In the small village of Ascot, Berkshire, is the one of the leading thoroughbred horse racing racecourses in the United Kingdom, the Ascot Racecourse. Next month racing fans will be holding their breath waiting for the the Royal Meeting, where the prestigious Gold Cup will be awarded. After this, in July, the even more important King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes will be run over the same course.
The racecourse is a fabled not only for horseracing fans, but to movie fans too.Ascot was used in two James Bond movies, “A View to a Kill” in 1985, where Bond (Roger Moore) was beginning his mission to defeat the villainous Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), whose horses were competing in a race there. Then, the big overhead grandstand, which does look like an airport, filled in for Shanghai Pudong International Airport in “Skyfall” with Daniel Craig.
If you’ve ever wanted to get a taste of what real English horseracing and wagering is all about, then get yourself over to Ascot and find a nice little B&B or a grand hotel in the town to stay in during the race week. Here are some suggestions from people who have stayed in hotels in Ascot recently.
Many people like the Coworth Park, Dorchester Collection hotel, a spa and resort on a lovely 240-acre estate. But many of them also didn’t have good things to say about the hotel restaurant. One reviewer called the food ‘bizarre’ and another said it was a disappointment because of the high price.
Perhaps it would be best to sleep here but dine elsewhere. The staff here gets high marks for their professionalism, and the manicured grounds were called ‘beautiful, and ‘technically impeccable.’ There is also a chance to take a horseback riding excursion on the vast hotel grounds, for GBP 40 an hour. There are bikes to rent and a beautiful lake to stroll around. Windsor Castle and Legoland are both about 20-30 minutes away, so a car is definitely recommended.
Or for something completely different, how about staying at a vacation rental in Ascot. TripAdvisor lists a 2 bedroom, 2 bath ‘home away from home,’ for just $181 per night. From their listing, “It is in a lovely location next to Blackmoor stream and pond and has a south-west facing garden with patio and 70 foot lawn. Ascot racecourse is in walking distance and Windsor town centre and Windsor Castle is only 15 minutes drive away through Windsor Great Park.” It sleeps four so if you’re in a budget renting a whole house like this is a great option.
Or how about really living LARGE and renting a gigantic manor home in Ascot? There is one listing that is pretty over the top, but hey, gathering together eight mates and their wives, and you might just be able to swing the $2358 per night cost of Mayfields, a spectacular mansion with a heated outdoor pool, satellite TV and a host of other top shelf amenities, that sleeps 16 people in utmost comfort. A visitor, Matt from Nottingham had nothing but praise when he gathered up his own big group to get to the racecourse and enjoyed a stay there.
“Stunning house, grand location and superb hosts. I searched high and low for a property to house myself, partner and 14 close friends for my 30th birthday weekend near Ascot racecourse. The house itself is stunning and immaculately maintained. The host Bev is a wonderful host and couldn’t have done more to make us feel welcome, providing a guidance tour and champagne on arrival (what better way to start a special weekend).”