Welcome to our official guide to Ascot racecourse.
We explore this Royal racecourse in detail, looking at its history, the main Royal Ascot meeting, a guide to the track, the major races and fixtures held throughout the year, top local hotel picks, travel information and betting guides!
Ascot Racecourse was recently voted in February 2024 as the best horse racing track in Berkshire.
If you are looking for the latest betting tips for Ascot, check out our full guide to Ascot Racecourse tips.
Find out more about Ascot racecourse:
- 1 Overview of Ascot Racecourse
- 2 Ascot Racecourse History
- 3 The Main Ascot Races and The Royal Ascot Meeting
- 4 Ascot Racecourse Map
- 5 Ascot Races 2024
- 6 Ascot Racecourse Address
- 7 How To Get To Ascot Racecourse
- 8 Tickets for Ascot Races
- 9 Hotels Near Ascot Racecourse
- 10 Ascot Betting Guide
- 11 Ascot Racecard and Ascot Tips
- 12 Popular Questions
- 13 Ascot Racecourse Guide Summary
- 14 Other Racecourses in the United Kingdom & Ireland
Overview of Ascot Racecourse
A name associated heavily with the British Royal family, Ascot Racecourse holds a prestige that arguably no other racecourse in the world can match. It hosts 13 of the country’s 36 annual Group 1 horse races and is located just 6 miles from Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
Ascot is owned by an independent firm, Ascot Racecourse Ltd, but was founded by Queen Anne in the 1700s; hence its close association with the Royals.
Currently, Ascot stages race meetings over 26 days of the year, made up of 18 flat racing meetings between May and October and jump racing through the winter months.
Undoubtedly, the Royal meeting (Royal Ascot), held over 5 days in June, is considered ‘the main event’ for the course with high-class racing and a Royal procession down the centre of the course before racing begins.
The stunning Ascot racecourse covers 179 acres of land in beautiful rural Berkshire and is leased on Royal land. As well as the racecourse it is also home to Royal Ascot Cricket Club and Ascot United.
Ascot operates several sustainability measures to work in as ‘green’ a way as possible, including reservoirs in the middle of the track collecting rainwater to cleanse and reuse. Eco-friendly initiatives are being added to the site constantly.
Ascot racecourse is constantly undergoing renovation and development work to ensure its high standards, and the most recent major project completed was the New Ascot Grandstand, which her Majesty the Queen opened in 2006 after a £220m development that took 18 months and was the biggest investment made in British racing history.
Aside from the horse racing events, the restaurants on-site are of outstanding quality and open year-round, boasting 5 Michelin stars and 13 AA rosettes between them!
Ascot Racecourse History
Ascot racecourse was founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, with the first race, ‘Her Majesty’s Plate’ running in August of that year. The first race prize money was just 100 guineas and seven horses competed. However, Ascot was not to remain entirely just royal for long.
In 1813, Parliament passed an Act to ensure the racecourse would remain public – even though it sat on royal land – as part of Windsor Park.
The racecourse made headlines around the globe with the completion of a major grandstand in 1839 – which cost £10,000 to build (a huge amount at the time!)
A century later in 1913, another Parliamentary Act was passed, and this allowed the racecourse to rest in private ownership: establishing the Ascot Authority, which still oversees activities at the course to this day.
Whilst further redevelopment took place throughout the years, the most major, in 2004 closed the course entirely.
The New Ascot Redevelopment cost £185 million and meant that the course had to be closed for a full 18 months however the results have been brilliant.
Ascot racecourse continues to grow and attract new events and races and shows no signs of slowing its growth and popularity.
The Main Ascot Races and The Royal Ascot Meeting
Ascot Racecourse hosts a number of meetings throughout the year (both flat racing and national hunt) with major races in both disciplines.
The centrepiece of Ascot’s calendar is, however, without doubt, Royal Ascot, which began in 1911 and has grown year-on-year to now welcome a whopping 300,000 racegoers across the five days.
Members of the Royal Family attend every year, and the Royal Enclosure is well-renowned for its celebrity and upper-class attendance (other areas include the Village Enclosure, Windsor Enclosure and Queen Anne Enclosure).
There are 18 horse races on across Royal Ascot and at least one Group 1 race daily.
All of the races at Royal Ascot are fiercely contested, carrying a huge amount of prestige.
The most attended day of Royal Ascot is the Gold Cup, which always takes place on Ladies Day on the Thursday of that week.
The prize money for Royal Ascot is the highest in the world and has exceeded £7 million, the main races at Royal Ascot over the five days include:
- Tuesday – the Group 1 races include The Queen Anne Stakes ran over 1 mile, The Kings Stand over 5 furlongs and The St James Palace Stakes over 1 mile.
- Wednesday – the Group 1 race of the day is the Prince of Wales Stakes over 10 furlongs and the Group 2 is the Queen Mary Stakes ran over 5 furlongs for 2-year-old fillies.
- Thursday – the main race is the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup over 2miles and 4 furlongs and the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes ran over 1mile 4 furlongs.
