Watch the gee-gees at Royal Ascot
If you like an excuse to dress up, then a visit to Royal Ascot (held over five days in June) is a must. Sure, you're unlikely to get into the royal enclosure (unless you've got some hoity toity connections) but even in the cheap seats there's an amazing sense of occasion at horse racing's poshest event. Last year my cousins and I bought tickets to the Silver Circle, an unreserved area where you take your own seats and picnic blankets, and we were surrounded by men in suits and women in their finest summer dresses - not to mention the obligatory hats and fascinators. Even though these are the cheapest seats, you can still get right up to the rail, and it's a wonderful day of picnicking as the jockeys gallop past. As for gambling, there's no need to be a millionaire here: you can put on as little as a pound at the Tote, so allow yourself a little flutter. We won on the very last race, and the bookie who had taken our money even managed to look pleased for us. One word of caution - the queues to get a train home are a nightmare. Best off staying at the course and drinking til sundown.
By Emma John, AFAR Local Expert
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