"ROYAL ASCOT - A DAY AT THE RACES" Ascot by iris2002

Ascot Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 45 photos

the countries best display of fancy head-gear :)

The centrepiece of Ascot’s year, Royal Ascot is the world’s most famous race meeting, steeped in history dating back to 1711.

In October 2005, Ascot Racecourse confirmed that the Royal Meeting would return to its Berkshire home in 2006. The Royal Meeting will run from Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th June 2006. The official opening of the racecourse will take place on the first day of the Royal Meeting.

The new Grandstand offers a wealth of premier hospitality facilities and fine dining packages including the Parade Ring Restaurant (promised to be the finest restaurant of any racecourse or stadium in the world) and the Panoramic Restaurant, situated on the Level 6 with spectacular views of both the track and Windsor Forest, with the finest quality produce freshly prepared and catered by Ascot Hospitality’s award winning team.
For full details of hospitality packages please on the Royal Ascot Hospitality button on the left or for further enquiries, please call 0870 727 4321.

The current plan is for Her Majesty The Queen to officially open the new racecourse on Tuesday 20th June at about 1.45pm in the Parade Ring. We advise you to arrive and have lunch early to view this unique occasion.

Royal Ascot is an internationally renowned sporting and social occasion, where tradition, pageantry and style all meet in a glorious setting – against the spectacular backdrop of top class thoroughbreds and world famous jockeys competing for some of the highest accolades in horseracing.

The quality of the horseracing is simply outstanding, with over £3 million in prize money and a total of sixteen Group races on offer, including at least one Group One event on each of the five days.

The action on the track is matched only by the fashions on display, with a colourful array of outfits and hats creating one of the most sophisticated and elegant events in the summer calendar.

Over 300,000 people make the annual visit to Berkshire during Royal Ascot week, making this is Europe’s most popular race meeting. We look forward to welcoming you to Ascot to celebrate the start of a new era.

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Horses, Hats and High Heels

Ascot Racecourse is delighted to announce that Royal Ascot will return to its Berkshire home in 2006. The Royal Meeting will run from Tuesday 20th to Saturday 24th June 2006. The official opening will take place on the first day of the Royal Meeting. The current plan is for Her Majesty The Queen to officially open the new racecourse on Tuesday 20th June at about 1.45pm in the Parade Ring. We advise you to arrive and have lunch early to view this unique occasion.

Ascot Racecourse

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... a spot of histroy now ...

Ascot was the centre of an important Bronze Age cemetery consisting of a number of Round Barrows. Unfortunately, these have almost all been flattened and built upon. Only one survives, in the middle of the Heatherwood Hospital complex. An old story tells how they were the home of the mythical ‘Side-hill Winder’. This bovine creature had two legs shorter than the others, so it could only live on the side of hills or burial mounds. If you wanted to catch one, you just had to chase it onto level ground where it would fall over!

The name Ascot is Saxon and derives from ‘East Cote,’ the Eastern Cottage, probably a reference to being east of the Royal estate at Easthampstead (alias Yethampstead). Some have suggested that it was the original of Sir Thomas Malory’s ‘Astolat’ where, just prior to this period, Sir Lancelot (of King Arthur fame) had stayed with the loyal Sir Bernard and slept with his lovesick daughter, Elaine the White.

Ascot was always the western portion of Sunninghill parish and, for most of its history, largely consisted of dangerous heathland frequented by Highwaymen. John Walsh of Warfield Park is recorded to have shot such a villain of the road whilst crossing Ascot Heath and thought nothing more of it than shooting crows!

Queen Anne liked nothing better than to hunt in Windsor Forest and it was in the early 18th century that she discovered for herself this open heathland which she thought an ideal place, not five miles from Windsor, for "horses to gallop at full stretch". She founded the famous race-course there in 1711 when the first meet competed for Her Majesty’s Plate (worth 100 guineas). The seven runners were sturdy English hunters which had to hold up through three heats, each four miles long! The popularity of Ascot Races died off in later years, but was revived by the Duke of Cumberland in the 1760s. He was Ranger of Windsor Forest, lived at Cumberland Lodge and had his own stud at Cranbourne. Hence his interest in racing. His nephew, King George III, was also a great patron and, in the 1790s, set up the first Royal Stand (which became known as the Royal Enclosure in 1845). The King, however, fell out with the people of Sunninghill parish for building his Kennels on the common land at Ascot Heath. In 1813, the whole area was lost to Royal hands in the Windsor Forest Enclosure Act. Being so popular, the racecourse was made a permanent feature of the landscape for all the public to enjoy.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:rather exhillerating to see the horses
  • Cons:rather silly to get knocked over the head by all that fancy head-gear!
  • In a nutshell:One feels very royal in royal Ascot !
  • Last visit to Ascot: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated May 25, 2006
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Reviews (2)

Comments (1)

  • jo104's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2006 at 3:45 AM

    I have been twice before but the costs has escalated big time so not this year. I do like a little gamble on the gg's

iris2002

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