A Brief History of Silverstone
Silverstone Circuit, home of the British Grand Prix, sits across the border between Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire. It is built on the site of RAF Silverstone, a Royal Air Force bomber station from World War II.
It first hosted the British Grand Prix on October 2nd, 1948, when the circuit was 3.7 miles long and was marked out with straw bales and oil drums. The race was won by Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati. After that, the race was rotated between Brands Hatch, Aintree and Silverstone until 1987, when Silverstone became the permanent base.
Silverstone was also the location of the first Formula One Grand Prix, which was held in 1950.
In 88 years of the Grand Prix, it has been won by 12 British drivers. Jim Clark is the most successful British Driver, winning four British Grand Prix, two of which were at Silverstone in 1963 and 1965.
Tickets are sold for individual events, and the prices for these events differ. The main event in 2015 is the British Grand Prix, which will be held from July 3 to 5.
For General Admission tickets, you can choose from single or three-day options, and you can change your location during the day.
The total capacity is 90,000 for general admission and 60,000 in the grandstands. There are a number of grandstands including International Pits Straight, Copse, Woodcote, Luffield, Becketts and Club Silverstone, Club, National Pits Straight, Stowe, Abbey, Vale and Village. Some seats are covered, but many are not.
There are a range of ticket options to choose from, including an allocated seat in a chosen grandstand for the whole three days, or a ticket for one day in your chosen grandstand. Children’s tickets are available for 15s and under, but children aged 10 and under can go free on a General Admission ticket.
The price for an adult General Admission ticket on Sunday (race day) ranges from £155 to £340.
A ticket for Friday, which is the qualifying day, costs as little as £67.
Whole weekend tickets range from £175 to £465.
You can buy your tickets direct from the official Silverstone website.
If you want to park in the official Silverstone car park or Whittlebury Car Park, prices range from £16 to £66. You will need to book in advance and you will need to take your pass with you.
This Year at Silverstone
This year, the main event as always is the British Grand Prix, which is the only place to see F1 in the UK. This is held from July 3 to 5. Other smaller events include:
- The British Grand Prix MotoGP from August 28 to 30
- Grandslam Madness Tour on July 2
- Silverstone Classic from July 24 to 26
- The International GT Championship from June 6 to 7
- The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship from September 26 to 27
Top Tips when Visiting Silverstone
There are many tips to keep in mind when you visit Silverstone to get the most out of your trip. These include:
Take a portable radio with you to follow all the action that you cannot see.
Take a pair of binoculars, which makes it much easier to see what is happening.
Take some good ear plugs, or buy them when you arrive. The noise is amazing, but you will want some plugs after a while.
If you are not in the grandstands, make sure you get there early to get a good place.
Dress appropriately for any weather conditions because most areas are not covered.
There are many ways to get to Silverstone. Here is a guide to the main methods of transport.
You can take the Megabus to Silverstone from dozens of towns and cities all over the UK. This is one of the cheapest ways to travel to the circuit.
Park and Ride
There are three Park and Ride sites. Hinton Airfield is located off the M40, and a further two are located off the M1. They are operated by Silverstone, and you can buy a one-day pass. The bus journey to the circuit lasts about 20 minutes.
Head to Milton Keynes, Banbury or Northampton stations if you travel by train. You can book your tickets in advance using thetrainline.com, and by doing this you can save money off the ticket price!
From the stations, you can catch a Stagecoach bus or take a taxi, and the journey to the circuit lasts about 30 minutes.
If travelling to the circuit by car, try to leave early to avoid queues. The roads around the circuit are small and they can become very slow.
If you are arriving from the M1, leave the motorway at Junction 15A and get onto the A43. Head towards Towcester and then follow signposts to the car park.
If you are arriving from the M40, leave at Junction 10 and get onto the A43. From here, follow the signposts to the car park.
You can park at the circuit if you have bought two or more tickets. You have to buy a vehicle pass when you buy your ticket, or by calling the ticket line.
If you require disabled parking, you must send a copy of your blue badge to receive a disabled access pass, and you should then display your pass and your blue badge when you arrive. The disabled area is located at car park 50.
Getting to Silverstone from Luton Airport
|Method of transport||Approximate journey time||Approximate cost|
|Train (requires taxi from station)||1hr 57mins||£15.30|
There are a number of accommodation options to choose from. Some of the hotels located near to Silverstone include:
13 miles from circuit
15 miles from circuit
35 miles from circuit
35 miles from circuit
Many visitors prefer to camp nearby, and there are a number of campsites located within walking distance from the circuit. These include:
Silverstone Woodlands Campsite, which is one of the closest to the circuit. This opens on Wednesday July 1 and closes on Monday July 6 for the BGP.
Litchlake Farm, which is located just one minute away by foot. There are no requirements for minimum stays, and security is provided 24/7.
Dadford Road, which is a five minute walk from the circuit.
Things to Do Nearby
There are many things to do in the area when you visit Silverstone if you don’t want to limit your trip to just the racing!
The main towns to visit include Towcester, Milton Keynes, Stowe and Buckingham.
In Towcester, you could visit:
- Towcester Museum, a fun museum that is great for kids
- Towcester Centre, a wave pool with slides
In Milton Keynes, you could visit:
- Pirate Island Adventure Golf
- Milton Keynes Museum, a museum for the whole family with lots of things for kids to touch
- Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre, which is popular for days out
- Planet Ice Milton Keynes, a popular ice-skating rink
In Stowe, one of the main attractions is Stowe Landscape Gardens. These beautiful gardens are popular for days out, and free activity packs are provided for children.
In Buckingham, you could visit the Buckingham Old Gaol Museum and discover more about the history of the area as well as seeing the original prison cells.