Silverstone, the home of British motorsport, hosts motorsport year-round, come rain or shine. Despite its popularity, the future of the F1 race beyond 2019 remains in doubt.
After being converted from an RAF airfield into a racing circuit in 1948, Silverstone was the host of the very first Formula 1 race in 1950. A mecca for British motorsport fans, the track has undergone numerous changes over the years in order to reduce speeds and increase safety. Most recently, the track was overhauled in 2010, introducing a new infield section, moving the start line and building a new pit complex – the impressive Silverstone Wing.
The knowledgeable crowd have had plenty of home drivers to support over the years in F1. From Nigel Mansell to Lewis Hamilton, British drivers are more successful at this track than any other nation. 300,000 fans attend the British Grand Prix annually, whatever the weather – and there’s usually some rain despite the race being held at the height of the British summer.
After almost losing the event to Donington Park in 2009, Silverstone signed a new contract to keep the British Grand Prix at the track until 2027. After instigating a break clause in their contract, the BRDC agreed a new deal with F1 to keep the British Grand Prix at Silverstone for a further five years until 2024.
Silverstone is a regularly used race circuit, with everything from bikes to touring cars visiting the circuit annually. The 6 Hours of Silverstone, held as part of the World Endurance Championship, takes place each April. MotoGP returned to the track in 2010, hosting the British motorcycle Grand Prix in the late summer, having previously hosted the event in the 1970s and 80s.
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 British MotoGP at Silverstone has been cancelled. Two events on the Formula 1 calendar will now be held at Silverstone in early August – both closed events without spectators.
The Silverstone Circuit straddles the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire borders, around 130km north east of London.
London’s five main airports – Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW), London City (LCY), Stansted (STN) and Luton (LTN) – are well located for your trip to Silverstone. The closest is Luton – which is 80km from the circuit. Birmingham Airport (BHX) is another option, and is a similar distance from the circuit.
How to get to Silverstone:
- Train: The closest train stations to Silverstone are Milton Keynes (30 minutes from Euston station), Northampton (60 minutes) and Banbury (90 minutes). More information can be found at National Rail.
- Taxi: from any of the stations listed above, licensed taxis to the circuit should cost no more than £35.
- Bus: Stagecoach and Megabus both run popular services to Silverstone on British Grand Prix weekend.
- Car: The circuit sits between the M1 and M40 motorways and is easily accessible by car. A traffic-free journey to Silverstone should take 90 minutes from London, 60 minutes from Birmingham, 45 minutes from Oxford and 30 minutes from Northampton – but traffic is likely to add to those journey times on larger event weekends. Browse car rentals in the area with Rentalcars.com.
More information about getting to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix can be found on F1Destinations: Getting There & Around – British Grand Prix.
While accommodation in Silverstone’s nearest towns of Towcester and Buckingham fills up quickly for the British Grand Prix weekend, the larger towns and cities of Northampton, Milton Keynes, Birmingham or even London are also options. Of course, camping at the track is popular too.
When it comes to camping, Silverstone Woodlands and Whittlebury Park are the closest campsites to the track. There are numerous options for tents, motorhomes and even ‘glamping’ choices!
There are a number of Holiday Inns, Premier Inns and Travelodges in Silverstone’s surrounding area, all conveniently located near the M1 motorway. Other options include the well-rated Peartree Lodge Waterside, the historic Saracens Head in Towcester and the more luxurious, but further afield, Luton Hoo Hotel & Spa – especially convenient if you’re flying in to Luton Airport. Staying in Birmingham or capital city London for your visit to the circuit can be a good choice, with a wider range of accommodation options available, but you’ll have a longer commute to the circuit.
More information about where to stay for the British Grand Prix can be found on F1Destinations: Accommodation – British Grand Prix
Guided tours of Silverstone are available throughout the year, see below. A new museum called the Silverstone Experience is also now open.
- About: Guided tours of Silverstone are available on select dates throughout the year. The tour takes approximately 2 hours and includes a welcome reception and introduction to the circuit, visit to race control and drive workshop, photo op on the winners’ podium and a guided tour of the circuit itself (provided there’s no on-track action happening).
- Cost: 30 GBP
- More info and bookings: click here
Silverstone is very popular for track days and driving experiences.
- Track Days: Silverstone is opened on average one day per month for track days, where you can drive your own car on the circuit from 299 GBP. Learn more here. (Motorbike track days are also held monthly, prices from 179 GBP. More info here).
- Driving Experiences: You can also take to the track at Silverstone in everything from single-seat race cars through to supercars. Prices start from 99 GBP. Click here to browse all Silverstone driving experiences.