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20 Aug 2020

Have you been to Royal Ascot?

Now there is a question. 

I'm sure many racegoers are saying: ''Yes.'' While others are saying: ''No, thank you very much.''

Generally, I don't travel too far afield to have a day at the races and that could well be a mistake. 

When you consider the idiosyncratic racecourses we have in the United Kingdom, from quaint little racecourses such a Cartmel to the colossal Aintree which holds the Grand National, there truly is something for everyone. 

Take a look at this year's Grand National Guide here. 

I would love to travel to a few seaside racecourses. I've been to Great Yarmouth, but what about Musselburgh, Redcar, Bath, Brighton? I'm sure there are many more but my lack of geography is letting me down. It would be great to visit all 59 (or 60 racecourses, I can't quite remember) and enjoy the sights and sounds of each. From one location to the next and hearing a multitude of accents from southern to the extreme of the north. 

We are blessed with so many wonderful racecourses rather than so many countries whose tracks are basically the same with little character to make them stand out from the crowd. 

In truth, I haven't frequented many racecourses at all. Here's my shortlist: Great Yarmouth, Fakenham,  Kempton (turf), Huntingdon, Leicester...

So have I been to Royal Ascot? 

I'm pretty sure I have been a couple of times but many years ago. 

The good thing is that you can get some decent betting offers for royal ascot. The worst thing is going and it hammers down with rain all day long. That's what happened to me sometime back in the 1990s and it put me off going back. It literally didn't stop raining for the duration and the opportunity to get under cover, such as the volume of racegoers, was impossible and I was sodden in about half an hour. 

We traveled from my Fenland home in March to Berkshire by coach. Never again. I detest going anywhere and being at the mercy of the last person who wants to get home as there is always someone who wants to stop at a pub or two on the return journey. 

I know this isn't selling Royal Ascot but on this occasion, it was a day where staying at home was the answer to the question. 

On a beautiful summer's day, there is no better place to be with top-class horse racing and ladies dressed up to the nines. 

I think on that particularly wet day even her majesty the Queen didn't bother with the traditional procession with horse and carriage down the course. 

It would be a good idea to stay a night or two at a hotel so you can enjoy the spectacle without having a very long day on the road.  

If you love to dress up and want pomp and ceremony then Royal Ascot is the place to be. There is definitely a lot to be said for enjoying Royal Ascot at least once in your life and making hay while the sun shines. 

I would definitely check out the weather report before traveling. 

Personally, I would prefer a day at Great Yarmouth. 

But each to their own.