RACES, REGATTAS AND REVELRIES – 10 GREAT BRITISH EVENTS NOT TO MISS THIS SUMMER
The warm weather has finally arrived and with it it brings all the joy and excitement of our favourite events of the summer social calendar. Get ready to gather with friends and family as you cheer on boats and horses with a Champagne in hand, mooch round luxury shopping villages, or saunter around shows awash with rural stands and gardening goodies. Saddle-up and start thinking about your outfit choices, travel arrangements and where you put the cool-box and picnic blanket – because here are insideKENT’s Top Ten Great British Events not to miss in Summer 2023 – By Olivia Riccini
Chelsea Flower Show – 22nd-27th May
The world’s greatest flower show returns to the Royal Borough this spring with stunning garden designs, gorgeous floral displays and endless shopping. Need we say any more?
Chestertons Polo in the Park – 9th-11th June.
The world’s largest three-day international polo festival. Prepare yourself for some world-class polo in the heart of London with spectacular entertainment both on and off the pitch. The unique, fast-paced format makes one of the oldest equestrian sports easier for both newcomers to follow and dedicated polo fans to enjoy the excitement. It’s not just about the sport, the ultimate summer social brings fashion, food, fun and family together; shop the latest trends, enter style competitions, enjoy delicious street eats at the Fulham Food Festival, relax in one of the many pitch-side bars or party hard with live music and DJ’s in the legendary Mahiki tent.
Royal Ascot – 20th-24th June
Tradition for the Royal Family since around 1711, these five days of pure racing delight are what Ascot is renowned for. Since its beginnings, a British Royal Monarch has attended Royal Ascot, via a procession of horse drawn carriages that make their way into the Royal Enclosure – the most exclusive section of the venue. Today, around 300,000 people attend Royal Ascot every year, from the Royal Enclosure right down to the most relaxed section of the venue, the Village Enclosure, which has food stands, bars and live entertainment going on into the night.
Perhaps the most famous day of the five is Ladies Day (Thursday 16th June) Vibrant, celebratory and steeped in tradition, it is indeed a day to see and be seen. A glorious occasion, when high fashion and millinery masterpieces take centre stage, enjoy fabulous outfits alongside Flat racing’s most elite stayers locking horns in the historic Gold Cup.
Finishing off the unique whirlwind of excitement and colour that makes Royal Ascot so special, is of course the final day of the five. Saturday 18th is set to be an exceptional card featuring the £1m Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, one of the world’s greatest international sprints – a fitting finale to a truly unforgettable week.
Henley Royal Regatta – 27th June-2nd July
On the banks of the River Thames in Oxford, celebrate one of the best events of the summer in style. Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best-known regatta in the world and a highlight of both the summer sporting calendar and social season. The Regatta attracts thousands of visitors over the week and is the ultimate riverside event. Spectators are thrilled by over 300 races of an international standard, which can include Olympic rowers as well as crews new to the event. Indulge in luxury all the way and purchase a ticket with official hospitality included.
Gold Cup Cowdray Park Polo – Various Events from 27th June-23rd July
With a long and illustrious history, Cowdray Park is recognised worldwide as the Home of British Polo. Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within Viscount Cowdray’s 16,500 acre estate in West Sussex, the game of polo has been played at Cowdray for over a century. Perhaps the most prestigious event held at Cowdray is The British Open Polo Championship for the Cowdray Gold Cup, a premier polo tournament at 22 goal (High Goal) level. With all the international stars of the game in action in the incomparable setting of the park’s stunning grounds, the tournament draws in polo aficionados from all over the world.
The Kent County Show – 7th-9th July
Of course the list would not be complete without our very home county show. The Kent County show has grown from its humble beginnings to be the region’s showcase event for farming, agriculture and countryside life. For three days a year, animals, horses, vintage vehicles, retail stands and much more – including delicious Kentish food and drink – converge on the breathtaking surroundings of the Kent Showground for a celebration of the best in the county. The Kent County Show is organised by the Kent County Agricultural Society, a registered charity whose mission is to support local farming practices and promote education about food farming and the countryside.
The Game Fair – 28th-30th July
Described as ‘a mecca for those who love countryside pursuits’, The Game Fair is billed as the top annual event for those who are passionate about countryside living. Located at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, this is a must for shotgun-toting, Springer Spaniel-owning countryside lovers as well as anyone else that adores the Great British outdoors. Including puppy shows and unrivalled countryside brand shopping, this year The Game Fair has joined forces with Celebrity Chef James Martin who has created a bespoke menu for The Game Fair Enclosure.
Cowes Week – 29th July-4th August
An eclectic mix of racing and socialising, Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight is one of the longest-running regular regattas in the world. Over 8,000 competitors take part and the event features many drinks parties and a famous fireworks display. A 196-year-old tradition that is as much about having fun with your friends as it is about racing boats.
Salon Privé – 30st August-2nd September
Perhaps Britain’s most prestigious motor show, Salon Privé is unlike any other. A unique three-day event held in the majestic grounds of Blenheim Palace, Salon Privé showcases an incredible collection of classic, super, hyper and concept cars for a true celebration of these motoring masterpieces. Again, including a tempting luxury shopping village!
Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials – 31st August-3rd September
The world’s greatest 5* equestrian event acknowledged globally by leading riders as their ultimate competitive goal. A key event towards the end of the summer social season, Land Rover Burghley attracts fantastic crowds to witness exhilarating equestrian action alongside browsing the world renowned shopping avenues and enjoying the many other attractions and activities on offer in a truly stunning location. Three Day Eventing is a comprehensive test of the all round ability of the horse and rider, comprising Dressage, Cross Country and Jumping. This event is the pinnacle of the sport and one third of the Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing. Yet another countryside brand shopping sensation, bring your cash!