about 45 minutes from London
is an annual display of royal pageantry and high stakes horse racing known as Ascot.
More famously, it's a convenient excuse to dress up, put on outrageous hats, and rub shoulders with the upper crust at one of THE events of the British summer social calendar.
This year, the races and festivities take place at the Ascot Racecourse from Tuesday, June 15th through Saturday, June 19th. Perhaps more famously for non-racing fans, Ladies Day -- with its most famous hat extravaganza -- is scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2021.
Ascot Week 2021 Television Schedule - USA
Tuesday, June 15
Wednesday, June 16
Thursday, June 17
Friday, June 18
Saturday, June 19
As part of a multi-year deal with Ascot, US broadcaster NBC traditionally provide coverage each day from Tuesday to Saturday for a total of 15 hours of programming, covered by NBC Sports Live Extra, the live streaming service for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs.
All races are televised live in the UK on Channel 4 and Racing UK TV, and in Australia on Channel 7.
All about Ascot
The history of the Royal Ascot races date back to the days of Queen Anne, when the first royal Ascot racecourse was laid out by decree for "horses to gallop at a stretch." This first ever royal race took place on Saturday, August 11, 1711 as jockeys vied for The Queens Plate - worth a staggering £100!
Today, the royal romp continues as Queen Elizabeth II and her family attend the week-long race each year.
to London can watch the royal family leave Windsor Castle during the festive week by standing in the Long Walk (access
via Park Street) at approximately 1:30 pm each day.
Catch a glimpse as the fleet of cars carrying the Royals emerge from the castle on their way to Ascot..
To better accommodate the modern royal retinue, millions of pounds were spent at a newly revamped Ascot racecourse (in 2006) that made way for new restaurants, bars, and corporate suites.
Plan to attend this year? Remember that race tickets go fast, not only for the UK's hottest
horse racing event, but for London and Windsor area
hotel bookings, as well.
At Ascot, group
and priority admission tickets are on sale at the gate in early
autumn of the previous year. General admission tickets later open
to the public in November.
Getting to Ascot
Watch for advertisements or check the Internet for travel packages during Ascot Week providing transportation to and from the racecourse each day by car, minibus or private coach. For independent travelers, here are directions by car or train:
By car - From London, take M5 Junction 6 to A332 Windsor by-pass and follow the signs to Ascot.
By train - South West Trains runs regularly scheduled service to Ascot from Reading, Guildford and London Waterloo. The average travel time is 27 minutes from Reading and 52 minutes from London's Waterloo station.
Ascot customs & traditions
At Ascot, it's all about the hats.
For the lucky few who make it into the Royal Enclosure, Ascot dress and conduct codes are strictly enforced during Ascot Week. These include morning coats and top hats for the gentlemen, and hats and day dresses for the ladies (no bare shoulders or midriffs, please.)
On the Web,
discover more history and hats, pictures, results & updates
on the annual rite of conspicuous hobnobbing, heraldry &
horse racing during Ascot Week .... .
to Ascot Racecourse - The official site of the horse racing
track with current news & information, pictures, feature stories,
ticket info & complete fixture schedule.
Royal Ascot - Featuring a secret route map to the Ascot racecourse, with driving directions to help avoid the traditional traffic jams on race days - plus lots of interesting pictures, history and factoids, weather info and recommended nearby hotels.
Royal Ascot History & Cartoon Fun - Interesting & detailed history of the famous race with a picture of the Gold Cup, facts on the extravagant hats worn on Ladies Day, the Royal Enclosure, and related Royal Ascot customs and traditions.
Royal Ascot Fashion Dos and Don'ts - Hats for the ladies, morning coats for the gentlemen, and no gum chewing, thank you. Plus more on social etiquette observed at Ascot week from this archived report from BBC...