It’s that time of the year again, when Laytown begins to gear up for the excitement, colour and spectacle of the Laytown Races.
This year’s festival on Thursday 6th September marks 150 years of racing on Laytown Strand. To get the celebrations going, the race committee is launching a commemorative book, Laytown Strand Races, celebrating 150 years, in the Glenside Hotel on Tuesday 14th August at 7.30. Trainer Ted Walsh will launch the book, while M.C. for the event will be broadcaster Des Scahill. It should be an interesting event and all are welcome.
Since 1876 Laytown has hosted a single annual horse racing meeting on its beach – one of only a couple of sand (held on the beach) race meetings run under official rules of racing in Europe.
The BBC have made it the subject of a documentary, titled Racing the Tide, and have included passages in their Coast and Countryfile programmes
. Nothing, not even two World Wars, has stopped it taking place annually since then.
It’s not the only piece of history this stretch of sand can lay claim to. Further up the beach at Bettystown one of the most important historical finds was unearthed. It was on this beach a peasant woman claimed to have found the Tara Brooch in a box buried in the sand. Many assume that the find actually occurred inland but the beach claim was made to avoid any legal claim the landowner might have on the artefact. The Tara Brooch today takes pride of place in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.
Worked up an appetite?
Well the ” Cottage Inn” Laytown is a gastropub with a great buzz and even better pub grub.
It dates way back to the 1900 s and they promise the best pint of Guinness around. You’ll just have to check that out for yourself!