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, betting guides and even the weather!
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 Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Ascot Racecourse
- 7 Hotels Near Ascot Racecourse
- 8 Ascot Betting Guide
- 9 2021 Ascot Racecourse Fixtures
- 10 Ascot Racecourse Weather
- 11 What Are The Best Online Ascot Betting Sites?
- 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 associations 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 re-use. 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 racing, 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, who still oversee 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 £7million, 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.
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 ran between 5 furlongs and 7 furlongs are ran on the straight course.
Jump racing takes places on the above course – on the round course.
The fences are known for being stiff and that 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 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 space 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 with increased voracity during major events. It’s less than an hour’s journey from 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!
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.
Whichever option you go for, we suggest booking through Booking.com as below which always have some great deals:
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.
When attending Ascot, there are lots of betting choices for you, let’s race in and take a look:
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.
2021 Ascot Racecourse Fixtures
Here are the current fixtures for Ascot racecourse:
- January – Clarence House Chase and Holloway Hurdle are the big races.
- February – Reynoldtsown Novices Chase and Ascot Chase and the big races at this meeting.
- March – a more relaxed meeting, called the Spring Family Raceday.
- April – the official Royal Ascot Trials Day featuring the Sagaro Stakes.
- May – a fun racing weekend featuring The Victoria Cup
- June – Royal Ascot – the Royal meeting and five-day festival include a host of Groups 1 races including The Queen Anne Stakes, Queen Elizabeth (Queen Elizabeth ii Stakes) and Prince of Wales’s Stakes, amongst others.
- July – the Summer Mile meeting
- July – another big one, this is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth stakes meeting. The King George is one of the flat season highlights.
- August – the Shergar Cup meeting, with the big race being the Shergar Cup.
- September – another relaxed event, called the Festival of Food Weekend
- October – the Autumn Racing Weekend features the Cumberland Lodge and Cornwallis Stakes.
- October – British Champions Day – (currently Qipco British Champions) is a day stuffed with Group 1 horse races including the Sprint Stakes, Long Distance Cup, Fillies and Mares Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Champion Stakes. Champions Day does what it says on the tin, crowds the big horses of the season, with enormous prize available.
- October – a great Fireworks Family Raceday which features the Sodexo Gold Cup
- November – the Discover Racehorse Ownership Weekend featuring the Amlin Chase
- December – the Christmas Racing Weekend featuring the Long Walk Hurdle, often a key trail for the Stayers Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Ascot Racecourse Weather
Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, especially for Royal Ascot, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable.
Here’s the current weather forecast for Ascot racecourse:
What Are The Best Online Ascot Betting Sites?
If you are looking to bet online when going to Ascot races we recommend the following bookies we have some great deals at the moment:
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F – A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market – Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply.Full T&C's Apply
#ad. New Customers Only. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.Full T&C's Apply
New customers only, min deposit and bet £10 (£20 if E/W bet) from UK Debit card only. Paypal not accepted. Min odds evens (1/5 per multi selection). 2 x £10 Free Bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned, no cash out.Full T&C's Apply
New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. Doesn’t apply to customers who place their first bet on the Virtual Grand National. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.Full T&C's Apply
18+ New UK+IRE customers. PayPal and certain deposit and bet types excluded. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.Full T&C's Apply
New players only. Qualifying bet(s) must have minimum odds of 3/1 and must be settled before triggering free bet. Free Bet must be used on an accumulator with 3 or more selections. 18+. begambleaware.org.Full T&C's Apply
New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.Full T&C's Apply
18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.Full T&C's Apply
New customers only. 18+, BeGambleAware.org. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus. Wagering requirements: Sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), Casino 25x. Only one bonus can be used at a time, Sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the Casino, unless the bonus has been forfeited. Bonus will expire after 7 days of opt-in.Full T&C's Apply
18+ New Customers only. Deposit, opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00 or greater within 7 days of opening a new account; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00 or greater. Plus, a £10 Game Show Bonus, selected games, wager 40x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days.Full T&C's Apply
18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at a min. odds of 1/1 (2.00) or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.Full T&C's Apply
New users only. Min deposit £20. Place qualifying bets of £20 to £100 in first 7 days after deposit to unlock free bets. Free bet rewarded as 4 free bets that total first deposit amount. Min odds 1/1, 3+ legs & expire in 7 days. Winnings credited in cash. Full T&Cs apply.Full T&C's Apply
What is the best enclosure at Ascot?
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?
Yes, 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?
There are so many brilliant Group One races to choose from, so it boils down to personal preference, but the main ones are 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 October 2021 have reviewed the following other racecourses:
- Aintree Racecourse
- Ascot Racecourse
- Ayr Racecourse
- Bangor on Dee Racecourse
- Bath Racecourse
- 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
- 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
- Ludlow Racecourse
- Market Rasen Racecourse
- Musselburgh Racecourse
- Newbury Racecourse
- Newcastle Racecourse
- Newmarket Racecourse
- Newton Abbot Racecourse Guide
- Nottingham Racecourse
- Perth Racecourse
- Plumpton Racecourse
- Pontefract Racecourse
- Redcar Racecourse
- Ripon Racecourse
- Royal Windsor Racecourse
- Salisbury Racecourse
- Sandown Racecourse
- Sedgefield Racecourse
- Southwell Racecourse
- Stratford Racecourse
- Taunton Racecourse
- Thirsk Racecourse
- Towcester Racecourse
- Uttoxeter Racecourse
- Warwick Racecourse
- Wetherby Racecourse
- Wincanton Racecourse Guide
- Wolverhampton Racecourse Guide
- Worcester Racecourse
- York Racecourse