Hi folks, I'm hoping somebody with more knowledge can help me! I've been to Royal Ascot Ladies Day for the last few years. Previously we've driven, booked parking at the tennis club, had a picnic before hand and then enjoyed the day with grandstand tickets. Then my husband (god love him!) has got the train to Ascot to pick up us and the car (since I have by then been drinking). What a star he is!
However for various reasons this year the plan is different. We plan to be in London before and afterwards and therefore to get the train from Waterloo.
When driving, we've always timed it carefully because it's a long day already and we want to enjoy it. We don't want to be late enough to hit the worst of the traffic but don't want to be so early that we're cream crackered (or have drunk too much) before it even starts. So we usually end up arriving about 12.
Coming by train though I'm more keen not to end up on packed trains. I already know the train back will be carnage (!) as I've seen the station afterwards (from the relative comfort of the car!) and I'm OK with that, it's a small price to pay. But I would really like to get a seat on the way TO Ascot and arrive looking half way normal! and not feeling tired already. So of course I'd like to get a train about 11 and arrive for 12 ! However I suspect that is way too late and if I aim to do that the trains will be a nightmare, packed with people and we'll end up late and stressed which wouldn't be the best star to the day. So OK, we'll leave earlier. But the question is, how early do we need to leave?
I notice Ascot have a chartered train which guarantees you a seat on the way out and leaves at 9.35. I'd be happy to pay the premium for it actually for the guaranteed seat but it's SO early. I really don't want to arrive at 10.30. I was rather hoping that if we left Waterloo somewhere between 10 and 10.30 that would be early enough for the trains to be quieter but late enough to not have to many hours of hanging around (with nothing better to do but drink, which is dangerous and may not enhance the day!) before hand.
Also, very happy to pay for the first class upgrade but is it worth it, are we likely to get a seat?
All advice from anyone who has actually done this gratefully received!