Visited by approximately 600,000 people a year, Ascot Racecourse is the perfect day out for couples, groups and families. The racecourse currently stages 26 days of racing over the course of the year between April and October, with everything from flat and jump meetings to the famous Royal Ascot, so there’s something for everyone.
Fans of the monarchy will particularly enjoy Ascot Racecourse, since it enjoys close associations with the royals. Not only is Ascot Racecourse located only 6 miles from Windsor Castle, but Queen Elizabeth II is known to attend the racecourse several times a year – so you’ll never be too far from royal company.
Read on to find out more about Ascot Racecourse, including how to get there, what to wear and places to stay nearby.
Where is Ascot Racecourse?
Ascot Racecourse is located in Ascot, Berkshire, just 25 miles west of London, in the south east of England.
Opening times at Ascot Racecourse vary, so be sure to check online before you travel.
How do I get to Ascot Racecourse?
While there is car parking available on site, there can be a lot of traffic on race days so save time queueing by travelling by train instead.
Travelling by train
Ascot station is the nearest station to Ascot Racecourse and is only a 7-minute walk away, down a spacious path away from roads. There is also a taxi rank outside the station if you don’t fancy walking. South Western Railway runs a frequent service to Ascot, with popular routes running from Reading, Staines, and Aldershot.
With its beautiful, historic grounds and selection of thrilling events, you’ll never be short of things to do at Ascot Racecourse. A day out at Ascot Racecourse is perfect for families, couples, groups of friends and workmates alike.
This is horseracing as you’ve never seen before since the track at Ascot Racecourse is famed for being one of the toughest courses in the UK. With a 73-foot climb from the lowest point, Swinley Bottom, to the highest point, the Winning Post, this race is only for truly the best riders. Several races are held throughout the year. Here are some of the most popular:
Royal Ascot is the highlight of the British summer social calendar and one of the most popular events at Ascot Racecourse. Attracting many of racing’s fine horses, Royal Ascot oozes class, elegance and exquisite fashion, so it’s no surprise that this event is a favourite of royals and celebrities alike. Royal Ascot is held in June – be sure to book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
QIPCO King George Diamond Weekend
This magnificent race takes place in July and guarantees you two days of glamour, socialising and exceptional racing.
Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup
Head to Ascot in August to watch some of the world’s top jockeys compete in a thrilling competition that sees the winning team take away racing’s ultimate team prize. This six-race, four-team contest begins at 9am and finishes late afternoon.
What to wear at Ascot
One of the best things about the races is getting all dressed up, so make sure you’re prepared with your best show-stopping outfit. There are three main seasons at Ascot Racecourse: Jumps Season, Flat Season and Royal Ascot, and each comes with its own dress code.
For jumps season, there is no formal dress code, however guests are encouraged to dress smart. A simple dress paired with ankle boots and a smart coat would be a great look for women, while men could opt for chinos and a polo top.
If you’re visiting during flat season, make sure you don your summer best if you want to look the part! Floaty, summery dresses are always a hit for women, and for the men, chino shorts and a smart top would hit the brief.
If you’re a fan of dressing up, then be sure to attend Royal Ascot, as this is where people go all-out with their looks. The dress code is formal, so suits for the men and dresses for the women, but creativity is encouraged, so this is your chance to be more eye catching and imaginative than ever.
Ascot for families
Get ready for a family day out like no other. At Ascot Racecourse, there are four dedicated family days held throughout the year, including Christmas Saturday Raceday and the Fireworks Spectacular Raceday, and each event offers a range of family-friendly entertainment.
From fairground attractions and pony rides to face painting, workshops and more, you won’t know where to begin! Since kids under 18 can attend all racedays (excluding The Royal Ascot) for free, you’re looking at a relatively cheap day out, and for parents with babies or small children, you can find buggy parks and changing and feeding facilities throughout the venue.
Did you know that Ascot Racecourse doesn’t just host races? Throughout the year there are a number of other events to attend, including the Historic Auction and the Fresh Art Fair, plus wedding shows and much more.
Royal Ascot Cricket Club and Royal Ascot Golf Club
If you’re an all-round sports lover, take some time to check out both Ascot’s golf and cricket clubs. Situated within the racecourse, Royal Ascot Cricket Club hosts plenty of exciting games throughout the summer, as well as running various cricket classes for people of all ages during the week. Royal Ascot Golf Club is just a 20-minute walk from Ascot Racecourse and offers a delightfully modern golf course built in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Things to do around Ascot
While in Ascot, why not make the most of the generous green spaces and check out one of the local golf clubs? Royal Ascot Golf Club, Lavender Park Golf Centre and Swinley Forest Golf club are highly rated, or if you’re more interested in a leisurely stroll, take a trip to Englemere Pond. For thrill-seekers, take a bus or taxi to Go Ape Bracknell, where you can swing through the treetops in a high ropes course that’s bound to get your heart pumping.
Food and drink
Ascot Racecourse has food and drink options to suit just about everyone, so not even the pickiest eaters will go hungry! Whether you’re in the mood for fine dining or pub food, or just fancy a snack, Ascot Racecourse has got you covered.
For lovers of fine dining, check out the Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar, where you’ll be spoilt for choice with caviar selections and seafood platters, accompanied by Champagne and wine.
For a more informal meal, guests should pay a visit to the Horsewalk Inn, where you can enjoy a pub-inspired menu while overlooking the horses in the Parade Ring.
Afternoon Tea and pre-bookable picnics at Royal Ascot are the perfect way to break up your day, and it only seems right to partake in such a British tradition while at the races.
If you’re feeling thirsty, there are a number of bars to take your pick from including Swain Bar, Galileo Bar, Bit & Bridle Cocktail Bar, Brown Jack Stella Artois Bar and Frankel Bar. For snacks and quick bites, head to Off the Bridle Deli or Lavazza on 4, where you can take your pick from a range of sandwiches and cakes.
Each restaurant and bar features plenty of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options for those who require them.
Places to stay around Ascot Racecourse
If you’re travelling far or are planning on indulging in the bars while you’re at Ascot Racecourse, then why not book a stay in the local area? From luxury stays to budget and family-friendly options, there’s plenty of accommodation to choose from.
For a luxurious night away, some great nearby options include the Royal Berkshire, Macdonald Bertystede Hotel and Spa, The Royal Foresters and Foxhills Country Club.
Those looking for budget and family friendly accommodation should check out DoubleTree by Hilton St. Anne’s Manor, Highclere Hotel, The Coppid Beech or Bluebell House.
Ascot Racecourse accessibility
Ascot Racecourse is proud to provide an accessible environment for all racegoers. From parking and entry, free carer tickets and special facilities, visitors can find all the relevant information here. Those with hidden disabilities will be offered a green sunflower lanyard so that staff are aware that you may need additional help.