The city’s best summer sporting events to book now
Words Morag Turner
The summer months see some of the best – and most glamorous – sporting events take place in and around London. With horse racing, water sports and everything in between, there is something for everyone. Below are our top picks…
If horses and hats are your thing then Ascot is not to be missed. Running for a week in June, this is the most fashionable fixture on the racing calendar. At Lady’s Day (always on the Thursday) you’ll see the greatest selection of eye-catching millenary. Of the four Enclosures, the ‘Royal’ is most exclusive (strict dress code – below the knee dresses and top hats). You would need an invitation from a member, but tickets are available in other areas. While you might not get to rub shoulders with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, you can still dress up and enjoy world-class horse racing.
20th – 24th June, ascot.co.uk
Founded in 1839 this is the best know regatta in the world and is steeped in tradition. It turns the pretty Oxfordshire town of Henley into rowing mecca for a week each summer. Over 600 boats take part in some 200 races, which include crews with former and current Olympians.
The best vantage point is the Steward’s Enclosure, but you have be a member or a member’s guest. There are plenty of other spots on the bank to watch from while enjoying your picnic, including the hospitality enclosures. It’s a quintessentially English day out where spectators sip their Pimms while watching the heroic attempts of some of the countries foremost rowers.
28th June – 2nd July, hrr.co.uk
Cartier Queens Cup
One of the top five polo tournaments in the world, the Cartier Queen’s Cup at Guards Polo Club in Windsor Great Park attracts a star-studded crowd at the start of the sporting events season – Queen herself attends the final. Arguably one of the most glamorous sports, polo is fast-paced and fun to watch, even if you aren’t too sure of the rules. Tickets are available to buy online and you don’t have to be a member of the club. The tradition of divot stomping is always good for a giggle – especially after a few glasses of fizz which is de rigueur at the polo. Plus, there is always a fabulous selection of dining options and a shopping area. A truly enjoyable – and glitzy – day out.
10th – 18th June, guardspoloclub.com
Queens and Wimbledon
We are incredibly spoilt when it comes to tennis with two fantastic championships happening back to back. The AGEON at Queens is first up and, while smaller than the world-famous Wimbledon, it still offers a fantastic opportunity to see some of the game’s biggest stars in action. Andy Murray won there just before taking the title at Wimbledon last year. Both are an excuse for strawberries and cream and floppy sun hats. While Wimbledon tickets are allocated by ballot or come with a hefty price tag, seats at Queens are a fraction of the cost and are available online. Rooftops and restaurants around the city will also host Wimbledon viewings.
Just a few hours from London, Cowes Week is a fantastic way to leave the heat of the city behind and escape to the coast. Since 1826, this sailing regatta has been taking place in the Solent, the challenging five-mile wide stretch of sea between the South Coast of England and the Isle of Wight. With 40 daily sailboat races, up to 1,000 boats and 8,000 competitors ranging from world class professionals to weekend sailors, it is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world. Cowes transforms from a small town to a lively hub packed with the best of the rowing fraternity. Make sure you are there for the spectacular Friday night fireworks.
29th July – 5th August, lendycowesweek.co.uk