Visit London Blog » Royal Ascot Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:51:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Chinese Year of the Horse 2014: Equestrian Attractions in London Tue, 21 Jan 2014 09:32:24 +0000 Equestrian armour, possibly Ulrich Rämbs, c. 1480 © By kind permission of the Trustees of the Wallace Collection

2014 is the Year of the Horse in the Chinese Zodiac, beginning on 31 January. According to Chinese Astrology Online, the horse is a symbol of competition, swift success and travelling – good news if you’re planning a visit to London!

To celebrate the start of the new Lunar year, join in the vibrant Chinese New Year Celebrations in London’s Chinatown – or pay a visit to one of these 10 horse-related attractions in London.

Royal Ascot 2014

The world’s most famous race meeting, Royal Ascot is a favourite among British Royals, high society and social butterflies. See lightning-fast horses compete to win in the Golden Jubilee Stakes and Gold Cup races, and experience the ceremony, tradition and glamour of this historic event. It’s not all about posh hats, you know!

Meet the Horses at Kentish Town City Farm

At Kentish Town City Farm you’ll not only find horses but also chickens, cows, ducks, geese, goats, pigs and sheep – including some rare breeds. Take the family along to stroke the horses, see their stables and (at the weekend) go on a pony ride (£2). More city farms in London.

War Horse

War Horse

War Horse has won over audiences around the world with its beautiful, moving story of friendship and heroism in battle – and, of course, its jaw-droppingly accurate, life-size horse puppets. Catch it now at the New London Theatre on Drury Lane.

Polo in the Park 2014

The horses are back at Hurlingham Park this June, for three days of high-octane polo matches – plus summer cocktails, delicious street food, luxury shopping and kids activities. Polo in the Park uses simplified polo rules to up the excitement and make it easier to follow the action – if you’re not too busy enjoying an impromptu picnic.

The Household Cavalry Museum

Household Cavalry Museum

You’ve seen the Changing of the Guard at Horse Guards Parade, now find out what goes on behind the scenes at The Household Cavalry Museum. Peer through the glass partition to see troopers working in the original 18th century stables, then explore the museum’s fascinating collection of personal stories, interactive displays and ceremonial artefacts. Please note: the museum is closed for refurbishment until 24 January. If you’re visiting before then, why not check out the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace instead?

Trooping the Colour 2014

Every year, London marks the Queen’s (official) birthday with a colourful military parade known as Trooping the Colour. Dating back to the 18th century, the procession sees fully trained and operational troops – including horses from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery – parade past the Queen. Apply now for a place on the seated stands around Horse Guards Parade, or head along on the day to watch from The Mall.

Horse riding in Hyde Park

Horse Riding in Hyde Park

Saddle up and take a trot around the beautiful environs of Hyde Park. Horse riding has a long history in this Royal Park, dating back to 1536 when Henry VIII galloped around in pursuit of deer and wild boar. Contact the Hyde Park Stables or Ross Nye Stables to hire your noble steed.

London International Horse Show at Olympia

The London International Horse Show at Olympia took place in December, but plans are already underway for the 2014 edition. See horses and their riders compete in dressage, jumping and a host of other thrilling competitions, and enjoy the special displays. Last year’s guest spots featured The Kennel Club, The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrianism and Shetland Pony Grand National, so who knows who you’ll see this year. Tickets available from May.

Stables Market

Stables Market

Located in former stables dating back to the Victorian era, Stables Market is now a bustling hub of food stalls, bars and shops. But its past life is still apparent, from the old catacombs to the 200-year-old Grade II Listed Horse Hospital – now home to Proud Camden, a gallery and live music venue. Look out too for the huge bronze statues of horses, added during the market’s recent restoration.

Horse Armour at The Wallace Collection 

The highlight of The Wallace Collection’s huge assortment of European and Oriental armoury is undoubtedly the stunning life-size horse (and rider) dressed in German Gothic equestrian armour from c. 1480-1500 (see main picture). The museum, which is free to enter, also features a number of paintings featuring horses, from the likes of Rembrandt, Velázquez and Bellangé.

]]> 0
In Pictures: Royal Ascot Day 1 Wed, 19 Jun 2013 14:04:30 +0000  

Bollinger tent Betting Champion of the fourth race The Queen and The Duchess of Cornwall The Queen's guard Race 4 Race 1 An exquisite hat Spectators in the Royal Enclosure watch returning horses

Royal Ascot 2013 opened in customary style yesterday, with the quality of the outfits easily matched by that of the racing. After The Queen’s customary carriage procession the day took a sombre note, with a minute’s silence for renowned trainer Sir Henry Cecil, who was a much loved figure at Ascot and who died last week aged 70.

Soon, however, racing commenced and spectators were treated to the sight of top jockeys such as Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and Kieran Fallon riding exceptional horses around Ascot’s verdant course. The race favourites consistently failed to live up to expectations, and there were more than a few spilled glasses of champagne thanks to a very close finish!

Royal Ascot continues until Saturday 22 June, see the website for more information on individual race days, tickets and the dress code.

]]> 0
Royal Ascot: Day Five Mon, 25 Jun 2012 09:29:06 +0000 The Queen Presents the Trophy to Black Caviar's Owners The Queen's Carriage Black Caviar

Even on the final day, there was no let-up in the style stakes at Royal Ascot and, in the Royal Enclosure at least, it seemed as if the new, stricter, dress code was being adhered to. Almost 80,000 people filled the racetrack; the women’s colourful array of hats and dresses providing a bright contrast to the sombre background of the men’s jackets and tailcoats.

Despite the poor weather and gusting wind which carried off many a woman’s carefully-arranged millinery, the raceday atmosphere, congenial company and ample refreshments on offer ensured that everyone was in high spirits. Even before the racing started, the huge cheers that greeted The Queen’s carriage procession demonstrated the crowd’s enthusiasm and admiration for the monarch in her Diamond Jubilee year

For many people, the highlight of the day was the 3.45pm Diamond Jubilee stakes, and the audience was peppered with black and orange banners and Australian accents in support of the legendary Black Caviar. There was a huge cheer as we caught a first glimpse of the mare, who had been flown in by chartered plane, and by the time the race was ready to commence the crowd bristled with a palpable tension.

Racing in pursuit of her 22nd victory, Black Caviar made a strong start on the pristine course but faltered near the finish, ensuring that most of the spectators had chewed off their nails by the time she won by a thrillingly narrow margin. Watching from the grandstand, it seemed as if the whole thing had happened in a flash, yet the 2012 Diamond Jubilee stakes and its world-famous victor will surely find a deserved place in racing history.

]]> 0