The best motor racing tracks in the UK

The United Kingdom is a world leader when it comes to motorsport, hosting everything from grassroots sports like autotests, hill climbs, karting and more up to the very pinnacle: Formula One. Silverstone is perhaps the most well known, having hosted the first ever Formula One World Championship Grand Prix in 1950 as well as the annual British Grand Prix.

Other British motor racing tracks, such as Brooklands, Aintree, Brands Hatch and Donington, have hosted F1 races over the decades too. The UK also boasts no fewer than ten F1 World Champions to date, and three W Series wins by Jamie Chadwick.

But which UK circuits are the best? Which UK race tracks get the revs rising for drivers and spectators alike?

Here is our definitive top ten:

1. Brands Hatch
2. Donington Park
3. Silverstone
4. Oulton Park
5. Thruxton
6. Snetterton
7. Croft
8. Knockhill
9. Mallory Park
10. Cadwell Park

How did we score them?

‘Best’ is always subjective, so we’ve done the ‘best’ thing and asked a range of British racing drivers for their race track rankings for each circuit in terms of testing, racing and spectating to get the most definitive list.

These full-throttle racers range from enthusiasts racing MX-5s and Caterhams to international superstars in Formula One and W Series, via GT, BTCC and more, to give a wide range of scores and opinions from people who can pick out their Knickerbrook from their Bombhole.

Our panel of drivers ranked their favourites from 1st to 10th for spectators, testing, and racing. We then gave ten points for 1st place down to one point for tenth to score each track out of 30 points for each driver. Finally, we averaged the scores from our ten drivers to give an overall score out of 30.

The results are in! Here’s your definitive list of the top ten motor racing circuits in the UK.


Car on Brands Hatch race track


Track facts:

  • Circuit length (GP): 2.433 miles
  • Number of corners: 11
  • Lap record: 1:09.593 (Nigel Mansell, Williams FW11-Honda 1986, Formula One)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating: 9.6
  • Testing: 8.1
  • Racing: 7.7

In top spot is Brands Hatch in Kent, which scored highly for the best circuit for spectators and drivers alike. Indeed, all but one race driver from our panel ranked Brands Hatch in 1st place for spectators! With two main distinct layouts (the Indy and GP circuits), it boasts spectacular corners such as Paddock Hill and Druids and is well deserving of top spot.

The Kent circuit first saw racing in the 1920s with grass track racing before moving to a more recognisable layout in the 1950s and changing direction to become clockwise. It has held races in F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, DTM, A1GP, W Series and more, and can even accommodate rallycross events.

Toby Trice talks us around Brands Hatch, the best race track in the UK

“I have some great memories at Brands Hatch, I remember sending one in from a long way back at Sheene’s. The move wasn’t on until the opportunity came right at the last minute. This corner is very fast and I had hardly any room, but I made it stick, allowing me to claim my first podium at my home circuit. It was a special feeling.

“For drivers, the real highlight is Paddock Hill Bend. Approaching this corner flat out, with a blind apex. Turning into this fast corner, as the track drops away, with a touch of oversteer. Certainly is a thrill for anyone who likes a dose of adrenaline.

“Spectators should get to Pilgrim’s Rise to watch the action. It is a great place to see cars get all loose on the exit of paddock hill bend whilst watching the last of the late brakers into Druids.”


Car on Donington Park race track


Track facts:

  • Circuit length (GP): 2.498 miles
  • Number of corners: 12
  • Lap record: 1:17.707 (Kimiya Sato, Lola B05/52, 2013, Auto GP)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating: 6.7
  • Testing: 7.8
  • Racing: 7.2

Perhaps a shock for missing out on the best race track accolade is Donington Park near Derby. It managed to score highly for testing and racing but just fell short of Brands Hatch’s score for spectators, possibly because it’s more spread-out. Still, being the second-best circuit is a massive achievement for the track which has been hosting motor racing events since the 1930s and has seen action from cars and bikes around iconic corners like Redgate and Craner Curves. In 1993 it held one of the most thrilling Formula One races of all time – the European Grand Prix, won by Ayrton Senna.

Danny Grist talks us around the 2nd best race track in the UK – Donington Park:

“I remember once flying down Craner Curves when a bolt sheared on my rear brake calliper causing the wheel to lock. I had to deal with what I could and hope for the best as I managed to compose the car. Luckily enough the race was red-flagged and ended early for another reason, so I didn’t get a ‘DNF’!

“I’d say that any spectators should head to turn 2 – between Redgate and Craner Curves where there’s a grandstand. That’s always my go to as you can see a lot of the circuit.

“In terms of driving, a lot of drivers will say Craner Curves is their highlight as it’s a pretty ballsy corner but I personally like McLeans as you can gain or lose so much time there. Very rewarding when you get it right.” 


