48 Hours at Goodwood

48 Hours at Goodwood

Published by Neil Thompson

28th September 2022

Published by Neil Thompson
28th September 2022

You’ve probably heard of the racing at Goodwood, right?

A legendary estate known for it’s Festival Of Speed, a brilliant annual event which shows off some of the world's most exotic and exciting vehicles from Formula One to Rally cars. Or even Revival, it's amazing festival celebrating all things vintage. And then there's one of the cornerstones of the horse racing calendar, Glorious Goodwood, or the Qatar Goodwood Festival as it has become known in recent years...

But what if we told you that on our visit to the West Sussex countryside we found one of the country's most beautiful escapes, with a hotel that personifies classic British style? And one that's perfect for event professionals to firmly have on their radar when looking for the perfect venue? Well, that’s exactly what we found!

We were blown away by the incredible serenity of the Goodwood Estate, with huge, elegant buildings and amazing natural life, a fantastic hotel and a plethora of activities and facilities for all manner of events and get-togethers. And importantly, one that is perfect for groups.

We spent an amazing 48 hours in Goodwood to find out all that is has to offer from a MICE perspective. Read on, as we can't wait to tell you all about it.


Free parking put the first smile on our faces, and the reception staff gave us our second. As we entered the beautiful old building, surrounded by lush greenery, we were greeted so kindly by the staff at the Goodwood Hotel - something so important, but so easy to get wrong. The reception team nailed it and after a quick, smiley and no-fuss check-in, we were in our room before we knew it.

Our bedroom (which is one of 91 within the hotel) was housed within the main older part of the building. A stylish and spacious room with so many lovely little touches, we loved the marble solitaire set, that we found in ours. The entire hotel is filled with amazing historic details & memorabilia that really give you a feel for the building. Rather than just being a grand old building, this feels like an evolving, warm and welcoming space which blends traces of its past with a new, fresh style. To prove this point, our room had fantastic air conditioning, which I’m sure any well versed event professional can tell you, isn’t always the case in older / historic buildings!

That evening, we ate at the Goodwood Bar and Grill, when we talk about an idyllic summer setting, this was it. Sat outside, overlooking the golf course and amazing natural scenery, we watched the sun go down as we ate our dinner. There was this lovely buzz about the place that really made the restaurant feel alive, all guests enjoying themselves with a meal or a drink and the service once again was super friendly - a recurring theme that we found throughout our whole trip. This was the perfect way to unwind after a long day of travelling. We can highly recommend the burgers and the fish and chips by the way!

The rest of Sunday evening was dedicated to winding down and relaxing before an action packed couple of days ahead. It's worth pointing out that our bedroom and, in fact, the whole hotel, had excellent wi-fi so great to catch up on some emails, if you needed to.


It's worth pointing out that it was so peaceful here - we had a great night's sleep. So once up, we returned to the Goodwood Bar and Grill, where breakfast is held each day at the hotel, and once again, as we experienced throughout our stay, we had great service and amazing food.

Next up was a guided tour of Goodwood Estate with Caroline Butler, Head of Business Development - and her knowledge and passion for this venue was truly amazing. We learned that this glorious estate, built in around 1600, spans over 12,000 acres and is a truly vast and beautiful place. At it's heart is a grade one listed building with carefully trimmed foliage decorating the amazing facade, Goodwood House or 'the old house' as it is fondly known, stuns from all angles, including from the inside, but more of that in a sec.

First up was a tour of the main hotel, which encompasses various meeting rooms & suites including:

The Lennox Suite - this unique event space was one our favourite meeting spaces at Goodwood. With it's own private entrance, perfect for registration and welcome drinks, the Lennox suite also includes the elegant Lennox room (30 cabaret, 16 dinner / board meeting) and also comes complete with a pantry (great for wine tasting etc) and the simply marvelous Red Room - if ever there was a room made for exclusive private dining, the Red Room is it.

