Just seven miles from Windsor and its world-famous castle, Ascot racecourse is one of the UK’s most famous, offering historic scenery and iconic events all year round.
For the sports fans among us, Ascot is well-known for its thoroughbred horse racing track and is most famous for the Royal Ascot event, held for a week every June. The tournament is one of the biggest social events of the summer season, drawing a who’s who of high society and influential figures from around the world.
With such glamour and excitement at the heart of this horse racing event, it’s no wonder that The Montcalm London hotels, among others, are offering London hotel special offers during June. With that in mind, we thought we’d put together an all-inclusive guide.
Below is everything you need to know about Royal Ascot 2019, and some of the ways you can get involved.
What is Royal Ascot?
For this Berkshire-based racecourse, Royal Ascot is the highlight of the horse racing year. Dating back to the year 1911, the third week of June became a “royal” event at Ascot when the royal family decided to make this week a celebration of the monarchy. Thus Ascot became associated with the royal family – Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the family visiting the Ascot event every day of that week.
With over 18 different races, the event is attended by over 300,000 visitors a year, with jockeys and their horses competing for a number of different cups. Visitors are greeted with a royal procession through the grounds every morning of the event.
Where there’s a race there’s a bet – in 2016 alone there was a £6.5 million turnover recorded.
The event this year
This year sees the return of many of the cups from previous years, including the Coventry Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes and many other prizes, all ensuring an incredible race and a riveting week of events.
Unsurprisingly, you’ll be spending a lot of time outside. With this in mind, consider Royal Ascot’s strict dress code. For women, a sun hat and formal dress are compulsory, the style and length being heavily regulated each year. Men must wear a morning dress suit with a top hat and must ensure that they are wearing only dark colours and a white shirt. This helps maintain the air of formality and tradition that Royal Ascot is renowned for, upholding more than a century of British history.
How to get to Ascot
Trains to Ascot from central London take around an hour from Waterloo Station, while ample car parking space is available on site. With Windsor Castle only around seven miles away, Ascot has close ties with the royal family and is perfectly located for exploring Berkshire before and after the races.
With bucolic countryside and traditional British villages in the vicinity, you’ll be absorbed by the county’s culture and beauty.
Purchasing tickets for Ascot
There are four tiers of tickets for Royal Ascot races. Usually sold by the day, the cheapest tier is known as Windsor Enclosure tickets, which require no formal dress code. The next level up is the Village Enclosure, which gives you the chance to enjoy a cocktail bar and restaurant, alongside DJs and other live music.
The Queen Anne Enclosure gives you access to world-class entertainment and even a military band, really immersing guests in this quintessentially English experience. The Royal Enclosure, as the name suggests, is the most privileged and is reserved for only sponsored members of the Royal Ascot course. Visitors from other countries can also apply for a place in the Royal Enclosure, which makes it a more international affair. This, however, does require you to apply through your embassy or with a high commission badge.