Race car on Silverstone track


Track Facts:

  • Circuit length (Grand Prix) – 3.667 miles
  • Number of corners – 18
  • Lap record – 1:27.369 (Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W10, 2019, Formula One)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating – 5.3
  • Testing – 8.3
  • Racing – 5.8

The world-famous Silverstone race circuit opened in 1947 on a former airfield, and has been tweaked and tucked over the years and now boasts corners like Copse, Abbey, Stowe and the incredible Maggotts-Becketts-Chapel complex. It scored highly for testing but less so for spectating, as the sheer size can perhaps make race fans seem a bit detached from the action. It is the current home of the British Grand Prix and boasts huge visitor numbers and a presence on the world stage unrivalled by other UK race tracks. A 3rd place finish is not to be sniffed at, but might be less than some people would have expected – mainly because of the spectator scores. Nonetheless, the self-proclaimed “Home of British Motor Racing” is a spectacular race circuit and offers unrivalled facilities.

Callum Ilott talks us around the 3rd best race track in the UK – Silverstone:

“Racing at Silverstone in 2017 in FIA European F3 was a memory that will stay with me for a long time. I managed to get pole position for races two and three, and get my first win of the season in race three. With all my friends and family there in support, winning on home soil was a special moment.

“If you’re a spectator there are a lot of good places to watch from at Silverstone but for me, apart from the BRDC Clubhouse, the Becketts and Club Silverstone Grandstand is the best place to watch cars on their limit. Here, you see the cars for a long amount of time and you get a great view of the cars fighting through the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex.

“Undoubtedly, the Maggots-Becketts-Chapel complex is one of the best sequences for racing drivers, not just in the UK, but in the world. This section of corners is all about confidence and carrying as much speed as possible through the corners, without compromising your exit onto the Hangar Straight” 


Cars on Oulton Park race track


Track Facts:

  • Circuit length (International) – 2.692 miles
  • Number of corners – 17
  • Lap record – 1:24.68 (Gareth Rees, Reynard 95D, 1996, British F2)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating – 5.4
  • Testing – 5.5
  • Racing – 5.4

Cheshire’s Oulton Park race circuit opened in 1953 and has multiple layouts featuring corners like the cheekily titled ‘Knickerbrook’ – named so because of a discarded pair of undergarments found in the nearby brook after an explosives expert had been sent to clear some trees. The track’s natural undulations and curves create a series of challenges for all levels of driver. It’s also a hit with photographers and fans, and scored above average for spectating, testing and racing from our panel of racing drivers.

 Clayton Kingman talks us around the 4th best race track in the UK – Oulton Park

“My first ever race at Oulton Park is the memory that sticks out, we made great progress over the line but had contact into turn one which unbeknown to me had smashed a light. Over the course of the race, the glass had worked itself down to the tyre and we suffered a puncture with one lap to go whilst on for our first ever podium!

“If you’re a spectator there, head to Cascades so you get a great view of the chaos on the run down the hill.

“For a driver, there are so many great corners, Cascades is probably the best just because you have so much to lose or gain down the straight by getting it right. 


Car on Thruxton race track


Track Facts:

  • Circuit length (full) – 2.356 miles
  • Number of corners – 11
  • Lap record – 1:01.96 (Earl Goddard, Reynard 95D, 2000, EuroBOSS/F3000)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating – 5.0
  • Testing – 4.9
  • Racing – 6.0

Thruxton is a high-speed track in the south of England and offers super-speed corners like Church, which test the nerves of even the most experienced racers. Performing well there has often been seen as a badge of honour due to the daunting nature of the track. Thruxton managed to score highly for racing, but did slightly less well for spectating and testing although it was still getting scores close to average.

Ash Sutton talks us around the 5th best race track in the UK – Thruxton:

“Thruxton hasn’t always been the kindest of circuits for the Subaru Levorg which I’ve raced there for the last few years – but I have to say every time you put together a qualifying lap it’s always a ‘heart in mouth’ moment!

“If you’re a spectator there, head for the bank into the first complex (Turns 3,4,5), but for a driver the highlight will always be Church.” 


Car on Snetterton race track


Track Facts:

  • Circuit length (300 circuit) – 2.969 miles
  • Number of corners – 12
  • Lap record – 1:39.933 (Felipe Nasr, Dallara F308, 2011, British F3)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating – 4.4
  • Testing – 5.2
  • Racing – 5.1

Norfolk’s iconic Snetterton track has recently expanded from two to three miles in length and is now one of the longest circuits in the UK. It still boasts iconic corners like Coram and Riches, and has added great corners like Agostini and Williams. The track scored higher for drivers than it did for spectators. Apart from the famous Bombhole corner, it’s fairly flat and a good place to learn to race.

Peter Ritchie talks us around the 6th best race track in the UK – Snetterton:

“One of my greatest Snetterton memories is overtaking Michael Vergers to take 6th place overall in the BARC 2CV 24Hour race, with the team willing me on (despite me unaware of who I had overtaken in the last hour of the race!)

“If you’re a spectator there, head to Murrays or Brundle to watch the action, but as a driver the highlight of the circuit for me is Coram.” 


