For an unforgettable day out or weekend away, take a trip to Royal Windsor Racecourse. As one of only two figure-of-eight courses in the United Kingdom, this unique racecourse is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
Rich in history, Windsor Racecourse was once a royal hunting ground, before becoming established as a racecourse in 1866. These days, the racecourse has a jam-packed calendar filled with races and events that are guaranteed to entertain the whole family.
One of the most fabulous things about this racecourse is that it’s located on an island, meaning you can arrive in style by catching a river boat from Windsor town centre. Like royalty, you can enjoy a drink as you drift down the River Thames, before stepping off onto the racecourse’s very own private jetty. What a way to begin your day!
Read on to for tips to help you plan your trip including how to get to Royal Windsor Racecourse, things to do in and around the area and places to stay.
Windsor Racecourse is located in Windsor, Berkshire, on its very own island just off the River Thames. It’s also only a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle, so you’ll never be too far from royal company.
From the station, catch the number 2, 702, 8 or 8A bus to the racecourse, or if you’re feeling a little more extravagant, you can take the 10-minute river taxi service that runs on all race days from Barry Avenue Promenade.
Things to do at Royal Windsor Racecourse
Hosting events from family fun days to live music festivals, Royal Windsor is so much more than a racecourse. There are plenty of fun things to do for people of all ages.
Races at Royal Windsor
With flat racing taking place 27 times a year from April to October, Royal Windsor should be top of the list for any keen racing fans. A total of seven competitive races makes the famous Monday night races a staple of the racing season, drawing in crowds from near and far. What could be better than getting your friends together and watching the races on a balmy summer’s night, with a refreshing glass of Pimm’s in your hand?
Not to be missed is the three-day Festival of Racing which takes place in June. With a whopping total of 21 races, expect plenty of thrills, delicious cocktails and entertainment, including live music from DJs and jazz bands.
August is the most event-filled month for Royal Windsor, so this is a great time to visit. From Picnic in the Park Raceday and Prosecco Party Racenight to William Hill Racing League and the popular Ladies’ Day, you won’t be short of entertainment. For a day of exhilarating racing and delicious food and drink, don’t miss the Royal Windsor Stakes, which take place in both May and August. These action-packed races are a popular choice for both couples and groups of friends alike, with the hot weather being an added bonus!
Round off an unforgettable summer with the Season Finale race. Taking place in October, it’s the perfect opportunity to make the most of your last chance to watch the races before the season ends.
What to wear at Windsor Racecourse
Racegoers are often known for their fashion-forward outfits, but it can sometimes be tricky to know what to wear. Each of the three enclosures at Royal Windsor has a different dress code, so it’s best to take this into consideration before your trip.
In the Heidsieck Club Enclosure, a smart dress code is required, so ladies should wear dresses and heels, while men should opt for smart trousers or tailored shorts paired with a collared shirt. The same dress code can be worn in the Grandstand Enclosure.
If you’d rather dress more casually, the Silver Ring Enclosure has no dress code, so you’re free to wear whatever you like, within reason.
Events and Exhibitions
From the traditional Ladies’ and Gentlemens’ days to live music weekends and family fun days, there are many events throughout the year. For some midsummer fun, gather your friends and head to Summertime Live for a night of iconic dance anthems under the stars.
Later in the year, don’t miss Oktoberfest, for a night of brews and top-class racing followed by a spectacular firework display on bonfire night. If you don’t want the fun to end, Royal Windsor also hosts a festive Christmas party to see the year out.
Things to do in and around Royal Windsor
Once the races are over, your day has still only just begun at Windsor Racecourse. With thrilling leisure activities for all ages available in and around the racecourse, you can really make the most of your time here.
Start your day with a walk around the two-mile stretch of the racecourse, before heading to the Queen’s frequent residence of Windsor Castle. Take a walk through the stunning grounds, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays you can watch the changing of the guard.
For thrill-seekers both big and small, LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort is only a 14-minute bus journey from the racecourse and gives you a great excuse to make a weekend out of your trip.
If you have an eye for antiques, then pay a visit to the nearby town of Eton. At just an 18-minute walk from Royal Windsor, this historic town has plenty of antiques shops and galleries. If the sun is shining, consider a trip to Savill Garden, where you will be surrounded by beautiful, rare plants from all around the world, or Windsor Great Park, where lucky visitors may even spot a deer or two.
Food and drink
If you’re feeling peckish, then why not make the most of Royal Windsor’s many dining options? For some delicious pub grub ideal for the whole family, head to Gastro at Royal Windsor. Alternatively, an exceptionally sunny day may tempt you to dine al fresco at Bottega Terrazza.
Those after the royal treatment should opt for the racecourse’s Culinary Experience package, where you can enjoy a champagne and canape reception, three-course meal, selection of cheeses and a day of unlimited drinks, all from the luxury of your own private box.
For a fine dining experience, head to The 1866, a top-class restaurant with a fantastic view of the racecourse below.
Places to stay around Royal Windsor Racecourse
If you’re thinking of making a weekend out of your trip away, then you’ll find a variety of accommodation to suit any budget. Luxury stays include the Macdonald Windsor Hotel, Sir Christopher Wren Hotel + Spa, and Castle Hotel Windsor, while more budget-friendly options include Holiday Inn Express and Travelodge Windsor. If you’re travelling with family, then take a look at Alma House B&B or Goswell House Hotel.
Royal Windsor Racecourse accessibility
Royal Windsor Racecourse aims to create an accessible environment for every guest that attends the racecourse. From easily accessible parking and help with entry to special viewing areas and complimentary tickets for carers, you can find more information about Royal Windsor’s accessibility on their website.