If I proposed ‘Let’s go to Ascot Racecourse.’
Firstly you’d get all excited, secondly you’d worry you don’t have a hat and then thirdly you’d most likely put me off saying, ‘Oh I’m not posh enough.’ ‘ I’ve nothing to wear.’ ‘Can’t afford something like that!’ and a zillion other reasons and I am very happy to say that after our Family Day out at Ascot Racecourse we can prove that none of those reasons are valid.
Let’s go to Ascot Racecourse
As Dad and I crashed into the sofa after a very long day at the Ascot Racecourse Family Day we both agreed it had been the perfect day out and yes after all we had originally thought, we would most definitely do it again, in fact Dad was chatting in the car on the way home that he might suggest it to his ‘Friday Gang’ as a possible future outing.
Ascot have 26 race days in a season and 5 are family days
- March Country Fair Day – 30th March
- King George V day – 25 – 27th July
- Shergar Cup – 9th August
- United House Group Raceday and Firework Spectacular – 1st November
- Christmas Meeting – 19 – 20 December
There are different prices to choose and children under 18 go FREE
Grandstand tickets which allow access to the facilities and viewing areas at ground level. You can visit the Parade Ring, the track and place bets with the totes or bookmakers and get food and drinks from a variety of places currently from £15 per adult. Check the individual races and days for exact amount. Take a picnic and spread out on the lawns by the track.
Premier Admission. With this ticket you gain access to level 4 and can watch the races from the balcony giving spectacular views. There are more restaurants and eateries to choose from and the kids eat for free plus on premier race days you can access the lawns by the winning post too and feel the horses thundering past. Currently from £20 per adult and well worth the extra. Check the individual races and days for exact amount.
Or you could book your own Private Boxes with fine dining and champagne
Ascot Racecourse Family days
1. Do get excited.
Ascot is a national institution and Royal Ascot is centrepiece of the British social calendar and the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world.
The first race meeting ever held at Ascot took place in 1711, on Saturday 11th August. The inaugural event was Her Majesty’s Plate, worth 100 guineas and open to any horse, mare or gelding over six years of age. Each horse was required to carry a weight of 12 stone and the seven runners were all English Hunters, rather different to the speedy thoroughbreds that race on the flat today.
Queen Anne’s gift to racing, founding the Royal Racecourse, is marked by the tradition of opening Royal Ascot with the Queen Anne Stakes.
I learnt that Ascot is built on Crown territory but not run by the Queen, however her Royal Enclosure is entirely hers, overseen in the building and decor stages and furnished with her own belongings. It cannot be privately rented unlike other royal enclosures around the country.
2. How to dress
This will depend on where you are, if you have grandstand tickets and are enjoying a picnic on the lawns then dress accordingly but trainers are frowned upon and do not take your t shirt off, it is forbidden. Thank you Mummy Barrow for this lovely photo of the hubby and I.
If you are on Premier admission then smart casual will do the trick. You will see many dressed in hats and fine clothes this is out of choice or maybe they are part of a bigger party but rule of thumb is smart casual, for the children there are climbing walls and bouncy castles so keep that in mind when dressing them.
3. How to place a bet
We are no experts but this is what I learnt; you can place a bet on a horse to win or you can place a bet to cover ‘Each way’ this means if the horse comes in 1st 2nd or 3rd you will win something. If you’re really good you can go for Exacta or Trifecta but that is really stepping up the mark.
The tips I have gained are to look at the horses as they walk the Parade Ring, their ears should be erect, they should be calm and walking nicely by the stable hand leading them around.
One lovely thing we did was choose the ‘Best Presented Horse’ for the 4.45 Mother’s Day race, the communal vote went to No 17 who had a beautifully plaited tail (fishtail too) and the stable hand who had groomed her was given the prize of £100 for their hard work.
4. Plan your day
There were a LOT of things going on and we didn’t get to cover them all, check out the website before you go and make a mental note of all the things you’d like to do and see, we missed out on the Pony Rides and boy were there tears! If we’d known we’d have done pony rides earlier and left the climbing wall to later as it was still open. ;)
Another highlight of the day was watching the fabulous Lamb National take place, here leading is Wooly Jumper, in 2nd place is Ewe What and in 3rd place is Mint Sauce – this was brilliant to watch and amazing watching the skills of the sheepdog. If you’re tempted, do go as you will love it.