Amanda Gegg, July 2018
It’s a well-known fact that ‘a day at the races’ is as much a synonymous part of British culture as the Union Jack or even a good old cup of tea. Consequently, as soon as summer hits you’ll be hard-pressed not to notice the Londoners flocking out to greener pastures in their droves to take in the latest horse racing event (of which there are many to choose from!).
Lucky for us, our capital is adorned with highly acclaimed racecourses, all situated within easy reach by public transport from the city centre*. Therefore, you can feel free to take your pick of the best events and make the most of the palpable excitement, distinctive pageantry and unparalleled glamour.
Ascot Racecourse (Ascot, Berkshire)
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in one of the most patriotic events that London has to offer, Royal Ascot should be your number one choice (taking place this year from 19th-23rd June). Not only will you get to dress up in your best attire, but you will also get to witness the Queen arriving at one of her favourite royal engagements of the year.
Kempton Park (Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex)
Famed for its distinguished race meetings and exclusive events – which carry on all throughout the winter – Kempton Park is steeped in horse racing history, dating all the way back to its momentous opening in 1878.
Epsom Downs (Epsom, Surrey)
Home of the world-famous Investec Derby, Epsom Downs is another favourite of the Queen and city-dwellers alike, thanks to the grandeur that is attached to it. Basically, this is the perfect excuse to put on your glad rags, hop on the train and get out of the city for a day.
Sandown Park (Esher, Surrey)
Although slightly smaller in scale than other racecourses on this list, Sandown Park is no less revered by horse racing fans and hosts a plethora of race meetings, not to mention high profile music events. This year’s entertainment line-up includes Tom Jones, Culture Club and Olly Murs.
Windsor Racecourse (Windsor, Berkshire)
If you’re looking for something more intimate where you can really take it all in, Royal Windsor Racecourse will tick all the right boxes and will allow true horse racing fans to get up close to their potentially winning fillies.
*All of these racecourses are easily accessible on direct trains that depart daily from London Waterloo Station.
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