Get ready to join the frolic as the English summer season takes off with great poise and elegance, colours and extravagant hats, Pimms and (fingers crossed) plenty of sunshine. The English summer showcases some of the most sought-after events in the English sporting tradition. Amongst these events are the Royal Ascot horse races, the Wimbledon Tennis Championship, the Henley Royal Regatta, Cartier International Polo, Cowes Sailing Week and the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
June 17 -21, 2014 – Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire
Located only 6 miles away from Windsor, the Ascot Racecourse is one of the leading racecourses in the UK. Founded by Queen Anne in 1711, Royal Ascot is one of the most famous and important events in the British summer social calendar and is at the heart of British culture. Every year Her Majesty Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family attend the races, making a grand entrance during the Royal Procession by arriving in a horse-drawn carriage on each of the 5 racing days, and enclosing themselves in the restricted and highly secured Royal enclosure, where entry is by membership and sponsorship only.
More than 300,000 people visit Berkshire during the Royal Ascot week. Whether you’re competing, placing a bet, or simply there to view the handsome horses this year, consider yourself lucky. There aren’t many places available. Try the Ascot office at St. James’ Palace or your embassy in London. It’s always worth a try.
Don’t forget, Royal Ascot is a royal fashion show for hats almost more than it is a race. The more flamboyant the hat, the better you’ll fit in!
Ticket Sales and General Enquiries
Tel: +44 (0)844 346 3000
Wimbledon Tennis Championship
June 23 – 6 July, 2014 – All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, Surrey
Wimbledon is the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, and one of the great highlights of the British summer season. While Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament to still play on grass, its traditions embrace the eating of strawberries and cream, a strict dress code for competitors, and Royal patronage.
While tickets are almost always sold out months in advance, there is one queue for on-the-day premium ticket sales, located at the Gate 3 turnstiles. Don’t worry if you don’t make the queue in time, you can always grab your picnic baskets and camp up on the grass on Murray Mount, or in several venues across London, to watch the matches on the big screens (for free) and feel the tennis spirit as spectators support and cheer their beloved champions from afar.
General Enquiries: Tel: +44 (0)20 8944 1066
Henley Royal Regatta
July 2 – 6 July, 2014 – Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire
As yet another iconic British summer sporting event on the social calendar, Henley Royal Regatta welcomes thousands of visitors across the 5-day rowing stretch to watch over 200 races of international standard, including the Grand Challenge Cup for Men’s Eights, the most esteemed event of the regatta. While dress code is strict within the enclosures, dresses for ladies and suit and tie for gentlemen, a great deal of socialising takes place there and is a pastime that holds the same importance as watching the boats. Picnics are always welcome on the left bank of the Thames, which is a more laid back area where you can relax and still see the entire action take place.
The regatta dates back to 1839, but it wasn’t until 1851, when Prince Albert became the first royal patron, that it became known as Henley Royal Regatta. Every reigning monarch has since agreed to be its patron.
General Enquiries: Tel: +44 (0)1491 572 153
Cartier Queen’s Cup Final
May 20 – 15 June, 2014 – Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, Egham, Surrey
Cartier International is the most distinguished event of the British polo calendar. While the champagne tents are filled to the rim with all sorts of celebrities, including models, thespians, art collectors, and you-name-it, polo is clearly the sport that attracts the most VIPs of the British social calendar. Strictly by invitation only can you attend the member’s areas, Cartier marquee or, if you’re fortunate enough, the so very coveted Royal Box. Her Majesty the Queen historically attends Finals day to present the cup to the winning patron.
Non-members can purchase tickets and hospitality packages. Check out the Guard’s Polo Club website for information on other high goal tournaments that you can attend.
Ticket Office Tel: +44 (0) 1784 437797
British Grand Prix
July 4 – 6, 2014 – Silverstone Circuit, Northampton
The Silverstone circuit hosted its first F1 Championship race in 1950 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious F1 Races on the calendar, along with the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. Silverstone ritually becomes the busiest airport in the UK on race Sunday, as a hoard of private jets and helicopters touch ground to enjoy the fun as the cars speed by. At Silverstone, the atmosphere is off the wall, with lots of cheering fans, speeding cars and rowdy celebrations.
August 2 – 9, 2014 – West Cowes, Isle of Wight
Cowes Week has been a big part of the British social summer season for many years and holds many traditions that date back to the early 1800’s under King George IV (1820-1830), when the regatta originated.
Prince Phillip once famously said: “sailing is the only sport you can do with a hangover”. With a wealth of parties and balls held throughout the week at the yacht clubs and private functions, you’d hope he were right!
The famous fireworks held on the Friday night provide a fantastic finale to the wonderful week ending on Saturday.
General Regatta Enquiries: Tel: +44 (0)1983 295 744
Tickets: 0844 3728 300
International Callers: +44 (0) 1372 320 280
Here’s a special Crazy English Summer playlist. Play in Creation 5.
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