The UK has its fair share of special events in the horse racing world, but one of the most exciting and luxurious is Royal Ascot. Taking place between Tuesday 16 – Saturday 20 June, this five-day long event is the most valuable race meetings in the country. As well as six races per day, Royal Ascot is all about fashion, fine dining and fascinators, and even earns a visit from the Queen and her family. This is definitely not an experience to miss, so here is a guide to the event, the area, travel and hotels.
What You Need to Know About Royal Ascot
One of the most important things you need to know when visiting Ascot is that it is a very prestigious event and does enforce a dress code. As this event is taking place during flats season, ladies should dress as for a special occasion and gentlemen are required to wear a jacket with shirt and tie. Some Royal Ascot ladies choose to wear the famous fascinators that are commonly associated with the event. You can check the dress code page on the site for more information.
Each day begins with the gates opening at 10:30 am. Until 2pm, you can enjoy the food and drink provided (or bring your own picnic) and explore the racecourse and its enclosures. At 2pm the Royal Procession begins. The Queen and family will pass the railings of the Silver Ring enclosure drawn by horse and carriage. At 2:30pm, the first race begins. Six races then run on each day until 5:35pm. During this time, you can place as many bets as you wish on the horses.
As well as the Silver Ring enclosure, there is also the Grandstand to watch the races from. The Royal Enclosure is only available by invitation.
When the events are over for the day, there are plenty of restaurants and places to eat inside the venue, but also many restaurants and bars in the surrounding area such as Bar 1 and The Stag Pub. The Royal Ascot Golf Club is also nearby as well as the football club and Windsor Great Park.
Ascot is a very easy area to get to. By road, surrounding motorways and A-roads are the M4 and the A332. The area is well signposted.
By rail, you can reach Ascot station on one train from London Waterloo (50 minutes) or Reading (30 minutes). Regular services also run from Guildford. The station is a 7 minute walk from the racecourse. Be aware that trains will be crowded when travelling to Ascot. Many coach services also travel to Ascot such as National Express.
One of the closest hotels to the racecourse is Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa which is less than a mile away from the venue. This luxury hotel comes with six spa rooms and a pool. If you’re up for treating yourself, this is the place to stay.
Another nearby hotel is Sunningdale Park, 2 miles from the course. Here you can book a double room with bed and breakfast for just £90 per night.
You can find a full guide to Ascot hotels here.