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 September 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
34.3 miles – 53 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
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

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
14 miles – 35 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace
+44 (0)20 3166 6000
Image © Historic Royal Palaces

UNTIL 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

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
8 miles – 15 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
royalwindsortours.com
+44 07517 440 445
Image © iStock_Lisay

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 – 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

November, 2019 – January, 2020

Christmas Illuminations at Windsor Castle

Christmas has been celebrated at Windsor Castle with sparkles and candles since the 12th century, with many traditions such as decorating the tree introduced by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in a nod to the latter’s Germanic heritage. Look out for the castle’s well-attended Carols on the Hill concert to really channel the Christmas spirit. The outdoor event welcomes locals and visitors to ring in the festive season with popular classics.

Windsor Castle, Windsor SL4 1NJ
7.8 miles – 18 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
rct.uk
+44 (0)303 123 7304

Image © Lapland UK Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

November, 2019 – January, 2020

Windsor Illuminations and Winter Festivities

Aside from the stunning festive decorations adorning Windsor Castle’s interiors, the town itself is beautifully illuminated during the festive season, with the Christmas Lights Switch On something of a seasonal fixture for locals. Elsewhere, there are festive farmers’ markets, an outdoor ice-skating rink and seasonal grottos to entertain younger visitors – not to mention plenty of traditional festive menus across town.

Various locations across Windsor
8 miles – 20 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
Image © iStock/AleksandarNakic

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

December, 2019

Windsor Reindeer Parade

One of Windsor’s most sought-after Christmas events, the Windsor Reindeer Parade welcomes Santa and his beloved herd into town in December. The parade starts at Windsor Castle’s historic Advance Gate and winds past several key locations, including the High Street and King Edward Court. The jubilant procession concludes in Windsor Yard—be sure to snap a photo with Santa on his sleigh before he returns to Lapland.

Various locations across Windsor
8 miles – 20 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
Image ©
iStock/Rott70

December, 2019

Christmas at Dorney Court

One of the finest stately homes in England, Dorney Court has rightly starred in its fair share of films, including The Other Boleyn Girl. While Dorney remains a family home, it’s open for private visits throughout the year. Tour the manor this winter to admire impressive artworks, beautiful period furniture and stunning gardens decorated for the festive season.

Dorney Lane, Dorney, Windsor SL4 6QP
13.4 miles – 28 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
dorneycourt.co.uk
+44 (0)1628 604 638
Image © Dorney Court

December, 1 – February 29, 2020

Winter at The Savill Garden

Replete with immaculate lawns, beautifully tended ornamental beds and ancient woodlands, The Savill Garden is as stunning in the cooler months as it is in peak summer. It makes a particularly glorious visit following snowfall, when the grounds are swathed with glittering powder. Take a picturesque wintry stroll through the woodlands, keeping an eye out for the season’s very first snowdrops.

The Savill Garden, Wick Lane, Englefield Green, Surrey, TW20 0UU
3.6 miles – 10 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
windsorgreatpark.co.uk
+44 (0)1753 860 222
Image © iStock/Muzka

December, 1 – February 29, 2020

Seasonal Winter Walks at Waltham Place

Championing biodynamic farming methods, Waltham Place is a clutch of ancient walled gardens punctuated by beautiful old trees and handsome formal beds. Tended by owner and keen gardener Strilli Oppenheim, the grounds are a spectacular example of a traditional English country garden that’s free of fertilisers and pesticides. Its winter garden, replete with sprays of Sarcococca, is particularly special in January.

Waltham Place, Church Hill, White Waltham, Berkshire, SL6 3JH
11.4 miles – 23 minutes’ drive from Coworth Park
walthamplace.com
+44 (0)1628 825 517
Image ©iStock/BrianAJackson

December 20-21, 2019

Christmas Racing Weekend at Ascot Racecourse

From festive menus and mince pies to seasonal cocktails and plenty of carol singing, Ascot Racecourse is awash with festive spirit during its Christmas Racing Weekend. Enrol little ones in the Ascot Elf Academy where Mrs Christmas regales with festive tales, and toast an exhilarating run of steeple chases as well as one of the most prestigious long-distance hurdle races in Britain.

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