There’s no getting away from it, Ascot is primarily about the racecourse. So do visit when there’s a race or event taking place (as well as races, there’s also a programme of concerts and open air cinema screenings) to sample its famously rarefied atmosphere in the parade rings, enclosures and thronged marquees. With ticket prices starting from just £18 for some races, you can take part in this unique experience without breaking the bank, and it’s a genuinely all-weather pursuit, too, with themed races also taking place around Halloween, Fireworks Night and Christmas.
That other great pastoral pastime, golf, is also on the menu in Ascot. Royal Ascot Golf Club is attracting rave reviews in its new setting. Having spent over 100 years operating on the heath by the racecourse, in 2004 it was forced to move, but by all accounts this has been a huge success with a superb new 18-hole course open to non-members to play. Just four miles down the road, Wentworth is home to European Tour golf tournaments, though sadly is not open to non-members for playing. On event days there is usually a shuttle from Ascot and tickets can be purchased on the door to watch the finest golfers take on any one of the three grand old courses here.