Goodwood Revival is something that you have to experience at least once in your life. The festival takes place each September over three days near Chichester in West Sussex, and brings you back to the motorsports era of the 40s-60s. When you step inside the gate it genuinely feels like stepping back in time. Men, women and children surround you donned in their finest vintage clothing; the smell of raw petrol fills your nostrils and the stomach churning sounds from the track coupled with the shouts from the crowd, all add to the unique atmosphere that is the Goodwood Revival.
Below are some tips I’ve picked up from my trip:
1) Buy your tickets early, it sells out fast. Make sure you book a programme when purchasing. They can’t be purchased online so you’ll have to call to book.
2) Accommodation can be a bit nightmarish, so again – book early. Any places near the circuit are usually booked out year to year. If you can get somewhere in Portsmouth you are doing well. In the end the nearest place we could get was Basingstoke which was about 40 miles from Goodwood, but we did leave it a bit late to book.
3) Please make an effort to dress up, however small. You will really stick out if you wear normal attire. In my naivety, I went the whole hog – heels and all. Big mistake and never again, next time I’m going as a mechanic! With the mud and rain my shoes got destroyed, and with my little vintage dress I nearly got pneumonia over the few days. Wear thermals underneath if you really must wear a dress. Bring a strong umbrella, and a coat. There is no shelter there.
4) When you get inside you’ll find a stand selling newspapers with a nice canvas bag as a keepsake (my lunch has the privilege of traveling to work in a Ford Cortina bag every day!), this also contains a little radio which is invaluable for when you are walking around the circuit from one viewing spot to another and still want to listen to the race, but are not near a tannoy.
5) Do not underestimate how big it is, it’s massive. There is a lot of walking to get good viewing spots, so again as you can imagine heels are not ideal.
6) There is nowhere to sit, all seated areas you pay (a lot) extra for. There are lots of grass banks, so I would recommend bringing camping chairs or a waterproof blanket.
7) As expected, food and drink are a bit overpriced, but it’s the long queues that are off-putting, so I would suggest bringing a packed lunch as it’s a long day. Expect queues in all shops also, including the old Tesco supermarket.
8) Bring ear plugs – the old bikes and Ford GT40s are quite loud. Bring extra camera batteries. There is nothing more annoying when you run out.
9)Don’t have any pre-conceived notions of the likes of Chris Evans or Sir Jackie Stewart mingling with us mere mortals, you won’t see any famous people up close. You also won’t get up close to any of the racing cars (except the bikes and GT40s), which is a bit disappointing.
10)Traffic can be bad, so leave early in the morning. While queuing to get in, tune into Goodwood radio to get you in the mood! Traffic is always manic when leaving; no matter what time you leave at, so be prepared.
For more information on Goodwood revival check out goodwood.co.uk
8th September, 2014