Goodwood Festival of Speed 2020: dates, drivers, dress code and things to do at the motoring garden party

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2020: dates, drivers, dress code and things to do at the motoring garden party
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2020: dates, drivers, dress code and things to do at the motoring garden party

With roots reaching back to the 1940s, the Goodwood Motor Circuit is one of the most storied destinations in British motorsport. 

Each summer sees it play host to the Festival of Speed, a three-day automobile extravaganza that brings classic vehicles and futuristic supercars together to celebrate the past, present and future of car racing.

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Why is Goodwood famous?

Opening originally in September 1948, the Goodwood Motor Circuit played host to Britain’s first post-war racing meet. 

It was founded by Freddie March, the ninth Duke of Richmond and a renowned amateur racer. 

Having been starved of racing action since the war broke out, spectators turned up in their thousands to see some 85 drivers compete. 

18 years later, in August 1966, Goodwood Motor Circuit announced that it would no longer be playing host to contemporary motor racing, which rounded up a rich chapter in British motorsport history.

However, this was not the end: in 1993, the Duke of Richmond’s grandson brought racing back to Goodwood by establishing the Festival of Speed. 

The Duke himself rode out in the same Bristol 400 his grandfather had driven all those years ago at the circuit’s first ever racing meet. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The Festival of Speed features an eclectic mix of old and new. (Picture: Goodwood)

When is the Festival of Speed 2020?

While the dates have yet to be confirmed, the 2020 Festival of Speed is expected to run between 9 and 13 July.

The 2019 festival took place between 4 and 7 July.

What can we expect at the Festival of Speed 2020?

The most iconic aspect of the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the Hillclimb. 

With a history going all the way back to the ninth Duke in 1936, the Hillclimb is a well-established crowd-pleaser. 

In its modern incarnation, batches of classic and modern cars take on the hill twice a day throughout the festival, trying to best its punishing gradient. 

With a new record set just this year by Romain Dumas and his electric Volkswagen I.D.  R, the competition next time around is sure to be especially fiery. 

Of course, with three whole days of events planned, there’s lots more to see. 

The FOS Future Lab offers visitors a glimpse of things to come, with a series of engaging, interactive events about the future of automobile technology. 

From flying cars to smart cities and artificial intelligence, the Future Lab’s line-up reads like a page from an old sci-fi novel – in the best possible way. 

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In the same spirit of discovery, the First Glance Paddock is the place to go for gear-heads eager to see what the near future has in store. 

For those looking to get up close and personal with today’s impressive feats of automotive engineering, the Michelin Supercar Paddock shows off some of the fastest cars known to man. 

In a brand new addition for 2019, The Arena is dedicated to cars that shine brightest while sliding sideways. 

For those harbouring Fast and the Furious-style fantasies about kicking up gravel as they drift round corners at breakneck speed, The Arena is not to be missed. 

The full range of races and events can be found here.

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With over 100,000 visitors each year, the Festival of Speed is one of the highlights of the UK motorsport calendar. (Picture: Goodwood)


What should I wear?

As the festival is an open-air event, casual clothing and comfortable footwear are recommended.

Even in the middle of the summer, the changeable spirit of the British weather makes it a good idea to always have some rainproof clothing to hand. 

For those who plan on making use of the corporate hospitality pavilions, however, smart-casual dress is expected. 

Where can I get tickets?

Tickets for the 2020 Festival of Speed go on sale on 4 November, and will be available on the festival’s website. As the festival regularly tops 100,000 visitors, it’s best to book well in advance.

Last year, prices started at £169 for a full pass, or between £39 and £70 for the individual days. 

Children under the age of 13 go free. 

Will there be food?

Goodwood Motor Circuit features a range of restaurants where visitors can re-fuel, including the Goodwood Bar & Grill, Farmer, Butcher, Chef Restaurant and the Lamborghini Ristorante. 

There are also plenty of food and drinks stalls, with everything from burgers to Japanese bento boxes, burritos and Indonesian curries, for those looking to make a quick pit stop. 

The circuit also features a range of bars. Visitors can enjoy some live music at the Lawn Bar, sip on a gin and tonic at the Schweppes Bar or pick up a Frosé popsicle at the Mirabeau Bar. 

Full information about the available food and drink can be found on the festival’s website.

Feeling the need for speed? Goodwood is the place to be. (Picture: Goodwood)

How do I get there?

Goodwood is located just outside Chichester, only 60 miles from London, and 30 miles from Brighton and Southampton.

There is a regular train service from London Victoria to Chichester (1 hour 40 minutes), plus the coastal service from Brighton and Portsmouth. Full details can be found on the Trainline website. 

Buses or taxis are available at Chichester Station.

Information on the best route to take for those driving to the festival can be found on the festival’s website

Where can I stay?

Since 2014, Goodwood has provided a family campsite, allowing families to book a 9m x 7m plot. 

The site provides an electric hook-up, family-friendly toilets, baby change, and shower facilities and is located in the Lennox enclosure at Goodwood Racecourse, a short walk from the main event. 

It also features a children’s play area, 24-hour security, on-site catering and access to a walk-in fridge to store chilled items free of charge. 

For those not looking to camp, the area also boasts plenty of hotel options, including the circuit’s own Goodwood Hotel, which can be booked on the festival’s website.

However, the local hotels are usually booked up months in advance of the festival, so you’re best to make reservations well ahead of time. 

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