Cultural things to do near Ascot
For culture enthusiasts, Ascot offers a wealth of places to explore. Whether it’s the oldest and largest inhabited palace in the world or the birthplace of British democracy, the real-life setting of Downton Abbey or the country’s finest ornamental garden, exploring Ascot with this two-day itinerary is the perfect way to experience the area’s history, culture, politics and architecture.
Begin the day with a trip to The Savill Garden, 15 minutes away from the hotel by taxi.
The Savill Garden
A place for all seasons, visitors can take a journey through The Savill Garden’s 35 acres of gardens and woodland, including the popular Rose Garden. The Savill Garden is part of Windsor Great Park, and renowned as Britain’s finest ornamental garden; a hive of vivid colour that’s adored by horticulturalists.
Then, take a 10-minute taxi ride to Runnymede.
The site of the sealing of the Magna Carta more than 800 years ago, Runnymede is commonly cited as the birthplace of modern democracy. This stretch of open meadows and ancient woodland is the perfect spot for some quiet contemplation, with monuments to the Magna Carta, Commonwealth Air Forces and John F. Kennedy.
Windsor Castle is 10 minutes away by taxi.
A composite of various architectural styles from across the eras, Windsor Castle captures history in stone and mortar. Famed for being the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world, and still only partially open to the public because it is an official royal residence, take in the past while admiring the present in the form of the immaculate grounds.
Next, drive for 55 minutes to Highclere Castle.
With its dramatic architecture, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Highclere Castle has been used as the setting in various television programmes – most famously ITV’s Downton Abbey. The house was once the seat of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, making a visit to the permanent Egyptian Exhibition unmissable.
Drive for 55 minutes back towards the hotel, stopping by Theatre Royal Windsor for an evening show.
Theatre Royal Windsor
This beautiful and intimate Edwardian theatre offers a year-round programme of the highest quality shows. Theatre Royal Windsor’s wide repertoire ranges from traditional pantomime and much-loved classic plays, to the opening runs of new productions. One of the country’s leading theatres, this Windsor treasure is a charming spot for an evening out.
The hotel is just a 15-minute drive from Theatre Royal Windsor.
Start the day with a visit to Polesden Lacey, 40 minutes from the hotel by car.
With stunning views across the rolling Surrey hills, this Edwardian country house once played host to the late Queen Mother on her honeymoon. Inside, you can experience the incredible Gold Saloon – designed to make an impression on visiting monarchs – or take in the collection of artwork by the Dutch Old Masters.
Then take a 35-minute drive to Hampton Court Palace.
Hampton Court Palace
With its beautiful gardens, world-famous maze, spectacular Great Hall and excellent fine art collection, Hampton Court Palace remains a popular tourist attraction. While the Royal Family haven’t inhabited the extravagant Tudor estate for well over 200 years, its carefully preserved interiors serve as a thrilling time capsule.
From Hampton Court Palace, Ham House and Garden is a 20-minute drive away.
Ham House and Garden
Described by the National Trust as “a unique 17th century treasure trove”, Ham House sits on the banks of the River Thames, near Richmond. The house dates from the Stuart era and is acknowledged internationally for its extensive collection of paintings, textiles and furniture. Venture outside to wander the lovely restored gardens and take tea at the Orangery Café.
Then, take an hour-long drive to Hughenden Manor.
At Hughenden Manor, you can venture back to the 19th century and immerse yourself in what was once the country home of Benjamin Disraeli. Explore the former Prime Minister’s personal memorabilia or, alternatively, engage with the building’s wartime history with a trip down to the cellar to see the Second World War room. The formal gardens and surrounding woodland are a delightful place for a late afternoon stroll.
Then, take a 15-minute drive to the final stop of the day, the village of West Wycombe.
West Wycombe Village
Explore the historic village of West Wycombe, once owned by the Dashwood family, who resided in the adjacent West Wycombe Park. Amble down streets lined with 16th century inns, cottages and pretty shops, where you can pick up quaint souvenirs and enjoy a pub dinner. Discover the oldest building in the village on Church Lane, the 15th century Church Loft. On select days throughout the year, the charming landscaped gardens of West Wycombe Park are also open to visitors.
The hotel is a 40-minute drive from West Wycombe.
All journey times are approximate and subject to variation.