Ascot is a world-famous racecourse, holding races all year round which are attended by around 600,000 people annually. However, in June when the Queen attends, it is called Royal Ascot. Synonymous with style, the day is just as much about dressing up as it is about putting bets down for the horses and riders that compete for over £7.3m in prize money. Those that win make household names with the likes of Black Caviar, Frankel and Yeats all taking their place in Royal Ascot’s hall of fame.
If you’re going this year, here’s an etiquette guide to all things Ascot.
As an occasion heralded as a major fashion event in its own right, the Royal Enclosure upholds a strict dress code. In 2017 it made headlines after welcoming the jumpsuit for the first time, whilst this year the Bardot neckline has been booted in favour of dresses with straps of no less than one-inch thickness.
There are different dress codes depending on the enclosure you have tickets for. Read more about what to wear at Ascot.
The Royal Enclosure Ladies Style Guide
The Royal Enclosure Gentlemen Style Guide
If it’s your first time, it’s a good idea to go armed with some knowledge of the event:
With plenty of restaurants, on-the-go outlets and afternoon tea venues to indulge in, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining at Royal Ascot.
If you would like to bring your own picnic inside, you can do so for the Windsor Enclosure and Health Enclosures only. You can even bring along your own bottle of bubbly so long as it arrives with your picnic and does not exceed one bottle of sparkling wine or champagne per person (no other alcoholic drinks are permitted). Many people choose to have a picnic in the carpark, that way you can bring along your finest picnic-ware without having to carry it far at all.
Year-Round Racegoers Consume: 306,000 hand-crafted afternoon tea cakes 210,000 bottles of mineral water 162,000 buttermilk scones 85,000 bottles of wine 81,000 finger sandwiches 76,000 bottles of Champagne 9,000 rumps of English lamb 8,500 punnets of mixed berries 5,800 kilos of salmon 4,500 kilos of beef sirloin 2,700 of Cornish clotted cream
Royal Ascot 2018 runs from Tuesday 19th June – Saturday 23rd June with the gates opening at 10.30am and the first race starting at 2.30pm. If you don’t have a coveted Car Park One space (which are so precious, they are often passed down through the family) there are plenty of other options.
Located close to the M3, M4, M40 & M25 motorways it’s easy to get to by car, with parking available online or on the day.
The Ascot Express runs on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Royal Ascot from London Waterloo to Ascot, including a secured seat, race card and free drink all for £30. Otherwise, South West Trains also runs a frequent service to Ascot from Reading, Guildford and London Waterloo. The railway station is a seven-minute walk from the racecourse.
And of course, there’s always the option of a Private Jet Charter, which we would recommend since it is, simply, the quickest option.
If you’re looking to make your Royal Ascot experience that extra bit special, these hotels are all close to the racecourse:
Coworth Park – 5-star luxury that was the hotel of choice for Prince Harry before his wedding Highclere Hotel - a cheap and cheerful option Royal Berkshire Hotel – charming 4-star hotel
For ticket information please visit ascot.com.
See you at the races.