5:30am. Depends on what ticket type you have, General Admission ticket holders I understand, start to queue quite early for the best places to watch from.

      The action starts at 8:20am – Formula BMW race 2.

      I can’t wait!

  18. Rich H said on 29th May 2009, 2:34

    Can anyone tell me what Club “A” is like and whether you can see a screen to watch the race? If there is a screen, is it far away?

    Also, is it a good Grandstand? I hear good thing about Club (perhaps just B?) and Luffield, but can’t get into those now with major cost.

    Cheers,
    Richard

  19. Rich H said on 29th May 2009, 11:39

    Thanks for that Taz, but sad to say, that’s the same map I’ve been using. I can’t see a club “A” on there, just a “B”, plus I can see no screen opposite, hence my original questions.

    Many thanks for the reply though, sure that map will help others.

    Cheers,
    Rich

  20. Alan S said on 29th May 2009, 12:39

    Hi Taz,

    Thanks for the info, Wehave tickets for pits straigth A,
    Hope they are good seats.

    • Taz said on 29th May 2009, 14:32

      I hope they are good seats aswell, thats where I am sitting! From what I have read they are pretty good for the start, pit stop action, Finish and the podium – Some good pics posted on Flickr taken from where we will be sitting!