How Many People Does Bristol Speedway Hold? [Expert Guide!]

Bristol is one of the most famous speedways in the United Kingdom and, indeed, the world. It is located in the beautiful county of Somerset and was previously known as the County Circle until 2014. The track is primarily used to organise motorsport events but has also been the setting for many a romantic film. The stands at the track are quite unique as they feature old English coaching inns that are a combination of both brick and wood. The exact number of people who fit into the stands at Bristol still remains a mystery but estimates put the figure anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000. The track is so prestigious that the likes of Enzo Ferrari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Louisa Manson and even Bernie Ecclestone have all attended events there. In addition, The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Pink Floyd and more have all played gigs at the iconic Somerset County track. There’s plenty of history at Bristol.

The History Of The Track

The history of the track dates back to the late 1800s when it was first established. The first Bristol Grand Prix took place in September 1894 and was won by Louisa Manson in a Silver Mercedes. The event was so prestigious that it was moved to a different venue on the following Saturday. In total, seven Grand Prix events were staged at the first Bristol track with the last one taking place in 1936. The original track was a mile in length but was subsequently extended to a whopping 2.4km. This is still the case today but even that hasn’t stopped the planners from increasing the capacity to hold more people. The last major overhaul of the track was carried out in the 1950s and saw the introduction of spectator areas along the straight as well as the current layout of the pits and garages. The longest hole at Bristol is considered to be the fearsome 13th which is 500m in length. It was originally called the Railway and later became known as the Woodlands track due to vast amounts of woodland nearby. If that wasn’t scary enough, the narrow strip of land in between is slithering with snakes, adders and newts, not to mention the size of insects such as grasshoppers and locusts. The last major race at the track was the Formula One British Grand Prix in 2016. Although this year’s event was postponed due to the pandemic, the organisers of Bristol have kept the lights on for motorsport enthusiasts by holding an invitational drift race each Saturday night during the football season. The iconic track is a real jewel in the crown of Somerset. Today, the County Circle is a Grade II listed building and a Unesco World Heritage Site along with the rest of the Bristol sports grounds. This means that it must be carefully preserved and enhanced for future generations to enjoy.

The Layout Of The Track

If you’re ever in Bristol, you’ll no doubt wander over to the M5 to take a look at the traffic. If you’re fortunate enough to arrive during daylight hours, you’ll be treated to one of the most spectacular panoramic views of any motorway in the UK. At night, the city centre is spectacularly illuminated by the twinkling street lights below, while the lit-up buildings appear to float away into the sky. Not surprisingly, given the scenic surroundings, the M5 is the most direct route from London to Bristol.

You don’t really need a map to find the entrance to the County Circle in Bristol. There’s a sign indicating the way to the cricket ground and a 10-metre-tall bronze statue of a footballer welcoming you to the track. The stands at Bristol are located on the opposite side of the M5 to the road junction. On a clear day, you can see for miles in all directions. The grandstands are set back from the straight, which is surfaced with white marble chips. Unfortunately, not all of the stands are accessible to the public so don’t expect to find these views from the inside. The paddock areas are surrounded by an 8-metre-high wooden fence that dates back to 1924 and which was originally used to keep horses at bay. In addition to this, there’s an 18th century Dutch wall that separates the paddock from the outside. The stands at Bristol are of a style called “Welbeck White” after the hotel in London that is partly-owned by the England cricket team. These stands were originally built in 1901 and have been the scene of some unforgettable cricket matches. The total capacity of the stands is around 16,000, despite the fact that only a few of these are occupied on any given day.

Stadium Tours

The Bristol County Stadium is home to the football teams of Bristol City and Bristol Rugby and also hosts a variety of concerts and other events, both on and off the field. Tourists can take a peek into the dressing rooms to see the gleaming white walls and colourful decorations. The tours are a great way to learn more about the history of the stadium and the players who have graced the red and blue surfaces over the years. You’ll also get a chance to see some of the personal effects of the players which are on display. This includes trophies, plaques and even the shirts that they wore while playing.

The tour guides are more than happy to give you as much information as you want about the teams and their remarkable history. If you’ve never been there before but are curious about the place, a tour is a must. Make sure you book your place in advance as the demand for these tours is high.

Motorcycle Racing Enthusiasts

If you’ve ever taken an interest in motorbicycling, then you’ll love the SVO (Single Vehicle Operation) club house at the County Circle. This is the headquarters of the Motorcycle Racing Club, which was started way back in 1874. The club organises various solo motorcycle rides around Bristol as well as races at the County Circle, the North Devon Road Races and the Wales Rally. The headquarters building was designed by Alfred Waterhouse and is a combination of brick, mock-stone and pantile. On the first floor is the clubhouse, which is a combination of wood, pantile and cement. The walls are covered in motorbike wallpaper which depicts racing scenes. There’s also a coffee machine, a kettle and a toaster for members to use. The entire upper floor is filled with wooden motorbikes, while the ground floor is packed with memorabilia from the golden era of motorbiking, which lasted from the 1960s to the mid-1980s. On the back of the house is a collection of motorbikes that are available for viewing by the public. Make sure you contact the Motorcycle Racing Club in advance if you are interested in attending one of their events at the County Circle. The members are more than happy to tell you about the joys of motorbiking and to answer any questions you might have.

The Entertainment Destination

Apart from being the home of a football team, a rugby team and a motorcycle club, the County Circle is also a destination for entertainment. Concerts are held there throughout the year and it is regularly used for pop and rock gigs. The iconic venue also holds literary festivals and film launches. If you’d like to catch a movie to celebrate a special occasion, such as an anniversary or birthday, there are a plethora of films that have been shot at Bristol. Some of these include:

  • Gladiator
  • Billy Elliot
  • The Princess Bride
  • Happy Gilmore
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Rocky
  • Pulp Fiction
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Notebook

In addition, there are a number of English Heritage properties located within a 3km radius of the stadium. If you’re really an enthusiast, then why not stay overnight at one of these interesting places? You’ll be treated to a world of history books and you’ll have plenty to tell your friends about. In fact, a stay at one of these places could be the highlight of your (or any) trip to Bristol.

Romantic Getaways

If you and your partner are looking for a romantic getaway, then why not consider visiting one of the popular wedding venues in Bristol? From luxurious hotels to historic churches and castles, there are a plethora of romantic venues for the couple that have been looking for a way to make their grand entrance as well as their exit more memorable. Not only will you get to enjoy some of Bristol’s most stunning views but you can also relive some of the most memorable moments from the wedding ceremony. Why not end the night singing “One Love” together?

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!