- Friday – two Groups 1s on the Friday, the first is the Commonwealth Cup over 6 furlongs and the second the Coronation Stakes over one mile.
- Saturday – the final day sees the Hardwicke Stakes over 1m 4 furlongs and the final Group 1 is Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 6 furlongs.
The other main racing day is the Qipco British champions day held in October each year.
Other Main Royal Ascot Races
- Coventry Stakes
- King’s Stand Stakes
- Wolferton Stakes
- Royal Hunt Cup
- Queen’s Vase
- Queen Mary Stakes
- Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
- Windsor Castle Stakes
- Ascot Stakes
- Norfolk Stakes
- Hampton Court Stakes
- Britannia Stakes
- King George V Stakes
- Sandringham Handicap
- King Edward Vii Stakes
- Albany Stakes
- Chesham Stakes
- Queen Alexandra Stakes
- Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes
- Wokingham Stakes
- Jersey Stakes
Other Feature Ascot Flat Races:
- King George VI and Queen Elizabeth
- British Champions Sprint Stakes
- British Champion Fillies and Mares Stakes
- Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
- British Champions Long Distance Cup
- Champion Stakes
- Sagaro Stakes
- Pavilion Stakes
- Paradise Stakes
- Buckhounds Stakes
- Victoria Cup
- Summer Mile
- Princess Margaret Keeneland
- Valiant Fillies’ Stakes
- Pat Eddery Stakes
- Noel Murless Stakes
- The Cumberland Lodge Stakes
- Bengough Stakes
- Rous Stakes
- October Stakes
Other Main Ascot Chase Races:
Other Main Ascot Hurdle Races
- Long Walk Hurdle
- Holloway’s Hurdle
- Warfield Mares Hurdle
- Reynoldstown Novices Chase
- Ascot Hurdle
- The Kennel Gate Hurdle
- The Betfair Exchange Trophy
Ascot Racecourse Map
Below are the two maps of the famous Ascot racecourse, the flat and jumps:
The flat racing course, shown above, is a right-handed triangular-shaped, galloping and stiff track.
It has a steep climb out of Swinley Bottom from the back straight. Per lap measures just over 1mile 6 furlongs on the round course, with 2 and a 1/2f furlong run-in.
There is both a straight mile and also around mile course.
All races run between 5 furlongs and 7 furlongs are run on the straight course.
Jump racing takes place on the above course – on the round course.
The fences are known for being stiff and they take some jumping.
Jump winners at Ascot tend to be good jumpers with good reserves of stamina, particularly when the course is riding on the easy and soft side.
Ascot Races 2024
Here is the horse racing calendar for Ascot Races in 2024:
Check out our guide for the full list of UK horse racing fixtures in 2024.
Ascot Racecourse Address
The official address of Ascot racecourse is:
Phone: 0344 346 3000
How To Get To Ascot Racecourse
The most popular ways to get to Ascot racecourse are the below:
- By Car – there are more than 8,000 parking spaces at Ascot racecourse (suitable for cars shorter than limousines!) but it usually does require advance booking.
- By Rail – South Western Railways run frequent services to Ascot station with increased voracity during major events. It’s less than an hour’s journey from London Waterloo and less than half from Reading.
- By Bus and Coach – a variety of bus and coach services operate direct to Ascot racecourse, but services vary depending on the time of year.
- By Air – over 400 helicopters and 1,000 limos attended Royal Ascot this year, so although well linked by public transport, it’s not for everyone!
- By Royal Procession – if you are looking enough to be a member of the Royal Family on your way to the Royal Enclosure!
Tickets for Ascot Races
Tickets for the racing at Ascot are always hugely popular. If you are looking to purchase Village enclosure tickets, Queen Anne enclosure tickets or Windsor enclosure tickets we always recommend doing this in advance as they can sell out well in advance.
We always advise buying directly through their website.
Hotels Near Ascot Racecourse
Despite being such a large draw to the area, there aren’t lots of hotel options for Ascot; because most people return home due to its brilliant transport links. However, there are some great choices if you’re booking in advance, which is advised in you are booking for the Royal meeting and also Champions Day.
The Premier Inn Bagshot Hotel is a brilliant budget option just 20 mins away with rooms starting from just £34; but if you’re looking for something more… royal, then consider the Macdonald Berystede Hotel and Spa – they’ll even put on a shuttle to get you to the course on race days.
Ascot Betting Guide
Attending Ascot doesn’t mean you have to wager a bet, but it’s all part of the experience of the race day for many racegoers.
If you are betting on the 2024 Royal Ascot Festival you should check out all the major brands’ Royal Ascot Free Bets bonuses in February 2024.
When attending Ascot, there are lots of betting choices for you, let’s race in and take a look:
Online Betting when at Ascot
With good wifi and 4G cell connections, online betting is very popular with those who attend the course.
When looking for some online and mobile betting options, check out our comprehensive guides below:
- New betting websites – there are lots of new and exciting betting sites around, all offering perks for new customers when betting on Ascot or other sporting events.
