When the clocks change this weekend it is time to replace those dreary New Year’s Resolutions that we never really intended on sticking to with some exciting and fun plans for the summer months to come.
The long evenings and rising temperatures along with a spirit of goodwill all around as summer happily makes its way into our lives is a far better opportunity to make sweeping promises we actually have some desire to keep!
If you, like me, managed to catch some of the recent Cheltenham Festival coverage then you’ll have noted the excitement, buzz and good times that come across at one of Britain’s favourite pastimes – horse racing.
There are 60 racetracks in Britain – many on our London doorsteps – and over the summer months they play host to some exciting, dapper, fashionable and thrilling race meetings that cater for everything from the fashion icon to the sports lover.
If you’ve any lingering doubts over the appeal of horse racing as a fun-filled day out for a broad spectrum of society, get in front of your TV screen on Saturday 11th April and breathe in some atmosphere from the Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool.
Then begin to plan your own day out – hopefully in summer sunshine! It beats trying to tell yourself you’ll go the gym at 7am on a Tuesday morning in January!
Sandown Park – Saturday April 25th
You can be at Sandown in just 25 minutes from Waterloo and on Saturday 25th April you can witness a little piece of racing history amongst the glitz and glamour of the final day of the jumps racing season.
Tony McCoy is the most successful jockey of all-time having ridden more than 4000 horses to victory during his 20-year career.
He will retire at the end of the season with Sandown set to be his final appearance.
The media attention and additional exposure of his retirement ought to ensure an afternoon to remember with some stunning views of London from the Surrey countryside.
Epsom Derby – Saturday June 6th
Top hats, tails and absolutely stunning finery are the order of the day at Epsom in early June for The Derby.
Epsom racecourse proudly declares it to be ‘still ranked the greatest flat race in the world and one of Great Britain’s most traditional days out.’
You can get to Epsom in an hour from Waterloo and the racecourse gates open at 11am on ‘Derby Day’ meaning you can get inside and soak up the fanfare and razzmatazz and perhaps enjoy some lunch long before the main event at 4.30pm where the prize fund is a staggering £1.25m.
Gaze on in amazement as the cream of two-year-old thoroughbred equine talent battle for immortality on the world-famous Epsom Downs.
Royal Ascot – Tuesday June 16th until Saturday June 20th
No sporting event defines the British summer quite like Royal Ascot – the self-proclaimed home of excitement, pageantry, fashion and style.
Ascot racecourse is 50 minutes from Waterloo and in June it becomes the centre of the racing world’s gaze for five days.
Whereas Cheltenham plays out in often unpredictable March weather, Ascot is laced with the promise of high summer sunshine.
Royal Ascot is a five-day social gathering without equal in sporting terms, heavily supported by some high-end fashion.
As the title suggests, there will be a Royal presence, with Her Majesty the Queen a regular attendee.
Why not treat yourself to a day out with The Queen of England this summer.