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Guide to
Royal Ascot

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Royal Ascot 2020 Beginners Guide

Royal Ascot is the pinnacle of the British Flat Racing Season, but knowing what to wear, where to eat, how to buy tickets and where to go on course can be tricky. Timeform are regularly represented at the Royal meeting and here have taken the work out of Royal Ascot with our beginner’s guide.

Ascot Racecourse, where Royal Ascot is held, sits in the village of Ascot, Berkshire and is conveniently located for those travelling from London or further afield.

With upwards of £5.5 million in prize money up for grabs over Royal Ascot's five glorious days it is the richest race meeting in Britain and attracts racehorses from all across the world. Recent high profile runners have come from Australia, the USA and Japan. Away from the racing though there are many other aspects to a day out at Royal Ascot, get advice from Timeform on everything from tickets to top hats.

royal ascot overview

The Royal Procession

The Royal Precession will occur at 14:00 on each day of Royal Ascot and is a tradition which dates back to the 19th century. The Queen, and betting on the colour of her hat, is a newer tradition. Her Majesty has been an important owner within racing for many years and recently saw her charge Estimate win the Ascot Gold Cup. Her Royal Highness attends each day of the meeting and it is possible to catch a glimpse of her horse-drawn Royal carriages from all the enclosures, as they arrive at the course at the top of the home straight and circle the parade ring before the Queen and her party enter the Royal box at the top of the Grandstand.

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Travelling to Royal Ascot

Ascot is probably one of the best racecourses in the country to access via train, as the course is less than a 10-minute walk away from the station and services are frequent. London Waterloo is under an hour away and Reading station under half an hour, meaning attending Royal Ascot by train is an excellent option. Travel by road is also possible, though naturally subject to congestion. The village of Ascot is within 10 miles of the M4, M3 and M25 motorways.

Royal Ascot Tickets

Royal Ascot attracts the world’s best racehorses and tickets are in high demand. Ladies Day on the Thursday is always one of the hottest tickets in town along with the Saturday, and early booking is advised via the Ascot website to avoid disappointment. Royal Enclosure admittance is by invite only from an existing member; tickets cannot be purchased for this area.

royal ascot queen

What to Wear at Royal Ascot

The stylish heritage of the Royal meeting means there are some strict dress codes to abide, depending on the enclosure you are attending.

The most stringent area is the Royal Enclosure, where men are required to wear a waistcoat and tie, a top hat and black shoes. Dresses worn by ladies must fall just above the knee or longer and jackets are subject to similar scrutiny. Of course, in the fashion world Royal Ascot is famed primarily for its hats and many ladies choose to make bold statements in their choice of headgear. The only rule stipulated by the course is that they must have a base greater than four inches.

Children (aged 10-16) are only admitted to the Royal Enclosure on the Friday and Saturday of the meeting and must be dressed formally.

The Grandstand Enclosure is more relaxed, but men still need to wear a suit, shirt and tie, while women require a hat and full-length trousers if worn.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed Royal Ascot experience, the Silver Ring could be for you. In the Silver Ring there is no formal dress code, besides the prohibition of replica sports shirts.

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ROYAL ASCOT 2020 COUNTDOWN

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ROYAL ASCOT BETTING

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