Its a delightful town to wander round on a sunny Sunday in June. Lots of touroids, mind you, but it was not oppressive!
The Thames runs right through the town centre, so its worth seeing (as is the castle, of course).
Seems to be well served with restaurants and pubs - wish we'd had more time to enjoy!
About 10-15 minutes drive from Ascot. However, whilst its well signposted outside Windsor, they dry up as you get into the town. Very poor.
We only had 3 hours in the town, and needed to spend part of that having lunch. As a result we didn't go inside the castle. At 12 noon on a Sunday there was a queue, and at almost £40 (2 adults, 1 teenager) to get in we decided to come back when we have more time. Plus, as Royal Ascot had just finished, I thought the Queen might be in residence so some parts might be closed.
However, it was good just to be able to see the exterior.
It is the oldest & largest occupied castle in the world, and over 900 years old.
At the start of each day's racing (2pm prompt) during the Royal Ascot meeting, the Queen and her guests parade along the centre of the finishing straight in open topped horse drawn carriages.
The procession then turns into the parade ring behind the stands, and they get out of their carriages to go up to the Royal Box inside the grandstand.
You'll get a good view of the procession from the stands - but make sure you get to a good spot early, or there'll be none left! For a close up, go to the parade ring or the pre-parade ring.
Royal Ascot is so called because the Royal family attend.
If you're in the right place at the right time you can see them arrive & depart.
The Queen Mother is in her own car (NLT 1), with am unmarked Metropolitan Police Rover following.
Ladies Day at Royal Ascot: 22nd June, 2006 - tickets start @ £65
Ascot Racecourse and the Royal Meeting are steeped in almost three centuries of tradition, heritage and prestige. It was Queen Anne who first saw the potential for a racecourse at Ascot, which in those days was called East Cote. Whilst out riding in 1711, she came upon an area of open heath, not far from Windsor Castle, that looked an ideal place for “horses to gallop at full stretch.” The first race meeting ever held at Ascot took place on Saturday 11 August 1711.
The first permanent building was erected in about 1794 by George Slingsby, a Windsor builder. Racing at Ascot was now secure. The precise origin of the Royal Meeting is unclear, it was an event that evolved perhaps, rather than was introduced at a specific time. Arguably, the meeting as we know it today started to take shape with the introduction of the Gold Cup in 1807. Gold Cup day remains the feature race of the third day of Royal Ascot and is traditionally the busiest day of the week. It is colloquially known as “Ladies’ Day,” as, in the formative years, it was the dominant day in terms of the racing, attracting the largest crowds and, it must be assumed from the emergence of the term “Ladies’ Day,” more ladies! Gold Cup Day remains the busiest day of the week but not by nearly as far as was once the case and the quality of the racing is equally high every day. The main Grandstands usually sell out well in advance all week.
Over the years dresscode has evolved into the wearing of morning suits and equally “respectable” clothes for Ladies, who must wear hats. It was during the 1820s that the Royal Enclosure as we might recognise it now was born. King George IV commissioned a two-storey Royal Stand to be built with a surrounding lawn, access to which was by invitation of the King. Here, he entertained his friends in style. In 1825, the Royal Procession as an annual tradition began.
Royal Ascot is one of the most prestigious race meetings with nearly 300 years of tradition and is one of the highlights of Britain's social and sporting calendar. Smart dress, fine food, champagne and excellent racing are all combined in one social event which lasts 4 days in June.
In 1711 Queen Anne, whilst riding in the forests around Windsor Castle, discovered some land near a village called East Cote, now named Ascot, which seemed to her ideal for racing horses. The area was acquired for just £558 to become the Royal Racecourse with the first horse race taking place that year in the presence of the Queen and her Court.
After the death of Queen Anne, racing declined in the reign of King George I who disregarded all sports, but in 1920 racing began again at the Royal Racecourse following a format of procession and races that has hardly changed since.
Tradition is still continued today with the Queen, now Queen Elizabeth II, leaving Windsor Castle every afternoon in an open horse-drawn carriage, arriving at Royal Ascot through the Golden Gates and leading the Royal Procession along the entire length of the racecourse. Only when the royal party are seated can racing begin.
The race meeting starts with the Queen Anne Stakes and commemorates the foundation of the course.
Royal Ascot is a social event as much as a race meeting with a tradition of smart dress and fashion. On Gold Cup Day, or Ladies Day as it is also known the ladies attending often wear spectacular hats and Ascot is famous for the hats and fashion on show by racegoers. Equally famous is the Gold Cup race which is one of the longest flat races being run over 2-and-half miles.
Ascot Racecourse is divided into three main enclosures for the public: The Member’s Enclosure, The Grandstand which includes access to the paddock and the Silver Ring - only the privileged have access to the Royal Enclosure.