Home » Sporting London » A Short Guide to Ascot Racecourse

A Short Guide to Ascot Racecourse

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Ascot Racecourse:  Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7JX

Ascot Racecourse  is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting almost a third of the prestigious Group 1 races. The course is closely associated with the British Royal Family, being located only six miles from Windsor Castle. The Royal Family through the Crown Estate is also involved in the ownership of the racecourse.

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Royal Ascot

The Royal Meeting, held in June is one of Britain’s most famous race meetings and dates  back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne . For many years the Royal meeting was the only racing meeting held  at Ascot.

Although no Classic Races are run , there is top class racing, the most famous being the Ascot Gold Cup. Other major races are St James’s Palace Stakes , Coronation Stakes, Queen Anne Stakes and King’s Stand Stakes.

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Part of the tradition of Royal Ascot is the Royal Procession, on every day of the meeting  just before racing HM Elizabeth II and various members of the British Royal Family go down the course in a horse-drawn carriage.

Royal Ascot  was considered  a major event in the British social calendar, however in more recent times it has become considered as much for its fashion than for its racing.  There is extensive press coverage of  who is attending  and what they are wearing .

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For those who wish to attend  there are three main enclosures available for Royal Ascot week.

The Royal Enclosure is the most prestigious of the three enclosures, frequented by the  Queen and Royal Family members. Access to the Royal Enclosure is restricted, with high security on the day. First-time applicants must apply to the Royal Enclosure Office and gain membership from someone who has attended the enclosure for at least four years. In the Royal Enclosure  there are a wide range of  options for dining and hospitality, and a selection of bars.

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The next enclosure is the Grandstand which is the premier public area for racegoers , a wide range of facilities and access to the paddock and winning circle.

Finally is the less formal Silver Ring and in the middle of the course the Heath Enclosure. Less expensive but no access to the rest of the enclosures and no access to the paddock and winning enclosure. Facilities are not as extensive as the other two options.

What really sets Royal Ascot apart from most of the other race meetings is its very strict dress code, if you are going into the Royal Enclosure or the Grandstand the code is strictly enforced

Non Royal Ascot Meetings

Premier Admission: gives you access to all the best viewing areas and facilities on the course. These are located on Level 4 of the Grandstand and the viewing areas by the Winning Post, both of which are exclusive to Premier Admission badge holders. A Premier Admission badge also allows access to the General Admission area and to the steppings around the Parade Ring.

Premier Admission Dress Code: Both ladies and gentlemen are asked to dress in a manner appropriate to a smart occasion. Many gentlemen wear a shirt and tie with a jacket or suit. Please note that jeans, shorts, t-shirts and sports attire (including football and rugby shirts, sweatshirts and trainers) are not permitted.

General Admission: General Admission provides excellent facilities and viewing areas at ground level. There is a wide variety of places to eat and drink. Customers in this area do not have access to any of the levels on the upper floors. However, there is the opportunity to upgrade your ticket on the race day if you would prefer to use the facilities that are on Level 4.

General Admission Dress Code
Whilst Ascot encourage racegoers to wear smart clothes no formal dress code applies except that bare chests are not permitted at any time.

Directions

By Car: From London and the North:- M4 Junction 6 onto A332 Windsor by-pass and follow signs to Ascot.

By Rail: There is a frequent train service to Ascot from both Reading and London Waterloo. The average journey time is 27 minutes from Reading and 46 minutes from Waterloo. Regular services also run from Guildford. The Racecourse is a short 5 to 10 minute walk from the station.

If you would like further information , visit the Ascot racecourse website here

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