One of Europe’s most prestigious racecourses, Leopardstown dates back to 1888 and is based on England’s famous Sandown Racecourse. Its unusual name derives from Town of the Lepers and not, as you might presume, the spotted big cats. Race meetings are a mixture of National Hunt and Flat fixtures with The Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup (Feb) a particular stand-out. The Leopardstown Hall of Fame is a who’s who of racing greats – with Vincent O'Brien, Pat Eddery, Arkle, Dawn Run and Nijinsky among the human and horse honorees. In more recent years, equine legends such as Istabraq, Giant's Causeway and Sinndar have continued to tread its hallowed turf. An impressive line-up of facilities includes private suites, pavilions and hospitality rooms, ‘pay as you play’ golf club and numerous food and drink outlets. There’s even a nightclub should you wish to celebrate that day’s winnings in style. Free crèche facilities for children aged 2-10 and family-friendly fun days ensure all ages enjoy their racegoing experience. Find it six miles south of Dublin city centre in the foothills of the Dublin mountains.