Ascot Destination Guide

Synonymous with luxury, tradition and heritage, Ascot is situated among some of England’s most beautiful landscapes. Stately homes, seasonal festivals, white-knuckle equestrian events and family-friendly cultural activities await in and around Berkshire, with Coworth Park ideally situated to access the region’s top attractions. Here’s our pick of the best upcoming events.

Until June 16, 2019

Cartier Queen's Cup

A prestigious event that attracts the best polo players in the world, the Cartier Queen’s Cup combines the white-knuckle thrills of a 22-goal polo tournament with all the glitter and revelry of a glamorous social event. The Queen awards the silver cup at the final, a tradition she’s continued since 1960.

Guards Polo Club, Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, Surrey, TW20 0HP
guardspoloclub.com
+44 (0)1784 434 212
Image © iStock FreezingRain

Until August 25, 2019

Glyndebourne Festival

One of the world’s most esteemed opera houses, Glyndebourne is also the prettiest. Nestled in Surrey’s South Downs, its immaculately tended gardens spill out around it, making it an ideal venue for a summer opera festival. This year’s instalment includes spectacular performances of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s The Magic Flute among other much-loved favourites.

Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 5UU
glyndebourne.com
+44(0)1273 815000
Image © iStock FreezingRain

UNTIL OCTOBER 2019

Royal Tennis

Wimbledon heats up in a few months, and tennis enthusiasts can prepare for the big event by watching a friendly match at Hampton Court Palace. The first court was levelled in the grounds in the early 16th century, and King Henry VIII was known to enjoy the occasional volley here. Nowadays, it’s host to members of the Hampton Court Palace tennis club—keen players can apply to join.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace
+44 (0)20 3166 6000
Image © Historic Royal Palaces

UNTIL OCTOBER 31, 2019

Military History Walks

Windsor has its roots in the 11th century, when William the Conqueror constructed what is now the oldest castle in the world. Journey through the town’s charming Tudor streets alongside an ex-Royal Guard, whose anecdotes about notorious Royals—including Bad King John, whose rule was clouded with doomed miscalculations—breathe life into historic Windsor.

Royal Windsor Tours, High Street, Windsor, SL4 1PQ
royalwindsortours.com
+44 07517 440 445
Image © iStock_Lisay

JUNE 1 - 30, 2019

Mid Summer Special Guided Tours

Just as its surrounding meadows burst into bloom, Highclere Castle throws open its doors to visitors for its Mid Summer Special Guided Tours. The setting for Downton Abbey among numerous other on-screen appearances, the tours invite guests behind the scenes to explore the grand manor’s extravagant interiors, sumptuous chambers and immaculately tended gardens.

Highclere Castle, Highclere, Newbury RG20 9RN
highclerecastle.co.uk
+44 (0)1635 253 210
Image © Highclere Castle

JUNE 4 - 23, 2019

Royal Windsor Cup

The premier medium-goal tournament in the English polo calendar returns once more for three weeks of adrenalin-pumping equine action. Attracting the sport’s leading players, more than 25 teams compete for the coveted trophy. Of course, it’s not all about matches and mallet-swinging. Premium hospitality and a well-attended guestlist, which traditionally includes HM The Queen, guarantees a memorable season.

Guards Polo Club, Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, Surrey, TW20 0HP
guardspoloclub.com
+44 (0)1784 437 797
Image © iStock wilpunt

Part of a polo horse running with protective gators on a polo field Cape Town South Africa
Royal Ascot Destination Guide Coworth Park
JUNE 18 - 22, 2019

Royal Ascot

An annual highlight of the international racing calendar and the British social scene, Royal Ascot attracts the world’s finest racehorses to compete for a staggering multi-million pound prize. Join glamorous spectators to sip Champagne from deluxe enclosures and cheer the 18 hotly-contested Group races as they gallop across the event’s five days.

Ascot Racecourse, High St, Ascot, SL5 7JX
ascot.co.uk
+44 (0)3443 463 000
Image © Ascot Racecourse

JUNE 27 - 30, 2019

Windsor Championship Dog Show

Those who know a Pomeranian from a Leonberger should head to Windsor Championship Dog Show to admire this year’s ‘best in breed’s. Join dogs, owners and enthusiasts on the sprawling greens flanking Windsor Castle for the freshest instalment of what’s known as the Ascot of Dog Shows, where canines compete for prestigious prizes over the four days.

