An elegant day at Ascot Racecourse during flat season


Ascot Racecourse Flat Season

Ascot racecourse is one of those venues that you should visit, if just once in your lifetime. Flat Season is an ideal time of year, as you can enjoy all the action, just without the strict dress code.

This event has nothing to do with whether or not you like, or agree with, horse racing.

The atmosphere at Ascot during flat season is electric and something a little different. What’s more, it also gives you the chance to dress up and do something a little different.

The dress code at Ascot during Flat Season

Flat Season begins 3 May and ends 22 October*, and relates to the dress code of the time of year. A big part of the whole Ascot experience is the dressing-up, and you’ll see both men and women elegantly turned out.

  • For areas such as the Queen Anne Enclosure, there’s no strict dress code for men or women, although they do encourage smart dress.
  • For the King Edwards Enclosure, ladies do have to dress smartly and also wear hats. Men have to wear a jacket with a collared shirt and tie. Sports shoes aren’t allowed.

Follow the code — Ascot Racecourse Flat Season

Even if you’ve tickets for the King Edwards Enclosure, you’ll be denied entry if you haven’t followed the correct dress code. That said, get it right the first time and check what they permit before visiting.

We had tickets for the Queen Anne Enclosure. As you can see from the photos, I kept it simple, matching a dress with ankle boots. My other friends also were in smart casual dress, and none of us wore a hat.

Ascot Racecourse Flat Season — what to expect

Ascot racecourse always has a variety of events happening, so check to see what’s on during your visit.

When we went, there was an international food festival taking place, as well as live cooking classes in a separate marquee.

Food and drink are aplenty, and there’s a lot of choice to choose from. I went for a fully loaded chicken, pesto and veggie crepe, which was perfect to munch on while watching the races.

Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera
Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera

“…the scenery’s exquisite and a nice change from the concrete jungle of the city.”


Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten
Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten

A purchase that’s very good value is the Wine tasting card. For £6 (€8; $8), you can ‘taste’ 6 wines on the menu list.

I use the quotation marks here, because the quantity’s far from that of a tasting. In fact, my friend and I only managed 1 sad glass each.

There are also plenty of stalls to buy souvenirs, or other edible goods if you’d like to take something home.

Watching the races

Alongside the spectacle of the dressing-up, the main draw of Ascot is the horse racing. Though by no means a fan, and with zero knowledge of the sport, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the racing.

Tips for first-timers —  Ascot Racecourse Flat Season

I’m a complete newbie to horse racing, and if you’d like to bet, I recommend buying tokens online. There are 2 reasons why I suggest this:


  • by buying beforehand, you’re more likely to only use the tokens you bought online, and won’t be tempted to want to buy more on the day.
  • I bought £10 tokens along with my ticket to Ascot, and used these on 4 races.
  • the card token tickets are more aesthetically pleasing than the paper one they give you at the betting windows.

How to reach Ascot Racecourse from London

Ascot racecourse is located in the English county of Berkshire, and getting there from London is very straightforward.

We took the train from London Waterloo to the nearest station, which is also called Ascot.

Local tip: Always check the train status on the day of travel before heading out. We got delayed due to signal failures, engineering works etc.

Useful websites to check are TFL (Transport for London) and National Rail. As my friend rightly suggested, it was probably cheaper to consider hiring a car for the day.

Ascot Racecourse Flat Season — how long is the train journey?

Once your travel’s been sorted out, the train ride’s a pleasant one. It takes around 1 hour 15 minutes from London Waterloo, or 1 hour from London Paddington.

It’s approximately a 12-minute walk to the venue. These times are all estimates, and depends on the day and time of travel.

Heading out of the city and into the countryside means you get some pretty views of rural Berkshire. Whether from the train, or on foot, the scenery’s exquisite and a nice change from the concrete jungle of the city.

The verdict

Overall, we enjoyed every second of our Ascot Racecourse, Flat Season experience. From the dressing up, to the adrenaline rush of watching the races, it’s the perfect, and elegant, day out.

Ascot racecourse is also something of a quintessential English experience, but a venue where everybody’s welcome.

Luxury experience in Vienna - Kunsthistorisches Museum

“From the dressing up, to the adrenaline rush of watching the races, it’s the perfect elegant day out.”


We went in early September, which is just about on the fringe on the last of the British summer.

Saying this, consider bringing an extra jacket as the climate can drop once the evening arrives.

Have you ever been to Ascot? If not, would you like to go? Let me hear your thoughts below!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I’ve recommended. Thank you for your support.

*Correct at the time of publishing. Please check the website for the dates before you plan your visit.

Like this post? Pin it!

What to expect when visiting Ascot Racecourse during Flat Season 1
What to expect when visiting Ascot Racecourse during Flat Season 2
What to expect when visiting Ascot Racecourse during Flat Season 3
Lisa Rivera

Lisa Rivera



Welcome to my site! I'm Lisa, founder of Following the Rivera. I write primarily for a ‘flashpacker’ audience, a demographic (late 20s onward) that enjoys glamping over camping and staying at boutique/luxury boutique hotels. Flashpackers also like to indulge in the local food and wine, cultural activities, as well as a spot of wellness on their travels. Want to know more? Read on....



Lisa R sitting in a wicker chair

Flashpack the right way

Sign up today for the latest content, and receive 3 free gifts directly to your inbox!

Nice to meet you fellow flashpacker!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This