Top 10 Goodwood Festival of Speed Tips
Read our advice about Goodwood FOS to keep you in the fast lane
If you’ve never been to a car show, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is one of the larger shows in the UK. The whole show is nearly completely outside and since it’s usually at the height of summer, the weather can sometimes be too hot rather than wet and unpredictable. Whether you’re going on the Thursday Moving Motor Show or the height of the festival on the Saturday, you’re going to have a fantastic time as this really is a celebration of all things motoring. New cars, old cars, racing cars or the stars of motorsport, if you have the slightest of interest in motors, it doesn’t get better than the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Like any big event, there’s always things you learn every time you go. If this is your first time going or even your tenth, be sure to read our top 10 tips below to make sure you stay in the fast lane during the event. You will get to see the best cars, meet the stars and maybe even save some money too.
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Our top 10 tips for the Goodwood Festival of Speed
- 1. Use a Parking App
The first thing you will notice is how busy the carpark is. Ideally you want to get there early; the event runs from 7am to 7pm and the earlier you arrive the better. By around 10am you’re most likely going to experience traffic coming into the car parks. The same when you leave; everyone tends to go around 6pm and there can be queues of up to an hour just waiting to get out of the car park again. This isn’t to mention the time it takes finding your car again.
Our advice is get there early, leave early and use a parking app to easily find your car again. There’s plenty of parking and shuttles to get you to the gate, but you can easily be wondering around for quite some time just looking for where you parked, and because parking is in fields, it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where you parked your car. There’s various apps out there for Apple and Android smart phones, so use which ever one you like the best and track your car down in no time.
- 2. Plan timings
It’s good to do your research before you go and if there’s a particular event you want to watch on the hill climb or a performance at one of the manufacturer’s stands, you need to get there early. Generally the trackside is always busy and so is the grand stand, but if you get there with plenty of time to spare or find a good vantage point before the popular cars run up the hill climb then you should still be able to get a good view. The most popular cars that run up the hill climb tend to be those driven by celebrities like Ken Block or Jenson Button. The final of the serious hill climb runs on the Sunday also tends to get busy.
- 3. Plan Meet & Greets and get there early
The brand stands sometimes put on performances or hold Q&As to attract audiences. You could expect Q&As with famous drivers of the brand or some sort of dance or music performance. By no means the main attraction of the event but worth getting there early nether the less.
Equally there’s usually a few famous faces around including F1 drivers, that can be found around Goodwood House usually on the Saturday or Sunday of the event. These tend to be the busiest events so make a note of the time and take position early if you want anything signed.
- 4. Bring your own map
Or bookmark the Goodwood Festival of Speed map on your smartphone. There are maps scattered around the event, but if you want to find your way to the food village to fuel yourself up or you can’t seem to find the supercars, having a map in your pocket is always handy to have.
- 5. Camera
While you won’t want to be spending your time watching the event from a tiny screen, it is worth bringing a camera. If you’re social savvy you can tweet photos with certain hashtags to get them featured by brands. But with some special models being on display for one year only, it’s worth taking a few photos to give yourself another reason to attend next year.
- 6. Bring car keys
That is the car you arrived in plus any more keys you may have for any other cars you own. Some brands offer a free bar area with views of the track or even VIP access to preview models if you flash your car key. Not every brand offers this and it varies every year on what you can actually get, but it’s worth having keys on you to take advantage of any freebies.
- 7. Water
If you don’t have the right car key to get to the free bars, it’s always worth bringing water especially if it’s warm. You will be doing a lot of walking between events and stands and spending a lot of time in the sun. Of course you can buy water but at the price of beer.
- 8. Food
The same can be said for food – there are plenty of options available but they are going to cost more than average, so you may want to being your own. If you’d rather not carry food around and want to try out the food village, either plan an early or late lunch. The queues for food around peak time can be vast and you will be spending precious car-viewing time waiting for a burger.
- 9. Grab the goodie bags
Most of the big brands will be handing out goodie bags. This means you go home with some of their literature and while you’re at Goodwood FOS, you’re advertising for them. A lot of the freebies can be worth picking up; Audi have previously given away reusable canvas bags full of key rings, post it notes, posters and notebooks. Even as a convenient holder for your water bottle it’s worth grabbing them.
- 10. Get a close look at the cars
The main reason you’re there. Apart from the supercar paddock and some racing cars and historic models, nearly every car will be there for you to have a really good look at. Where a lot of cars at shows like Geneva are behind velvet ropes, the brands at Goodwood encourage you to open the doors, sit inside, ask questions and generally have a good play with the car. So don’t be scared to open up some doors and have a good look inside and if you have any questions, ask! That’s what the lovely people at the stand are there for.
Want to see which cars are making their way to Goodwood? Check out our preview for Goodwood 2016...