Car on Croft race circuit


Track Facts:

  • Circuit length – 2.127 miles
  • Number of corners – 12
  • Lap record – 1:13.656 (Sergio Perez, Dallara F308, 2008, British F3)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating – 4.7
  • Testing – 4.3
  • Racing – 5.1

Croft race circuit in Yorkshire offers just over two miles of racing per lap, with corners like Clervaux (turn 1) and the tight hairpin bend just before the final dash to the finish line. Croft scored highly for racing from our panel of drivers, but less so for testing. It’s location toward the north of England is a great boon for local race teams however, and the track is incredibly popular for motorsport fans in the area.

Senna Proctor talks us around the 7th best race track in the UK – Croft:

“Finishing on the podium in a BTCC race at Croft was brilliant especially because it is my local circuit, and having all the home crowd cheering me on was unforgettable.

“If you’re a spectator there, head to the complex at the end of the lap, or Clervaux to watch the action, but as a driver the highlight of the circuit for me is the complex.” 


Car on Knockhill race circuit
Senna Proctor (GBR) Team BMR Subaru Levorg


Track Facts:

  • Circuit length – 1.267 miles
  • Number of corners – 9
  • Lap record – 0:41.880 (Heather Calder, Gould GR55, 2019, British Sprint Championship)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating – 5.3
  • Testing – 3.6
  • Racing – 4.3

The only track on our list outside England, the compact and characterful Knockhill race circuit is in Scotland. Changeable weather, huge elevation changes and inviting kerbs mean it’s a real treat for people who like to grab their cars by the horns. It may be fairly short but can now be raced in both directions, which means there are now two different ways to tackle Duffus Dip. It scored highly for spectators but less so for testing.

Charlie Martin talks us around the 8th best race track in the UK – Knockhill:

“I remember being at Knockhill for my 2nd race weekend in the Celtic Speed Mini Challenge – driving in insane wet conditions and it was like a demolition derby, cars on their roofs… bodywork all over the track, I have onboard footage of me missing a flying car by about an inch!

“If you’re a spectator there, head over to the stand opposite Duffus Dip to catch the action there. For a driver, the highlight of the track is probably the run through Duffus Dip into Leslie’s.” 


Car on Mallory Park race track


Track Facts:

  • Circuit length (full car circuit) – 1.350 miles
  • Number of corners – 5
  • Lap record – 0:37.92 (Nick Algar, Gould GR55, 2009, British Sprint Championship)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating – 4.5
  • Testing – 3.7
  • Racing – 4.2

Mallory Park in Leicestershire is one of the lesser-known UK race tracks with a simple but challenging layout and offers challenging corners like Devil’s Elbow. Conveniently located for lots of people in the Midlands, it is a great place to begin your love affair with motorsport. As well as a basic but technically-challenging one-mile oval, the track also boasts tricky extra elements for its full circuit layout. The track did well to score highly for spectating against bigger names in this list.

Jo Polley talks us around the 9th best race track in the UK – Mallory Park:

“Mallory Park holds a few special memories for me as a driver, I absolutely love the place. I qualified on pole there in Mighty Minis in 2008, although the race ended badly with me in the inner armco at Gerards, the following year I went back there and got my first circuit racing podium in a crazy Mighty Minis race where the lead pack literally changed places every lap.

“If you’re a spectator there, head to the highest point on the bank at the exit of Devils Elbow. For a driver, I’d say the best corner is Gerards.” 


Cars on Cadwell Park race track


Track Facts:

  • Circuit length (full car circuit) – 2.173 miles
  • Number of corners – 18
  • Lap record – 1:21.138 (Richard Mitcham, Jedi MK6, 2010, BRSCC Formula Jedi)

Average scores (out of ten) from our panel of race drivers:

  • Spectating – 4.1
  • Testing – 3.6
  • Racing – 4.2

Cadwell Park opened in the 1930s and is one of the most picturesque race tracks in the UK, with tricky sections including The Mountain. Often used more for motorbike racing, this narrow circuit still managed to score well against the others in our top ten – especially for racing. The track is sometimes compared to a mini Nurburgring Nordschleife, a reflection of the challenging nature of this beastly track.

Sarah Moore talks us around the 10th best race track in the UK – Cadwell Park:

“In my first year in Ginetta Juniors I span going through Hall bends, ended up facing the wrong way with the driver’s door up against a barrier. Not Ideal…

“If you’re a spectator there, head to the banking near Gooseneck and watch from there. For a driver, too, I’d say the best corner is Gooseneck.”

Other great race tracks

This is certainly not a full list, of course, with the racers keen to mention less-famous but great fun race circuits such as Lydden Hill, Anglesey, Pembrey, Castle Combe, Goodwood and more, including short ovals like our very own Adrian Flux Arena

Adrian Flux Arena
Adrian Flux Arena

Which circuit do you believe should have made the top ten?

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