I keep accidently loading the Goodwood website rather than Google in my browser because I literally must have looked at the site hundreds of times before our FAM trip and to be honest, writing this blog was super hard. There is literally so much to do and see that I have struggled to keep it to a respectable word limit.
When you hear the word Goodwood, you think of the revival, you think of the racetrack, the racecourse and our stunning English countryside. When our members attended our FAM trip on 1 September, they now hear the word Goodwood and think of so much more…
Goodwood is situated near Chichester and Haslemere stations. Haslemere is just 50 minutes from London and then a short taxi ride to the estate from the station. The estate itself dates back to 1570 however it was the first Duke of Richmond whom originally rented Goodwood as he was quite partial to fox hunting which began the long family history of Goodwood Estate. After his initial rental, The Duke bought himself the house in 1697 where it has been passed down to generations ever since. The Earl of March, the 10th Duke of Richmond’s son is whom we have to thank for the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival Meeting and who currently lives in this stunning estate! There is literally so much history here, every which way you turn you are exposed to it. It is fascinating.
Our FAM commenced by checking into our rooms. Our group all stayed in Goodwood Hotel which has 91 beautifully presented bedrooms, a health club and a spa. The hotel is broken down in four categories. Suites, Character Rooms, Garden Rooms and Signature Rooms and we obviously all had to check each other’s out and they were gorgeous. After we had checked-in, we were off to Goodwood House for afternoon tea which was amazing and would certainly suite a group size of around 20. Afternoon tea has a long tradition at Goodwood Estate and it was pretty special. Those macarons where amazing!
Next up after afternoon tea we went to try our hand at clay pigeon shooting which was so much fun. Over the years I have had a few goes here and there but doing it at Goodwood is something different. The team of instructors are so patient and lovely with a lot of experience of the estate. Talking to them was almost as fun as the actual shooting.
Next up on our agenda was our all-important site visit to see all the event spaces and at Goodwood, you certainly have a variety of spaces in either Goodwood Hotel, The Kennels or in Goodwood House. The spaces would accommodate everything from a special dinner party to an offsite away day and everything in between. There are a variety of breakouts in each of the three main spaces. You can read about all the spaces here.
After seeing all the spaces it was off for a private dinner in The Kennels. Arriving by our very own red Routemaster bus (which is available for your events), we had a tour of The Kennels before champagne in the library. The Kennels is Goodwood’s central clubhouse for all of the Estate’s sporting members however you can take a space exclusively for your event. The private dining room was lovely and the food superb. The staff were ever so fabulous in their service and the group had such a lovely evening. After our dinner it was back onto our bus and to the bar where we finished our evening.
Next morning it was a wonderful breakfast in the hotel followed by a surprise. Our group was lucky enough to try their hand at a few of the activities that Goodwood has on offer. Off we went to the aerodrome for a private flying lesson which I still can’t believe we had the privilege of experiencing. Two of us went up in our own plane where one of us was able to take the controls and actually fly. The views up there were stunning and the instructors so helpful. This would make an amazing idea for your team building activities. You can also incorporate grapefruit bombing from the planes onto targets! After the flying we were off to the world famous race track to do a lap.
The racecourse is also a wonderful idea for your team building activity. Starting from only £99, you can try your hand at power slides, handbrakes and J-turns (whatever they are?!). You can find more information on the flying and track here. As well as flying and track experiences, Goodwood also has two championship golf courses! Seriously, there is so much you can do that would suit everyone in your group.
After our lunch it was off to one of my favourite restaurants, Farmer, Butcher, Chef on the estate. The menu consists of local produce from one of the only self-sustaining organic farms in Europe. The food was wonderful and we dined in the private section of the restaurant which would accommodate a group up to 50. You can imagine though by this point we had sampled afternoon tea, canapes, a private dinner and a huge breakfast so by the time we got to lunch we were struggling!
We had such an amazing time at our FAM trip at Goodwood Estate. The versatility of all the different spaces for meetings and events combined with so many different options for activities would make for an amazing away day, retreat, conference where with up to 100 guests (using the Hound Lodge) you could take it over exclusively. Thank you so much to Goodwood for hosting our group. For further information please contact them here and tell them Eventprofslive sent you!
Michelle Rees is a Events Advisor for a London Law Firm
Kate is a Events Manager for a London Law Firm