Brands Hatch hosts some of the UK’s biggest motorsport series, including the British Superbike championship, British Truck Racing championship and two rounds of the BTCC each year. But with up to 40,000 spectators crammed in to this small circuit on race day it can get very busy. This article provides information on Brands Hatch parking, including the South bank parking area, disabled parking areas and the best ways to avoid the traffic.
on-site parking for race events
When attending a Brands Hatch event, if you are a competitor or part of a race team and have a vehicle pass you can enter via the paddock entrance and park your personal car, team car or support vehicle in the paddock.
If you are just a spectator, however, you will have to park in one of the public parking areas accessed via the main entrance or Scratcher’s lane entrance. The two circuit maps below show the parking areas highlighted in the yellow pins. You can see that the parking areas are the same regardless of which circuit configuration is in use.
If you are camping at Brands Hatch, head to the main entrance and you will be directed to the campsite areas.
All of these parking areas are free, with the exception of the South bank parking area. Read more on that in the next section of this article.
On very busy race weekends you can still expect that you’ll be parking in one of the grassy overflow car parks. If the weather’s bad these can be a quagmire so go there expecting for the worst. Whether you’re spectating around the edge of the track or sitting in one of the grandstands, the circuit is only small so nothing is a long walk.
Usually when you arrive at the circuit you will be directed by the marshals on where to park. However, if you are there early enough you may have a choice. For info, at the 2022 BSB race weekend these were the gate opening times:
Public admission to the circuit starts from 8.30am on Friday, 8.00am on Saturday and 7.00am on Sunday.
If you do have a choice and you want to leave the circuit as quickly as possible and avoid as much traffic as you can, parking in the Blue Car Park directly next to the Brands Hatch main entrance is probably your best bet. The further inside the circuit you park, the longer the wait time you are likely to have on the way out.
Not shown on the above maps is a small parking area behind Druids bend, highlighted in pink on the image below. This runs behind the track, pretty much from the middle of Druids to the start of the South bank car park. It can be a good spot to park in to avoid having to walk too far to see the action.
To get here you’ll need to be one of the first through the gates and would have to specifically ask the marshals if you can head in that direction. I do not believe this part comes under the additional South bank parking charge, but if you know any different get in touch.
Brands Hatch South bank parking
One of the fan-favourite parking spots at Brands Hatch is the South Bank parking area. This is a grassy bank that overlooks the Cooper Straight with views of Graham Hill Bend, Surtees, Clearways and also the entry to Paddock Hill Bend across the track. It’s the one you can always see packed full with cars when you watch the BTCC coverage on ITV, and is incredibly close to the edge of the track giving great views.
This is a great option for those who are happy to spectate from the comfort and warm of their own cars; never a bad idea with the British weather. As the parking area is sloped, everyone will get a good view.
Getting here is through a twisty little lane that crosses over the circuit twice, see this video for a quick look. But it is accessed via the circuit main entrance.
Parking here is at an extra cost and on a first-come first-served basis at the entrance gate on the day. Sometimes they can be purchased online in advance. If this is possible, which it isn’t always, then I would highly recommend doing this especially on the busy race weekends. The cost for parking here is usually £5 for a Saturday and £10 for a Sunday of a race weekend (in addition to your General Admission tickets). Once you purchase a parking pass you will have a tag to hang from your rear view mirror which will probably look something like the one below.
A word of caution. If you decide to park on the grassy slope and it is wet, you will probably struggle to get back up the hill. Do not park with you nose right up against the fence at the circuit edge, reversing up a wet and muddy grassy slope will be pretty impossible!
Brands Hatch disabled parking
There are a few disabled parking areas dotted around Brands Hatch, as highlighted on the image below. These are all free of charge and you just need to show your blue badge at the entry gate to be directed to one. The best one is the reserved area at the South bank car park, with the best view right from your car. All are accessed from the main entrance.
Brands Hatch trackday parking
If you are attending a trackday at Brands Hatch, you will be able to park behind the pit garages in the centre of the circuit. There are two ways to access this area.
Firstly, early in the day before the circuit is live they may have opened the ambulance gates at the top of Paddock Hill Bend, highlighted in the pink square below. If so they will allow you to drive backwards along the track in to the pit lane exit and then around the back of the pits. This isn’t always the case and will only be allowed before the trackday begins or after it ends to accommodate big trucks and support vehicles
The other option is through the tunnel system that goes from the upper race paddock area, under the circuit and into the pitlane. There are two tunnels here – one that goes from paddock to pits, and one that goes the other way. To access these drive through the gate in to the race paddock and you will see some armco on your right. At the end of the armco make a sharp U-turn and enter the left hand tunnel.
The video below provides a great run-through of how to access it the inner paddock.
The tunnel going from paddock to pits is the taller and wider of the two, suitable for most cars, vans and trailers and also has a pedestrian pavement. This will take you to the Brands Hatch parking area for trackdays. The return tunnel is much lower and tighter and most large vans or trailers won’t fit through here. If you need to get your big support vehicle back in to the paddock whilst the circuit is live, you will have to speak to a marshal at the end of the pit area and they will have to organise to send you up the larger tunnel, stopping traffic at the other end.
off-site parking near Brands Hatch
If you want to avoid the traffic within the circuit itself altogether on race day, another option is to look for places to park outside the circuit. One of the best ways to do this would be to use Justpark which finds nearby parking spaces, either from official car parks or people renting around their driveways.
Searching near Brands Hatch for Sunday the 7th May when the BTCC is racing shows that the Mercure Hotel right before the entrance to Brands has spaces for £5 for a full day. Reserving one of these in advances, parking there and making the short walk in to the track may well save you a heap of time at the end of the day when it comes to leaving.
You can also get the train to Brands Hatch, but it involves a taxi or bus as the nearest station is a short drive away.
helmet and leather parks
Brands Hatch parking is not just for car drivers. On some of the bigger motorbike race meetings of the year, such as BSB and WSB, it’s expected that thousand of bike riders will pour in to watch the action as well.
At these events there are a couple of Helmet and Leather parks dotted around the site where riders can leave their gear during the day. These are shown on the map below for the BSB event in 2023 and usually come with a small fee that is often donated to charity.
hospitality parking areas
If you have purchased a hospitality upgrade package, it’s likely this will come with a specific Brands Hatch parking area close to your viewing spot detailed on your ticket. Usually these parking areas are behind the large buildings lining the south side of the start / finish straight. They should also be signposted as you enter the circuit.