After four months of enforced closure we will finally reopen to the public at the end of July

The encouraging news is that this won’t just be just a case of unlocking the gates: instead, we are re-launching with a new identity, a new purpose and a range of new offers. And the live horses will be back, too!

The site also re-opens with a new, simpler name and identity: NHRM, the National Horse Racing Museum. It will have a colourful new brand and an easy-to-navigate website, all funded by the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund.

 

There will be new catering outlets, more space, a dedicated community gallery and displays which will reflect the history of the town as well as of racing. This autumn, for example, we will be showing a compilation of BBC archival films on Newmarket, from a profile of the old railway station’s famous heavy horses of the 1960s to the Blue Peter special on the town of 2003.

The museum is re-launching itself not just as a national showcase but also as a community resource for Newmarket. As its Chief Executive, Dr Steven Parissien, says:

‘Not only does the museum present a rich and fascinating panorama of a sport which is very much at the centre of the nation’s story. It’s also a great day out for everyone, whether they already know about racing or not. We want to become an essential resource for the town and believe that our unique combination of art, heritage, horses, open spaces and great food and drink is exactly what Newmarket needs in these trying times‘

There’s some very good news for the town, too, as the museum store is being relaunched as Newmarket’s premier bookshop. The revamped store incorporates an impressive new second-hand book room – a worthy successor to the bookshop at the town’s former Oxfam store, which closed in March.

Friday 31st July sees the opening of The Good Companions, a heart-warming exploration of how dogs have been portrayed in art and how for centuries they have entertained us, worked for us, healed us, protected us and been our most devoted friends. Definitely one for all the family. On 1st August we are inviting all key workers to join us for FREE for our #ThankYou Key Workers day – click here to find out more

The museum’s paddocks have also been transformed. Many of the fences have come down and there are now dedicated picnic areas and new benches so that visitors can linger longer. Over the coming months, the museum is also looking to bring its Edwardian cow byre back into use as a miniature zoo for companion animals such as sheep and goats.

The relaunched museum will also boast not one but two cafés. The celebrated Tack Room restaurant, whose offering will be geared not just to out-of-town visitors but also to the daily needs of local customers. At the same time, the former bakery at the corner of the King’s Yard will be reopened and will be offering bread, cakes, coffee and picnic boxes.

And that’s not all. As Dr Parissien says,

‘We want the museum’s fabulous open spaces to be a key venue for the town – for eating and drinking, for art, for music and for shows and events, as well as for reflection and for relaxation. Keep in touch with us through our new website and you can find everything that’s coming up.’

To ensure that visitors are as safe and protected as possible the museum has installed a range of safety measures in strict accordance with government advice. The big yards and paddock spaces, as well as the gallery configurations, make it simple to introduce one-way systems and appropriate social distancing measures, both indoors and outdoors. Hand sanitiser will be widely available across the site and frequent hand-washing is encouraged. There will be frequent cleaning and disinfecting and clear guidance for the toilets. Face masks won’t be mandatory but can be worn if you wish. So the museum will both enjoyable and safe.

Click here to book your tickets