Home Park, Windsor, SL4 6HX
windsordogshow.org.uk
Image © iStock richardlpaul

JULY 2 - 9, 2019

Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival

Second only to Chelsea Flower Show, the Royal Horticultural Society’s annual event at Hampton Court Palace is a must for all gardeners. Expect show gardens, workshops, specialist nurseries, talks, events, and great food and drinks, with Hampton Court Palace and the shimmering Long Water lake providing an idyllic backdrop.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU
rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-hampton-court-palace-garden-festival
+44 020 8233 5400
Image © Hampton Court Palace Festival

JULY 3 - 7, 2019

Henley Royal Regatta

Founded in 1839, the Henley Royal Regatta is the highlight of Britain’s rowing calendar. Every year, the banks of the Thames are packed with thousands of well-heeled spectators who gather to watch the best-of-the-best compete in almost 200 races. Part of The Season, Henley is as much about the Pimm’s and picnics as it is about the rowing.

Henley Royal Regatta, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 2LY
hrr.co.uk
+44 01491 572 153
Image © Henley Royal Regatta

JULY 19 - 21, 2019

Thames Traditional Boat Festival

Championing British craftmanship and boat building, the Thames Traditional Boat Festival showcases boats that range from gloriously-gilded Royal barges to the ‘Little Ships’ that took part in the Dunkirk evacuation, as well as a range of military and amphibious vehicles, all framed by the verdant backdrop of the pretty market town of Henley.

Fawley Meadows, Henley On Thames, RG9 2HY
tradboatfestival.com
Image © Amersham Photographic Society

JULY 20 - 28, 2019

West Green House Opera's Summer Festival

A wonderful country house opera series set in the gardens of West Green House, 2019 sees productions by Strauss and Rossini, as well as the musical theatre of Guys and Dolls. Like Glyndebourne, guests are encouraged to picnic in the grounds on the warm summer evenings, surrounded by the spectacular illuminations after dark.

West Green House Gardens, Thackham’s Lane, Hartley Wintney,  RG27 8JB
westgreenhouseopera.co.uk

+44 01252 848 676
Image © West Green House Opera

Summer, 2019

Windsor Great Park's Savill Garden in bloom

Spanning 4,800 acres of land, Windsor Great Park is one of the largest parks in the West of England. At the centre of it are the beautiful Savill Gardens, which are particularly beautiful during the summer months. The Rose Garden erupts with fragrant blossoms, while the Summer Garden is a riot of colour.

The Savill Garden, Wick Lane, Englefield Green, TW20 0UU
windsorgreatpark.co.uk
+44 01753 860 222
Image © iStock erperistrom

July 30 – August 3, 2019

Qatar Goodwood Festival

Held at Goodwood House, a historic venue that has hosted racing legends since 1948, the five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival is one of the highlights of the flat-racing season. Cheer white-knuckle steeple chases against the stunning backdrop of the Sussex countryside alongside the UK’s sporting and social elite.

Goodwood House, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0PH
goodwood.com
+44 (0)1243 755 000
Image © Goodwood 

Ascot Coworth Park Destination Guide Qatar Goodwood Festival
August 1 – 31, 2019

Summer Opening at Frogmore House

Frogmore House, located close to Windsor Castle, opens its doors to visitors this August. Dating back to the 18th century, the historic estate became a royal home in 1792 when it was occupied by Queen Charlotte. While it is no longer used as a residence, immaculate ornamental gardens and artworks by Queen Victoria and her daughters make it a remarkable visit.

Frogmore House, Home Park, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ
royalcollection.org.uk/visit/frogmorehouse
+44 (0)20 7766 7333
Image © Hills _ Saunders

August 3 – 25, 2019

Duke of Cornwall Trophy 2019

Before the polo season draws to a close, Guards Polo Club hosts the hotly anticipated Duke of Cornwall Trophy tournament. One of the most prestigious awards in British polo, the cup is named in honour of Prince Charles, once a keen polo player. Expect competitive, quick-scoring matches and plenty of opportunity to enjoy the club’s prime hospitality.

