Sunday 17 August 2008

Family Fun Day, Royal Windsor Racecourse

Every so often, Windsor Racecourse, a compact, attractive track bordering the Thames, goes to great lengths to pull in the family punter, installing giant inflatable slides, bouncy castles, pony rides, a tent offering expert face painting and a miniature farm. Once you have paid the admission fee for the course, all these goodies are free. The downside is lengthy queues for the face-painting, and in particular, ice creams, meaning you might not find time to place a bet. And most of the kids' activities aren't rain-proof. A ticket for the buzzing Club Enclosure, which is in line with the winning post and offers a prime view of the closing stages of each race, is a hefty £22 for adults and free for children under seventeen. The Grandstand is cheaper, but has fewer frills. Even on a 'Family Fun Day', this enclosure, with a dress code insisting that men wear a shirt with a collar, attracts groups of raucous, but good-natured and sharply-dressed lads and bubbly, dolled-up ladettes. 7/10