VISIT BRITAIN : Have a royal time at Royal Ascot

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The FINANCIAL — With 5 days of top quality racing, Royal Ascot is the pinnacle of the British horse racing calendar. As Britain’s most valuable horse racing meeting, with millions of pounds of prize money for owners, it welcomes racehorses, jockeys and trainers from every corner of the globe.

Taking place at Ascot Racecourse in the heart of Berkshire, ideally situated in spectacular wooded countryside adjoining Windsor Great Park, the annual meeting in mid-June mixes sartorial elegance, with incredible heritage, gallantry and tradition. Royal Ascot is revered the world over and will take place from Tuesday 18 June until Saturday 22 June 2019.

30 races are spread across the 5 days of Royal Ascot, including 18 Group races, of which 8 are Group 1 – the highest level in racing. Having welcomed competitors from as far afield as Australia, Japan, the USA and the Middle East in the past, racegoers can expect to see the finest horses that the world has to offer.

Different enclosure options

For Royal Ascot, the racecourse is divided up into 4 enclosures, each with its own individual character, alongside a host of private boxes and hospitality offerings.

With its origins dating back to 1807, the Royal Enclosure was once a space exclusively reserved for the guests of King George III. It has maintained that exclusivity to this day, as membership is strictly by invitation only. It’s here that visitors can expect to see top hats and coat tails, as well as the best of this season’s designer fashion.

Taking pride of place at the epicentre of Royal Ascot is the Queen Anne Enclosure, named in honour of the racecourse’s founding monarch. As well as unparalleled views of the racing from the raised terracing, this enclosure also hosts the Parade Ring and Winners’ Enclosure, meaning visitors find themselves right at the heart of the action. As well as an array of dining options, it’s also home to the Bandstand, where every day of racing culminates in a traditional sing-along.

In the centre of the racecourse, and with the Ascot Grandstand as the backdrop, is the Village Enclosure, providing a unique viewpoint on the racing and Royal Procession. Alongside boutique restaurants, al-fresco dining and a host of pop-up stalls, live DJs and bands perform into the early evening.

Alternatively, join the thousands of racegoers who want to be close to the rails in the Windsor Enclosure as the thoroughbred racehorses thunder past. Providing the first glimpses of the Royal Procession as it progresses down the straight mile, including what colour hat the Queen is wearing, the enclosure is home to an abundance of artisan food stalls, while visitors can also take in a picnic provided it adheres to the racecourse’s policy.

The Royal Procession

Before the racing on each day of Royal Ascot, the Queen and other accompanying members of the Royal Family arrive along the track in horse-drawn landaus, led by 4 spectacular Windsor Grey horses. This Royal Procession has signalled the start of the royal meeting since 1825, when King George IV led four other coaches with members of the Royal Family up the straight mile part of the course.

Getting to Royal Ascot

As well as being close to motorway links and Heathrow Airport, Ascot Racecourse is around a 50-minute train journey from London Waterloo or 30 minutes from Reading. Alternatively, the racecourse has partnered with Fresh Air Helicopters to provide a fast route into Royal Ascot. International visitors can also take advantage of Private Jet Charter from Victor to fly into private airport terminals at Farnborough, Luton, Oxford, Biggin Hill or Blackbush, before then completing the journey to the course via helicopter.

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