Spring Guide 2018: Ascot
The flowers are blooming, the sun’s shining, and in Ascot and the surrounding countryside the events calendar is similarly bursting into life. From literary exhibitions to ghostly theatrical productions, world-class racing to inaugural garden shows, there’s no shortage of things do in Ascot during the spring. Our guide’s here to make sure you experience the best spring events in Ascot over the coming months.
Voyages: A Journey In Books
Showcasing a selection of Eton College Library’s impressive collection, “Voyages” explores both historical journeys and the idea of travel as a literary theme through manuscripts, literary archives, and printed books. Visitors to the exhibition can also attend the “Creative Destruction” exhibition in the College’s Verey Gallery this spring, which focuses on the inspirational impact volcanoes have had on art and science. Both exhibitions are free and are open weekdays, by appointment.
Eton College, Windsor, SL4 6DB
Email: [email protected]
Turn Of The Screw at Theatre Royal Windsor
An adaptation of Henry James’ classic 19th century ghost story, Turn of the Screw tells the thrilling tale of an English governess and her two orphaned charges living in a country house in Bly. With mysterious events and seemingly supernatural goings on, the production hosted at the Theatre Royal Windsor is set to mix subtle horror and ambiguous mystery with spine-tingling effect.
Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor, SL4 1PS
Royal Tennis at Hampton Court
Tennis has been played at Hampton Court since the 16th century, when a court was built for Cardinal Wolsey. One wall of Wolsey’s court remains, with the rest built later for King Charles I. During the summer months, the palace opens the historic (and now private tennis club) court up to visitors, offering the chance to watch a match, as well as take in displays, including interactive handmade tennis balls and custom-made racquets.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU
Ascot Spring Garden Show
A collaborative venture from Ascot Racecourse, The Savill Garden and The Valley Gardens at Windsor Great Park, the Ascot Spring Garden Show arrives on the horticultural scene for the very first time this April. Taking place at the world famous Ascot Racecourse, the show will feature trade exhibits, show gardens, a plant village showcasing numerous specialist nurseries, and a programme of talks from gardening experts.
Ascot Racecourse, High St, Ascot, SL5 7JX
Season Opener 2018 at Royal Windsor Racecourse
The new racing season at Royal Windsor Racecourse kicks off this April with a day of competitive races and great food and drink. Seven races will be taking place over the course of the day, which can be watched this year from the new Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure now that the lauded Silver Ring and Grandstand enclosures have been merged.
Maidenhead Road, Windsor, SL4 5JJ
NGS Petersham House Open Gardens
For much of the year, the gardens of Petersham House, found adjacent to Petersham Nurseries – featuring topiaries, herbaceous borders, vegetable gardens, and sweeping lawns – are just out reach. But for one day this spring, as part of the National Garden Scheme Open Day, they open up, allowing visitors to stroll and soak up springtime at its most picturesque.
Petersham Nurseries, Church Lane, Off Petersham Road, TW10 7AB
Royal Windsor Horse Show
Equestrians and enthusiasts alike will converge on the private grounds of Windsor Castle this May to attend the famed Royal Windsor Horse Show. Taking place over five days, the event will feature everything from 5* show jumping and 4* dressage, to one of the most important UK driving events, the Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix.
Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ
‘Script to Screen' Tours, Talks and Tea
Just as the azaleas bloom in the expansive gardens, Highclere Castle throws open its gates to open visitors for its ‘Script to Screen’ event. In addition to a light lunch and a tour of the castle that’s best known to the world as the setting for Downton Abbey (among numerous other on-screen appearances), the event also includes a talk on how books and scripts do indeed make the journey from script to screen.
Cartier Queen's Cup at Guards Polo Club
One of the highlights of the racing season in the UK and one of the most important 22-goal polo tournaments worldwide, the Cartier Queen’s Cup promises to live up to its laudable reputation yet again. Some of the world’s best players are scheduled to play during the tournament, but it’s hard to tell what will glitter more, the sporting royalty on the pitch, or the glamorous attendees fresh from Cartier’s invite list.
Guards Polo Club, Smiths Lawn/Windsor Great Park, Egham, TW20 0HP
Duke Street Experience at the Windsor & Eton Brewery
A brewery, beer shop and bar, the Windsor & Eton Brewery is a triple threat for beer lovers. For those looking to glean a little more about the brewery, there’s now a weekly tour of the space, with a few accompanying half pints, explaining and showing how the beer is made, as well as illuminating the brewery’s ambitions to make Windsor & Eton beers more famous than any other attraction in the area.
Windsor & Eton Brewery, 1 Vansittart Estate, Windsor, SL4 1SE
Clarence House Chase Raceday
The new year gets off to a galloping start with the Clarence House Chase Raceday, one of the most popular racing days of the Jumps season. Every year, the event attracts a stellar roster of entries for an exhilarating day at the races, which will be accompanied by performances from the jazz and swing band, Sousaphonia.
Ascot Racecourse, High St, Ascot, SL5 7JX
Stanley Spencer in Focus
Visitors to the Stanley Spencer Gallery this winter will be treated to an impressive in-depth look at the eponymous artist, featuring several newly acquired paintings and drawings. The exhibition will include the highly-acclaimed Portrait of Lathonia Mercer, gifted by the sitter herself, which Lord Mark Poltimore, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, considered to display Spencer’s ‘majestic… almost pre-Raphaelite exactness.’
Stanley Spencer Gallery
The Kings Hall, High Street, Cookham, SL6 9SJ