Three Day General Admission

Currently the only way to see the race on Sunday is to buy a three-day ticket even if you’re only attending on Sunday. You might have a thought on that, we couldn’t possibly comment but the good news is the three day ticket costs little more (after taking inflation into account) than the ticket for Sunday used to anyway. It’s going to push your cost up to £139 but in our opinion this is the best upgrade you can make from one day attendance and will allow you to truly soak up the atmosphere.

Pros: You get to see the race, attend the party afterwards and maybe have a beer or two in the two days leading up to it.

Cons: You’re an F1 fan right? Why would there be any cons to going for 3 days instead of 1?

Accommodation

Ok, you are there for three nights and I guess the cheapest way to do that would be to sleep in your car but it’s not advisable. Just about all of the campsites charge per person so it costs nothing more to go down in a car with a tent. For many years we have camped at Windmill (friendly, relatively cheap, close to the entrance, albeit shocking toilet and shower facilities), but the thing about Windmill is they charge per person and not by the size of the pitch. Madness! Before we started taking a motorhome we used to take a tent that could accommodate the British Expeditionary Force – and that was just for two of us.

With a Gazebo and some strategically placed windbreaks we had accommodation about the size of a council house in Corby, usually next to a guy looking miserable and cramped in a pup tent who had paid the same rent. We’ve even seen people out-do us by taking poles and tape to cordon off large areas around their tents. We think that’s utterly selfish and we’ve often thought about going around the campsite at night with a pair of scissors but if you value your comfort and privacy over your conscience who are we to say you’re wrong?

Do yourself a favour though, even if you’ve still got that pup tent in the attic that your mum bought you for your first scout camp, leave it up there and spend £150 on a decent tent. All the major camping outlets have sales on in the winter when that sort of money will buy you a well constructed eight man tent with flysheet, awning and groundsheet and usually with several sleeping compartments if you’re bashful. If you haven’t got one make a mental note to buy one in the sales this winter for the next grand prix. At the moment Blacks have a four man Lundy tent with two compartments at half price for just £99.

Once you’ve got your tent the best upgrade advice I can give you is to throw away the pegs that come with it if they look they’ve been made out of clothes hangers and buy some more substantial after-market jobs. Finally try to put the tent up in your garden or a park beforehand so you know how it works and preferably have someone else to help you.

If you really can’t be fagged with the whole buying and putting up a tent lark and would rather drive up to one fully prepared for you intentsGP will be happy to oblige, although naturally that will work out quite a bit more expensive.

Pros: The cheapest form of accommodation for anyone staying overnight

Cons: Campsites can be too noisy and exuberant at night for some and if it’s windy you might wake up looking at the stars

Motorhomes

Our preferred option – relative luxury with a bed, toilet and shower and cooking facilities and if a few of you share the cost, far cheaper than staying in a hotel. Plus you have the advantage of being able to pitch it relatively close to the circuit.

Obviously there are many motorhome hire companies you can use but we’ve always used GoEuropean and can’t fault them as they are extremely competitvely priced. Our advice, if you can stretch to it, is to always hire at least a 4 berth motorhome, even if there are only two of you because the larger van will give you a toilet and shower which you don’t normally get with the smaller vans.

Pros: The luxury of a hotel room with the convenience of a location near the track.

Cons: Can be expensive when you only have a few people to share.

Food

On track

If you are there for three or four days you might tire of the offerings from the track side burger vans for lunch. For many years the only other option to this was to go off circuit or bring your own packed lunch. Of course for people lucky enough to enjoy hospitality packages there has never been a shortage of fine food at Silverstone but now the true fan can also experience a sit-down meal at the Fabulous Feast Bistro located adjacent to the Club Silverstone enclosure on the corner of Becketts. ‘This bistro offers traditional, locally sourced produce and was designed to offer people an alternative to mobile catering with a relaxed seated dining experience and a high quality menu’. That’s the blurb on the Silverstone website but we’ve yet to try it. It’s open from Friday to Sunday, 6.30am – 5pm offering a choice of breakfast, salads, main meals and desserts.

Pros: A welcome change from the usual greasy offerings.

Cons: No pre-booking offered so it’s a case of turning up and queuing.

Evenings

The preferred option for many is to stoke up a Barbie on the campsite and to be fair you have to do that at least one night but for people who can’t cook and won’t cook there are umpteen people willing to cook for you for cash. If it’s a Barbie you fancy you can do worse than wander down to the White Horse pub in Silverstone which somehow magically manages to entertain about 30% of the 115,000 attendance every night. The food is rough and ready hog roast and burgers with little refinement but if you can’t be bothered cooking that yourself you’re probably not the fussy type. They erect a beer marquee in the garden over the Grand Prix weekend so the wait for drinks is kept to a minimum or about twenty minutes.

These days we favour something a little more refined and quieter and can heartily recommend The Fox & Hounds, which does involve a little bit more walking but rewards in a less hectic atmosphere where you might actually get a seat and the mix of Modern British/Spanish food has more appeal to finer palates.

Further afield there are several Indian, Italian and Chinese restaurants in neighbouring towns such as Towcester but these will require a taxi or at least a nominated driver. The taxi companies in the area are not shy over the Grand Prix weekend and our one and only experience cost us about £30 to go to a Chinese restaurant less than five miles away (the Rice Bowl in Towcester) a couple of years ago. Fortunately a local dining in the restaurant that night offered to drop us back at our campsite for a fiver and I’m told quite a few do this, so it’s always worth asking in the restaurant if you fancy getting back without being fleeced both ways.

Next, 3-Day Grandstand

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Welcome , today is Tuesday, 12 December, 2017