When heading to Royal Ascot there are many different enclosures for racegoers to take advantage of.
These different Royal Ascot enclosures cater to all different needs – ranging from the top-end, to the basic viewing options. Organisers aim to widen the availability for people to attend. Prices obviously increase for the better stands, with the better viewing potential and facilities. With the Royal Ascot enclosures nearer to the finishing line the ones that cost the most. The further you get away from the finishing line, the cheaper it becomes to get in.
With the Royal Ascot meeting spread over five days, many people also use the various car parks to have picnics before the racing. Others party into the evening in the nearby Royal Ascot car parks too.
There are four main enclosures at Royal Ascot: the Royal Ascot Royal Enclosure, Queen Anne Enclosure, Village Enclosure and Windsor Enclosure. Horse owners and trainers at Royal Ascot also have a designated area often supplied with free catering throughout the meeting.
Royal Enclosure Ascot
To obtain access to the Royal enclosure at Ascot it’s invitation only. Ascot track members can, however, book Royal enclosure badges and tickets for themselves that include car parking spaces. Though, they have to sponsor any new members that wish to attend. Non-members can still enter the Royal enclosure and any of its various award-winning restaurants.
As anyone who has ever visited the venue during Royal Ascot will know, The Queen and her family enjoy the event from their own private enclosure (one of three). This is famously well-protected, with strict security, though special badge-holders are permitted access. As the name of the enclosure also suggests this is were the Royal Box is situated too. So when the Royal party attends the meeting each day, this is where they watch the action from. Of course, their box is private and security is at a maximum.
However, there is a thorough vetting process for this, with anyone interested in watching the races from the royal enclosure required to apply formally. On the first occasion, people have to apply to the Royal Enclosure Office to acquire membership from another with a minimum of four years’ experience.
What of people who have used the Royal Enclosure before? The process is still complex. Badge-holders will receive an invitation to apply for badges, and only the person named on the badge itself can gain entry to the enclosure. While this may sound like a considerable effort (potentially putting some people off), the experience is said to be as impressive as one might expect.
New members to the Royal Ascot Royal enclosure have to be sponsored by two other current members. These existing members must be over 18 years-old and not be living at the same address. There is also a £70 joining fee to be paid on top of the ongoing annual members fee.
With it’s various restaurants that include top chefs – Raymond Blancs – Panoramic Restaurant – tickets sell out fast in the Royal Enclosure. These racegoers want a top Royal Ascot experience. Fine foods and hospitality are usually to be expected, with various bars open to entertain guests. Still, there is a strict dress-code in place, to ensure a sense of sophistication and class. Ladies must wear a dress within certain style-guidelines, neither too short nor too revealing. Men, on the other hand, are asked to wear a top hat and formal suit.
As you can imagine, the Royal enclosure is the high-end badge. The viewing position of the stand is in prime location – right in front of the winning line. However, Royal enclosure badge holders can also walk to the other side and get the best view of the parade ring. They’ll see the horses walk around prior to each race.
Queen Anne Enclosure Ascot
With Queen Anne the founding monarch of the Ascot racecourse, this stand is named in her honour.
The Queen Anne enclosure Ascot is situated in the main stand. It gives racegoers a great experience of the horse racing action.
Racegoers get full access to a wide range of fine dining restaurants and bars, plus stunning lawns and terraces that allow them to really get into the heart of the Royal Ascot experience.
These viewing options also allow badge holders to get a perfect view of the Royal Procession before the actual racing starts.
There is also a Garden Club area for Queen Anne Enclosure badge holders that consist of views of the final furlong on the main course, plus top-notch decking areas that gives the ultimate relaxed garden feel to the Royal Ascot experience.
If you want a decent Royal Ascot experience but don’t want to pay the premium prices, the Windsor Enclosure fits the bill.
The Windsor enclosure is situated to the left of the main stand if you are looking head-on at it and about a furlong from the winning line. This does, however, give a perfect place to view the Royal Procession as you can get close to the track with the royal carriages coming down the track before racing each day.
Once the racing starts then racegoers can also get close to the action on the rails at around the furlong pole. But with big TV screens to view in the centre of the Ascot track then once the horses thunder past you can still catch the finish.
It’s a more relaxed atmosphere, with racegoers having access to a big lawn and picnic area that is situated in front of the track.
The Village enclosure is a fairly new area at Royal Ascot. First set up just in 2017, the Village enclosure is situated in the middle of the track – facing the final furlong and the main stand. It’s only open on the last three days of the Royal Ascot meeting – Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s aim is to provide a relaxed atmosphere but still allow racegoers to soak up the Royal Ascot experience.
With pop-up bars and dining there is still many catering options in the Village enclosure, while after racing it’s not unheard of for DJ’s and music acts to keep Royal Ascot racing fans entertained after the racing has finished. There is a bit of a ‘festival-feel’ to the enclosure, with carousels and its own band-stand too. Though it still gives great views of the Royal Procession and the actual racing.
Dress Code Village Enclosure – Is less formal than the Queen Anne enclosure, with gentleman required to wear a suit and tie and ladies a hat. Racegoers are encouraged to dress in a manner that will see them fit into a formal occasion.
Parade Ring and Winner’s Enclosure
At Ascot the parade ring and the winners’ enclosure are both situated in the same place – behind the main stand. Look just after the main entrance as you enter the track.
The parade ring gives racegoers the chance to view the horses before they are due to race, while the winners circle is where the winning horse, jockey, trainer and owners go to parade and then get their prize.
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