The Great and the Good of Goodwood Festival of Speed Review

4-7 July 2019

Reviewed by Leigh Jackman

The Goodwood Festival of Speed runs over four spectacular days in the heart of the Sussex countryside. Steeped in motor racing history this really is the industries show cases of the year and this year it’s all about electric power.

From the new family electric run arounds from mini to futuristic solar powered car from Lightyear, if this year’s show shows that the way forward is an exciting green future. 

Visiting as a family might be a bit daunting wondering if there is enough to entertain children but Goodwood really have the whole experience thoroughly well designed, it’s a truly slick well thought out day. The excitement starts on the drive in with everyone enjoying spotting the who’s who of performance cars. The walk from the car park is short and with glimpses of the days excitement ahead helped the excitement build. 

We had downloaded the app and planned our day in advance so headed straight to the Thakeham Family Area. This was our first port of call and this gave the children to have a full morning of fun while my husband and I took turns and dashed off to check out the exhibits we wanted to see.

The children enjoyed dressing up in high vis and hard hats to using real full-size cranes to catch and move objects around, dig for treasure with real diggers and build a proper wall. The face painting was done to an exceptional standard and the designs were breath-taking. The staff were amazing attentive and gently encouraging with the children and the layout was perfect with easy to access toilets, lots of shade, food and comfortable seating. The children’s area had its own viewing stand right next to the start line of the famous hill climb and they had even provided ear defenders for the children so they could enjoy the experience too. A huge ‘hard hats’ off to Thakeham for providing such a well thought experience and to top it off everything in the children’s area was free. 

After lunch we hired a Mr Trolly so we could venture out without the kids getting hot and tired in the scorching July sun. There was thirty pounds deposit to rent the trolley for the day with no additional charge and it really did make a difference to our day. We trundled around able to view the stands and adventure around the massive site with no grumbling kids. 

This year really is a year to inspire your children with thoughts of the future, FOS Future Lab is full of positive visions of the future experienced in a way to make them very tangible, from flying cars, robotics. Cutting edge design on the brink of becoming part of our everyday.

The children enjoyed the ‘paddock’ is a history of cars and really gives you an intimate experience of what’s involved in running these cars. Here it was the fossil fuel variety that dominated, with cars like Niki Lauda’s Ferraris, Maclaren and Williams, Le Mans cars and Nascar stealing the limelight. 

It’s highly worth checking out the GAS MX experience, mini motor bikes to try and BMX tricks that defy gravity. You do really need to go for the full four days to experience everything Goodwood has to offer.

As days out go, they don’t get better than this, everyone was buzzing and chatting about their amazing experiences, inspiring, thought provoking, history and science. A day that was incredibly well thought-out to produce an inspirational experience for every age group.

Rating: 5/5

For more information visit www.goodwood.com.

Goodwood Festival of Speed, Goodwood House, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0PX

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