WINDSOR, England – I love a day trip from London. It's a chance to see the green countryside and the delicate little lambs that adorn that countryside.
When tickets arrived for a Saturday at the Royal Windsor Racecourse, my heart skipped a beat. No, it's not as fabulous as Ascot, but it's a chance to dress up and gamble!
Windsor is a lovely town. The crown jewel is Windsor Castle; Eton College is a nice second. The grand castle is one of the Queen's official residences, and it's awe-striking to see it in the middle of the little town. Sadly, I had no time to tour the castle. The races were starting at 14:25, and bets had to be placed.
It was one of those rare English days — sunshine, a crisp breeze, and fascinators abounding. People were really dressed. I was happy we opted for Club Enclosure tickets. Since the races last just a few minutes, you really need to be in a prime position. The horses had amazing names: Addictive Dream, Crowns Choice, Mon Cadeau, Magicalmysterytour. It was hard to pick. Armed with a Pimms Cup, I placed my first bet for £10.
I kid you not, I won. Then I bet £20, and I won. Feeling full of confidence, I kept betting and upping the ante. Of course, no surprise: I lost misearbly.
Fortunately, I had set aside just enough cash to take the French Brothers river ferry back from the Racecourse to the town center. The sun was setting, the scenery was divine. What I was thinking about was how I could have placed my bets so much better. Next time.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
How to Get There
Train: Take the National Rail Service to Windsor & Eton Central from Paddington (about 35 minutes) or Waterloo (about 1:20 minutes) with a change in Slough.
Bus: Take the Green Line (routes 701 and 702) to Windsor from Victoria Coach Station, London.
Boat: French Brothers river ferry operates between Windsor's town center (opposite Brown's restaurant, a short walk from the train station) and the racetrack.