It’s difficult to say whether it’s the roar of the crowd, the feeling you get walking in with your glad rags on, or the sheer thrill of backing a winner, but Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar. The tradition and world-class spectacle create a heady mix, especially when you throw in the sunshine and good friends, but just how do you plan the perfect trip to Royal Ascot? Check out some of our hints and tips below and think about booking a Travelodge near Ascot so that you’ve got somewhere to sleep off all the celebrations – you’ll need it after a few winners!
There’s a real vibrancy to the race meet, whatever day you go, and the outfits tend to reflect that, so first thing’s first, you need to get the dress code right. The Royal Enclosure has a specific dress code, so refer to the Ascot website for full details (in general, you are looking at demure outfits for women and morning suits for men) but if you’re anywhere else, you can be a bit more relaxed. Everyone tends to dress up so suits and dresses are the order of the day, but depending on the weather, make sure you are prepared (sun cream, umbrellas… you know what the British weather is like!)
Next to the glorious Windsor Park and positioned among the wooded countryside, Ascot is easy to get to, wherever you’re coming from. Close to the M3, M4, M40 and M25, by car it’s a doddle, and after you’ve booked your parking space you can set up camp. Many revellers put up gazebos and have BBQs so you can both warm up for, and continue the festivities after the races. If you prefer to travel by train, then Ascot railway station is just a short walk to the racecourse, while trains run from Waterloo and Reading regularly (at a journey time of 27 and 52 minutes respectively.)
Once you arrive it’s time to study the form and soak up the atmosphere. The huge prize pot (£5million) and reputation means the best runners, riders and trainers compete at Ascot, so there’s plenty to choose from! There’s a free downloadable app or you can keep it traditional with a racecard from one of the many blue kiosks dotted around the course. There are plenty of independent bookmakers that will take your bets so shop around for the best price, while those looking for the likes of Place Pots and accumulators are best off visiting the Tote, which will be easy to find on arrival.
All that’s left to do is enjoy your day and hopefully pick a few winners! There’s often entertainment and live music after the last race finishes so why not hang around before heading back to our Ascot Travelodge to get some much needed rest.