Guards Polo Club, Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, Egham, Surrey, TW20 0HP
guardspoloclub.com
+44 (0)1784 434 212
Image © imagesofpolo.com

August 10 – October 27, 2019

The Lions of Windsor 2019

A pride of colourful, super-sized lion sculptures will appear around the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead between August and October, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and raising funds for charity. Discover impressive works of art, individually decorated by leading UK artists and designers.

Various locations across Windsor and Maidenhead
8–12 miles – 20–30 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
lionsofwindsor.org
Image © Lions of Windsor

August 22 – 25, 2019

Open Air Theatre at the Savill Garden

Returning to The Lawns at the Savill Garden this August bank holiday, the Chapterhouse Theatre Company performs four one-off open-air productions, including Pride and Prejudice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Before taking a seat in the al fresco theatre, ticket holders can explore the spectacular garden in all its summer glory from 5pm.

The Savill Garden, Wick Lane, Englefield Green, Surrey, TW20 0UU
windsorgreatpark.co.uk
+44 (0)1753 860 222
Image © _flickr_Karen Roe

August 28 – September 15, 2019

Autumn Nations Tournament

One of the polo calendar’s top tournaments, the Autumn Nations is regarded as the last sporting hurrah of the season. Renowned for its fast-pace and thrilling white-knuckle moments on the pitch, the 12-goal tournament is certainly entertaining, while Guards Polo Club puts on an excellent spread for the event’s well-attended guestlist.

Guards Polo Club, Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, Egham, Surrey TW20 0HP
guardspoloclub.com
+44 (0)1784 434 212
Image © Images of Polo

September 3 – 8, 2019

RHS Wisley Flower Show

The beautifully tended gardens at RHS Wisley provide a stunning backdrop for the annual Flower Show. Gardening enthusiasts and admirers of floristry don’t just attend to admire the extravagant displays. This is the place to purchase plants from former horticultural medal winners, discover celebrated nurseries, and seek advice and inspiration from the experts.

RHS Garden Wisley, Wisley Lane, Wisley, Woking, GU23 6QB
rhs.org.uk
+44 (0)20 3176 5800
Image © RHS

September 13 – 15, 2019

Goodwood Revival

An end-of-summer highlight since its foundation in 1998, the Goodwood Revival is a celebration of the golden age of British motor racing. On the track, coveted trophies invite vintage vehicles to compete, while an aviation display provides equally thrilling airborne entertainment.

Goodwood Circuit, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 0PH
grrc.goodwood.com
+44 (0)1243 755 060
Image © ChrisIson_Goodwoodjpg

September 15 – 29, 2019

Windsor Autumn Festival

Classical music and cuisine, open houses and art exhibitions; Windsor Autumn Festival features a flock of diary-worthy cultural dates. Expect exclusive dining experiences, folk concerts, guided historical walks and talks by some of Britain’s leading journalists and authors. Celebrating its 50th birthday, this year puts on an extra-special programme.

Various locations around Windsor
windsorfestival.com
+44 (0)1753 743 585
Image © Maureen Mclean

September 20 – October 5, 2019

Windsor Fringe

The second oldest Fringe in the country, the Windsor Fringe showcases up-and-coming performers and writers in a variety of venues across Windsor. Live musicians and shows from the UK and beyond cover everything from Shakespeare to Jazz, culminating in the presentation of the coveted Kenneth Branagh Award.

Various locations across Windsor
8.2 miles – 20 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
windsorfringe.co.uk
Image © 4Motion Dance Theatre Company/Windsor Fringe

September 21 – 22, 2019

Royal County of Berkshire Show

A popular agricultural fair, the annual Royal County of Berkshire Show attracts over 60,000 visitors each year. During its two-day run, guests are invited to peruse the flower tent, shop the crafts marquee, and enjoy falconry demonstrations, a gun dog performance and conservation talks.

