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Meet the Tour Guides: Larry Bowden


Here at Discover Newmarket we pride ourselves on having the best tour guides on offer for your day out. Not only are these guides passionate about their roles and showing off the town to visitors but they also have loads of knowledge and experience to share with you.

In our Meet The Guides series of blogs we are giving you the chance to get to know a little bit more about our team of tour guides. First up it’s Larry Bowden.

A former jockey, Larry has been in Newmarket since he was 15-years-old and as a result has amassed serious knowledge of the area and the horseracing industry. Larry has been with Discover Newmarket since the very beginning and was also a guide at the old National Horseracing Museum on the High Street. “I love meeting people and passing on my knowledge and get them enthusiastic about horseracing and I particularly enjoy taking people behind the scenes.” 

His efforts were recognised in a big way in 2019 as he was named as one of the finalists in the VisitEngland Tourism Superstar awards. This meant that Larry was won of the top 10 guides in the country from hundreds of nominations and is a fantastic achievement which was recognised at the Awards for Excellence function in Whitehall  earlier this year. It also resulted in loads of radio and television interviews which meant that a whole new audience got to know Larry and all about Discover Newmarket.

When quizzed on his favourite attractions in Newmarket, Larry mentions the Gallops, Newmarket Raceourses and Palace House as his three favourites. He’s also a whizz when it comes to the racehorse simulator that gives visitors to the National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art a chance to experience what it’s like to ride as a jockey.

If you spot Larry operating the simulator when you next visit, ask him to give you a demonstration. He’ll have it going at top speed as he rides yet another winner.

Fancy going somewhere for dinner while you’re visiting town? According to Larry, his favourite places to enjoy a bite to eat are The Fountain when in the mood for Chinese food and at Kings, which sits just off the High Street and sits in a site that dates back to the 17th Century.

For the best tours to experience when looking to book a Discover Newmarket experience, Larry reckons the Country Mile, Race Day and National Stud Tours are all worth going on for a taster of everyday life behind the scenes. “Newmarket is a unique place to visit.There’s loads of open space and then the 3 000 horses in town make it really unique.”

Larry has some fond memories of his time in horseracing, which included a five year apprenticeship at some of the best yards in the country and he counts his first ride in a race, his first winner and being able to ride out on the heath every day as highlights. We also asked all of our guides what they’d name a racehorse if they owned one. Larry’s choice? You and I.

Keen to join Larry on a tour? You can find out more about the various experiences we offer by clicking here.