Horseracing is one of the oldest sports in the world and its basic premise has remained virtually unchanged since the earliest of times. Whether it's the thrill of watching exceptional equine champions compete for glory, the rush as your horse bags a win, the fashion on parade or the chance to spot a celebrity, there are plenty of reasons to head to a racetrack on your next holiday.
With the 143rd Kentucky Derby set to take place this past weekend, get your binoculars and your mint julep ready because we've gathered some of the best destinations around the world to take in the glamour and tradition of The Races.
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
The city of Lexington is home to two horseracing tracks and an array of horse farms. Considered to be "The Horse Capital of the World" this beautiful destination is not only ideal for nature and horse lovers, but also for bourbon and art fans.
The Staybridge Suites Lexington is only a 15-minute drive from Kentucky Horse Park and 7 km away from the Keeneland Race Course. It's also located just over an hour drives away from famous Churchill Downs racetrack, home to the annual Kentucky Derby.
Newmarket is home to two horseracing tracks, more than fifty horse training stables and about 3,000 racehorses. Known as the United Kingdom's largest racehorse breeding place, travellers can enjoy a tour of one of Newmarket's popular racecourses or the National Stud, the showcase of the Thoroughbred horse breed.
Set amid rose gardens, the peaceful Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa offers modern bedrooms, an indoor pool and spa facilities. The property's 17th century architecture houses the 2 AA Rosette Squires Restaurant, serving an eclectic menu with the finest seasonal ingredients.
The racecourse of Meydan is home to a horseracing museum and the longest grandstand in the world - reaching over a mile in length. Travellers to Meydan Racecourse can enjoy the luxurious racing facilities and even watch the horse races while enjoying world-class cuisine and unparalleled views from the restaurant of the Meydan Hotel.
The Meydan Hotel is the world's first five-star trackside hotel, designed in the shape of a wave in motion with a luminous green glass façade. It features luxurious rooms and suites with a private balcony overlooking the Meydan Racecourse.
The horse racing course of The Flemington Racecourse is part of the Australian National Heritage List and home to the Melbourne Cup since 1861. This famous venue hosts various entertainment events throughout the year, including the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Situated only 800 metres away from Flemington Racecourse, the Boutique Stays - Ascot Retreat is a stylish self-catering accommodation overlooking Maribyrnong River. The balcony offers a remarkable city view and the elegantly styled apartment includes barbeque and laundry facilities as well as a full kitchen, A/C, satellite TV and more.
The picturesque city of Saratoga is best known for the Saratoga Race Course, which is one of the oldest horse racetracks in the United States and often considered to be one of the oldest sporting venue of any kind in the country. Apart from the exciting horse racing, this 150-year-old track also offers travellers walking tours, breakfast at the track and tours of the stable area.
Situated less than 2 km away from Saratoga Racetrack, The Inn at Saratoga features elegantly decorated rooms, a restaurant and complementary bikes for exploring the scenic area. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and Saratoga Golf Club are a couple places you can cruise to at less than 2 km away each.
Photo Credit: Booking.com
Often endorsed for horse racing, the English market town of Doncaster is also famous for its architecture. Home to one of the world's oldest classic horse races, The St Leger Stakes, Doncaster has more than 50,000 visitors every year who come to enjoy the race.
The Red Lion is a charming hotel only 2.4 km from Doncaster Racecourse, featuring modern rooms, a restaurant and an on-site bar. This property receives rave reviews for its location and value, offering guests the most bang for their buck when planning a trip to Doncaster.
Learn more at Booking.com
Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook
Follow Booking.com on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bookingcom