Founded from the amalgamation of Real Unión Deportiva de Valladolid and Club Deportivo Español, Valladolid first reached the top level in the 1947–48 season, as champions of the Segunda División. The following year, the team pushed on from this success and reached the finals of the domestic cup in the Chamartín Stadium against Athletic Bilbao, losing 4–1.
In the 2006–07 season, after signing Basque José Luis Mendilibar as head coach, Valladolid had one of its best years in history while playing in the second level. The club took the league lead in the 15th matchday and went on to finish with a competition all-time high 88 points, winning the championship by a total margin of eight points, and holding an advantage of 26 points over the non-promotion zone (fourth and below), both being all-time records in the league. Valladolid also achieved the honor of going unbeaten in 29-straight matches, from 10 October 2006 to 6 May 2007, being mathematically promoted after a 2–0 away win against Tenerife on 22 April 2007 (the 34th matchday of the season), the earliest any club has achieved promotion in Spanish history.
The next ten years were spent in the first division, and relegation was short-lived as Valladolid gained promotion again in 1958–59 with a 5–0 win over Terrassa under manager José Luis Saso, a legendary figure in club history. He had originally been a goalkeeper for the club and went on to perform many roles, including serving as president of the club.
Real Valladolid plays at the 26,512-capacity Estadio Nuevo José Zorrilla, finished in 1982 to replace the previous stadium of the same name which had stood since 1940. Both grounds are named after José Zorrilla y Moral, a 19th-century poet from the city. After opening for the club on 20 February 1982, it hosted the Copa del Rey Final on 13 April of that year, and then three Group D matches at the 1982 FIFA World Cup.
In 2010, it was announced that there were plans to expand the stadium to 40,000 spectators. This project was known as Valladolid Arena but was contingent on Spain winning the right to host the 2018 FIFA World cup.
- Segunda División: 1947–48, 1958–59, 2006–07
- Copa de la Liga: 1983–84
- Copa Real Federación Española de Fútbol: 1953. Runner-up 1945.
- Copa del Rey: Runner-up 1949–50, 1988–89