Newbury Showground, Priors Court, Hermitage, Thatcham, Berkshire RG18 9QZ
berkshireshow.co.uk
+44 (0)1635 247 111
Image © Royal County of Berkshire Show

September 28 – November 3, 2019

Halloween Fright Nights at Thorpe Park

Those wishing to brave zombies, ghosts and ghouls should head to Halloween Fright Nights at Thorpe Park, where more than ten live scare zones await. With the park’s chilling roller coasters and stomach-dropping rides open way past bedtime, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Enter at your peril.

Thorpe Park Resort, Staines Road, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 8PN
7 miles – 17 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
thorpepark.com
+44 (0)20 871 663 1673
Image © Thorpe Park

October 17 – November 2, 2019

Brick or Treat at Legoland Windsor

Spooky Lord Vampyre throws an unforgettable Halloween party for youngsters this October. Brick or Treat at Legoland Windsor promises all manner of family-friendly entertainment and access to the park’s thrilling rides, alongside some scares and surprises.

LEGOLAND, Windsor Park Ltd, Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY
5.9 miles – 11 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
legoland.co.uk
+44 (0)20 871 222 2001
Image © iStock/ArtMarie

October 19, 2019

QIPCO British Champions Day

The grand finale of the British racing season, the world’s best jockeys and horses congregate at Ascot Racecourse each year to compete for a record-breaking £4.3 million prize. From the atmospheric pomp and pageantry of the Opening Ceremony to the superlative hospitality available in the enclosures, this is an essential event for equestrian fans.

Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 7JX
3.1 miles – 8 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
britishchampionsseries.com
+44 (0)20 7152 0185
Image © Alan Cowhurst/Getty Images

November 2, 2019

Fireworks Spectacular Family Raceday

Ascot’s Jumps season gets off to a promising start with an afternoon of white-knuckle races that culminates in a crescendo of fireworks after sunset. Adrenaline-charged chases featuring some of the sport’s finest steeds and jockeys are one draw, while a giddy mix of fairground attractions and gentle pony rides complete the family-friendly entertainment.

Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7JX
3.1 miles – 8 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
ascot.co.uk
+44 (0)344 346 3000
Image © Ascot Racecourse

November 8 – 10, 2019

Windsor Contemporary Art Fair

An eclectic mix of works by some of England’s top creatives, alongside careful curations from select local and international galleries, the Contemporary Art Fair at Royal Windsor Racecourse is a must for collectors and appreciators alike. Inspiring workshops and demonstrations offer ample opportunity to meet the talent behind the exhibits.

Royal Windsor Racecourse, Maidenhead Rd, Windsor SL4 5EZ
8.4 miles – 20 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
contemporaryartfairs.co.uk
+44 (0)1753 591 892
Image © Nadia Day/Windsor Contemporary Art Fair

November 22 – 23, 2019

November Racing Weekend & Country Living Christmas Fair

Heralding the approach of the festive season, Ascot Racecourse’s November Racing Weekend is an opportunity to enjoy some high-octane horseracing while getting into the Christmas spirit at its concurrent Country Living Christmas Fair. Between the six-race Jumps card, shop hand-crafted stocking fillers and toast the winning steeds with mulled wine and mince pies.

Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire SL5 7JX
3.1 miles – 8 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
ascot.co.uk
+44 (0)344 346 3000
Image © Ascot Racecourse

November 28, 2019 – January 5, 2020

Aladdin Pantomime

This traditional reprisal of Theatre Royal Windsor’s annual pantomime features a fun, colour-saturated production of Aladdin. Starring vintage favourite Basil Brush alongside the usual comedic all-star cast, this bright version is packed with slap-stick wit and some very noisy theatrics.

Theatre Royal Windsor, 32 Thames St, Windsor SL4 1PS
7.9 miles – 19 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk
+44 (0)1753 853 888

November – December, 2019

Lapland UK

One of the most enchanting festive events in Britain, Lapland UK welcomes little guests to its North Pole-inspired environs. Ushered in by elves, children are invited to help Father Christmas create toys in his workshop. The activities continue with ice skating and an opportunity to meet Lapland UK’s resident reindeer and husky sled team.

Whitmoor Forest, Swinley Rd, Winkfield Row, Ascot SL5 8BD
4.9 miles – 16 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
laplanduk.co.uk
Image © Lapland UK