- Best betting sites UK – you will know many of these, such as Ladbrokes racing, bet365 horse racing, William Hill Plus etc. All these accept bets for Ascot Races and lots of other horse racing events and sports.
- Free horse racing bets – if you are a new gambler signing up for an online account you will sometimes get some free bets, always good for your day at the races.
- Best mobile betting apps – many people enjoy betting via apps for ease, if this could be for you check out our reviews.
Local Betting Shops to Ascot
Here are the local betting shops nearest to Ascot Racecourse:
- Coral betting shop – 29 High St, Ascot, SL5 7HG
- William Hill betting shop – 49a High St, Ascot, SL5 7HG
- Ladbrokes betting shop – 8 Priestwood Ct Rd, Bracknell, RG42 1UD
- Ladbrokes betting shop – 14 High St, Berks, Bracknell, RG12 1LL
On Course Bookmakers at Ascot Racecourse
We also recommend having a nosy at the horses while they wander around the Parade Ring before betting because you just might spot the winner or something that takes your eye.
Ascot Racecard and Ascot Tips
The racecards for Ascot races are released the day before the races take place, find out where to view racecards here – tomorrow’s racecards and today’s racecards. In these you will get an advance look at all the runners and riders, some people like to do this and select their horses before getting to the track.
✅What is the best enclosure at Ascot?
The best enclosure at Ascot is of course the Royal Enclosure.
However, It’s all down to personal preference but there are four different enclosures to choose from.
Within these enclosures, race-goers can view all of the action and experience the brilliant atmosphere, including of course the famous Royal procession down the centre of the course.
✅Can anyone go to Royal Ascot?
Anyone can go to Ascot. It is an event open to the public, although only members are permitted in the the Royal Enclosure.
The Queen Anne Enclosure, Village Enclosure and Windsor Enclosure are open to the general public but we recommend booking in advance.
✅What is the main race at Royal Ascot?
The main races at Royal Ascot are the King’s Stand Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Commonwealth Cup, Gold Cup, Queen Anne, Coronation Stakes and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Ascot Racecourse Guide Summary
Ascot is a racecourse like no other, with the Royal racecourse playing host to Royal Ascot over a brilliant 5 days (attended yearly by the Royal family who reside in the elite Royal Enclosure).
It also hosts British Champions Day and top-class jump racing throughout the winter months.
With huge prize money and more Group 1 races than any other racecourse, all sat within close proximity to Windsor Castle, it is a jewel in the crown of a nation and the racing world.
Top races include the King George VI, St James Palace, The Gold Cup and King’s Stand Stakes, to name a few. Whilst the royal turf has seen wins for top-class horses across both codes grace its grass from superstar flat champion Frankel to the electric jumper Kauto Star.
A stunning course, fantastic facilities and steeped in history, Ascot is the best British racecourse, whether you are attending the splendid Royal Ascot or a chilly winter jumps meeting, and indeed we believe the best racecourse in the world.
A must visit racecourse and a British Racecourse Guide top pick and one of our Top Ten Racecourses.
Other Racecourses in the United Kingdom & Ireland
Our team as of February 2024 have reviewed the following other racecourses:
- Aintree Racecourse
- All Weather Racecourses
- Ascot Racecourse
- Ayr Racecourse
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse
- Bath Racecourse
- Berkshire Racecourses
- Beverley Racecourse
- Brighton Racecourse
- Carlisle Racecourse
- Cartmel Racecourse
- Catterick Racecourse
- Chelmsford City Racecourse
- Cheltenham Racecourse
- Chepstow Racecourse
- Chester Racecourse
- Doncaster Racecourse
- Epsom Racecourse
- Exeter Racecourse
- Fakenham Racecourse
- Ffos Las Racecourse
- Floodlit Racecourses
- Fontwell Racecourse
- Goodwood Racecourse
- Great Yarmouth Racecourse
- Hamilton Racecourse
- Haydock Racecourse
- Hereford Racecourse
- Hexham Racecourse
- Huntingdon Racecourse
- Kelso Racecourse
- Kempton Park Racecourse
- Leicester Racecourse
- Lingfield Racecourse
- London Racecourses
- Ludlow Racecourse
- Market Rasen Racecourse
- Musselburgh Racecourse
- Newbury Racecourse
- Newcastle Racecourse
- Newmarket Racecourse
- Newton Abbot Racecourse
- Nottingham Racecourse
- Perth Racecourse
- Plumpton Racecourse
- Pontefract Racecourse
- Redcar Racecourse
- Ripon Racecourse
- Royal Windsor Racecourse
- Salisbury Racecourse
- Sandown Racecourse
- Scotland Racecourses
- Sedgefield Racecourse
- Southwell Racecourse
- Stratford Racecourse
- Surrey Racecourses
- Taunton Racecourse
- Thirsk Racecourse
- Top Ten Racecourses in the United Kingdom
- Uttoxeter Racecourse
- Warwick Racecourse
- Welsh Racecourses
- Wetherby Racecourse
- Wincanton Racecourse
- Wolverhampton Racecourse
- Worcester Racecourse
- York Racecourse
- Yorkshire Racecourses