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Royal Windsor Home Page

Tuesday 16th June to Saturday 20th June 2009


On the way to Royal Ascot, or on the way home, where can you get the best meals, a good night's sleep, and avoid the queues to and from Ascot Racecourse?

Right here! Along with lots of other information...

Our secret 'Jump the Queue' road map!

Save up to an hour of traffic jams with our secret, 'Jump the Queue' route map to and from Ascot and the M4. Remember that on the Saturday you will be joined by an extra large number of Legoland visitors on exactly the same road through Windsor, so we REALLY recommend that you take the route suggested here!
During Royal Ascot, information about the racing as well as travel information is broadcast on the radio within 10 miles of the racecourse. (Watch out for the yellow AA signs for the frequency).
  By taking our suggested route you might avoid dramas such as pictured below when at about 8.00pm on Tuesday 17th June, 2003, the first day, one of the stretched limos returning home suffered a collapsed front suspension. The car blocked the junction for a quite few minutes before being driven on around the corner with much crunching and scraping into Imperial Road. There it stayed for several hours while mechanics rebuilt the front suspension.

Languishing Limo!

Great dining

The Duke Of Edinburgh, Woodside

An old pub with a great restaurant too. On the edge of Windsor Great Park and very close to Ascot Racecourse. The Duke Of Edinburgh Web Page and Map

How to get tickets

Demand for Royal Ascot tickets is always extremely high and those wishing to attend are advised to book their place well in advance of the event. Booking usually opens in early January. For more information or to make a booking please call the Ascot Sales Office on 0870 727 1234 or visit

There is also the option for spectators to view the racing from Ascot Heath.

The Weather

When warm and sunny, you may want to take some light long sleeve clothing to reduce the chance of sunburn which can result within half an hour! A quality sunblock is also essential. If showers are forecast a folding 'PakaMac' will be very welcome.

  Tuesday, the first day, was sunny but with a good deal of cloud too, and it was not particularly warm. Wednesday was very windy though most of the rain passed to the north and it was still not very warm. Thursday was dry with sunny intervals and a little warmer. Friday was overcast but dry. Showers on Saturday morning gave way to an overcast afternoon with the odd light sprinkling, but that might have been the champagne popping when the Queen won the Chesham Stakes with Free Agent. This was the Queen's first winner since 1999. and didn't she look pleased on the telly!!!

  June 07 will go down as the wettest for almost 100 years. Although not a total wash-out Ascot this year was mainly showery with only the odd sunny spell. It was also chilly.

  The previous week had been hot but Ascot this year, the first meeting following the redevelopment of the racecourse, was cooler and partially cloudy with a gusty wind, especially on Ladies Day.

  Royal Ascot was held at York.

  The weather was excellent for the first day of racing, if slightly windy, with clear skies and hot sun. Wednesday proved warm and breezy, and partly cloudy, to give some relief from a hot sun. As the week progressed the the weather cooled appreciably with temperatures on Ladies Day, Thursday, only average. By Friday, the sky was overcast initially, but brightened up towards the end of the day. Saturday was decidedly chilly with the odd light shower and some sunny intervals.

 Royal Ascot 2003 was reasonably warm but with few sunny intervals until the end of the week. A lot of cloud always meant the chance of showers and on the first day of racing, it rained briefly as HM The Queen and her entourage processed up the racecourse. That did not however stop the Queen waving and smiling broadly! It was increasingly breezy during the week and on Ladies Day those large hats just had to be tethered! Wednesday and Thursday remained rather cloudier than expected, brightening up in the evening. Friday and Saturday were warm and sunny with some high, light cloud.

  A dust devil swept through the crowds at Royal Ascot on Ladies Day, Thursday, 20th June 2002, and the weather was not generally very good.

The History

Ascot Racecourse was founded in 1711 and is perhaps the most famous racecourse in the world. It was Queen Anne who created the racecourse at Ascot - the name derives from East Cote (East Side) - but racing had taken place near the castle even before then with a course on Datchet Mead. The area at Ascot was open heathland and seemed to Queen Anne an ideal place for "horses to gallop at full stretch."
 Queen Anne's Ride, a tree lined avenue similar to the Long Walk, stretches from close to Windsor Castle almost the entire way to Ascot. The avenue was restored in the early 1990s when old oaks that were out of position were removed and young trees planted where necessary along the avenue.

Queen Anne's Ride looking towards Ascot

Queen Anne's Ride looking towards Ascot

The first race meeting was held at Ascot on Saturday, August 11th, 1711 and the first race was Her Majesty's Plate, worth 100 guineas. The race was open to any horse, mare or gelding over six years old.   Ascot Racecourse now holds 25 racedays each year, both flat and National Hunt.
  The first four-day Royal Meeting was held in June 1768 and has continued ever since. Until 2001 Royal Ascot ran from the Tuesday to the Friday but there was also racing on the Saturday although this is not known as 'Royal'. In 2002, however, Royal Ascot extended to the Saturday too as part of the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations and this extension continued in 2003.
  Full details of racing at Ascot throughout the year is available at Royal Ascot Week follows The Garter Service at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on the Monday.

The Royal Procession

The Queen and her guests leave Windsor Castle just after lunch in the royal cars and transfer to the famous Ascot Landaus at Duke's Lane to arrive at Ascot racecourse in quite the finest possible style at the start of the day's racing!
  It is possible for the public to watch the royal party transfer to their carriages at Duke's Lane. Admission to the area is by ticket only. The pictures below were taken on one such occasion in 1985.

 Photos by Thamesweb

Dukes Lane Diana
Princess Diana with HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.

Magnificent uniforms and immaculate horses - the hallmark of the Ascot Landaus as they prepare for the Royal Procession

carriage horses at Dukes Lane

Dukes Lane PMR Princess Margaret (left) at
Dukes Lane 1985

HM The Queen and the
Duke of Edinburgh

Dukes Lane HM Queen and Duke

Other great Ascot race meetings

You can enjoy great horse racing on many other occasions during the year.

For more information about other race meetings visit


Photos by Action Plus


Royal Windsor History Index

Royal Windsor Home Page

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