Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button karted here as youngsters. Enough said! Buckmore Park Kart Circuit in Kent has been around since the 1960's and stands as the leading outdoor kart track in Kent.
Since 1963 it has been developed from a small 400m track as part of an army engineering exercise to become a track which boasts over 100,000 annual visitors. It also offers one of the best varieties of karting activities, covering kids karting, races for adults and group karting events. Like other kart tracks in the UK, they offer the complete package in terms of equipment; so you don't need to bring anything other than yourself to the track – they provide the karts, race suits, helmets and gloves. Their karts are often some of the best available and the length of their track means you can really get some speed going on the straights – and it always feels a lot faster when you are only 2 inches off the floor!
Perhaps what makes this track so special is its surroundings. It's easily visible from the M2 motorway, but once you go down the slip road to the track you feel nestled at a venue that’s been cleverly interwoven with the woodlands around it. As you race around the track you are never more than a few feet away from the trees that surround this amazing circuit. Tight and twisty corners, fast straights, challenging hairpins and multiple overtaking opportunities make it a track that many people start on as novice karters and then stay at to progress through the 'ladder' of events they have available.
In fact perhaps what makes this track ideal for karting is the range of events they offer for different age groups; effectively enabling you to start go karting whatever your age. For younger children they offer both casual karting where you can simply turn up on selected days and take part, to karting training where a child with absolutely no previous karting experience can begin their journey. From a young age, many drivers start in their junior kart school and then progress through their junior and teenage racing events. When they reach the age threshold for Buckmores adult karting events, they then seamlessly compete with years of training under their belt.
On the other hand, many karters don't discover karting until later in life, but with Buckmores huge amount of practice sessions available (as well as individual and group training), you can become a pro around the track in your own time. Many regular karters at the venue are between 18 and 60 years old.
Once you're ready to enter a real race (of which they hold several monthly) you can pick an event that suits your driving style and preference – for example some people prefer races where you only have a few laps to score points, where as you may prefer an F1 style race where you race constantly for a fixed period of time – their 30-minute, 45-minute and 1 hour go kart races are fantastic – not to mention their all day karting events. This is all topped off by online race reports as standard for all their open races (which make for great reading after your race), as well as a friendly forum which you can join after your first race at the track.
The venue also has a purpose built clubhouse with full on site conference facilities, as well as a Café and plenty of parking. If you have been thinking about karting for a few years now, stop thinking and visit Buckmore Park – you will be hooked after your first race!