The Cedar Suite - The largest event space at Goodwood Hotel, also has its own entrance and a host of additional facilities. With large mirrors and floor to ceiling windows this is a beautiful, light and airy, modern room. A perfect space for gala dinners, product launches, exhibitions, meetings, weddings and much more. There is direct access to an outdoor event space, The Cedar Lawn Canopy, which is situated in a secluded garden and perfect for events, from a simple champagne reception, to an informal barbecue or a typically-British garden party. (Available during the warmer months of April to October)

The Oak Suite is another light and airy, flexible, function space perfect for smaller meetings and events and The Syndicate Rooms - Cherry and Chestnut are perfect breakout areas, lunch or refreshments.

Next, we were joined by Isobel Starbuck (Director of Estate Sales) to have afternoon tea in the ballroom of Goodwood house, the seat of the Dukes of Richmond for over three-hundred years. Refined elegance, amazing food and super service made us love this place. And trust us, this room is fit for kings (or a Duke in this case!) and then some. The ballroom was truly glorious and can be hired exclusively for gala dinners, award ceremonies, conferences or even just for your group to have afternoon tea as part of their program. It has the wow factor.

During our tour of Goodwood House which is steeped in history, we took in one of the country’s finest art collections, including paintings by Stubbs, Canaletto and Van Dyck. We absolutely loved every second of this show-around - such an interesting place to explore with so much to discover, this place has some serious stories to tell! For your groups, Goodwood can provide an exclusive tour guide to give an in-depth tour, to wow your delegates.

Also nestled away in the heart of the Goodwood Estate, you will find The Pheasantry a luxury self-catering holiday cottage which sleeps up to six people in three bedrooms, with spectacular views that stretch across the estate to Chichester and beyond.


Our amazing day continued with a tour across the estate, from the farmland, to driving past the airfield, motor circuit and the racetrack - I mean, come on...where else will you find all of that at one estate? We even drove on the historic Motor Circuit, and felt a tiny little bit of what all those famous drivers have experienced over the years.

After a long, hard morning of finding out what it’s like to be royalty, we had no choice but to wind down in the late afternoon. There was no better place for that than the spa and swimming pool facilities at Goodwood. The hot tub, sauna, steam rooms and heated swimming pool were perfect for deep relaxation, making it a very enjoyable afternoon wind-down. If you are thinking of using Goodwood for an incentive or a company away-day, the leisure & beauty facilities on offer here are perfect for your groups to indulge in.

Then came Farmer, Butcher, Chef. Goodwood’s amazing sustainable restaurant. The decor was instagram-tastic with gorgeous eclectic furnishings that gave Goodwood's flagship dining experience a funky farmhouse vibe, with touches of that regal class that we’ve noted throughout the entirety of Goodwood.

The food here was unbelievable. Fact. Goodwood say that the guests will travel further than the food to get to the restaurant, and that’s exactly true. Farmer, Butcher, Chef takes pride in being one of the only self sustaining farms in Europe. The beef we had was fantastic, with that knowledge like it’d been cooked carefully and for a long time. A very memorable experience.

And with that, Monday drew in to a close, but with a very exciting final day of adventure and activities ahead, sunrise couldn’t come sooner!


We woke up to the sun shining over the Goodwood estate and another quiet, peaceful coffee and breakfast at the Goodwood Bar and Grill. You got to love the vibe in there!

Before long, that peaceful, relaxed morning was sent far, far away and replaced by extreme fun, this time under the guidance of Emma Hurst, Sales & Reservations Manager for the estate for some really fun stuff. We took part in the Trenches and Traps experience and we absolutely loved it!

First, driving a classic Landrover from the 60’s (we fell in love with this beast of a car) across rugged terrain, the two hour driving experience involves a timber slalom and a log bridge, amongst other obstacles. We adored the truly analogue experience of trying to conquer the bouncy ‘tracks’ through the woods in a truly off-road experience and our instructor, Jamie, was absolutely brilliant at making us feel safe and terrified in equal measures! Seriously though, his knowledge of the cars and the Goodwood estate was fantastic!

