The iconic Donington Park circuit in England was the venue for the first ever WorldSBK races in April 1988. The track has hosted WorldSBK very regularly over the past 25 years - with a short absence from the calendar from 2002 to 2006.
The UK has produced some of the greatest names in racing from Mike Hailwood, John Surtees and Phil Read to the legendary Barry Sheene. The likes of Carl Fogerty, James Toseland, Neil Hodgson, Tom Sykes and Jonathan Rea have since enhanced that winning British legacy in WorldSBK.
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Full name: Donington Park, UK
Time zone: GMT
Currency: Pound sterling (sign: £, code: GBP)
Electric plug type: G
Important telephone numbers:
Weather: The UK is famous for its often damp, mild weather but in truth it is a temperate climate. WorldSBK visits Donington at the end of May with an average maximum daily temperature of 15°C (59°F) and an average low of 7°C (45°F). There is a 57% chance of rain per day in May at Donington so take your waterproof jacket and an umbrella.
Visiting the UK is a wonderful experience, whether you visit the bustling capital London or head straight to the good old British countryside.
London itself is one of the world’s major cities, one of the largest in Europe and the second most visited city on the planet after Bangkok in Thailand, with 20 million people visiting every year.
You could spend two weeks in England’s capital and still have plenty more to see after visiting such delightful places as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Hyde Park, The British Museum, Big Ben and Parliament, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, St Paul's Cathedral, Kew Gardens, Soho and Covent Garden.
Elsewhere in the UK the Lake District in the north of England, the Cotswolds in the south, Cornwall on the south coast, the Scottish Highlands and the mountains of Wales are all beautiful places to spend a few days.
The East Midlands area around Donington Park also has its own special character, rich history, interesting towns and cities and stunning countryside.
This is the heart of England and is easy to reach from anywhere else in the UK, plus with its own airport just next to the circuit, travel could not be easier. The beautiful counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire are on your doorstep from Donington, so why not go exploring?
With so many people visiting the UK every year and with lots of people on the move every day around this densely populated and busy country there is an abundance of accommodation for visitors and travelers.
Whether you are looking for a campsite, somewhere to park a motorhome, a B&B guesthouse (bed and breakfast), a rented apartment or cottage or hotel to suit any price range you will find whatever you need within a few miles of Donington.
There are guesthouses and hotels which cater just for the circuit itself and if they are booked up there are always places to stay in the nearby towns and cities of Derby, Nottingham, Loughborough or Leicester, or anywhere close along the M1 motorway.
When visiting the East Midlands region to watch the bikes in action at Donington there is lots more also on offer within easy reach of the circuit.
There is an interesting museum at the track, the Donington Grand Prix Exhibition, whilst the nearby town of Castle Donington, on the edge of the beautiful National Forest, is worth a look around. Elsewhere in Leicestershire the National Space Centre is a cool place to take children for an afternoon of discovery.
The city of Nottingham is a short drive away and is certainly worth a visit. Call in at the City of Caves, visit the impressive Lace Market district, enjoy a quintessentially English cricket match at the Trent Bridge international cricket ground, stroll around the busy shopping streets or sample the nightlife in the many cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants dotted around the city centre. Nottinghamshire is also famous for the legend of Robin Hood and the county’s Sherwood Forest is now a National Nature Reserve which is very popular with visitors.
Derbyshire’s stunningly beautiful Peak District is not far away either and can be explored on foot, bicycle, train or even better, on a motorbike. Start in Matlock and make your way along the winding roads to Bakewell and then onwards to places such as Hathersage, Castleton and Edale.
This area of England has some great pubs, with every city and town having plenty of good ‘watering holes’. Once you get out into the picturesque English countryside it is often the case that smaller villages have some of the coziest and friendliest pubs of them all.
Not all pubs offer food and ‘pub grub’ - as the English call it – can be something of a lottery, but with a little planning or simply asking the locals you can find a welcoming tavern with excellent meals on offer.
Try a Ploughman’s Lunch (meat, cheese and pickles), a traditional serving of fish ‘n’ chips, roast beef or a steak and ale pie. The East Midlands also has some of the best local ales in the country.
Also, locally made Red Leicester or Blue Stilton cheeses are delicious and a top quality Melton Mowbray pork pie is a true English delicacy.
Donington was the venue for the first career win of four-time WorldSBK World Champion Carl Fogarty, in 1992 in Race 2.
Through the 1980s and up until the mid 1990s Castle Donington was home to the epic Monsters of Rock music festival which featured such legendary bands as AC/DC, Whitesnake, Van Halen, Metallica, KISS, Aerosmith and Iron Maiden.