Badminton spectator question

MuddyMonster

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I've been to Badminton before, but it was a good few years back and it was an organised visit with a coach trip - so all we had to do was pay and turn up and I don't remember much about the logistics of it!

I'm hoping to go this year on XC day and will be bringing my Mum, who has transformed from 'Non-Horsey-Mother' into 'Super Groom' but she's understandably still not too keen to go all that way to be outside all day if the weather is dreadful, so we've not yet purchased tickets.

Can you purchase tickets on the gate?

Is my small car likely to survive the car-parking? It's been wet here down south, but I'm not sure how wet it has been further up north and assume parking is on grass? I could borrow my Dad's 4x4 if need be, but he's still getting over the time I put hay and tack in it so not sure how keen he'd be for it to get properly muddy :D

Also, I know there are plenty food stalls but is it ok to take your own food with you? I've got a few food allergies and catering at outdoor events can be tricky so it's easier to take my own, if we'll be allowed through the gates with it?
 

Jojoeena

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Hi MM, It's been a few years since I have been too but yes you can purchase tickets on the day, they are usually only a couple of pounds cheaper if bought in advance so you are not missing much !
If the weather is awful then there is only really the shopping area's to get away from the weather, unless you purchase a members ticket which gives you access to the marque which should have TV's in but doubt there will be any tickets left now for this. A decent waterproof with a hood is essential 'just in case' !
You should be fine with your car, the ground is pretty good there and on a slight slope so seems to drain well, I don't ever recall people having to be towed out although sure there has been an occasion. As for food, yes you can take what you like, loads of people take a picnic, can be a pain to carry although you can go back to your car during the day if you wish, just show your ticket !
Enjoy and hope the weather is kind :)
 

Annagain

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Yes you can but it's more expensive and you might have to queue (usually in the car).

I'm about an hour west of Badminton and it's been pretty dry here so you should be fine. I've never had to be towed out as I have a 4x4 but they do have that capability if needed. Having said that, surely 4x4s are meant to be muddy so you may as well take your dad's!

Yes you can take your own food. A lot of people leave it in the car and go back there for a picnic. Having said that there's a huge variety of food stalls there from the usual burger vans to lovely artisan stuff so I'm sure you'd find something.

Hope you make it, it's a lovely day out.
 

Coblover63

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We did Badders last year. Went on Thursday so saw some dressage, did some shopping and walked the course. Then sat and watched the XC all day Saturday from the comfort of my armchair so I saw a lot more than if we had been there. It was a pefect way to experience the best of Badminton.
 

Annagain

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We did Badders last year. Went on Thursday so saw some dressage, did some shopping and walked the course. Then sat and watched the XC all day Saturday from the comfort of my armchair so I saw a lot more than if we had been there. It was a pefect way to experience the best of Badminton.

This is what I do too. Am gutted this year as we arranged a weekend away with our friends from Uni before I realised what day it was. The worst part is we're going to Bath so I'll be so close and yet so far and we've got tickets for the rugby so I can't even suggest we pop to Badminton instead!
 

sarcasm_queen

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I'd recommend the 4x4. You'd probably be fine in your car, but if it rains, the ground in the car parks gets churned up pretty quickly (first year we went we had to wait for a local farmer to come and pull us out).
 

Luci07

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I have has to be towed out one year! I used to love XC day but it's got too crowded for my liking now and walking around the course is really slow.'I used to take my dogs but it's not much fun when it's that busy and shopping is nigh on impossible. I prefer to go another day (watching a friend in the grass roots) and we will have a day at another friends house for XC day. Leave plenty of time for shopping as it is brilliant ! And not just horsey. Wide choice of food but fine to take a picnic and space to eat. Take waterproofs
And boots if it rains but still a good day out (though my stafford resembled
Something from outer space as she was so coated in mud when we got
back to the car. Final tip. If you go on XC day either leave about 4 horses before the end OR stay much later till they shut down the stalls. There are big jams leaving straight after the last horse has completed.
 

Double_choc_lab

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From someone who's been for forty odd years - yes you can get tickets on the gate. Not much difference in the queues for pre bought and pay on the day - you all go in through the same road just maybe gain a car or two in the funnel. Seen cars towed on many occasions but it is reasonably dry up here at the moment (10 miles from Badminton). Loads of food to buy but best is to take a picnic and eat out of the boot of the car with lots of wine. The shops will be horrendously busy on Saturday but there are hundreds so Mum will have somewhere else to go and you could always grab a seat in the main arena under cover (be quick) and you can see both the large screen and people starting and finishing. You won't need to show a ticket to get in and out of the car park as 90% of the parking is within the park walls. Most importantly enjoy.

Just adding - you may need the 4x4 to bring home all the shopping!!!
 

MuddyMonster

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Thanks everyone :) Really helpful advice!

I usually watch the BBC red button coverage, but Mum & I both fancied going this year. Plus, I think she wanted to experience the actual size of the fences in RL!

Whilst we aren't fair weathered horsey people & are happy to go in rain, if a bit cold etc we just didn't want to book tickets in advance only for it to absolutely pour down with rain all day - whilst Mum is the first to admit she's geniunely grown to love the horsey lifestyle (and spending Mother-Daughter time together, I'm sure :D ) I think she'd draw the line at travelling 200 odd miles to get stand outside getting soaked and not being able to see much! It's great to know we'll be able to pay on the gate :)

If the worst comes to the worst, we'll be watching it on the sofa again :) If we go, we've got plenty of shoes, boots, coats, hats and layers to encompass everything from hot sunshine to cold and damp weather conditions :D

Useful to know about leaving early too - thanks for that handy hint :) I expect we will leave before the end as it'll be a long day & fair journey back!
 

ester

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Get there as early as you can (we used to aim for about 8 and you can drive straight in then and be there for shop opening or go look at the course before everyone else. - we weren't far though).
Have always left with 3/4 to go XC and listened to the end on the radio, feel free to get your own cheap FM in ear radio :).
 
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