This is a great activity to do with your groups as you can go out (with an instructor on board of course) in groups of three per car, sharing the driving, or just being a passenger if you prefer. And they have five vehicles, so definitely something to be built into your program. It was super fun, and although quite physical (no power steering here) it was a fantastic challenge and you walk away feeling that you've really achieved something.

But that’s not all, part two of the Trenches and Traps experience, clay pigeon shooting, which we really loved. It’s fair to say that things got quite competitive as Di proved to be quite the sharpshooter! The setting, and the way you are looked after by Bryan Wallis & the clay shoot team, the fantastic lodge, complete with packed lunch, was wonderful. This isn't your common or garden clay shooting, this was next level within a secret disused stone quarry. Trust us, you'll get addicted to it once you start hitting them. Your groups will love this experience.

This was a morning full of pure fun, we could’ve driven those Land Rovers with Jamie until the sun came down, but lunch at a fab new location was calling…

1:00pm - Goodwood’s airfield, where you can take a flight and see the estate in all its glory from above. Alternatively, if flying isn't for you or in case of bad weather, they have a fantastic flight simulator experience too. Unfortunately, the weather took a turn for the worse on our visit so we couldn't go up so instead we had a flying lesson with Richard Gale. Let's just say Neil took his virtual passengers for a nice flight and nailed his landing but Di managed to put a few of hers in hospital for a few weeks #sayingnothing :) - It was great fun and either would be a fabulous addition to any trip.

Back on land, we headed to the Aerodrome Cafe, a great spot that overlooks the airfield, and we were spoilt for choice. We were delighted by huge portions and really great value for money, which is an instant win in our books. As part of activities here, your groups can take lunch here as an alternative location from the main house or hotel.

3:00pm - The penultimate stop of our fantastic 48 hours in Goodwood was at The Kennels, Goodwood's exclusive Clubhouse for Members and their guests, situated at the golf course. There are amazing facilities in this beautiful, light, stone and brick building which lights up with an amazing golden look in the evening. While we didn’t get the chance to spend much time here, we couldn’t help get the feeling that a round of golf at one of the two distinctive 18-hole courses, and lunch at the Kennels would’ve been the perfect way to spend the afternoon, and finish it off with cocktails in the bar! The Clubhouse is another great option for meeting spaces or activities, it features a drawing room, dining room, bar and private conference areas, both indoor and outdoor spaces are perfect for any occasion.

4.00pm - Saving the best 'till last, Caroline unveiled a jewel in the crown of Goodwood, Hound Lodge, a magnificent 10-bedroom country retreat in the midst of this spectacular 12,000-acre estate. With the Hound Lodge butler and chef on hand to take care of your every need, this is a unique experience that you simply can’t get anywhere else and our favourite pitstop of the trip. It would be perfect for a high level incentive or directors getaway.

Sadly, all good things come to an end, and we were slightly heartbroken to be checking out of the Goodwood Hotel after such a fun couple of days. As we drove past the amazing greenery and took one last look at this huge estate, we got the impression that despite a non-stop weekend of exploring, relaxing, adventuring and dining, we still hadn’t experienced everything Goodwood has to offer. From the amazing annual Festival of Speed, an event frequented by motor racing legends like Nigel Mansell and Mark Webber, to the Goodwood Revival, a genuine time machine back to the past where classic cars are met with classic scenery, classic food and everyone in old-timey dress, to celebrate motor racing of days gone by!

We had an amazing time at Goodwood and couldn’t recommend it, or it’s great facilities and activities (which could be a hit for teambuilding) enough. And not to forget that Goodwood is not just dog-friendly, but a dog-loving place with dog walking guides, treat bowls around the hotel and V.I.P Dog packages, we might just have to bring the Delegate Wrangler’s resident pup Molly round next time we visit!

Goodwood describes itself as the home of experiences, frankly, we couldn’t agree more. This HAS to be on your list for away-days, incentives, annual conferences, awards, private events and more - the style, the activities, the history, the wonderful staff - what more can we say? There's no better way to spend 48 hours than at this quintessentially English estate. Trust us!